How to Use Facebook Messenger for Your Business (Plus a Little About Chatbots)
Don’t have a Facebook Page yet, or not sure yours is ready for Messenger marketing? Check out our post on optimizing your page!
A recent Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging survey revealed that out of the nine possible channels of communication with a business, that Facebook messaging was the #1 most popular. Also 53% of people, across all age brackets, would be more likely to shop with a company that had direct messaging available.Consumers are currently sending around 2 billion messages to businesses every month, but are they messaging yours?
Facebook Messenger is a two-way communication between either two individuals, an individual and a Page, or in a group setting. Images, links, emoticons, gifs, PDFs, and more can be shared within the Facebook Messenger interface. There’s even a DropBox integration available in order to attach Dropbox files directly from within the Messenger itself.
How to use Facebook Messenger for your Business
Real-time customer support tool
Facebook Messenger provides an always-on, happy-to-help salesman, support rep, or brand ambassador for your business. It’s the best perky part-time intern you could hope for! By enabling Facebook Messenger on your Facebook Page, you are inviting potential and current customers to message your business directly in a way that isn’t intrusive or unfamiliar.
You may get messages from current customers who need real-time support with your product or service or questions from potential customers. By embracing Facebook Messenger, you can connect and communicate with your target market in real-time.
However, with great power comes great responsibility and expectations. Consumers expect that their Facebook Messenger submission will receive a response within 4 hours. And brand pages show the expected time that a consumer should expect a response based on historical data. So if you delay for days in getting back to your messages, the page will tattle on you to potential customers looking to message your page.
Chatbots can help your Facebook messenger response speed, but more on that later.
In order have a “Very responsive to messages” badge on your Page, you must have an average response rate of 90% and an average response time of 15 minutes or less over the past week.
Direct marketing tool
In addition to being able to receive messages from your market, you will also be able to see when specific followers are online. Facebook Messenger allows you to see who in your connections is currently online and ready to receive messages. Using this presence feature with tact and restraint can have excellent connection results with your target market.
Monetize It Tip:
You can also run a variety of paid advertising options through the Facebook Messenger feature. Your business could place ads within the home screen of the Messenger app to direct people to your page or include a Click-to-Messenger feature on other Facebook Ads that you are running to launch a conversation from the ad.
Another way to utilize the Facebook Messenger through paid advertising is to send sponsored content to your target audience directly to their Messenger inbox. You could use this to promote a new product offering, an event, or an exclusive deal similarly to how you use email marketing. The response rate on Facebook Messenger is significantly higher than that of email campaigns.
Brand discovery tool
Facebook Messenger 2.0 also doubles as a brand discovery tool and search engine for consumers. By clicking on the Discover tab on mobile. Consumers can learn about any business, start conversations, or book appointments and services within the app. Brands can purchase space in the Featured section of this tab or work their way up to being in the Popular section.
Website chat tool
There is also a website plug-in available through Facebook Messenger that will allow your website visitors to chat with you directly through the Facebook Messenger app. The same blue circle will appear at the bottom of your website and will launch the Messenger interface that they are already accustomed to using. All the chat information is stored in the Messenger application and can be accessed by both the consumer and the brand even if the consumer leaves the website mid-chat.
Direct selling tool
On the horizon, Facebook is testing a new beta feature that would allow businesses to sell products and services directly in the Messenger app. While this hasn’t been rolled out to more than a few US brands, businesses should be at the ready for when this feature is rolled out more broadly.
If you’re currently operating your business in the US and have a product or service that would be easily purchased on Messenger, you can apply for this beta program here.
How to Set-up Facebook Messenger
Once you have a Facebook Page, setting up the Facebook Messenger is a breeze.
- Go to your Facebook Page Settings and click “General” on the left-hand side.
- Look for the tab that says “Messages” and click “Edit.”
- Check the box next to “Allow people to contact my Page.”
- Don’t forget to hit “Save Changes.”
How to Set-up a Greeting Response for Facebook Messenger
Make sure to use some brand personality and to cater to both current and potential customers. Inform the person messaging you: who you are, what they can expect from you, and what they should do if they need a more immediate response.
Once you’ve saved your changes, Facebook users can now contact your Page whenever. Now you’ll want to customize the greeting response that a user would see when they message your page.
- Go back to Facebook Page Settings and click “Messaging”
- From there toggle to “Yes” under Response Assistant for “Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page”
- Click change and customize your response.
- Don’t forget to click “Save.”
Some examples of an appropriate greeting message might be:
“Thank you for sending us a message here at Miss May’s Flower Shop! We look forward to helping you brighten someone’s day! If this is an urgent request about an order, please give us a call at 555-5555.”
“Hello! Great to meet you! Our regular hours are between 8 am to 5 pm EST. We look forward to helping you with your request!”
You can think of these instant replies a little bit like an answering machine or an out-of-office if you think you’ll be away from Facebook Messenger for any reason.
Facebook Messenger Chatbots for Your Business
Using the Facebook Messenger and chatbots for your business open up new opportunities to sell, communicate, and connect to your target market. It may seem intimidating at first but the ability to interact based on user responses without your attention can help you reach your business goals like never before.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to use Facebook Messenger for our business, utilizing chatbots are the next step. By 2020, it’s predicted that a person will have more interactions with bots than our spouses.
Chatbots automate the communication on Messenger and “can help you deliver the right lightning-fast response the moment a customer asks.” There are over 100,000 bots currently engaging with people on the Facebook Messenger platform.
What the freak is a chatbot?
A chatbot, also known as a messenger bot, is a piece of software that uses AI to automate conversations and tasks. You can think of it like an automated 20 questions that learns and grows more useful the more responses it gets. Bots also use preset phrases that can seem conversational to the user and can be contextual to the brand that uses it.
Do not fear the chatbot. It may seem complicated at first, but these little beauties are worth it. There are tons of vendors that can help you use a chatbot for your business. Visit our resources page to hear about some that we work with.
Chatbots can be as complex or simple as you’d like for your business. They can be programmed to answer basic questions for “what are your store hours” or “what is your return policy.” Or they can be used to “automate everything from customer service to product recommendations” to onboarding new customers.
Chatbots can be used to deliver custom content based on a series of questions, answer customer support inquiries, direct the conversation to the right person at your customer, encourage opt-ins to your newsletters, and nurture prospects.
Want to try “talking to” a chatbot yourself?
To see how chatbots work for other businesses, try messaging them. If the Messenger app has you click “Get Started” before sending a message, you will most likely be speaking with a chatbot. Hootsuite also has their top 10 chatbot examples here.
How to Get Started with Facebook Messenger Chatbots
There are many free and paid options to get started with Facebook Messenger. Choosing between these options depends on your confidence in being able to code the bot yourself with a free option or outsourcing this process in with a Facebook Messenger ChatBot provider like ManyChat (my favorite!), MobileMonkey and Chattypeople.
Monetize it Tip:
Using chatbots can save you time and allow your attention to go to other tasks, with the peace of mind that your customers are getting their questions answered. Also, a chatbot can be a 24/7 salesman for your business, letting customers know about the latest deals, offers, or promotions you are running.
Want a chatbot but don’t know where to start? It’s your lucky day because Badass Marketing Moms can help you do just that! Let’s schedule a time and we got your back. 😉 Check out our next post as we discuss Facebook Groups!
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