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There is a significant shift happening over at Facebook. Facebook is rolling out tools that are encouraging your followers to message your Page. Without a Messenger strategy in place, your business is simply not taking advantage of the FREE engagement Facebook is trying to give you. When it comes to Facebook Messenger, now is the ideal time to re-evaluate your strategy.
Why Facebook Messenger is Powerful
Over 1.2 Billion people currently use Messenger. Messenger is an email alternative which users are increasingly turning to for customer service requests. 59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved.89% of social media messages to brands go ignored. Don't be that brand! Click To Tweet
Facebook Messenger boasts 80% open rates and 4 to 10 times higher click-through rates (CTRs) compared to email. Your audience already uses Messenger everyday and your business should be a part of that conversation.
How Facebook is Increasing Messenger Engagement
It’s important to recognize the benefits of leveraging Facebook Messenger to reach more of your audience in an intimate way. Let’s take a look at 3 ways Facebook is helping you engage with your audience via Messenger.
#1 – This feature is not brand new, but it’s one we notice often goes overlooked. Anytime a user comments on your Business Page, Facebook provides you the ability to message the user privately. Of course, you can also reply publicly, but sometimes a private reply is more appropriate. If the user has a complaint, for example, you may want to handle it privately. I would recommend leaving a public reply to indicate that a private message was sent. This will benefit you by indicating to other users that you are addressing the issue.
#2 – Facebook also allows you to prompt visitors to your Business Page to message your Page upon their arrival. Similar to how a website pop-up works, when a user visits your Page the messenger window will open automatically so that the user can contact you. You can turn this feature on or off form your Business Page’s settings, as seen below.
I choose to keep the feature on because I love the nudge to engage with me and my team! I’ve been on the user side as well, and it’s no biggie to close the window if I am not interested.
#3 – I recently engaged with a Page that I follow from my Personal Profile. After submitting the comment, Facebook offered a prompt to message the Page directly. They may have been triggered by the fact that I asked a question within the comment. What a great way to promote conversations!
Facebook is encouraging your audience to message you – take advantage of it! Unfortunately, 89% of social media messages to brands go ignored. That is a LOT of missed opportunities. Don’t be that business!
Internal Tools for Facebook Messenger
Bots are a big topic these days. Before we touch on Messenger Bots, it’s important to recognize that Facebook offers free internal tools that will be enough for many small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs.
From your Facebook Page’s Messaging Settings you will see the Response Assistant (near the bottom of the page). There are different options for setting up different automation functions. When you click the Yes/No Button it will automatically generate a generic response for you. If you want to customize the response, you will click on the “change” button and make any desired changes.
When users send a message to a brand, they typically expect a response within an hour – regardless of the day or time that they send the message. Many small businesses can not staff their Facebook Business Pages for 24/7 support. The Response Assistant is a great way to provide your audience with an automatic response to let them know that you will get back to them soon. You may consider adding the following things to your automatic replies:
- A link to your website
- Hours of operation
- Alternative contact for emergencies
ChatBots for Facebook Messenger
If you need more than Facebook’s internal tools can offer, there are a variety of third-party ChatBots available for Facebook Messenger. These bots possess the capability to welcome new users, send them content, schedule posts, set up keyword auto-responses (text, pictures, menus), automatically broadcast your RSS feed and much more. The Bot we have experience with is ManyChat. If you are looking for a good starter-Bot, ManyChat offers a free plan and paid plans starting at just $10/month.Facebook Messenger boasts 80% open rates and 4-10 times higher CTRs compared to email Click To Tweet
Turning off Facebook Messenger
If you don’t want to deal with any of this (not what I’d recommend), you can turn the ability to accept messages off from your Business Page’s General settings. Just uncheck the box!
Facebook Messenger Strategy
Just as your audience is on Facebook, they are also on Messenger, and your business should be too. It’s important to remember that people do not tend to be patient. They want to receive an instantaneous reply to all of their questions and comments. Facebook will also reward your business for replying promptly by adding a badge to your Business Page – indicating your business is very responsive to messages.
Using Facebook’s Response Assistant or a third-party ChatBot, are great ways to improve your responsiveness, provide customer service, and build relationships with your audience. Facebook is actively taking actions to drive users to message your Page. As business owners we should take advantage of these pushes. So, ensure that your Facebook Business Page is set up to accept Messages from users, and that you have Response Assistant or a Bot set up for the best user experience.
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Meg is the Founder and CEO of EIEIO Marketing. Originally from Rochester, NY, she now lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and their 4 daughters. Meg has been involved with marketing to moms for over 7 years and has experience working for Facebook within their Marketing Expert Program. When Meg is not managing ads for clients, teaching digital marketing strategy, or furthering her own professional development – she enjoys getting the family out of the house to explore a variety of fun and educational adventures. After the kids are in bed, Meg enjoys binge watching Netflix, fantasy football, and a glass of wine. Learn more about EIEIO Marketing.