“Facebook Messenger has become the bane of my life!” I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard this in recent months, or the number of business owners I’ve spoken to who are fighting consumer preference to message…rather than talk. “Why don’t they just visit the website?” they say. Or, “What’s wrong with just picking up the phone?”
Consider this. New Facebook research shows more than half of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people surveyed expect to message businesses more in the next two years.
There’s no escaping the change in behaviour, and no point fighting it.
With this in mind, I’d argue Facebook Messenger is less bane – and more complete game-changer – if you’re a business owner willing to embrace it’s potential.
Is Facebook Messenger right for your business?
If your business deals directly with consumers, or you provide services to micro businesses or sole traders, then Facebook Messenger is right for you.
- It can help you make your business more approachable, personal and direct
- You can answer questions, solve problems, and share links to your website at key points along the buying journey
- You can build a presence and start a conversation
- Conversations [managed well] lead to sales, and opportunities to up-sell
- You can build a Facebook Messenger list of customers. Re-open conversations later, and share exclusive promotions
Facebook Messenger – Business To-Do List
1- Set a welcome greeting
This appears when someone begins a conversation with your Page for the first time. Great for providing info you want people to have up front
2- Set expectations with Instant replies
This feature can be used to greet customers and thank them for contacting you before you can respond personally
3 – Use an away message if you can’t be there
You wouldn’t let the phone ring off the hook or leave emails unanswered. Facebook Messenger is no different. An away message ensures you maintain your responsiveness rating and set expectations with your customers
4- Save time with saved replies
Saved replies allows you to write, save and then re-use messages. Great for commonly asked questions about your opening hours, core services, email address or phone number
5- Take Facebook’s training course
Facebook’s business page is a helpful hub of resource, and they also provide a free 15-minute Messenger Blueprint course. Check it out here >>
From bane to game-changer
The one thing I’m really trying to pass on through these tips is that Facebook Messenger should not be seen as a problem. It’s an untapped opportunity that requires three key things to deliver results for your business: time, care, and attention.
Understand that, and make peace with it, and you’ve already won half the battle.
Problem is, when you face a new sales and marketing challenge like this, you’re almost always against the clock.
Once you understand the value of investing some time into your communications strategy, rather than sticking on a few plasters and hoping for the best, you’ll find it easier to get things right.
If you don’t have the luxury of time, or an in-house team to get to grips with marketing, you do have options. You could always invite some experts to help you. Ideally a team of people who have masses of experience working with businesses in the midst of a marketing challenge.
Now, where can I find one of those?