You know how your boomer parents complain that you spend way too much time messaging on your phone when you could easily make a phone call? Well, they’re not wrong.
LivePerson, a New York-based company that provides mobile and online messaging solutions for businesses around the world, led a 4,000-person study asking participants in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Japan and France about their digital media and in-person preferences and found:
- The phone is the new wallet: 61.8% of global consumers ages 18–34 would choose to leave their wallet at home instead of their phone.
- Digital is the new IRL: Globally, a majority of Gen Z and Millennials (65%) communicate with each other more often digitally than in person.
- The phone is now truly an extension of the self: 70.1% of Gen Z and Millennials across the globe sleep with their phone within arm’s reach. And 65.5% bring their phone into the bathroom with them.
- The future is 100% digital: A majority of Gen Z and Millennials around the world (69.5%) can imagine a future where 100% of purchases are done digitally/online.
They also found that “with a constant digital connection at their fingertips, younger consumers expect a high threshold of digital convenience when seeking help from a brand.” As the spending power of Millennials and Gen Z continues to grow, their digital habits will continue to influence how brands interact with them.
Due to the number of worldwide Facebook users, Facebook Messenger is one of the most important messaging apps brands can use to connect with their customers. In fact, every month businesses exchange more than 20 billion messages on Messenger. Is Facebook Messenger part of your social media marketing strategy? If not, it should be.
Take a closer look at how your business can use Facebook Messenger to connect with your audience:
Setting Up Facebook Messenger:
Enable Facebook Messenger
In order to receive messages, your Facebook Page should have Facebook Messenger enabled in your general settings. If this functionality isn’t on, your existing and potential customers will not be able to reach you privately. Once enabled, you can create a Facebook Messenger username and link, which can be linked to your social media bios, website, among other places.
Next, you’ll want to add a “Send Message” button to your profile. You can do this by clicking on “Add a Button” under your Page’s cover image, select “Contact You,” and voila! If your Page already has a button, you can click “Edit Button” to make additional changes.
Set Up A Messenger Greeting
Messenger greetings are a customizable message users receive when they open your Facebook Page or Messenger thread. It appears before their first message to your business. This native feature is a great way to kick off a direct conversation to address customer questions or concerns.
These greetings can be left blank, as the Orlando Museum of Art has done.
They can also have a welcome message or personalized greeting using the person’s name. To enable this feature, visit your Page’s settings, click “Messaging,” and scroll to the “Start a Messaging Conversation” section, where you can turn on “Show a Greeting,” and personalize it by clicking “Change.”
Set Up Automated Responses
Setting up automated responses saves you time when you can’t get around to replying quick enough. Businesses can use automated responses to greet users, respond to frequently asked questions, customize messages to provide quick answers, or ask your audience for feedback.
Some of the most common automated responses on Facebook Messenger are:
- Away Messages instantly respond to all incoming messages when you’re not available to respond. You can even set the amount of time you’ll be unavailable to respond in your settings.
- Instant Reply responds to the first message sent to your Page.
- Contact Information Requested instantly responds to messages requesting contact information.
- Location Requested instantly responds to users requested your location.
- Page Recommended is sent 10 minutes after a user shares that they recommend your Page.
- Page Not Recommended is sent 10 minutes after a user shares that they do not recommend your Page.
- Application Received is instantly sent to someone who applied for a job your Page posted.
Lineage Coffee Roasting, a Central Florida coffee shop, uses automated responses to better assist customer questions. When a user opens up Messenger to shoot them a question, they are met with a list of frequently asked questions which touch on the type of food served at the coffee shop to location requests to questions about deliveries.
Meanwhile, The Heavy WP, an Orlando plant and decor wonderland, prompts users to ask about recommendations, cost, and popular products.
Another form of automated responses is using chatbots. Chatbots are an automated messaging AI software that is programmed to understand questions, provide information and solutions to customers, help users make purchases, make appointments, track orders, and more. In 2018, there were more than 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook Messenger, meaning that many brands and businesses see the benefit of using them to address inquiries and improve customer service.
Online travel company Expedia.com’s Messenger chatbot prompts users to type “get started” in order to interact with the chatbot, or “message agent” for in-person assistance. Users who would rather speak to the chatbot will then be met with options to explore including, “manage a trip,” “search hotels,” “search flights,” “search activities,” and “deals.”
Engage With Customers IRL Using Social Media Monitoring Tools
Some chatbots offer an authentic, conversation experience for the user, but others can feel inauthentic and clunky and can be especially frustrating for a user who needs a straightforward answer. If you’d rather manage the one-on-one conversations with your audience, but also dread logging in to answer questions on Facebook, Facebook Business Manager, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, as well as review sites, we recommend using third-party social media monitoring tools.
These tools help your business maintain a positive brand image and monitor conversations relevant to your product. As an example, Sprout Social comes equipped with an all-in-one social Smart Inbox that populates messages and comments from a company’s multiple social media profiles so that you may respond promptly. Many have the capability to assign messages to specific team members to address. The cost of these tools vary depending on their capabilities. Responding to private messages has never been easier!
Benefits Of Using Facebook Messenger
There are countless benefits to using Facebook Messenger for your business, whether it is facilitating customer concerns in a private setting to establishing a trustworthy brand.
- It is FREE 🎉
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
- Grow Brand Trust
- Increase Intent To Purchase
- Generate High-Quality Leads
- Exchange Documents
- Privacy (…and did you know you even have the option to have secret end-to-end encrypted conversations on Messenger? 🤯 )
5 Guidelines For Driving Success on Facebook Messenger
Facebook updated policies on its Messenger platform earlier this year, which went into effect on March 4, 2020. The policy changes were designed to improve the messaging experience between people and businesses by driving timely and personally relevant conversations.
Here are Facebook’s best practices for designing great messaging experiences on Messenger:
Respond Quickly & Set Customer Expectations
The majority of your existing and potential customers expect a same-day response from brands on social media. Data shows that 40 percent of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour a message was sent, while 79 percent expect a response in the first 24 hours. Facebook says that it has “found a strong correlation between responsiveness and successful business outcomes.”
Ideally, your business should reply within the day or sooner. Businesses who are quick to respond will appear more attractive to Facebook users. Your Page’s response rate and time are measured by how quickly and consistently it replies to messages. Facebook Pages with a high response rate and time will display a “very responsive to messages” badge, and it’ll say so on the actual message.
Keep It Short & Sweet
Facebook recommends businesses to concisely communicate key points early on in the message, and ideally, ensure it is readable within the message preview. According to Facebook, this aligns with people’s expectations for messaging as a channel.
Leverage Messenger Features To Send High Value Messages Outside The 24 Hour Standard Messaging Window
Facebook’s standard messaging window is 24 hours upon receiving the initial message from a user. There are three options available for businesses looking to send messages outside of the standard messaging window:
Message Tags – These tags can be used to send personal, timely and important non-promotional messages, such as account updates, post purchase updates, confirmed event updates, and human agent responses.
One-Time Notification – This allows a page to request a user to send one follow-up message after the 24-hour messaging window has ended. This can be used for cases such as back in stock alerts where a person has explicitly requested the business to send out a notification. Make sure that the message matches the topic the user agreed to receive the notification for and this message is fully communicated on the first attempt. You may also want to prompt people to interact with your notification in order to restart the standard messaging window.
Sponsored Messages – Businesses should use sponsored messages for broadcast promotional updates to customers you’ve interacted with in Messenger. Sponsored messages support Facebook ads targeting and have built-in integrity controls to help us safeguard the user experience in Messenger.
News Messaging – News messages allow news publishers to send regular news updates to their subscribers in Messenger. This feature is only available for registered news Pages under the Facebook News Page Index (NPI). Pages registered with the News Page Index don’t need to apply for news messaging permission.
Focus on Customer Value
Your messages have to clearly communicate customer value, especially messages sent outside the standard messaging window. In other words, the goal is to send relevant content to the right person at the right time. Keeping this in consideration, it is crucial to ensure that your messaging isn’t intrusive or irrelevant because that’ll lead potential customers to block your messages.
Provide Audiences With Options To Choose From
Similar to tailored email campaigns, Facebook recommends giving your audience additional control over the type of content they receive via Messenger, such as account alerts or post-purchase updates.
Many businesses disregard Facebook Messenger as part of their social media marketing efforts, but they shouldn’t. Last year, the social media giant confirmed that it is planning to integrate messaging functionalities on Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, enabling users to send messages between apps and open new avenues for your business.
Facebook Messenger is set to become one of your most crucial marketing tools for providing excellent customer service. Consumers are more receptive to the conversational tone of Facebook Messenger and will continue to gravitate towards messaging with their favorite brands.