Remember when Facebook eliminated their messaging function on their mobile app and launched Messenger back in 2011 and we were all shaking our fists in the air saying, “Ugh! They really expect me to have TWO Facebook applications on my phone?” Or was it just me who swore to never download and use the app?
Today, Messenger has been embraced not only by scammers ready to defraud you (😂) but by businesses everywhere. Last year, Facebook announced that there were over 40 million active businesses messaging people across the globe, exchanging over 20 billion messages each month. So, if your brand is already on Facebook, there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be reaping the benefits of including Messenger in your marketing strategy.
Here are benefits of using Facebook Messenger as a powerful tool for business marketing:
It is Free.99
Creating a Facebook Page for your business is free, and so is instantly addressing customer concerns through Messenger. The feature is free for both you and your customers, and all you need is your phone or laptop and WiFi access.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Facebook closed in on 2.6 billion monthly active users on its platform in the first quarter of 2020, continuing to dominate as the most popular social media platform in the world. That means about 25 percent of our world’s population is using Facebook and using it to contact their favorite businesses and brands! 🤯
With that many users, Facebook Messenger should be a part of your social media customer service strategy in order to address concerns. Depending on the size of your business, the built-in messaging platform can help reduce software costs and reduce labor, by giving you the option to use chatbots.
Messenger is a great tool for conversational marketing to enhance customer experience and build brand loyalty via real-time via conversation. Facebook’s best practices for designing a great messaging experience on Messenger include:
- Respond quickly & set customer expectations
- Keep it short & sweet
- Leverage Messenger features to send high value messages outside the
- 24-hour standard messaging window
- Focus on customer value
- Provide audiences with options to choose from
We recommend training your customer support specialists to follow standard operating procedures while dealing with customer inquiries through Messenger, to ensure everyone is on the same page and that your business isn’t overpromising and under-delivering.
Did you know that Messenger can be integrated with most CRMs? By using integration automation tools such as Zapier, customer information can be automatically sent to your CRM the second you receive a Facebook message – all in a matter of minutes and without a single line of code. Doing this allows you or your customer support specialists to monitor conversations, support tickets, and case progress without having to enter in any information.
When your business is accessible to potential and existing customers, it shows them that you are present, care about their concerns and would like to provide them with solutions. Leverage the fact that your audience is already familiar with Messenger to improve your relationship with your audience.
Taking The Conversation To A Private Channel
We admit that addressing concerns and managing your reputation on social media can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare. It begins with the initial post, then someone who went through a similar situation inserts their opinion, then everyone begins piling on, and by the time you get around to replying, the situation has gotten out of hand.
Messenger is the ideal channel for keeping conversations private. Maybe a customer has a question they would like to ask privately, or maybe they’ve had a negative experience while at your business and would rather resolve it privately. Whatever the reason may be, connecting with your customer one-on-one shows them that you value their time and care about their concerns.
Build Brand Trust
This is your opportunity to not only wow your customers, but to build brand trust and loyalty. Your brand identity is the heart and soul of your company, and using Messenger to communicate directly with your customers gives your brand the opportunity to share with them the values that drive your company as a whole. While interacting with your customers, be sure to weave your brand’s values and personality into your messages. This is the personal touch that today’s customers are looking for. Additionally, always be truthful and respect the intelligence of your customers. Fostering integrity with your brand begins with honesty.
Increase Intent To Purchase
A recent report from Facebook IQ showed that 40 percent of people surveyed globally said chat was how they first started shopping online, and 65 percent of people across generations said they would be more likely to shop with a business they can contact via chat.
I recently bought an electric bicycle (quarantine buys!) and wanted to buy a Thousand brand helmet (safety first!), however, I didn’t want to go through the process of buying the helmet without first making sure that it fit correctly. The Pedego Electric Bikes Oviedo store happened to be a local retailer carrying the helmets, so I reached out via Facebook Messenger to stop by and try the helmet on. At the time, the store didn’t carry my preferred color, so they ordered it for me and reached back out once it arrived at the store for pick-up. Had the store ignored my initial message, I would’ve just ordered it online and they would’ve lost my business.
Many consumers are a few questions away from making a purchase, and your brand can help them make shopping decisions easier by simplifying the question-and-answer exchange on Facebook Messenger.
Generate High-Quality Leads
Messenger isn’t just a customer service tool for addressing inquiries. When a consumer reaches out to you on Messenger, it presents an opportunity for your business to follow-up. Every message that passes between you and your customer is an opportunity to learn valuable information that’ll build a long-term relationship.
Once the initial message has been received and addressed, you can follow-up to share a special offer, introduce a new, relevant product or service, and more. Just remember to act quick because Facebook’s standard messaging window is 24 hours upon receiving the initial message. Businesses looking to send messages outside that messaging window can do so through message tags, one-time notifications, sponsored messages, and news messaging. You can learn more about these messaging options on our Facebook Messenger best practices blog.
Exchange Documents and Payments in a Secure Environment
There are many types of content that can be sent through Messenger, including text, audio, images, video and files, which can be useful when messaging a business to let them know that the product you purchased from them is damaged, for example. You can even pay for products or services through Messenger using Facebook Pay. Now, we understand your hesitation in sending messages containing sensitive information following revelations that Facebook allowed large tech companies to access personal user information. However, we just wanted to throw it out there that Facebook Pay is designed with several security capabilities to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on their systems to detect unauthorized activity, provide notifications for account activity, and more. You can also enable the “secret conversations” feature on Messenger to protect and encrypt your messages.
To Summarize All This…
Messenger is a multi-purpose tool and a game-changer for streamlining communications with people. There are innumerable benefits to using it for your business, whether it is for improving customer interactions, facilitating consumer concerns, generating leads or establishing a trustworthy brand. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so it is vital to ensure your first Messenger interaction with them keeps them coming back for more.