Online marketers are always looking out to remain relevant and engaged with consumers. We are constantly exploring new ways for better reach, further engagement with consumers amidst market volatility and industry changes. This week, we look at Facebook Messenger for Business and how it can be a useful part of your business strategy.
E-commerce via Facebook and Messenger
Facebook had big plans about connecting customers to businesses since it announced Facebook Messenger for Business. With all the new updates and tools they have since launched and are continuing to inject into Messenger, they persist in their vision of how businesses can use Messenger to communicate with customers.1
They are making it easier for customers to find and contact businesses through the use of Page usernames.2,4 These usernames sit beneath the Page title with an ‘@’ symbol.2 Further to that, are two new methods for users to begin chatting with businesses. They are scannable Messenger Codes or Messenger Links.2,3,4,5
Messenger Links are URLs using Facebook’s own URL shortener followed by the Page’s username – “m.me/username”.2 Facebook sentimentally refers to it as a short and memorable link.2 Clicking that URL starts a chat between the user and the business in Messenger.2,3,4,5
Messenger Codes are unique and when scanned with your mobile phone’s camera, opens a message thread with the business in Messenger.2,3,4,5 Messenger Code images are available through the Page’s inbox to download.2
Messenger Greetings is another new feature.2,4,5 They are customisable notes from the business, appearing before chat messages are exchanged. It appears as a new message thread and businesses can use this to greet customers, set the tone for the conversation that is to eventuate or pass on important information to those reaching to chat.2
Facebook encourages businesses to promote use and awareness of their Messenger Links and Messenger Codes to customers as a way of getting in touch with them directly.2,3,4 They have also integrated Facebook advertising to help support businesses in those efforts.3 Regardless, participating businesses should see their Facebook Page usernames extensively promoted across the Facebook network.4
So what can Messenger for Business do for my business?
Messenger for Business will allow your business to instantaneously connect with your audience one-to-one directly.2,3,4,5,6 This means that you will be able to provide real-time customer care. You can directly resolve customer queries, transact orders, send confirmations or delivery updates.1,6 Another useful feature is the facility to send and receive money through Messenger.2 It is handy that anyone can use Messenger to get in touch with a participating business. Users do not have to own a Facebook profile.6
The key point of difference Messenger for Business facilitates, is the private channel of communication.1,3,4,6 This private channel may encourage customers or prospects to initiate conversations, to ask questions in a comfortable environment.1,6 And this could be the difference that helps them decide if they are going to make that purchase and do business with you.6 For businesses, it means you can private message people who give negative comments or reviews. You can take the conversation offline and manage complaints more effectively.6
Leveraging the power of Facebook
As of 20th July 2016, Facebook announced 1 billion people now use Facebook Messenger every month.7 Since launching Messenger for Business, Facebook continues to support this shift and roll out new features to help businesses efficiently manage personal, real-time conversations with your customers.8
In Australia, the Sensis Social Media Report 2016 surveyed 800 consumers and 1,100 businesses report 95% use Facebook. They found Australians now spend more than half a day per week (12.5 hours) on Facebook. 79% to 89% of small, medium and large businesses, using social media also have a Facebook profile. 9
IBA Australia and Nielsen’s Digital Ratings (Monthly) for May 2016 recorded Facebook’s unique audience at 15.93 million, with an active reach of 81%. 10
Facebook also garnered the most sessions per person – 113 sessions in a total of just under 13 hours.10
When you use Messenger to begin engaging with these users who have such an intimate relationship with Facebook Messenger, it re-calibrates your business relationship with them into a personal conversation.1,6 It creates that one-to-one personal connection with your customer through a channel that is close to them which they also use to communicate with their own personal friends. A great user experience will most likely result in positive word-of-mouth marketing.11 And that can only be an extremely powerful lever for your business.
- 2015. Facebook Messenger for Business: Do users want to chat with companies? – Fortune. [ONLINE] Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/03/26/facebook-messenger-business/. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- 2016. Making it Easy for People to Find and Contact Your Business on Facebook and Messenger | Facebook for Business. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.facebook.com/business/news/find-and-contact-businesses-on-messenger. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- 2016. Tips on messaging for Facebook Pages | Facebook for Business. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-tips-messaging-for-page-admins/. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- Sarah Perez, Tech Crunch. 2016. Facebook pushes businesses to Messenger with new tools for Pages, including Snapchat-like scannable codes. [ONLINE] Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/07/facebook-pushes-businesses-to-messenger-with-new-tools-for-pages-including-snapchat-like-scannable-codes/. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- Business Insider. 2016. Facebook messenger addresses business visibility. [ONLINE] Available at http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-messenger-addresses-business-visibility-2016-4/?r=AU&IR=T. [Accessed 27 July 2016].
- Social Media Examiner. 2016. How to Use Facebook Messenger for Your Business : Social Media Examiner. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-facebook-messenger-for-your-business/. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- Facebook. 2016. Update: 1 Billion People on Messenger Every Month. [ONLINE] Available at: http://messengerblog.com/general-messenger/1-billion-people-on-messenger/. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- Facebook. 2016. Messenger Platform News. [ONLINE] Available at:http://messengerblog.com/.[Accessed 29 July 2016].
- Sensis Pty Ltd. 2016. Sensis Social Media Report 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.desketing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.pdf. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- The Nielsen Company. 2016. Nielsen Digital Landscape Report. [ONLINE] Available at: http://digitalmeasurement.nielsen.com/digitalmedialandscape/surfing_report.html. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
- 2014. Why Word Of Mouth Marketing is The Most Important Social Media. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2014/07/17/why-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-the-most-important-social-media/#19fcca637a77. [Accessed 29 July 2016].
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