I generally prefer not to write blog posts based on platform functions or products because they date so easily but there are a few changes out there that I think the vast majority of Facebook business users will not know about fully! You really, really need to get on board with Facebook as a channel of choice – it is streaks ahead in development and getting you closer to your customer audiences than any other platform out there. So – I’m doing a series of posts on the Facebook Products I think you need to get your head around – FAST. In this one I deal with Facebook Messenger for PAGES.
Let’s dive in..
Facebook launched messenger (as a separate app to download on your phone) a good while ago and urged people to download it. At the time we all thought: “huh? Why? I can use the messenger within the Facebook App”. Well here it is folks – there is always a reason behind anything they do:
People who you are not friends with on Facebook can actually “request” to message you (this goes to “requests” and not the old “other inbox”) – so you can communicate with the person there (but still not be friends with you on Facebook). PLUS – Facebook added the ability for your to actually CALL (audio) that person through the Messenger App (or video call if you like). Did you know that? International call costs – left in the dust! (YAY)
There are 800 million users (at time of writing) of the Facebook messenger app. There are 1billion users of Whatsapp (which Facebook owns too). The Zuck has always said that he would look at financial opportunities of his products when they reach 1billion. So what this space.
Added feature to note relating to Business Pages..
Now likers of your Business Page can use the messenger app to message you through your Page – they can click on a shortened URL you provide them with or they can click on the “Message” button on your Page. This will come into you business page inbox (but will be viewed in the liker’s messenger app). You will communicate with them as your Page (and not from your personal account).
This is going to be a game changer and Facebook have their eye on what the Chinese messenger app WEChat are doing. WEChat is light years ahead of what we are doing here in the West. People shop through it and book events – there is a big e-commerce relationship within the platform.
BUT – we are not there yet. For now – you can have a shortened URL messenger link that you can use on your website, email signatures and business cards that sends people directly to your (Business Page) inbox on Facebook. By the way – if you have switched off the ability for your audience to direct message you on a 121 basis – this is basically like advertising a phone number and then refusing to answer the phone when it rings. THINK: Social customer care – this is where you should be directing your efforts.
Test your shortened URL today: www.fb.com/msg/[pagename] – so my Facebook URL for my business page is: www.facebook.com/social.intelligence – so my shortened URL is: www.fb.com/msg/social.intelligence. (Message me now and test it if you like!)
When you click this link on a mobile – it gives you this (so think of people who browse your website on a mobile, click your FB msg URL and get this):
When you click the URL from a desktop it immediately opens up a message within Facebook (if you are logged in on your computer) and addresses it to the Page you are messaging:
Something to remember and NOT to fear
People (i.e. human beings) use the Messenger App – so they of course have to contact you as a person. You on the other hand can respond to them as a brand (your Page) and within your inbox area within your Page. What I LOVE about this – is Facebook has expanded what this area looks like – so that you can be very customer service focussed and make notes on the particular person who has messaged you (see Green box below). This is a view of my Page inbox after the really lovely Stacey Bird (*waves*) in one of my peer-to-peer social media groups tested my message box for me:
Note that although it says “sent by Shelley Rostlund” in the grey bit under my response to Stacey – this is only so that you, as an admin, can see who sent the message – Stacey will receive it as a response from Social Intelligence.
Please ensure that you have your messages turned on, on your Page. You will know whether you do, or not, by looking at whether you can see the “Message” box when you are viewing your Page like this:
If you can’t see it then this is how to activate it:
Create your “Away” response and “Instant reply”
Once you have activated your messages on your Page – then be sure to go the extra mile and create some automated responses that will reply to your audience when they reach out and ensure that they get an instant response while you are working and give you some leg room to get back to them. Facebook is “judging” good pages by the response time to people – so keep an eye on this! Who’s to say that this algorithm could work for you in terms of newsfeed in future if you display great social customer care?! (HOT topic at the moment).