Have you ever thought how many people you can reach with the help of different platforms? If you haven’t, consider this: Facebook messenger has more than 1 billion users. Don’t tell me that this number doesn’t drive your enthusiasm towards using Facebook messenger for business.
Analyzing major platforms for the number its audience counts can become a useful, even priorities-changing practice, which you can certainly do on your own. However, in this article, let’s focus on the ways of using particularly Facebook messenger for business.
If you have ever asked yourself the question “how does messenger work for business”, you’re on the way to answer.
How to get the most out of Facebook messenger for business purposes
Facebook messenger 2017 isn’t the place where people are coming to chat only with the friends. No, it has come to be a full-fledged social platform for communication with everything and everyone you are interested in: friends, family, influencers, colleagues, and services.
Thanks to the spreading of conversational interfaces, it’s becoming possible for more and more services to behave just if they were your friends hanging out in your favorite messenger. While for customer things are becoming simpler and more friendly, for businesses it means a great opportunity to get as close to their audience as they have never been before.
Let’s look at the functionality of Facebook that can help you to improve communication with the customers.
1. Enable away messages, instant replies, and greetings
Be sure, your clients like to know that you are available every time they need your service. However, you don’t necessarily need to be there. Sounds like a trick? Nothing tricky, just Facebook functionality that might have been unknown to you.
Most of the businesses that are present on Facebook are getting advantage from these options. You may think that it can’t solve any customer’s problem, and you would be right. But it doesn’t have to actually. Everything these greetings, instant and away messages should do is help you to show that you care about your customers and assure them you are on the way to them.
2. Leverage messenger codes
Every time you simplify something for your customers, be sure you’re getting a postponed reward. Using Facebook messenger for business is all about simplification and fast engagement. With the help of messenger codes, you can prevent your customers from hesitations around how to start a conversation on Facebook with you.
Help your customers easily reach you by just scanning the code. You can download it directly from Facebook messenger and then insert wherever you want – on any social media channel, website, or printed material.
3. Make use of social plugins
This is also a way of making the life of your customers easier. Implementation is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require advanced knowledge of coding (just copy-paste code snippet which you can find in Facebook documentation). In other words, social plugins are a convenient thing that enables you to insert such Facebook buttons as “Send message”, “Save to Facebook”, “Share” outside Facebook platform (websites, landing pages, etc.).
Facebook for developers contains a profound documentation on how to use all social plugins. Put these buttons exactly where you expect your customers to perform corresponding actions, and you will not only help yourself but also save the time of your customers.
4. Make interaction attractive with the help of templates
When the conversation with your customers comes to the discussion of your products, you can make it more catchy. Plain text isn’t the most engaging thing but if you add up appropriate visuals and buttons, it will certainly become more attractive. For this purpose, Facebook has different templates, which you can leverage to nicely present your products.
5. Last but definitely not least – chatbots
In 2016, at the F8 Conference, Facebook announced major welcoming of chatbots. Since then, cohorts of virtual assistants have entered messaging platform (by the way, not only they entered Facebook messenger but other platforms also, as the trend spread around).
Facebook messenger 2017 is already the space that you can hardly imagine without chatbots. However, what may still not be clear for many people is the following question: is it more a trend or quite a useful thing? Let’s find out.
How to use facebook messenger bots in business
In case if it’s one of your first encounters with the chatbot subject, here is a brief introduction: chatbot is a piece of software that helps to automate customer service by handling repetitive tasks that don’t require human involvement.
Nowadays, getting a personal bot for facebook messenger isn’t something rare among businesses. In contrary, many startups are doing it right on the launching along with the setting up social media and blogging platforms.
Let’s look at the exact ways bot for facebook can help your business.
1. Assistance and availability
24/7 availability requires more resources than the budget of a regular startup can allow. So what can you do if your services are supposed to be available all around the world? You can turn to the power of facebook messenger chatbots and get your own one for handling customer requests.
Take a look at how Operator service works. Virtual assistants receive requests, clarify details, and redirect to the experts that are in charge. Don’t aim at replacing all the human consultants by the chatbot. It won’t work (at least now, hopefully, soon more opportunities will emerge). Make it wisely, and you will create a great service and spare some money.
2. Targeted selling
Would you want to know preferences of your potential customers before proposing them any product? I’m sure, you would. Now you can! By means of the conversational interface (which is chatbot), you can ask your prospects a set of questions that may help you understand what they like and what not.
This way work all the popular retail bots. As the customer, you start chatting by sharing your preferences. Then, you receive suggestions on what you may like with the links to the featured products. Try the bot of British Vogue to better understand how it works.
3. Data collection
Chatbots are the greatest tool when it comes to collecting information from your customers. When a user of messenger start chatting with your service, you are already getting his/her profile data (usually to publicly accessible portion). Save it or not – it’s up to you. However, you can also save information obtained from the dialogues (between users and the chatbot) and leverage it for adjusting your service to the interests of your customers later.
Just take a look at the first dating bot Lara. Collecting data about users, it helps to connect people with the regard to their interests and preferences.
No one would be against a bit of entertainment during lunch break (including other types of break). You can set your chatbot so that it will be sending something entertaining, informative, or educative to your users as often as you want.
Swelly is one of such chatbots that make people stick by sending updates and notifications with the entertaining character. Using Facebook messenger for business doesn’t imply that you can’t make people smile. Quite the contrary.
You can also use chatbot to share your knowledge and, therefore, to wisely promote yourself. It’s a very powerful way to engage people with the information that can be easily lost somewhere on the blogging platform.
Heston Bot is Microsoft bot made in collaboration with the famous Chef Heston Blumenthal. It sends interesting recipes and culinary suggestions, which drive enthusiasm towards the topic and make users want to learn more (also about Chef).
Using Facebook messenger for business can become a powerful way of making customer-business communication more human-like and effective. Although it’s up to you whether you use the maximum of the available options or just a part of them, remember that engagement is overall. In other words, the more catchy and appealing the interface of your service is — the more chances to reach a large audience you have.