It’s likely that Facebook Messenger is a tool you use for personal communication. Its seamless integration with the world’s most prevalent social media platform make staying connected to friends and contacts instant and effortless. According to Facebook, over 1 billion people use Facebook Messenger each month.
With that kind of scale, it makes sense that marketers are turning to Messenger as a tool to connect with customers. It allows for an instant and personalized connection that reaches customers and potential customers where they prefer to communicate, on the social media platform of their choice.
Before you get started though, here are tips to consider before integrating the channel into your business’ marketing mix:
1. Develop a Plan
Make sure that your use of Facebook Messenger aligns with your overall marketing plan. Consider what voice you’ll use, and determine what approach you will take to engage and respond to customers.
“You can tell planning and strategy is missing when businesses message their community with solicitations, rather than using Messenger in the way it was intended—to message people with important information,” said Ivana Taylor, owner of DIY Marketers.
2. Write With a Personal Touch
You should build relationships with your customers like you would with your friends, according to Taylor. “Ask and answer simple questions, and share more personal information,” Taylor said. “It’s a personal connection to your customer, so use it wisely.”
3. Use Automatic Responses to Add Value
Facebook features like Instant Replies and automated answers to frequently asked questions let customers know their message has been received. Just be sure to follow up with a personal response in a timely fashion to build upon that connection.
4. Encourage Customers to Engage
If your small business has the budget for it, try a “click to Messenger” ad via Facebook Ads or Instagram ads to nudge customers to send you that first message. Once a customer has established contact via Messenger, another option is delivering a sponsored message. Don’t overdo it, though. Save the sponsored content for big announcements.
“An advantage of using Facebook’s Sponsored Messages marketing platform is that campaign open rates often exceed those of traditional email marketing campaigns,” said Anthony Baldini, account executive at Sterling Communications. “Case studies of open rates exceeding 60%, 70% and even 80% are highly encouraging,”
5. Don’t Use Messenger Exclusively
Relying just on Messenger to communicate with customers “limits the potential recipients only to users who log in to Facebook,” Baldini said. “While it’s the world’s most popular social platform, that doesn’t mean it’s a daily, or even weekly destination. Email, on the other hand, is something generally checked on a daily basis.”
6. Go Easy on the Sales Pitches
While the instant and personal nature of Messenger makes it a great customer service channel, a pushy sales approach will not go over well. “If you did that with your friends on Facebook, that would just be creepy. Don’t be creepy with your customers,” Taylor said.
7. Enable Messaging on Your Page
Once you have a plan in place to use Facebook Messenger to drive your small business, you will want to make sure messaging is enabled on your Facebook Business Page and let your customers know they can contact you there. Follow these quick steps to activate Messenger on your page.
For more great advice, read Manta’s complete guide, “Social Media Marketing: Everything You Need to Know to Win More Customers.”