In November 2019, Facebook held a Boost w Facebook event in NE Ohio. Sandro & Liz were in attendance & share how you can use & leverage FB Messenger for your small business.
Leveraging Facebook Messenger for Your SMB
Liz Hey there, welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, their brand and get the word out. Earlier this week, Facebook was here in Cleveland for a Facebook Boost event. So today we’re gonna be talking about how to leverage Facebook Messenger. Sandro’s got some great tips for us and then our next episode will be packed with even more Facebook tips.
Sandro Thanks, Liz. Yeah. We definitely learned a lot and I highly recommend you go to one of these events if they come to your town or near you.
Liz They are free to attend.
Sandro Totally free.
Liz And it was a great event. It was in a great space.
Sandro Free lunch.
Boost with Facebook Are Great Events
Liz Free lunch. There were a lot of Facebook employees there available to answer any questions that you had. And it was a mix of attendees. A mix of agencies and freelancers, and then also small business owners who are looking to again, learn how to leverage the tools that Facebook offers.
Sandro Yeah. Learn new things or learn, or just even refreshers for people. I know you and I have been the one in Chicago. That was a great event. Yeah, I went to the one in Pittsburgh last year. They’re only in Cleveland like maybe two or three, every two or three years. But if you want to learn about them, just go to Facebook.com/boost. And there you’ll find resources and several things, including, you click events, you’ll see where they’re headed. They’re headed to Manchester, New Hampshire, and Oakland next. So if you’re in those areas, you may want to check them out. They definitely help if you’re an agency or a small business.
Sandro And there are two types of these events that I’m aware of. There are the two-hour ones. They were actually in Cleveland a month and a half ago for a two-hour event. And they are smaller venues and they just talk about all the ways you can advertise on Facebook, really high level. And they interview two or three small business owners. I didn’t really get too much out of that one. Some small business owners I talked to did. But honestly, they’re kind of dull for me. And the real ones, the ones I loved, the one that just happened a couple of days ago, the full-day events with multiple sessions, multiple tracks: the beginner track, the intermediate track, and the advanced track.
Facebook Still Rules B2C Advertising
Sandro So this was a two-day event. The same five sessions each day. And I went the first day, learned so much that I went back the second day. I wasn’t planning on it, but I went to some of the other sessions that I missed. And while I’m really down on Facebook in general, if you are going to advertise somewhere and you’re a B to C company, I think it is still the best or one of the best ways to get the word out about your company.
Sandro And today, I’m going to talk about the very first session of the day. The first one I attended was about Messenger. And honestly, I don’t use Messenger. I’ve never used Messenger on my phone. I’ve never had it. But I know at least 60 percent of users, 1.14 billion people use Messenger every day.
Liz A lot of people use Messenger.
Sandro They love it. It’s crazy. But you as a small business, if you have a Facebook page, then you are using Messenger. People are probably messaging you privately and there’s a lot of ways they can do that, obviously.
Liz Because any message that comes through to a business page is using Facebook Messenger.
Easily Add Messenger Button to Your Website
Sandro Correct. Whether you know it or not. Yeah. Private messages because sometimes I’ll write on your wall. That’s different. That’s a public post. So why should you take advantage of Messenger? Well, I believe mainly, why not give people an easy way to ask you questions about your business. And so one of the first things I learned was that you can add very easily a Facebook Messenger button on your Web site really easily. And why not do this? Why not let people ask you questions from your Web site?
Sandro Many sites already have pop-ups saying, ‘Hi there, I’m so and so and I’m here to help you if you need me.’ And it’s kind of annoying. It’s there in the corner. Facebook’s is pretty small and you know, it’s there and it goes away after a little bit of time. Sometimes they’re annoying. But what if you leave the page? What if you ask a question? You leave the page without getting a response from somebody. You don’t know if they’re going to respond at all? Or what if you can’t afford a third-party app to do this for you? Well, I think the Facebook pop up chat window is pretty great and solves all of those problems.
Sandro A) it’s free. B) it’s a few lines of code you can just copy and paste. And C) I think people trust if they send you a message here and they don’t get a response from you right away, they know you probably will eventually send something back via Facebook. So they can leave your site and they’ll find your response when they get back to Facebook.
How to Set-Up Messenger Button on Your Site
Sandro The way to set this up, if you’re on your desktop or laptop, just head over to ‘Settings’ in your business page. Click ‘Messages’ in the left column and you’ll see an ‘Add Messenger to your Web site’ button. Just click it. It’ll pop up the code. You add, you or your developer will add to your Web site. Just copy and paste it. Really easy. Some of the other benefits inside of your settings, you can A, set the time that you’re around. So if you’re only open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can set this to be on during that time only. Or you can set an away message during that time so people know, ‘Hey, thanks for messaging us. We’re away from our desks. But we’ll respond to you as soon as we return.’
Set Up Chatbot Features
Sandro You can also set up simple basic chatbot features. There was a lot of chatbot talk outside in the hallway after this event, after this session. And Facebook gives some free basic chatbot features again, such as hours of operation. So if somebody types in, “What are your hours?” This chatbot will automatically know “hours” is the keyword and will spit back your hours of operation. If someone’s asking for your menu, if you’re a restaurant, the keyword ‘menu,’ the chatbot will just automatically spit back, ‘This is our link to our restaurant menu.’ And it’ll do it 24 hours a day from your Web site. You don’t have to be around. Or from Facebook Messenger.
Sandro You can also do advance things such as, I’m sorry, you cannot do advanced things such as one of our clients gets a lot of charity requests or gift certificate requests for charity events. I wish it did this, but you do need a third party paid chatbot tool to do that. To automatically spit back the information we need to get to give you a free gift card for a charity.
Liz And is that because the response would be longer? As in, it’s not going to be a sentence or two. It might be in a couple of paragraphs?
Sandro No, it’s just, it’s not an option. There are certain boxes that Facebook wants you to have: hours of operation, menu, reservations, lead generation, things like simple, just some things that Facebook chooses to have. And the other things they don’t want. Charity is not one of them.
Not A Lot of Chatbot Customization
Liz Okay, and this one would be, this one would be a very customized option and they don’t allow that. OK.
Sandro Charity is not a keyword they automatically free natively will do. So you’ve gotta go to a third party for that. So, yeah. Other things you can do, book appointments and connect it to your appointment software.
Liz Like Acuity. I love Acuity.
Sandro Like Acuity. Yeah. I think they’re one of them. I’ll have to look at the list.
Liz Yeah, we’ll have to look. But a shout out to Acuity. I still love them.
Facebook Limits the Number of Messages You Can Send
Sandro But a lot of the big ones. A lot of the big ones. Yeah, yay Acuity! You can also generate leads. There’s a template in there that allows you to create an automated experience to get qualified leads for your business. So you can ask yes or no questions to see if they’re a good lead for you. I also learned that when a person first messages you, Facebook limits you to unlimited messages those first 24 hours that you can send. So you can send several.
Sandro Obviously don’t spam them because they will report you. But you can send 2, 3, 4 messages back with information. But outside of that 24 hours, they only let you send one more message after that initial 24 hours and that’s it. 24 hours does reset every time your customer responds or a potential customer responds. But that’s the maximum. So be sure you get as much information, the right information within those 24 hours or know that you can only send one more message after those first initial 24 hours.
Use Messenger Ads to Reengage
Sandro Unless you use Messenger ads. That’s a whole other ball game I totally learned about and knew nothing about. And that’s the last thing I’ll touch on. You can target messages the same way you target other ads by people who like horror movies or people who live in a certain location. You can send pictures, videos or just text to people in their Messenger inbox. But the thing I like is that you can also pay to reengage with people who’ve already messaged you. Let’s say you’re outside of that 24-hour box window and you’ve already sent your one other message. You can pay to reengage with them. Let’s say you want to let them know about an upcoming event. Or remind them about an upcoming event and they messaged you about it a month ago. Well, you can pay to reengage with that person.
Sandro Or let’s say, you know, we have a cinema client and most people know all the films are 5 bucks on Mondays. Well, now also Tuesdays are five dollar movies. Most people don’t know that. We can send messages to our fans Tuesday mornings and say, hey, all movies are five bucks today. So those are ways for you to think about. Ways that I learned at this Facebook event that you can put Messenger on your radar. The power of Messenger, even if you’re not using it, know that many people are. And hey, why lose out on a potential customer just because you’re not using it?
Use Messenger As Part of a Drip Campaign
Sandro We literally added the Messenger button to a client’s page the next day and within a day they got a their very first Facebook message ever, to be honest with you. And it turned into a sale, an actual sale. So I don’t know if that’s par for the course of that’s going to continue to happen. But, hey, it worked. We know it works. Why not have it on there?
Liz And it almost sounds like you could use Facebook Messenger ads as a drip, almost like a drip campaign that you just have kind of running in the background, correct?
Sandro Yeah, definitely. Take a warm lead and bring them through the funnel ’til they convert, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s something you may want to consider in your marketing Swiss Army knife.
Liz And do you foresee Facebook expanding what Messenger can do in terms of further customization over time?
Sandro I’m sure they will. They need to take advantage of it. They also own WhatsApp. Yes. That’s another way you can advertise through the WhatsApp messaging, send messages. It’s big outside of the United States, it’s huge all over South America, Latin America. So I’m sure they’re learning things from that app that they’re going to incorporate in Messenger and vise versa.
Liz Well, yes, I do not use Messenger personally. It is not one of the boxes I typically check for clients. But yeah, no, I mean, this is I think in terms of like general knowledge and having a good understanding of how Facebook, the Facebook advertising platform works, this is really good foundational knowledge. So thank you for sharing. That wraps up today’s episode. Thank you for joining us. Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can find us on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And YouTube. I keep forgetting about YouTube. Thanks so much. And we’ll see you next time.