How to Use Facebook Messenger for Your Local Business

These days Facebook Messenger isn’t just a place to keep up with old friends from high school — it’s where business is done. 

It’s where new customers discover and ask questions about your business and where your current customers can get in touch with you. Being accessible and helpful on Facebook is a great way to stand out from your competitors and make a great impression.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get the hang of using Facebook Messenger for your local business. We’ll be covering some common questions in this article, so you can jump right in and connect with customers.

Do I Need to Use Facebook Messenger For My Business?

We definitely recommend being available on Facebook Messenger for customers and prospects to get in touch with you. Businesses who offer more messaging options win in the modern landscape of sky-high consumer expectations. There’s a big upside in it for you, too. 

Customers want to talk to you online, and you can help redirect time-consuming phone calls and voicemails by answering quick questions online. According to Hubspot, people are 53% more likely to buy from a business using live chat. Being there for customers to connect and answer questions provides a great customer experience that builds loyalty.

Facebook Messenger is a small investment of time throughout your week that has the potential to pay off big dividends for your business.

Can I Create a Business Facebook Page Without a Personal Account?

If you’re not the type to use Facebook for your personal life, you might be wondering whether you can set up a business page without a personal Facebook account. The answer is that you will need a personal account, but you can make sure your personal page isn’t searchable or visible to the public.

If you already have a personal account, you’ll simply select “Pages” from the left hand menu on your Facebook dashboard, click “Create New Page,” and follow the prompts from there. 

If you don’t have your own account, you can create one using either your personal email address or your business email. From there, input the information required and then follow the steps above to build out your business page.

If you’re concerned about someone finding your new personal page, click on your user profile photo in the top right corner, select “Settings & Privacy,” and then adjust your settings in the “Privacy Center.”

How Do I Get Started with Messenger?

It’s no surprise that Facebook makes it easy for you to set up Messenger.

The first step is to turn on manual messaging, which will allow you to send one-on-one responses to customers when questions come in. 

To do so, go to your business page, select “Settings” > “General” > “Messages” and then check the box next to “Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the Message button.”

Once you’ve mastered messaging, you can start saving time by automating some chat options. You can set up automatic answers to frequently asked questions, away messages, and more.

Facebook has published their own comprehensive guide to automating your Messenger experience. We recommend following their Messenger Guide here or visiting their Messenger Help Center for more specific guidance.

What Do Facebook Messenger Icons Mean?

Once you type out a Facebook message and press send, you’ll see an icon at the bottom right of your message. You can use those symbols to track the message’s status.

  • Blue circle: Your message is sending
  • Blue circle with a blue check mark: Your message was sent
  • Filled-in blue circle with a white check mark: Your message was delivered
  • Small circle with person’s profile picture: Your message was viewed by the recipient

Understanding what Facebook Messenger icons mean can help you track your status as you communicate with customers online.

What Best Practices Should I Follow on Facebook Messenger?

Once you’re set up on Messenger and start engaging with customers, it’s time to optimize. Here are our top three recommendations for getting more out of Messenger.

  1. Personalize your conversations to make a great impression: Use the sender’s name and put a custom touch on your responses. Think of it like an in-person conversation and you’ll be able to win over everyone you talk with.
  1. Take advantage of Messenger ads: Just like you can advertise across the Facebook platform, you can create ads within Messenger. You can use the same images and copy from other ads and target Messenger users. Facebook’s instructions can be found here.
  1. Earn a “Very Responsive to Messages” badge on your business profile: If you respond to 90% of incoming messages and have an average response time of under 15 minutes, you’ll earn a special badge on your profile. It’s a great way to encourage more people to reach out to you and show off how much you value your customers and prospects. 

By using these best practices and putting your best foot forward on Facebook Messenger, your business can shine online while you save your staff time that would otherwise be spent on calls and voicemails. Plus, you’ll never miss out on prospective customers who want to engage with you online before making a visit or purchase.

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