Use Facebook Messenger to Connect with Customers Directly

Instant messaging is a simple and easy solution to connecting with customers, but many businesses are hesitant to use it. Some worry about instant messaging being too informal, while others of unsure of how to communicate with customers through IM. Despite these concerns, businesses and customers alike are coming to love connecting through Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger for business pages is accessible from both the desktop site and the Facebook Pages Manager app.
Facebook Messenger for business pages is available from both the desktop site and the Facebook Pages Manager app.

As part of Facebook Pages, businesses can turn on messaging, and allow page visitors to reach out through Facebook Messenger. Turning messaging on adds a “Mess10age” button to your page, which lets users start a conversation. If you’ve set up a handle for your page, users can send you a message just by knowing the handle. This makes it easy for customers to get in touch, and eliminates many barriers to contact a business. In addition, using Facebook Messenger can empower small businesses to communicate more personally, and make connections with customers in a more human-oriented manner.

Adding Messaging Can Add Sales

While this approach isn’t right for every businesses, most business can benefit from using Facebook Messenger. I recommend turning on messaging for most of my small business clients. Facebook touts that 2 billion messages are sent between business and customers every month on its Messenger for Business landing page. More importantly, “53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly”. If done right, opening your page for messaging can bring more conversions, and build better customer relationships.

If you’re interested in using messaging to connect with customers, check out this guide to enable messaging on your Facebook page, the Facebook Messenger for Business landing page, or reach out, and I can help you through the process.

Social Media Platforms Your Business Should Join Today

Social media is a powerful way to engage with your audience, and develop more personal relationships with that audience. While some resources recommend you establish presences on every platform, it can be exhausting to maintain these presences. To provide better advice, I researched the best social media platforms for small businesses to join.

If you’re not sure if your business needs a social media presence, I address this question in a previous post, which I’ll build upon in this post.

Core Platforms

Regardless of your industry or audience, you’ll want to get your business on these platforms:

Twitter

With its huge user base, simple sharing mechanisms, and adoption by both individuals and businesses, Twitter is a great platform for a small business to join. With its conversational threading, Twitter serves both as a solution for marketing and customer service.

Facebook

Sporting an even larger user base than Twitter, Facebook allows you to market to a sea of users in your target audience. In addition, Facebook can be a more versatile platform for business that need to post more specialized content, like events. Facebook Pages can also make it easier to cultivate a community experience among your followers, making it a great choice for community-oriented businesses.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often considered to be a “professional Facebook”, but it is a powerful resource for B2B businesses in particular. Building a robust company page with regularly updated content can make it easy for customers to find you, which in turn makes for great customer experience.

Yelp

For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, having a Yelp presence can make it easy to build a reputation with consumers. Yelp pages can provide business information, including hours, parking information, and even menus. Users provide reviews of your business, and inform others about the experience you provide. Keeping a high rating on Yelp can drive customers to your business organically, and reduce marketing needs over time.

“Nice to Have” Platforms

While these platforms may have varying results based on your industry and focus, they can provide additional exposure to your brand:

Instagram

Instagram is a great platform for sharing photos and videos, though Instagram’s Stories feature can be a great way to communicate your brand’s voice and personality. This platform works particularly well for lifestyle, food, arts, and luxury brands. An added bonus is Instagram’s tie in with Facebook Pages, which allows you to partially manage your Instagram page through Facebook.

Snapchat

Next, Snapchat has an overwhelming number of younger users, and is a great option for marketing to a younger audience. While content restrictions may not allow for detailed posts, you can drive users to your website with Snapchat. By updating your Snapchat story multiple times a day, you can give your audience a glimpse into your daily operations, and show off what you offer with links to follow.

YouTube

First, I don’t recommend investing much time in a YouTube presence to most clients as a social media outlet. Creating high-quality video content on a regular basis can be costly, and tends to be unnecessary for most small businesses. On the flipside, YouTube can be a great platform to host and share content like product announcements and ads. I often refer clients looking to include videos on their websites to YouTube to eliminate bloat in their hosting service. An added bonus is users may stumble upon your content through searches relevant to the videos you post.

Need Help Setting Up Social Media Presences? I Can Help

If you’d like to join one or more of the social networks I’ve mentioned, and not sure where to start, I can help. Want to learn more? Get in touch today.

Why You Need A Social Media Presence

In 2017, one of the hottest topics has been social media and its importance. On Snapchat alone, over 2.5 billion posts are created daily. One problem in the business world is that business owners are hesitant to set up social media accounts for their businesses. Some see social platforms as unprofessional or a waste of time. Others worry about negative interactions online. While these are real concerns, it’s important to look at the facts about social media.

The Facts

Digital vs. Physical Populations

If you have concerns about your business going social, consider the audience you could gain. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults used at least one social networking site in 2016. Members of all age groups are showing increasing adoption of social platforms. The youngest group, people ages 18-29, had an 86% adoption rate in 2016. In the same year, 80% of people ages 30-49 and 64% of people ages 50-64 had adopted social media. While the 65+ demographic has an adoption rate of 35% since 2015, projections show this will increase. This makes social media a great way to get your brand in front of your audience.

Social Media as a Recommendation Platform

The Internet has become the go-to source for information. On Yelp, there are more than 2.8 million businesses listed, and as of February 2017, 121 million reviews of those businesses. Online listings allow a users to learn about a business and the experiences it creates for customers. In addition, 71% of users who had a positive social media experience with brands were likely to recommend the brand to others. This word-of-mouth approach can bring significant results with little effort, and unlike spoken word, persists for new users to find years down the road.

These two points are critical in understanding why so many business turn to social media for marketing. Potential for massive audiences and low maintenance costs make social platforms great outlets for most brands. If you’re unsure if social media could benefit your business, get in touch. Seeking this clarity is can be critical, and make sure social presences will benefit your business moving forward.