We’ve talked before on the Stir Marketing blog about how you can maximize your marketing opportunities on Facebook to promote your business and engage with customers, focusing on the type of posts that tend to interest users and point them toward your products or services.
Most of these tips make good sense once you become savvy to how people interact online, and centre on starting conversations about your brand.
However, Facebook also has some specific tools for business pages that help your customers, or potential customers, to interact with your brand, and can even help facilitate transactions.
Here, we take a look at some of the tools available for your Facebook Business Page, and how to use them.
Facebook Messenger may not be a feature exclusive to businesses, however its value can far exceed sending personal instant messages to friends and family.
According to Nielsen, users ranked messaging second out of nine possible avenues of communication with a business. And, over half said they were more likely to shop with a business if they are able to message directly. So it’s a tool that brands should most definitely be using.
If someone is coming across your company for the first time on Facebook, they may have questions that aren’t easily answered by your ‘About’ section. (Best practices dictate that you have information such as your business address, opening hours and contact email listed clearly in the sidebar.) If a customer has a question about holiday closures, delivery times, or specific products and services, you can utilize the Messenger feature to speed-up and streamline this aspect of customer service.
Much like how you’d use Facebook Messenger for conversations with your personal profile, you’re able to communicate instantly with those who message you — as your business page — as well as employ additional features, like automatic greetings (particularly useful when managing a business page) and predefined questions.
Unless you have a dedicated employee responding to messages 24/7 as they come in (and a manageable number of inquiries daily) then setting “automatic replies” to your messages stating that an enquiry has been received and will be responded to as soon as possible is a good use of this functionality.
When it comes to replying, Facebook tracks how promptly you respond to messages, so it is key to not let this fall by the wayside (that is, forgetting to actually check and reply after the initial automatic reply has been sent). When a user clicks the ‘message’ button on your business page, it will state whether it usually takes you a few minutes, hours, or days to get a response, and a slow response time could turn someone off your company before you’ve even spoken.
Taking Messenger features further to make customer service even better, you can “leverage the automated question feature” (or “create a chatbot for your Facebook business page”). Here, you can set Messenger to provide business page visitors with common, predefined questions so that you can start an even better-targeted automated chat. Think: “Where are you located?” or “What are your hours?”, for example, and setting automated replies to save even more time.
In using Messenger as a business, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Establish and maintain a consistent tone of voice: Your conversations via Messenger should be professional yet personable, and reflect your brand in general. For example, the tone of voice used by a law firm will sound a lot different than a yoga studio’s, for example.
- Take (negative) public comments into private conversations: A lot of Facebook Messenger conversations will be centred on general customer service, but of course, people don’t always take their complaints to private channels. If someone responds unhappily to one of your social posts or submits a complaint via your business page, it’s best to publicly acknowledge the concern and let them know that you will reach out via Messenger to resolve the issue.
Facebook Appointments & Events
Facebook Events have become more about local listings than celebrating someone’s 21st birthday (like they used to be). By listing events for your business — whether they be sales, workshops, new store openings, or open houses — you can create awareness of and engagement around your event and business.
You’ll also be able to help gauge interest and attract new attendees, as local events get suggested to users in their timelines, either due to interest targeting, or because one of their friends has interacted with the event listing.
Another useful Facebook tool for business pages is the appointment function. Quite simply, this free tool allows your customers to make an appointment or book a service without tying up a representative from your company. It’s perfect for hair salons, real estate agents, tutors — anyone who works primarily by appointment. Not only can you show your availability, you can let Appointments sync automatically with your Google Calendar to help you stay organised.
You can also use this functionality to link to external scheduling websites, which is helpful for keeping everything in one place. However, it does mean that it’s crucial to keep your availability up to date, as nothing is more frustrating for a user than having their appointment request ignored, or no appointment being set at all!
Facebook & MailChimp
Speaking of keeping everything in one place, if you already have a robust list of newsletter subscribers, you can use your Facebook page as a place to sign new people up! MailChimp has an integrated form that can sit as a menu item on the left-side of your business page, meaning you’ll lose fewer signups, compared to redirecting people off your page to subscribe.
If you’re looking for sales over sign-ups, adding a Facebook Shop to your business page is an easy way to add eCommerce functionality. Some 15% of users are interested in shopping on Facebook, and if you’ve been putting in the work to build a Facebook presence, why let it go to waste?
Facebook Shop lets people see the products for sale in your shop, message your business page to buy products on Messenger, or buy products on your website. If you have an eCommerce catalog for products, you can also create a shop from said catalogue and link the two, so that the catalogue’s items will upload to your shop automatically. You can also connect with another ecommerce platform such as Shopify.
Which tool is right for your business?
Ultimately the best choice of tool, or combination of tools, for your business hinges both on what makes the most sense based on goals and your capacity to handle the increased customer service and communication needs that may arise.
It is crucial, as with any component of social media marketing, not simply to have the tool available, but to make sure that its use is properly incorporated into your plans and schedules. And, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) set that will help determine if said tool is giving you the desired returns to justify the time spent on it.
Including a good hard look at pros and cons (costs and benefits) associated with employing the above (and other) tools for Facebook business pages in your Strategic Social Media Marketing Plan will help to ensure that you’ve chosen the right tools and set-up strategies for tracking success (both in how you’re using available resources and in the ROI provided).
Feeling out of your depth?
At Stir, our Facebook marketing experts can help you to determine what tools will best help you to reach your overall digital and social media marketing growth goals, as well as help you to set them up. Just get in touch!