At the time of writing Facebook Messenger for Business Pages is being rolled out in the US and Canada. It will soon be available to the rest of the world.
What is Facebook Messenger?
If you personally use Facebook regularly on your phone you will be asked at some point to install the Facebook Messenger App. Many of us are now using it. It is to WhatsApp; you can message friends for free, as long as you are online.
Back in the day you had to have a Facebook account to use Messenger, but Facebook is now letting people use the app even when they have no Facebook account; you just need a phone number. Again, like WhatsApp. This has been implemented in the US and Canada and will get to the rest of the world soon enough.
If you are not on Facebook just download the Facebook Messenger app then select the ‘Not on Facebook‘ option.
The Facebook Messenger app will be able to message when you are connected to WIFI or using a data plan (3G/4G). You can now even call or video call within the app.
So what does Facebook Messenger mean for small businesses?
The reason for this post is that Facebook is now introducing an instant messenger for business pages. In the same way, they separated the Facebook app (on devices) from Facebook Pages (on devices).
People will be able to sign-up to connect with you in Facebook Messenger via your website. You’ll be able to send them instant personalised updates about their order or service; including tracking links, new products they might be interested in, send maps, images, videos and create a really valuable support service.
Using Facebook Messenger you can see when your messages have been delivered to the client’s phone (and visa versa), and when they have been seen. I can literally feel some of you cringing at this ‘Big Brother’ approach to messaging, but don’t worry – you can also turn it off and send a polite notice.
If you like to use instant messaging, it will be a great system. This is the instant message era.
You can call across seas for free, as long as you are connected to the internet. You will be able to set up group chats. You will even eventually be able to sell, having customers pay instantly on Facebook Messenger, as long as their card details are set up.
Facebook Messenger looks like it will become the next big platform for business.
What do I think?
We are a mobile age. As a travelling web designer, I see people on smartphones or devices everywhere I go. 80% of Facebook users are on a mobile device.
Phones will only get smarter and instant messaging more popular during this generation. People want the buying process to be easy. They want the product instantly.
Being able to ‘instant message’ a company about a product or service will be valuable, and may even mean the sale.