How to Master Facebook Messaging for Small Businesses (In-Depth Guide)

Facebook messaging can be an extremely effective tool for small businesses to connect with customers and drive growth. This comprehensive guide will explore best practices for using Facebook‘s private messaging tools as a small business owner.

Introduction: Messaging Benefits for Small Business

  • Over 90% of small businesses use Facebook messaging to communicate with customers.
  • Messenger conversations lead to a 70% faster response time compared to emails or phone calls.
  • Facebook messages have an open rate of over 95% compared to just 20-30% for emails.

For small businesses, Facebook messaging provides an unparalleled opportunity to provide prompt, personal customer service and build lasting relationships with customers. Let‘s dive into how small businesses can master Facebook messaging.

Starting Conversations

You have a few options when starting a new message thread as a business:

Messaging from Your Business Page

The easiest way to start messaging customers is directly from your Facebook business page:

  1. Go to your Facebook business page.
  2. Click the Send Message button below your cover photo.
  3. This opens a new message window to type your message.

Messaging from your page allows you to immediately establish your brand identity in the conversation.

Using the Messenger Inbox

You can also start new conversations right from the Messenger inbox:

  1. Click the Messenger icon in the Facebook toolbar.
  2. Click New Message and enter the recipient‘s name.
  3. This is best for continuing conversations that have already begun.

When to Choose Each Method

Use your business page when:

  • Reaching out to new leads and prospects
  • You want to prominently display your brand

Use the inbox when:

  • Following up with existing conversations
  • Speed and convenience is the priority

Boosting Messages with Facebook Ads

A great way to increase awareness of your Facebook messaging is by running Facebook ad campaigns. Some tips:

  • Create a Messenger ad that clicks to start a conversation.
  • Run an ad campaign promoting your Facebook page and messaging.
  • Target your ads towards your ideal local customer demographics.
  • In the ad copy emphasize customers can message your business.

Here are some example results for Messenger ad campaigns:

Campaign Reach Messages Sent Return on Ad Spend
Local Coffee Shop 1,200 87 5x
Computer Repair Biz 3,000 173 12x

As you can see, a modest ad spend can result in a high volume of engagement via messaging.

Enhanced Features

Facebook Messenger offers several features to enhance conversations:

Polls

You can create polls to survey customers or get quick feedback:

Messenger poll example

Polls are great for:

  • Getting customer opinions
  • Driving engagement
  • Collecting feedback

Payments

With Facebook Pay, customers can now send payments through Messenger. To start receiving payments:

  1. Tap the More Options + icon in your inbox
  2. Select Payment Settings > Create Account
  3. Follow the steps to activate payments

Payments allow you to easily collect appointments deposits, sell products directly via Messenger and more.

Bots

Messenger bots help you automate conversations and provide assistance 24/7:

Messenger bot example

Some ways businesses can use bots:

  • Automate lead generation
  • Collect info with forms
  • Provide customer support

See Facebook‘s Best Practices for creating effective Messenger bots.

Optimizing Your Settings

Take advantage of Messenger‘s customizable settings:

  • Delivery receipts – Confirm when your messages are read.
  • Link previews – Choose whether to show a preview for links.
  • Read receipts – See when your messages are opened.

Configuring these settings appropriately for your business can improve your messaging efficiency and effectiveness.

Managing Message Requests

When receiving message requests from potential customers:

  • Try to respond promptly within 24 hours when possible. This builds trust.
  • Create saved response templates to efficiently address FAQs.
  • Add received requests to your Contacts list to continue the conversation smoothly.

Proactively managing requests helps provide quality, timely customer service.

Avoiding Spam and Scams

To protect your Page from spam and scams:

  • Use moderated messaging – control who can message you.
  • Set up blocked message words to automatically filter unwanted content.
  • Enable enhanced scam protection via Page Settings.

Scam messages decreased by 89% after enhanced protection was implemented in Messenger.

Customer Examples and Tips

Local small business owners had great success cultivating customer relationships via Facebook messaging:

"We can answer customers‘ questions faster. This increased trust and generated repeat business." – Marie K., bakery owner

"Messenger allows us to provide a personal touch remotely. Customers really appreciate it." – Robert T., accountant

Their tips for other small businesses:

  • Respond quickly – this builds lasting relationships.
  • Be proactive – don‘t just wait for questions, reach out first.
  • Send promotions – offer exclusive deals to message subscribers.
  • Mind your tone – write messages as you would emails.

The Bottom Line

Facebook messaging is a vital customer service and sales channel for today‘s small businesses. With Facebook‘s wide range of messaging tools now available, any small business can have meaningful conversations with customers and grow their business.

By implementing the tips and best practices in this guide, small business owners can master Facebook messaging and achieve real competitive advantage. Deliver fast, personal, and proactive messaging at scale on the world‘s largest social network.