With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become a ubiquitous part of our modern digital landscape. For entrepreneurs and small business owners like myself, Facebook can be an invaluable tool for connecting with customers and growing your business. One of the many ways users interact on Facebook is through its messaging feature known as DM. In this comprehensive guide, I will share my expertise as an entrepreneur on everything you need to know about using DMs for business and marketing.
What is a DM?
DM stands for “Direct Message” and is Facebook’s private messaging feature. DMs allow you to send private one-on-one messages to any Facebook user, even if they are not your friend or follower.
DMs function similarly to text messages – they are discreet conversations that no one else can view. Unlike commenting publicly on a Page or posting on someone’s Timeline, DMs offer a personal channel to communicate.
Key Stats on Facebook DM Usage:
- 430 billion DMs are sent per day on Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs combined.
- 67% of people prefer to message a business rather than call.
- 62% of consumers expect businesses to respond to DMs within 24 hours.
As these statistics show, DMs are an important communication and customer service channel that entrepreneurs cannot afford to ignore.
How to Send a DM on Facebook
The process of sending a DM on Facebook is simple:
- Click on the Messenger icon (chat bubble) at the top right of your Facebook screen.
- Click “New Message” to start a new DM thread.
- Type the name of the recipient and select them when their name pops up.
- Type your message in the text box at the bottom. You can also attach photos, videos, GIFs or files.
- Press Enter or the arrow icon to send your message.
The DM will now show up in the recipient‘s Message Requests folder. They can choose to accept your message request or ignore it. Once accepted, you can carry on an ongoing DM conversation.
DM Privacy Settings
One of the biggest advantages of DMs is their private and discreet nature. Your DMs will never be visible on your profile, Timeline or News Feed. Not even your Facebook friends can view your private conversations.
Facebook uses end-to-end encryption for DMs to keep them secure. The only exception is if you report a DM for violating Facebook’s conduct policies. In that case, Facebook may review the message contents.
You can also control who is allowed to DM you through your privacy settings:
- Everyone – Anyone can send you DMs, even strangers.
- Friends – Only your Facebook friends can DM you.
- Friends Except – Friends can DM you, except contacts you block.
- Specific People – Only people you choose can DM you.
Why DMs Are Valuable for Entrepreneurs
As a small business owner, I have found Facebook’s DM feature extremely useful for:
DM provides a private channel for customers to ask questions and resolve issues. 67% of consumers say they are more likely to message than call a business. Responding to DMs promptly and helpfully improves customer satisfaction.
Networking and Partnerships
DMs allow you to connect directly with fellow entrepreneurs, influencers and potential partners. You can establish rapport through one-on-one conversations and build strategic relationships.
Promotions and Lead Generation
Via DMs, I often provide exclusive promotional offers, discounts or content to engage my audience. DMs also facilitate lead generation by allowing me to field inquiries and convert leads.
I occasionally conduct market research through DMs by reaching out to customers directly with survey questions to get feedback on new products or services. The responses provide valuable consumer insights.
By responding to DMs in a personal and authentic way, I’m able to strengthen my brand identity and build trusted relationships that drive loyalty.
DM Etiquette – Dos and Don‘ts
When using DMs for business, you must follow proper etiquette:
- Introduce yourself politely in first messages.
- Respond to messages in a timely manner.
- Use a friendly yet professional tone.
- Respect privacy – don‘t share screenshots without consent.
- Make exaggerated claims about products/services.
- Use aggressive sales tactics.
- Send spam messages or overpromote.
- Share private information disclosed in DMs.
For entrepreneurs and marketers, Facebook’s Direct Messaging platform provides an invaluable means of communicating privately with customers and forging partnerships. DMs facilitate improved customer support, targeted promotions, networking, and market research. By mastering DM etiquette and best practices, small businesses can gain a competitive advantage through effective use of this powerful messaging tool.