Messenger Codes were announced and my first reaction was “QR Codes are BACK!” These are custom images unique to each Facebook business (and personal) page that, when scanned in the Messenger app will automatically open up a private message with the business page. This is a huge opportunity for engagement and customer service! Imagine the Messenger Code on the side of product packages? Get a package in the mail, but something’s not the right size? Scan the code that’s slapped on the side of the box and start having a conversation with return instructions from the business page directly in seconds. Messenger Codes may finally achieve what QR Codes so valiantly attempted in the past. These are available for download in your page’s message inbox now.
Then there is also the recently introduced Messenger Links that use a page’s username to create a short link (think Bit.ly) that when clicked, automatically opens a private message within Messenger with the business. Try it out with your business, brand or personal page. The universal format is: m.me/PageName to get your own username.
You can also encourage conversations by being quick to respond as a corresponding badge will appear on your page while helping establish response time guidelines. You may have seen these badges popping up on more and more Facebook pages recently. The requirements consist of responding to 90% of messages within 15 minutes to receive the badge and meet the threshold of “Very Responsive.” Just remember that this threshold is only for the previous 7 day period, so if you have done this one week, but then don’t the next week, you will lose your badge.
You can also set an automatic greeting reply for when a user messages your page to set expectations and provide a link to some FAQ’s or anything else for people who start a conversation with you.
Use the “Message” button to automatically open up a private conversation to respond to sensitive or private questions in a private message. This is a tool of unparalleled value for anyone who has ever been tasked with handling responding for a large company. Oftentimes best practices call for responding to a disgruntled customer in a private message so this helps take care of that, keeping the page drama free while also creating improved customer service.
You can also turn on Away Messages! Viva la AOL Instant Messenger! So if you’re away from the computer for a while or the business just won’t have anyone available to respond at certain hours just set this up and let your customers know exactly when you’ll get back to them. You can enable away messages even if you don’t have specific business hours too.
Another cool feature are Context Cards within the message inbox, which are actually a snapshot, or a trading card if you will, of the person who messaged you. These Context Cards allow a business to get more personal info on users such as where they live, where they work etc. to provide a more personalized and custom message.
One thing to note for advertisers is that you can’t reach out to a customer unsolicited. So you can’t message a person who hasn’t reached out to you directly via messenger — yet. Facebook specifically said they will look into features like this in the future, but currently want to “empower customers to take the first step.” But once a person messages a page, then you can interact with them, send them special offers etc. all through Messenger.
The best part is all of these new Facebook features are available globally right now!