How businesses can use Facebook Messenger

Most companies have heard that social media like Facebook has become an important element in successful online business, but few understand how to use it effectively.

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There are estimated to be 1.84 billion users of Facebook worldwide, of which 1.15 billion are predominantly mobile. Ninety-one per cent of those aged 15 to 34 were said to be using Facebook in 2015. Not only are these all potential customers, but Google is widely believed to count an active Facebook following as a factor when ranking your main business website.

With a virtual monopoly of internet traffic in the hands of just two search engines, anyone trying to promote an online commerce operation knows that no factor can be ignored when it comes to search engine optimisation. However, whilst IT departments understand this, management tends to reach for more familiar advertising and marketing models.

Focus on connecting, not selling

While some people are successfully running businesses entirely within the platform, Facebook is a communication platform, not a shopping one. Firing adverts at people who are trying to converse is a sure way of turning them off.

Companies should view social media as an opportunity to develop and improve their interactions with customers on a level that hasn’t existed since friendly local shopkeepers were forced out of business by supermarket chains. Taking time to talk makes customers feel cared about, and they will care about you and your business in return.

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Although you expect your IT department to carry out SEO, Facebook marketing is really a public relations and customer service operation. Most businesses are local or regional, so consulting a digital marketing specialist in your own area makes sense; for SEO in Dublin try sites like http://www.rycomarketing.ie/seo-dublin-seo-ireland.html.

Add easy message buttons

A good Facebook page introduces your business instead of flogging your merchandise, and a simple “Send a message” button encourages anyone interested to make that crucial first enquiry. Sheer ease is the first half of this secret, and the second half is a swift personal reply.

Cover all hours

If you don’t have the resources to man Facebook 24/7, you should at least have an auto-reply set up that lets them know you’ll be attending to it ASAP. Facebook settings include options to set this up. Mention the hours you’re available in real time for the personal chat that Facebook users expect.