Facebook Messenger has been available for businesses to use as a communication channel since April 2016, and while it’s gained a lot of press coverage, it’s still largely the preserve of big, US-based brands.
We surveyed visitors to the Esendex brochure sites (UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, France and Australia) six months after the platform was made available, and, on average, 50% of respondents said they weren’t planning on using Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers (the outliers were Australia, with a significantly more positive response: 36.6% of respondents said no; and Germany, with a more negative response: 65.7% said no).
The obvious follow up question is ‘why not?’, and the responses ranged from ‘no requirement’ (60%) to ‘wouldn’t work for us’ (13%).
Why aren’t more businesses embracing Facebook Messenger?
This largely negative response is probably down to timing: so close to launch, the idea of a previously personal messaging app being used for delivery notifications, appointment reminders, customer support, promotions and surveys is likely to meet with more resistance.
We probably wouldn’t see a dramatically different set of results if we re-ran the survey now, but fast-forward 12 months and attitudes will have started to change.
Additionally, although there are detailed case studies showing how companies like Disney and Burger King have utilised the platform, there’s little material aimed at giving SMEs a practical steer.
What’s in the eBook?
Our latest eBook aims to change that, with an exploration of the challenges your business will need to consider, including:
- We don’t know what the platform can do
- We don’t know what the benefits are
- How do we get started?
- Would my customers use it?
- Is change inevitable – will I be future-proofing my communication channels by adopting Facebook Messenger?
We then take a detailed look at the functionality offered, from bots to subscription messaging, promotional messages to payments.
There are fairly low-risk, low-effort opportunities, for example: businesses who can’t spare the staff to offer a ‘live chat’ function could instead display a Message Us button which allows free text inputs from website visitors, but generates automated responses. Executed well, this should provide the answers to frequently asked questions, building buyer confidence.
Finally, we explore the practical challenge of getting your customers to opt-in, and what to do if they’re offline / the platform is unavailable, and your message is time-sensitive.