We recently posted on social media about using Facebook Messenger to curate leads, and asked what YOU do. Is Messenger part of your social media plan, or not?
The results were mixed. Some folks said NO, others said YES, and some said (in so many words) that they only did it because they knew they needed to get with the times. We appreciated the honesty!
Let’s get right to our opinion on the matter: here at ADC, we’re seeing lots of success using Facebook Messenger, and do recommend it. But (and it’s a big “but”), only if you can really get on board and see the value.
Whether it works or not is really up to you. Keep reading to see what we mean.
What Makes Messenger Ineffective?
Here are three MAJOR roadblocks to success:
- You don’t give it enough time. Messenger is not a magic bullet, and, like any social media effort, it requires time to experiment, adjust, and develop a plan that works.
- You set it and forget it. Social media isn’t a crock pot either… You can’t throw in the ingredients, walk away, then come back to something amazing. If you aren’t willing or able to respond to and engage with the messages, then it will never work for you.
- You can’t get past the tire kickers. Not every message that comes through (especially in the early stages) is going to be a stellar lead. You’ll get junk messages, dead ends, tire kickers, and people who simply send you nonsensical GIFS now and then (hey, it’s the internet).
What Makes Facebook Messenger Work Really, Really Well?
- Make a plan! Have someone in your office who knows to watch for new messages and can engage right away. Downloading the Facebook Page app is really useful, letting you quickly and easily manage notifications. Or, you might want to look into Podium, offering a one-app solution to your messaging (and making it easy to assign specific team members to take the lead).
- Give it time! Whether you’re experimenting on your own or working with a social media manager, keep dialing in your audience (demographics, locations, interests, etc.). Your lead quality WILL improve.
- Be friendly! More on this below, but it bears mentioning twice. Don’t just give people a link to the estimate form on your website. That’s like someone approaching you in person, asking about your services, and you handing them a business card in silence and walking away.
And, don’t forget! You won’t be eternally tethered to Messenger. You can toggle on the Away button, initiating an auto-responder with the message of your choice to keep the conversation warm until you get back.
Focus on Relationships!!!
A few of the responses we heard on social media essentially said that they missed the good old days of chatting with people in person.
We get that. We really, really do.
The relational, networking aspect of owning a small business is special, and it’s harder to find these days. What you have to remember is that direct chat, like Facebook Messenger and social media in general, is your opportunity to do that old-school communication in a new school setting. So, don’t just throw a sales pitch at people. Engage in Messenger, ask about their project, tell them to have a good day, and treat them like PEOPLE, not just a digital entity that’s taking your time.