Ultimate Guide

Ultimate Guide to Facebook Messenger for Business (Aug 2020)

By November 29, 2018August 25th, 2020No Comments
Ultimate Guide to Facebook Messenger for Business (Aug 2020)

Considering using messaging apps for your business? Facebook business chat should be first on your list. This article will cover where is Facebook Messenger popular, how to get Messenger for Facebook business Page, and how to use Facebook messenger for business Page.

Already have a Facebook Page and want to start messaging customers? Check out our documentation for connecting your Facebook page to respond.io

What is Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Business Chat: Accounts

Facebook Business Chat: Best Practices

Facebook Business Chat: Infographic

What is Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger is the messaging part of Facebook, launched in 2011 and separated from the main app in 2014. By 2017, it was one of the most popular chat apps boasting a record userbase with more than 1.3 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs) worldwide.

This is a picture of the new user interface of Facebook messenger. Facebook Messenger has been redesigned this year and brought back in line with its core role as a messaging app. With the Discover panel removed the app now has two sections, Chats and People. Chats is what you would expect, containing all your conversations with Facebook Friends and Pages. Like Viber, ads will occasionally be shown in the chats list. People contains two sections, Active and Stories. Active is where users find their most-used contacts and make video calls, whereas Stories shows friends’ and Pages’ Facebook Stories.
The Redesigned Facebook Messenger App

In 2020, Facebook Messenger was redesigned and brought back in line with its core role as a messaging app. With the Discover panel and associated features completely removed the app now has two sections, Chats and People.

Chats is what you would expect, containing all your conversations with Facebook Friends and Pages. Occasionally you’ll also see ads here, enabling Facebook Ads customers to target you on Facebook or on Facebook Messenger.

People contains two sections, Active and Stories. Active is where users find their most-used contacts and make video calls, whereas Stories shows friends’ and Pages’ Facebook Stories.

Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories are short-lived photo and video posts that disappear after 24 hours. It bears a striking resemblance to Snapchat stories, but is more user friendly with prominently displayed buttons.

This is an image of the screenshots of Facebook stories. Facebook Stories are short-lived photo and video posts that disappear after 24 hours. It bears a striking resemblance to Snapchat stories, but is more user friendly with prominently displayed buttons. The esoteric interface of Snapchat may appeal to teens, but also shunned older users. By adopting an easy-to-use UI, Facebook Stories outperformed Snapchat in terms of user numbers. Last year Facebook Stories has twice as many active users as Snapchat.
Facebook Stories Interface

The esoteric interface of Snapchat may appeal to teens, but also shunned older users. By adopting an easy-to-use UI, Facebook Stories outperformed Snapchat in terms of user numbers. Last year Facebook Stories had twice as many active users as Snapchat.

Facebook Lite and Messenger Kids

Messenger Kids is designed for a young audience. It has a kid-friendly GIF engine, safety filters that detect sexual & violent content, and other features that protect younger users from child predator threats.

This is an image of the user interface of Messenger Kids. Messenger Kids is designed for a young audience. It has a kid-friendly GIF engine, safety filters that detect sexual & violent content, and other features that protect younger users from child predator threats.
Messenger Kids Interface

Messenger Lite, on the other hand, includes only the core features of the standard Messenger app and uses less mobile data. It’s designed so for emerging markets where internet connections are slow.

Where is Facebook Messenger Popular?

Messenger has a colossal audience. From 2014 to 2017, the number of Messenger MAUs rose from 500 million to 1.3 billion people. It’s growing fast in 214 countries, including the US where it takes the first spot on Google Play and App Store charts.

Other chat apps like WhatsApp have struggled to reach equivalent heights in the US. The success of Messenger in the States is likely due to its ability to send SMS, historically the most popular form of text based communication in the region.

This is an image showing the countries where Facebook Messenger is popular. Messenger has a colossal audience. From 2014 to 2017, the number of Messenger MAUs rose from 500 million to 1.3 billion people. It’s growing fast in 214 countries, including the US where it takes the first spot on Google Play and App Store charts. Outside the US, Messenger has seen the fastest user growth in Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.
A Map Showing Where is Facebook Messenger Popular

Integrating SMS into the app allows users to connect with Facebook friends and SMS users who are not on Facebook. The capability of sending and receiving SMS likely played a part in the quick rise in popularity of Facebook Messenger.

Outside the US, Facebook Messenger is growing fastest in Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. In these counties 1 to 1 and group messaging are the social networks.

This explains why Asian consumers tend to live on chat apps like Messenger. If you want to connect with your customers in Southeast Asia, the US, or other countries where Messenger is popular, then Messenger for Facebook Business Page is for you.

Facebook Business Chat: Accounts

To start chatting with customers over Facebook Messenger all you need is a Facebook Page. Once set up, Facebook Page visitors will be able to private message your page over Facebook Messenger and you can message them back too.

How To Get Messenger For A Facebook Business Page

You’re probably wondering how to get Messenger for a Facebook business page. All you need to do is create a Facebook page then turn on messaging. The easiest way to do is go to the Facebook for Business website and press on Create a Page.

1. Create and configure a Facebook Page. Enter a Page name, category, and description.

This is an image showing the Facebook Page Creation process. To get messenger for Facebook business page, the only thing you’ll need is a Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook for Business website and click on Create a Page. The first step of crating Messenger for Facebook Business is to set up a Facebook Page. Enter Page name, category and description. When choosing Page name avoid using the word official if your Page isn't the official Page of a brand. Page names may not be all caps and must use grammatically correct capitalization. Choose your Page name wisely because it’s painful to change. Name change requests are subject to review and may take several days to process.
Creating Messenger for Facebook Business Page: Set Up a Facebook Page

Choose your Page name wisely because it’s painful to change. Name change requests are subject to review and may take several days to process.

2. Toggle messages on. Although messages are on by default it doesn’t hurt to check by navigating to Page Settings > General and checking.

Creating Messenger for Facebook Business Page:

3. Done. You’ve created Facebook Messenger for business. Before moving forward, you should probably create a username for your page. This will be useful later when you create chat links so customers can find and message your page more easily.

This is an image of a new Facebook Page. After creating Facebook Messenger for business. you should probably create a username for your page. This will be useful later when you create chat links so customers can find and message your page more easily.
Create a Username for Facebook Messenger for Business

Creating a Username for a Facebook Page

Page usernames show underneath Page names, they are also used in the URL and m.me link. A unique username helps people identify your business, making it easier for customers to find and navigate to your page.

This is an image of screenshot showing how to create a username for Facebook page. Page usernames show up underneath your Page name with an @ symbol before it, in the vanity URL and m.me link. More on that later. A unique username helps people identify your business, making it easier for customers to find your page. Creating a Page username is simple. Go to Page Settings and then Page Info and enter your username. If you’ve recently created several new Pages, you may not be able to immediately create a username for a new Page.
Creating a Username for Facebook Page

Creating a Page username is simple. Click on Create @Username, or go to Page Settings > Page Info and enter your username. If you’ve recently created several new Pages, you may not be able to immediately create a username for a new Page.

Now that you’re all set up, let’s review some Messenger for business best practices.

Facebook Business Chat: Best Practices

Communicating with customers over messaging apps is different from using email, phone and SMS. In this section, we’ll discuss the best practices for finding your customers on Facebook Messenger and the rules for messaging them.

Facebook Business Chat: Finding Your Customers

It would be nice if you could simply send all your Facebook page followers a private message, but Facebook does not allow this to avoid spam. Like most messaging apps, Facebook requires users to send the first message to businesses to start conversations.

This is an image showing the ways to start a chat on Facebook Messenger for Business. You think you’d be entitled to send Page followers a private message, but this is not the case according to Messenger policy. Like most messaging apps, Facebook requires users to send the first message to Pages to open conversations. Even though you can’t just message your followers, there’re many tools to get contacts on Facebook Messenger.  We’ll go over each of them in the following paragraphs.
Ways to start a chat on Facebook Messenger for Business

Luckily Facebook has several features to help you encourage your current and future customers to send a private message to your Facebook Page. If you already have a lot of traffic coming to your website Chat Links & Scan Codes are a good place to start.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Chat Links and QR Codes

To make it easier for users to message you, Facebook has created a shortened URL that directs users to your Business Page in Messenger. These m.me URLs can be used on your website or inside newsletters to help direct visitors to chat with you.

This is a picture of Facebook Messenger m.me link with reference. M.me is a shortened URL service operated by Facebook that directs users to conversations in Messenger. You can use them on your website or email newsletters to convert online traffic into Messenger contacts. By using different references in different places so you can track which links are generating the most leads.
M.me Link for Facebook Business Chat

Your Facebook Page m.me link can be found in Page Setting. You can also add references to an m.me link by adding ?ref= at the end of the URL. By adding references to m.me links you can track which is generating the most chat traffic for your account.

This is a picture showing a QR code for Facebook Messenger for Business. M.me links with references can be embedded into QR Codes. They help convert offline customers to Messenger contacts. When users scan QR Codes with their phone they’ll be taken to Messenger to start a chat. You can generate a QR Code on the Respond.io platform.
QR Code for Facebook Business Chat

By generating QR codes with an m.me link, you can drive offline visitors to message you. If you’re looking to generate a QR code for your Facebook page, you can create a free account on respond.io and connect your Facebook page, then generate a QR Code.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Customer Chat Widget

Using the Customer Chat Widget, website visitors can chat with your Facebook page directly on your website. It works like live chat, except Facebook users need to log in to send a message so you can message them back later through Facebook Messenger.

This is an image of Facebook Customer Chat Widget on a website. Customer Chat Widget is a useful tool to get Messenger contacts. It works similarly to live chat, allowing website visitors to chat with businesses. Usually you’ll lose the visitors forever once they left the website. But with Customer Chat widget, you’ll be able to message them back through Facebook Inbox. Previously website visitors must be logged in to their Facebook account to chat. Now People can start a chat using a guest account without logging in. Guest accounts will be deleted after 24 hours, or as soon as the guest user ends the chat.
How Customer Chat Widget Looks to a Visitor

Although this may limit who you can message you slightly, the solution is a whole lot better than live chat. Especially if you cannot be available 24 hours a day to make sure you answer a live chat message before the person leaves your website.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Facebook Search and In-App Search

If you have the type of business that gets more Facebook Page visits than website visits, add a Send Message button to encourage Page visitors to chat in Messenger. Adding the button is simple, just go to Home and tap Add a Button.

This is a screenshot showing how to add a send message button on your Facebook Page. Adding the Send Message button is simple, just go to Home and tap Add a Button. Facebook users can find your Facebook Page using the search bar and click on the Send Message button to start chatting in Messenger.
Add a Send Message Button on the Facebook Page

Your Facebook Page is also searchable through Messenger in-app search. So Facebook Messenger power users can message you directly without landing on your Facebook Page. But for those that do, there are some optimizations you can make.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Page Chat Window

What if Page visitors miss the Send Message button? You can prompt visitors to message you instead. When activated the setting will prompt Facebook users to send a message with a pop-up chat window on the bottom right.

This is a screenshot of Facebook Chat Window. Chat Window is a pop up that prompts Facebook page visitors to send a message. A chat box will open when someone visits your Facebook Page. To enable chat window, turn on Prompt people to send messages in Settings. Like Customer Chat Widget, you’ll be able to message Page visitors back once they’ve messaged you.
Chat Window of a Facebook Page

To enable the chat window, turn on Prompt people to send messages in Settings. You’ll be able to message Page visitors back once they’ve messaged you. Please note that your Page needs a very responsive to messages badge to see this option.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Comment Private Replies and Auto Reply

Even if users don’t message your page, sometimes you can still send them a private message. Users may leave a comment on your post asking for additional explanation, businesses can you this opportunity to respond privately through Messenger.

This is an image showing a screenshot of Facebook Comment Private Replies. Users who comment on your Facebook post are not something you want to waste. Use Private Replies to convert them into Messenger contacts. Private Replies allow businesses to respond to comments on their Page privately through Messenger, but this works on a small scale. Setting up Facebook Comment Auto Reply allows you to respond instantly to all comments.
Facebook Comment Private Replies

Businesses can send Private Replies to users by pressing the Message button on Facebook. Or Set up Facebook Comment Auto Reply on the respond.io platform and automatically send a message to each user than comments on their posts.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Click-to-Messenger Ads

Once you’ve converted all your existing customers to Facebook Messenger Contacts, you’ll want to reach out to new audiences. Using Click-to-Messenger Ads, you can direct Facebook users directly to a conversation with your business.

This is a picture showing how Facebook Click-to-Messenger Ads work. You can promote Facebook Messenger for business is through Click-to-Messenger Ads, which send people into a conversation with your business in Messenger. They are better than traditional ads because they skip the landing page.
Click-to-Messenger Ads

Consider your current funnel, it’s probably a Facebook ad that directs a user to a landing page with a form, then you sent them an email. By skipping these steps and going directly to a Facebook conversation you can increase your conversion rate by 10x.

Click-to-Messenger ads can be placed in Facebook news feed, Messenger Inbox and even on Instagram. Learn how to set up Click-to-Messenger ads and how we generated over 4,000 Messenger contacts with a Click-to-Messenger campaign.

Facebook Messenger for Business: Customer Matching

We’ve discussed all the best options above, but there is one additional one worth mentioning. Facebook Customer Matching. With Customer Matching, you can upload your customer's phone numbers to Facebook and start messaging right away.

This is a picture showing how Facebook Customer Matching works.  Customer Matching is a free tool to get Messenger contacts. It’s a Facebook API that allows you to import contacts into Messenger. To get started, import a list of phone numbers to Facebook. If Facebook finds these numbers on Facebook account, the users will be sent an opt-in request through Messenger. Customer Matching is currently in Limited Beta and only available to US-based companies.
Facebook Customer Matching

So why did we leave this amazing feature for last? It’s currently in Beta and only available to US customers. So, unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to test it out or explore if Facebook will ever expand this Beta program.

Messaging Customers Using Facebook Business Chat

Now that you know how to find your customers on Facebook Messenger, time to send a message from Facebook Business Page. There are two ways to respond to customers on Facebook Messenger for business, via a third-party CRM platform or via Page Inbox.

This is an image showing the two ways to send a message from Facebook Business Page. There are two ways to respond to customers on Facebook Messenger for business, via a third-party CRM platform or via Facebook Page Inbox.
Business Respond Platform

Page Inbox makes it relatively easy to use Facebook Messenger for business. It allows Page owners to respond to messages received through Messenger and Instagram Direct. Plus, Page Inbox provides advanced organizational features like labels and notes.

This is an image of a screenshot of Facebook Page Inbox. Page Inbox (also known as  Facebook inbox business or business manager inbox) is a free tool that allows Page owners to respond to messages received through Messenger and Instagram. Admins can use Page Inbox to assign contacts and track issues with organizational features like labels, notes and mark-as-done functions. When a Page sends too many messages in a short time period, it will be converted to a high-MPS (messages per second) Page and lose access to Page Inbox. When that happens you’ll have to manage messages through a Facebook Messenger API. Read our blog posts to learn how to use messenger API Facebook.
Facebook Page Inbox

While Page Inbox is relatively feature-rich, it’s not suitable for large businesses with many Messenger contacts. If a Page sends too many messages in a short time period, it will lose access to Page Inbox and have to manage messages through APIs.

As with other messaging apps business accounts, Facebook Business Chat has certain limitations that will affect messaging with customers. We’ll describe these features in terms of 1:1 Messaging, Broadcast Messaging, Notifications & Group Messaging.

Facebook Business Chat: 1-to-1 Messaging

Facebook has a few rules and features that you’ll need to understand to message customers successfully. The most important one is the Facebook Messaging Window. While Read Receipts and Personas are not as essential they are nice to have tools.

This is a picture showing the characteristics and special features of Messenger 1-to-1 messaging, including messaging window, messaging status and personas. As with other messaging apps business accounts, Facebook Business Chat has certain limitations that will affect messaging with customers. We’ll describe these features in terms of 1:1 Messaging, Broadcast Messaging & Group Messaging. The things to look for when it comes to 1:1 messaging on Messenger are messaging window, read receipts and special features. While Messenger has a messaging window, it’s better than other chat apps as it provides read receipts. It also has Personas feature.
Characteristics of Messenger 1:1 Messaging

Facebook Messaging Window & Facebook Message Tags

Being able to respond to Facebook users makes conversations with customers a lot easier than email. To prevent companies from spamming users after this initial conversation Facebook has implemented a 24-hour Messaging Window.

After 24 hours, businesses can still respond to those customers, but they will have to their message with a Facebook Message Tag. Facebook has enabled four message tags: Confirmed Event Update, Post-Purchase Update, Account Update, and Human-Agent.

This is a picture depicting different types of Message Tags on Facebook Messenger. After the messaging window of 24 hours, businesses must use Message Tags to send non-promotional updates like reminders and account updates. There are 4 types of message tags, including Confirmed Event Update, Post-Purchase Update, Account Update and Human Agent. Confirmed Event Update tags are intended to send event reminders, whereas Post-Purchase Update tags are good for sending order or shipment status. Account Update Tags are designed to notify users of application status or suspicious activity. Human Agents tags let human representatives respond to user inquiries. Unlike the other three tags that can be used at any time, Human Agent tags can only be used within 7 days of receiving a message.
Types of Message Tags for Facebook Business Chat

Each of the first two tags enables companies to update customers after certain customer actions. Confirmed Event Update tags allow event reminders and Post-Purchase Update tags allow shipping status updates.

Account Update Tags enabled companies to notify users of account changes like terms and conditions or issues like fraud alerts but cannot be used to send recurring content like monthly statements.

The Human Agent tag is designed to enable customer service by enabling agents to respond to issues within 7 days rather than 24 hours. The human agent tag is currently in Beta and is only available to some CRMs like respond.io.

Keep in mind Facebook may restrict your Page if you use message tags outside their intended purposes. In our experience, Facebook will provide a warning first and then start restricting page usage for a day, then two days, etc.

Send/Read Receipts & Personas

Chating with customers over Facebook is awesome, but Facebook provides a few extra features to make it even easier. When connected to a Messaging CRM, Facebook will pass read receipts to the platform, so you know when the customer has read your message.

Facebook is helping to handle something unusual for customers, know the brand they are talking to but not know the name of the rep or agent. Now Facebook can display the name of the agent responding to the customer.

This is a picture showing how Facebook Personas work. Personas provide a way for Messenger bot to pass the customer to a human agent. Businesses can create a virtual persona with a new icon and name into the Messenger conversation to add a personal touch.
How Personas Appear in a Messenger Conversation

Businesses can create a persona with a new icon and name into the Messenger conversation to add a personal touch. This feature is only available when connected to a Business Messaging platform via API.

Facebook Business Chat: Broadcast Messaging

One-to-one messages are great for customer service, but for marketing and other use cases you might want to use broadcasts. There are two ways to send Facebook Messenger broadcasts, using Sponsored Messages or Message Tags.

This is a picture showing the ways to send broadcasts Messengers on Facebook Messenger. One-to-one messages are great for customer service, but for marketing you might want to use broadcasts. There are two ways to send Facebook Messenger broadcasts, using Sponsored Messages or Message Tags.
Ways to Send Messenger Broadcasts

For a marketing use case, you’ll need to use Facebook Sponsored Messages. Using Sponsored Message you’ll be able to reach out your current Facebook Messenger Contacts with a promotion or some other Marketing message.

Of course, Facebook will charge you for this privilege. Although Sponsored Messages can be sent outside of the Messaging Window, you still shouldn't spam your customers. As may limit your page usage if the block rate goes above a certain percentage.

This is an image of the screenshots of Facebook Sponsored Messages. Wondering how do I send a broadcast message on Facebook Messenger? Consider Sponsored Messages. What are Sponsored Messages on Facebook? Sponsored Messages are a type of paid ads that allow businesses to send highly targeted broadcasts. They are sent directly as a message to the customers with an existing Messenger conversation. Facebook sponsored messages cost varies depending on your budget and schedule. Read our blog post to find out how can you do sponsored Facebook Messages.
Sending Broadcasts Using Sponsored Messages

For other use cases like notification, you can use Facebook Message Tags for broadcasts. Although Facebook doesn’t encourage this, it doesn’t restrict this practice either. So you’ll need to use your own judgment to stay out of hot water.

Sending a concert cancellation notification broadcast using the Event Update message tag is a perfectly valid use case. However, it is likely easy to get in trouble if a lot of users start blocking your page and Facebook does provide one other way to send notifications.

Facebook Business Chat: Notification Messages

While it seems redundant, Facebook offers another way to send notifications called One-Time Notifications. Businesses can ask users to opt-in to a one-time notification for a specific reason. This system cannot be used for recurring notifications.

This is an image of the screenshots of Facebook One-Time Notifications. One-time notifications let businesses send one follow-up message if the user asks to be notified. Before you can send One-Time Notifications the user will need to click on the Notify Me button. Once the user has opted in, the Page will receive a token which is an equivalent to a permission to send a single message to the user. The token can only be used once and will expire within 1 year of creation.
How Facebook One Time Notifications Work

Once the user has opted in, the Page will receive a token which is an equivalent to a permission to send a single message to the user. The token can only be used once and will expire within 1 year of creation.

Facebook Business Chat: Group Messaging

Group messaging has become important for some business use cases like sales. And you’ll be pleased to learn that Facebook Messenger bots can be added to group chats.

This is an image of the group messaging feature of Facebook Messenger. Group messaging has become important for some business use cases like sales. And you’ll be pleased to learn that Facebook Messenger bots can be added to group chats. Once group chat support is enabled, your Messenger Bot will show up in the Add people typeaheads in an existing group chat thread.
Messenger Bots Can Join Groups

Once group chat support is enabled, your Messenger Bot will show up in the Add people dialog in an existing group chat thread.

Facebook Business Chat: Infographic

Facebook Business Chat

Further Reading

If you're getting started with using Facebook Business Chat we recommend you read these three articles.

Ultimate Guide to Facebook Messenger for Business (Aug 2020)
Jaro

Jaro

Iaroslav is the Chief Operating Officer at Respond.io overseeing growth and operations. He is a graduate of the MBA program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his previous roles include positions at Kodak Alaris, Xaxis & Light Reaction.

69 Shares
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap