How To Set Up Facebook Messenger Automation As A Small Business

September 9, 2022
Kyra Goodman

Answered customers are happy customers

Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging app, with over one billion monthly active users. Businesses are realising the potential of Facebook Messenger too, with more than 40 million companies worldwide using this tool to connect and communicate with customers.

So, why is Messenger so popular amongst brands and small businesses? Well, messaging provides businesses with a convenient and personalized way to engage with customers across a range of topics from price enquiries, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and booking reminders.

Facebook Messenger gives brands and small businesses the potential to easily manage and level up their customer service game as a result of the handy and easy-to-use automated response feature.

If you’re ready to boost your brand awareness and increase your customers’ shopping experience, we’re diving deep into all things automated messaging, a step-by-step guide on how to use the feature, and some creative ways you can start automating your messaging today.

What is Facebook Messenger?

By now we are all accustomed to using Facebook Messenger in our daily lives. Its popularity exploded and replaced Facebook’s in-app messaging with a new and separate app, specifically dedicated to messaging.

So, while Facebook and Messenger are different apps, your profiles are set up to match one another - giving you the ability to connect with your friends, family, and even customers.

Facebook Messenger is incredibly popular amongst small businesses and brands because of its user-friendly and easy-to-use features including automated messaging which is perfect for fast responses to customer questions and queries. By taking the time to set up automated responses, it’s way easier and more efficient to keep your customers informed (helping you ditch phone calls and emails for good).

Recognizing Messenger’s importance for the business community, in 2020, Facebook launched a new business inbox in Messenger to help small businesses easily switch between their personal and business accounts all from the comfort of the Messenger app. Facebook made this decision as 90% of business admins were already using Messenger to communicate with their friends and family.

Why should brands and businesses be using Facebook Messenger?

Now that you’re up to speed on what Facebook Messenger does, let’s dive into why it’s a great tool for brands and small businesses to utilize.

  • Gain new and potential customers: Facebook Messenger gives you an easy way to communicate with existing and new customers and provide timely responses to any questions. Without having to call your business, customers can check your opening hours, prices, locations, and more with ease.
  • Increase brand awareness: Messenger is a tool used to get businesses’ products and service offerings in front of more eyes. Building connections and communicating with customers through Messenger allows for a personalized user experience, therefore, increasing brand awareness.
  • Customer loyalty and trust: According to Facebook, surveys, people say the ability to message a business boosts their confidence in the brand. So, it’s a pretty great way to foster a loyal and engaged community.
  • Reducing points of friction in the sales journey: This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses solely operating online. The inability to get immediate answers to questions like you would in a physical store can get pretty frustrating. With automated messages, you can answer FAQS even outside of office hours so your customers still get a pleasant online shopping experience from the comfort of their mobile devices.
  • Speeding up response times: In a world where instant messaging is the norm, customers are now expecting fast response times. According to HubSpot, 90% of customers believe immediate responses as an important factor when they have marketing or sales questions. So, using Messenger provides an easy, fast and convenient way to meet consumer expectations without taking up all of your time.

What is an Automated Facebook Message?

Automated Facebook Messages are responses that are sent as the first reply to new messages you receive on your Facebook business page.

It’s a pretty handy tool if you’re running a successful small business that receives a ton of questions and you just don’t have time to respond. This autoresponder feature also gives you time to answer customer questions that may be a little tricky or lengthy but you don’t want to leave a potential customer hanging.

Business owners have the ability to personalize automated messages to ensure customers are always given an instant reply, therefore keeping them engaged.

You can customize your automated responses to answer FAQs, ask for feedback, and give personalized contact information and the location of your business - thanks, Meta!

What is the difference between an automated message and a scheduled message?

Both automated messages and scheduled messages are really handy, particularly when you have a busy work schedule and get lots of commonly asked questions on social media. But, there’s a difference between these two types of messenger conversations.

Scheduled messages are kind of what the name suggests. You can pre-plan a message to a customer and send it out at a later time. This can be really useful to notify particular customers about an upcoming sale, appointment reminders, or even an away message, telling them you’ve got a much-needed holiday planned.

Unfortunately, scheduled messages are a little tricky to use on Facebook and you’ll probably need a third-party app to do it.

Automated messages are automatic responses that customers receive when they ask a particular question to which they get an instant response. You can customize these reply messages to answer anything and change it at any time.

What are the benefits of using automated Facebook messages?

  • Improves customer service: Rather than the customer having to scroll through the Facebook comments of your business page to find what they’re looking for, they can just send you a quick message.
  • Gives customers a personalized experience: Personal messages make customers feel valued and noticed. Simple touches like customizing the automated messages to include the customer’s name can go a long way.
  • Avoid answering questions after hours: Small business owners often find it hard to step away from their business after hours, just in case a customer has a question they need to answer. Setting up automated messages will help you step away from your computer or mobile to have a rest but also give you peace of mind that customer questions are answered.
  • Increases work-life balance: Let’s be honest, replying to messages can take a big chunk out of your day. With automated messages, the hard work is done for you, so you can spend a little bit less time working and more time living your life.
  • Increases the chance of sales from Facebook: A survey from Facebook showed that 40% of participants said messenger was how they initially started shopping online and 65% said that their chances of shopping with a business increase if they can contact them through messenger.

How to set up an automatic reply on Facebook Messages?

Setting up automated messages on Facebook is pretty easy but you’ll need to be a page admin, editor, or moderator.

  1. Head to the inbox tab on the left-hand side of your Facebook page admin toolbar.
  2. Click automated responses on the left-hand side.
  3. Next, you’ll be able to select the type of automated response you want to send from Facebook’s options.
  4. Click edit to personalize your automated responses.
  5. Click Save Changes and you’re ready to go!

6 creative ways to use automated responses on Facebook

If you run a business page on Facebook, using automated messages is a great tool in your toolbox to make the consumer experience more memorable and satisfying. We’ve rounded up six creative ways to use automated responses and some templates you can start using today!

Customized welcome greeting

Want to greet people when they first pop up on your business page? Customized welcome messages are a great way to make customers feel noticed with a personalized experience.

  • Hey [customer name]! 👋 Thanks for stopping by [insert business name]. Let us know if we can assist you with anything today!
Notify customers about a sale

Notifying customers with a call to action about a sale or welcome discount is a great way to get users to stay on your site for longer and a way to get them into your email list.

  • Hey there [customer name]. Like what you see? 👀 We offer a 10% discount to any new customers who sign up via email! [URL to sign-up link] Don’t forget to have a peak in your inbox for your discount code.
Appointment reminders

Reminding customers about their upcoming appointments is a win-win situation! You’ll be able to confirm whether a customer is showing up and they will get reminded about their upcoming appointment so they don’t forget. This is perfect for any beauty therapists, hairdressers, and salons out there.

  • Hi [customer name], this is a quick reminder of your upcoming appointment with [business name] at [day and time]. Please reply to this message to confirm or reschedule your appointment. Thanks! We look forward to seeing you.
Set up auto-replies for your businesses’ FAQs

Have you ever been bombarded with a heap of the same questions from a bunch of customers? We’re sure you have - it’s common for small businesses. Setting up auto-replies for your businesses’ FAQs takes the stress out, so you don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again.

Customize your FAQs to include anything from opening hours, price points, store location, or refund policies.

  • Hey [customer name]! Thanks so much for reaching out to [insert business name]. Our opening hours are [days and times]. We look forward to seeing you in our stores!
Away messages

Away messages are useful for when you’re receiving questions after hours and you don’t have the ability to reply to questions. They can also be used when you're going on a holiday and won’t be running your business for an extended period of time.

Let your customers know that you’re taking some much-needed rest and relaxation time.

  • Hi there [customer name], thanks for sending us a message. 💬 We are currently out of the office and will be back at [time]. In the meantime, check out our FAQs here. [URL to FAQ page/ website]
Delivery notification

Customers love tracking their orders and the shopping experience doesn’t stop after they’ve paid for their order. Personal messages with an update on their delivery status are an amazing way to make your customers feel valued and important.

They’re probably more likely to shop with you again after such a pleasant shopping experience.

  • Hiya [customer name]. This message is a quick delivery notification to let you know your order [order number] has been processed and is now shipped. 🚐 ✈️ To track your order please head to this link [URL to order tracking]. Thanks so much for shopping with us!

And that’s a wrap! When it comes to reducing your response times and improving your customer experience as an online brand, setting up automated Facebook messages is a no-brainer.In just a few easy steps, you can streamline your customer messaging and level up your online experience.

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