Each month, over 900 million people around the world communicate with friends, families and over 50 million businesses on Messenger.
This past spring, Facebook made a major update to its Messenger app: it opened the door for developers to create chatbots for brands to engage with their communities on their behalf. Yes, robots are now communicating with us on Facebook!
This means that the very nature of how we communicate using it could change completely. But when change comes, so do opportunities to make your business shine.
A New Age of Facebook Communication
While the thought of being marketed to by a computer in a traditionally person-to-person medium may create a sense of unease, as with every other major change that Facebook has rolled out, people will adapt. Remember the uproar when ads first appeared? Now they seem like they’ve been there all along.
The point is: people are becoming accustomed to the social selling platform happening on Facebook, and building your business by reaching out to your friends, family and even long-lost acquaintances online isn’t as mindboggling as it may seem.
Give Them the “Personal” Touch
You have an immense advantage over these automated marketing tools. For starters, you’re a human being! Don’t you think people ultimately value engagement with other people versus this alternative?
Don’t Start With Selling
Think about the nature of your relationship with your friends. Ask how their family is doing. Ask how work is going. Let them know you’re just checking in. Never underestimate the importance of a personal touch.
The arrival of bots on Facebook Messenger gives you a leg up in creating opportunities for genuine engagement. Think about your personal email inbox since it was taken over by marketing messages. It feels pretty good to get an email from an actual person just saying ‘hi’, doesn’t it?
Get to Know Your Online Friends
Liking, commenting and sharing is the foundation of building long-term relationships with your Facebook friend community, but creating and building upon relationships goes much deeper than simply liking a post.
Start A Conversation
Person-to-person contact lets you get to know your Facebook friends on a deeper level. All it takes is a little conversation. Building rapport and making lasting connections is one of the most critical elements of a social media strategy, so don’t underestimate it.
Exercise Good Timing and Patience
When you initiate a conversation, make your engagement brief, but impactful. Don’t take up too much of their time. This is particularly important, because if you see that they’re online, it’s alright to assume that they’re engaged in something else at the moment.
Don’t Get Discouraged
If you don’t see that they’re online, wait for a response before sending another message. If a “seen” notification pops up and they don’t respond, it’s alright! Life happens and sometimes people become too busy to reply to casual chats. Just remember to engage the content they share publicly next time around by liking, commenting and sharing, when appropriate.
So go find your people and invest in them. Every relationship matters. You never know which one might have a big impact on your business. Taking the time to meaningfully connect with someone is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Related: 3 Simple Ways to Maximize Facebook