As we all know, Facebook makes great efforts to channel brands communication into it’s messaging platform, Messenger.
They not only invest an insane amount of resources into making Messenger better (they doubled down on Messenger this year, see my short F8 notes), but also make sure that people use it.
One of the examples is that they allow automation for messaging people that left a comment on any post of a FB Page. I wrote about the Facebook auto reply method in my first blogpost.
Another example is that they show and emphasize readers, how well the brand responds to a potential message.
C’mon Balint, there is nothing really new in this. Okay okay, let’s get to the new stuff 🙂
Facebook opens the chat window for you
Yesterday I came across a new test Facebook is running in order to have more users message companies on Facebook.
When I opened a Facebook page on my desktop, the messages section automatically ‘popped up’. Like a pop-up on a webpage would the chat box opened automatically after I landed on the FB page.
Now you might note that Facebook is notorious about not liking pop-ups, to the point that they don’t even allow that in their webview.
But on the desktop and for Facebook’s interest (more time spent on the platform) they are happy to make an exception. It’s also not a real popup, to be honest.
First I didn’t know how this function works, so just messaged another page that has this, Calendy. They answered in a timely manner (as described — see picture above).
The team was friendly and said that they did not change anything, didn’t use a chatbot and it is something that FB was most likely testing out. So sorry guys, it’s not a little hack I could share with you…
To my question, if there was an increase in the messages they’ve received on FB, their answer was a definite yes. The support team noted that the influx of messages is probably partly because of the curious people, like me.
But hey, I didn’t really know them before and now I’m actively interested in their service. Our relationship has changed. They can also personally pitch me in the next 24 hours in a channel I have the most attention on.
All these little feature additions of Facebook make one important change in the user’s mind. It is normal to message brands and companies on Facebook and expect an answer. In more and more cases users will do that as it’s convenient and natural to their messaging habit.
So as a company you might think… but I gave my website and email address in the settings. Oh, well. People work differently. You must be where they are and expect you to be as well.
Now, it is still a great timing to learn and get an early advantage with Messenger marketing and chatbots. If you want to learn more, register for my webinar to learn my tips about Messenger marketing. You can also join our free Chatbot Marketing group on Facebook.
How do you like this function? Comment below.
UPDATE July 11, 2017:
It seems like you can have the control over this.
Just keep your FB page open on a computer. Facebook knows that you’re available right now if you have their page open on a tab. So they open the chat dialog for anyone who visits your page on a desktop. I like that solution, pretty clever actually. That way you’ll only have more messages during the hours that your business is actually available. Of course, you have your chatbot working around the clock, but a great human support is still superior.
Hope that helps. Happy chatting!
UPDATE January 14, 2018:
After some more testing with several of you guys (thanks for reaching out and helping me) this is what I’ve realized.
You need 2 things in order for this to work:
1. Enable: Prompt visitors to send messages
Go to Settings>Messaging>General Settings>”Prompt visitors to send messages”.
You may need to use the business account, depending on your page roles.
Some people won’t have this settings. It’s not fair I know. Come back check in a month again…
2. Page reactiveness
Ideally, you’re online, which is symbolized by the green dot next to your page name. Fortunately, this is not compulsory. Facebook also helps you with the popup (only) if you’re expected to answer questions promptly.
For that there are two ways:
A) Try to be online as much as possible (see 1st update).
B) Have a chatbot and answer questions automatically. This would prompt visitors to send messages to you even if you’re (temporarily) offline.
I suggest being online at least a for a bit for every few hours.
Disclaimer: This is not a guaranteed method, in some situations I could trigger the popup with 1 browser while another browser did nothing. But this has worked not only for me most of the time but for others I’ve talked with in multiple countries and page types.