With all the recent privacy concerns surrounding Facebook , it’s no wonder Mark Zuckerberg is being so public about prioritizing privacy.

 

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“I understand that many people don't think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform,” Zuckerberg wrote in an open letter on Facebook last March, “because frankly we don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we've historically focused on tools for more open sharing.

 

“But we've repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories,” he added.

 

Since its inception, Facebook has focused on bringing people - and communities and businesses - together in a very public way. That “Town Hall” connection is invaluable for people’s personal and professional lives. However, people also value their privacy, which is what Facebook is addressing in full force.

 

Of late, private messaging, Stories and Facebook groups have garnered the most attention. They are, after all, the fastest growing areas of online communication. People prefer to converse one-on-one and in small groups in order to keep their communications and interactions secure.

 

How Small Business Owners Can Capitalize on Pivot to Privacy

 

With Messenger, the main area you can take full advantage of is to create a chatbot. Automating your FAQs and customer service queries can save an inordinate amount of time and money. People want quick replies. In fact, a study by Ogilvy found that 40 percent of people don’t care if customer service comes from a human or technology, as long as it’s the right answer!

 

Check out ManyChat or MobileMonkey for two of the most popular and affordable Messenger chatbot solutions.

 

The Future of Messenger

 

During the first day of this year’s Facebook’s F8 conference, Asha Sharma, Head of Facebook’s Messenger, announced several new products and features for businesses, individuals and developers expected to roll-out later this year.

 

    • App Changes. Facebook is rebuilding the architecture of Messenger to be faster and lighter.
    • Desktop App. Messenger will soon be upgraded for desktop use with improved functionality for group video calls, project collaboration, and multi-tasking while chatting in Messenger.
    • Group Viewing. Users will be able to invite/share Facebook videos directly from the app  and then watch together. While the entertainment value is obvious, this can also be used in business: watch videos together for training purposes, do customer service demos, and so on, all while being able to simultaneously chat.
    • Business Tools. Facebook is also adding terrific new features designed to support small businesses, starting with lead generation templates and booking appointments through bots.

 

Generate Leads in Messenger with Automated Chat Templates

 

The ability to generate leads using lead-generation templates (Q&A chatbot scripts to aid the customer journey inside Messenger) is a gamechanger!  When you run a Facebook or Instagram ad with a call-to-action button that clicks through to Messenger, you can connect this to your chatbot and collect information from customers and generate leads.

 

You can then continue the conversation directly in Messenger. Similar to a lead generation form, an automated chat is a more conversational approach to collecting customer information.

 

Book Appointments Using Bots in Messenger

 

Bots that make appointments can be reached directly in Messenger or in conversations that begin with a Facebook News Feed ad, Messenger home page ad, or via web chat plugin on an organization’s website.

 

The ability to book appointments directly in Messenger is great news for businesses, such as car dealerships, stylists or cleaning services. Regardless of your industry, if you set up appointments with customers, make it really easy with Facebook Messenger integration.

 

 

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About Mari Smith

 

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Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

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