How Your Brand can Prepare for Facebook Messenger's Discover Tab

With 65 million businesses on Facebook, it can sometimes be difficult for one of the 1.2 billion monthly active Messenger users to locate a business for a chat. Facebook is set to change that with a new tab called Discover: located within the mobile app, Discover promises to connect consumers with businesses. Unveiled at the F8 developers conference, Discover will showcase businesses and bots that Facebook determines a Messenger user should be engaging with and make it easier than ever for someone to search for and start a conversation with a business—whether that business is ready or not.

"I mean, who likes to call companies?" — David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products at Facebook

 

Facebook believes consumers will continue turning away from traditional channels for communication at an ever-increasing pace—and that chat channels will become default places for users to have a conversation with a business. Discover is meant to set up Messenger as the “yellow pages of chat channels,” as VP of Messaging Products David Marcus explained on stage at F8. Facebook wants to be at the forefront of connecting businesses to people for all sorts of purposes, from commerce to customer support. With over 2 billion messages between business Pages and users since Messenger launched, it would appear Facebook is well on its way.

How Your Brand can Prepare

While Facebook only offers partial insight into what will trigger a business or bot to be featured in Discover, you can bet they will want to feature only the businesses they are know are going to offer a good experience. A place to look for clues is something Facebook already offers in the form of badges on a business Page today. These customer service callouts are based on the speed of reply and responsiveness overall. As for making sure your business shows up in the top of search results, there are some easy ways to boost your chances:

1) Make sure your Page information is completely up-to-date

2) Respond to as many comments and private messages as possible

3) When you do respond, make sure to respond quickly

Facebook teased that proximity to a local business will likely be considered and that a low block rate will be viewed favorably. Other factors likely to be included: a user’s likes, previous interactions, and interests, along with a business's volume of conversations and information listed on their business Page.

Facebook users will also browse businesses and bots via categories, much like you might find an app in the App Store. Businesses are placed into Discover categories based on the Page category currently listed. If you are looking to stand up a new bot, you can choose the category at the time of listing it on Facebook.

As a brand, Discover will likely increase conversation volume precisely because it makes starting a conversation with a business more accessible. Instead of Facebook audience members searching for a business only when they have a problem, users can organically find a business. Discover will also expand the variety of reasons someone will start a chat as well—from questions on locations and hours to detailed product questions they might be researching before making a purchase. A customer could start a chat just to see what happens, thinking there may be a bot supporting the business' account.

With Discover, Facebook users can organically find a business.

 

With this change coming, now is the time to review the type of questions the team that handles private messages are prepared to answer. Teams that might previously have only handled the hardest support issues may now also have to respond to company positions, or responses to ads. They may have to have deeper product knowledge if someone is thinking about making a purchase on an item. We also know that consumers prefer issues to be resolved and addressed on-channel. Allowing your teams to address issues on-channel is important to avoid a negative experience for a new customer that just discovered your business’ chat experience for the first time.

If this feels like it will be to overwhelming, for the time being you can remove your Page’s ability to be found in Discover. Page admins can simply “hide” their visibility within the Page Settings under Messenger Platform—although we don’t recommend it. If you are a business Page that has messages turned off, Facebook offers this help article to get you started.

How Spredfast works with Facebook

Public and private messages aren’t new to Spredfast customers—for more than eight years, the biggest brands in the world have used Spredfast to navigate Facebook. Spredfast organizes private messages on Facebook, alongside all of your other social channels, into an interface designed for responding in an orchestrated way. This interface connects crucial interaction history on Facebook, regardless of whether that person interacted on public or private channels. And conversations are always threaded, so as multiple replies on a comment come streaming in they can be easily followed. Using social Spredfast's social care features, you can easily track important SLAs like time to first response, automatically route and categorize messages, and report efficiently.

Discover is just one feature announced as part of Facebook’s Messenger 2.0 and the next in a long list of enhancements highlighting Facebook’s investment in expanding their platform as a service channel. User experience is everything for Facebook Messenger. Making it easier for a user to connect with a business and for businesses to automate the easy responses has been a goal of Messenger since last year’s F8. With more features than ever and a renewed focus on scaling this year, Facebook Messenger is set to be a high-volume channel for any business. To find out more about you can get the most from Messenger, check out The Spredfast solution for social customer care.

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Austin Lytle is a Director, Product Marketing at Spredfast where he works with customers and the Spredfast product team to make sure we are delivering the world's best social software platform. Austin spent three years running political campaigns in Texas and Louisiana. A New Orleans native, he is avid cyclist and lover of music and wine.