The latest in eCommerce jan 16th - Feb 2nd

The latest in eCommerce Jan 16 – Feb 2nd

Facebook dropped quite the bombshell on all of us a couple of weeks or so ago with their News Feed update. I have a feeling we are going to be dealing with the fallout for pretty much the rest of the year. Our latest roundup starts things off with a few related stories. Read on!

 

Your next customer may discover you on Facebook Messenger

In our breakdown of the News Feed changes we were wondering if Facebook would start showing a stronger business focus on some of their other products like Messenger. This latest update from Facebook seems like the perfect fulfillment of that.

Messenger is a great way to interact with your followers. It makes you easily accessible without the need for a full time support setup. The thing it’s primarily aimed at people who are already know of you.

This could change very soon!

Facebook is testing a feature that could let new users discover you on Messenger. Some users reported seeing a few business pages included in the chat sidebar on the desktop app. This is where you typically see a list of your friends. Clicking on any of these pages lets you then start a conversation with the business.

 

Facebook sidebar screenshot - Business pages in chat sidebarPC: TechCrunch

The recommendations seem to be based on where you are located, places you’ve checked in to and stuff your friends like. That makes me wonder if we’d be able to bid to get displayed here much like we bid for ad spots elsewhere on Facebook.

While this is only a test at the this point and I’ll admit the whole thing does seem a bit stalkery but I for one am hoping we get a toned down version of this at some point.

What do you think?

 

6 things to expect from Messenger in 2018

Continuing with the Messenger theme…

If Facebook does begin to push Messenger more in 2018, what can you expect to see? What should you  be doing to prepare?

This note from Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus is a great place to start.

A few key points he covers.

  • Messenger as a marketing channel:  He’s a little vague on the details here but he does mention that Facebook will be investing in enabling businesses to reach and engage people at scale.
  • Transforming customer service: Picture using Messenger as a dedicated support channel, add up-sell opportunities and much more to the mix. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with here.

 

A new Whatsapp for small businesses

Whatsapp has been quite the tool for small businesses. It makes dealing with support queries easier, you can create follower groups where you can promote your products, and more.

Clearly Whatsapp has been paying quite some attention to all of this because they just released a standalone version of the app just for businesses in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

Netflix screenshot - Netflix likely using whatsapp business
A few unique features on the business app include the ability to create business profiles and messaging statistics.


What this means for you!

Facebook’s business model so far has largely been this.

Step 1: Enable users to connect with each other.

Step 2: Go out of their way to enable businesses to connect and engage users for free.

Step 3: Ask businesses to pay for access to users.

It’s not surprising to see Whatsapp head that way as well. From the looks of it, they are just beginning stage 2. Any guesses on what comes next?

 

ADS!!!

 

But until then, the best thing to do is to make the most we have a whole host of new tools to experiment with. Here are a few ideas.

  • Set up automated replies: Set up quick responses for common questions your customers have so you don’t have to deal with each one separately.
  • Follow up on your promotions: Don’t restrict your promotions to just one channel alone. Follow up on your promotions via Whatsapp as well. Just spread out the follow-ups  so all you promotions don’t reach the user at the time. Let’s say you send out an email campaign today, you’ll then have to set up your whatsapp messages to go out the following day or later.

 

Instagram Pro series: 5 things you can learn from National Geographic

Stuck trying to grow your Instagram following? What if you could get some tips from the most followed account on Instagram?

With over 85 million followers on their Instagram page, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call Nat Geo one of the most successful pages out there.

Nat geo Instagram page

 

In this article, Inc attempts to break down what it is about Nat Geo’s strategy that makes it work for them

Here are few key things they cover.

  • Defining goals for your account
  • Using branded and popular hashtags
  • Writing compelling captions

 

What do you think about Facebook’s changes to messenger? Do you use Whatsapp for your business? Let us know in the comments below.