Dating is hard. Dating through the internet is probably harder. There are a lot of people who aren’t very good at it, some people who excel beyond belief, and then there is the large majority of folks who find themselves right in the middle — puttering along today’s tech-stimulated dating scene. This is largely the case with Messenger too. It’s new, lots of businesses are using it well, some aren’t, but almost everybody is trying.
It’s been a while since I’ve been in “the scene”. But, I do recall some principles that surround the “texting” or “just talking” or “maybe dating” stage in a relationship.
As it turns out, these principles aren’t so different than how your business should approach messaging.
If your Tinder game is strong, your Messenger game can be too.
1) Be Respectful
This first rule applies in every situation but I felt obliged to include it here. Respecting the individual on the other side of the conversation is a core tenant of any interaction.
However, on Messenger, Facebook has put some clean technical limits (aka rules) into play that will help protect the integrity of the Messenger platform.
First, someone must message a business first before the business can message them. Coincidentally, this is also the same policy popular dating app Bumble has. This policy will go a long way in protecting the integrity of the channel.
2) Don’t Send the Triple Text
Don’t be this person…
This act of desperation is all too real. I think a double text is okay — maybe the person didn’t get your last message. But, the dreaded triple text is where you’re crossing the line on any messaging channel.
Facebook knows this, and has the 24+1 rule to enforce the ‘ol triple text nightmare. The 24 + 1 rule states that once a user interacts with your Messenger experience, you can message them as you’d like within 24 hours. Then, outside of that 24 hours you can send them *just one more message* to encourage them to re-engage. If the user has not re-engaged with you at that point, you may not message them again. The 24-hour clock will restart if and when they re-engage with your Messenger experience.
3) Set Clear Expectations Up Front
The best types of Tinder bios are straightforward, creative, laid-back and simple. Luckily, tools like Facebook Messenger let you set up your own bio — just like Tinder. In Messenger, this is called Greeting Text. It is capped to 160 characters and is your first opportunity to tell a person why they should start a conversation with your Messenger bot. Some things you might include in your greeting text might include a brief description of what your bot does, such as key features, or a tagline. This is also a great place to start establishing the style and tone of your bot.
4) Keep It Playful
Just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you need a stiff personality. Messaging channels thrive on playfulness — businesses should be leveraging this. Fun GIFs, silly images, poop emojis…all of the above belongs in a messaging context.
In the same vein — keep it short, a 1000 character message is not enjoyable for anybody. If you’ve truly got a lot to say, break a few messages up into succession or provide a link to the full message on your website.
5) Don’t Move Too Fast
Imagine matching with someone on a dating app and their first message to you is “I’ll pick you up Friday at 8?” Ayo! Messenger is the same way. If a prospect connects with you on Messenger, remain helpful and solve for their needs first. Then, you can ask for the date.
Messenger has also put in a few technical limits here that protect the user. If you get blocked through Messenger, your messages will never reach that contact again!
6) Stay Available
A final core tenant to ensure your customers would “date” your brand is to actually be available on the channel. Absolutely nothing is worse than getting left hanging, it’s a sure-fire way to lose business.
As I mentioned in “5 Super Quick Ways to get more Facebook Messages” The best way to make the most out of Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.
So, while Messenger is a new and somewhat intimidating platform for business communication — if you stay grounded to a strong Tinder game you will be primed for success!
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