What Facebook’s Secret Conversations Mean for Marketers
For most businesses, Facebook is the primary social media driver of referral traffic, conversions and sales. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Facebook is continuously testing new ways to help enhance the customer experience on Facebook. This includes adding new features to their Messenger app.
Back in April, Messenger launched scannable codes, which help customers to find your business that much easier. The app also allows users to send payments, order an Uber, and make voice and video calls.
Plus, enhanced Messenger features, such as bots, streamlines communication between businesses and customers. And now, Facebook has started to beta test Secret Conversations.
This end-to-end encrypted message service is the latest enhancement aimed to not only help businesses conduct more business online (more on that later), but also provide more features to its one billion active users. With messaging apps such as WhatsApp already providing its customer base with a similar option, it was only a matter of time before Facebook did too.
So what does that mean for marketers? That’s the question we’ll answer in this post.
What are Secret Conversations?
Expected to fully roll out by the fall, Secret Conversations are Facebook’s way of adding an extra layer of privacy to messages sent via the app. The messages are encrypted end-to-end, meaning only the sender and the recipient can see the message – even Facebook cannot view them.
Senders can choose the length of time the message is viewable from just five seconds to 24 hours. Only one device can store the conversation, meaning a Secret Conversation started on a mobile phone cannot also be viewed on a tablet.
Keep in mind, screenshots can still be taken! Additionally, Secret Conversations currently only support messages, pictures and stickers. It does not support group messages, gifs, videos, voice or video calling, or payments.
How to start a Secret Conversation
Starting a Secret Conversation is easy!
Select a friend in Messenger, tap their name at the top of the conversation (in iOS) or the “i” in a circle at the top right corner (in Android) and choose “Secret Conversation.” Make sure to start the conversation on a frequently-used device, such a mobile phone, as that will be the only device where the messages are viewable.
How Secret Conversations help your business
Today, customer service is not only available in-store. Instead, it is at every touch point a customer makes, including social media.
Most businesses are familiar with customers asking them questions about their orders, product information, and more via Facebook message. However, this isn’t ideal when sensitive information like credit card numbers is involved. In many cases, this requires taking the conversation offline.
But now, with the introduction of Secret Conversations, the dialogue can continue online. Secret Conversations help provide a more pleasurable customer experience by reassuring customers that their personal information will disappear after being accessed by your business. As a result, customers may be more likely to share that information via the app.
However, it’s important to note that Secret Conversations are only available on the Messenger app, meaning that these interactions with customers would have to be through a mobile device. This may be a hindrance as most employees work on desktops and often do not have the Business Messenger app downloaded on their phones. Plus, because the messages are only available on one device, this type of conversation prevents other team members from viewing the information.
That being said, if Secret Conversations take off as part of customer service interactions, they could be a huge help for businesses who regularly interact with customers on Facebook. And if you’re prepared to start using them soon after they launch, you’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing on the platform.