Facebook Messenger Is Actually Helping Small Businesses Boost Sales

June 21, 2016, 2:00 PM UTC

Facebook has built its reputation on its ability to get granular. Because the social network knows so much about its 1.6 billion users, marketers can use the platform to target highly curated groups of people.

But smallbusiness owners should think on an even more individual level, says Dan Levy, the company’s vice president of small business. He repeatedly sees companies missing out on a valuable, and inexpensive, tool: Messaging.

For better or for worse, over the last decade the phone call has gone the way of the Dodo. Millennials may have driven the trend, but by this point Gen Xers and even Baby Boomers would often rather text than talk. This extends to their interactions as consumers. “Small-business owners are telling me, ‘I’m getting more sales leads over Messenger than I get over the phone,’” Levy says.

In the past year alone, the volume of Facebook messages sent from users to businesses has more than doubled, a trend Levy says will continue as texting further eclipses the phone call. Customers have little patience for searching a site or picking up the phone to figure out when a business closes or whether it carries their size, he says. Instead, they’d prefer to shoot off a question via direct message, and receive an immediate answer.

For more on why Levy thinks businesses should invest in messaging, watch the video above.