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Ask a Millennial: Direct Messaging for Your Business

by Leslie Fowle | Aug 30, 2017
You’ve heard it before: millennials don't want to pick up the phone. Comedian Aziz Ansari had it right when he said, “You can’t call anybody anymore. If you call someone, they’re like, ‘What—are you on fire? No? Then quit wasting my time!’”
So, how does this phenomenon translate to the highly personal business of real estate? If your younger audiences are hesitant to initiate conversation, how can you expect to reach
them, answer their questions, and position yourself as the expert? The answer is to meet them where they’re at, which is, of course, on social media.

However, your strategy needs to go above and beyond the one-size-fits-all approach of daily social media blasts to your general audience. Instead, remember that millennials 
now expect some level of customer service from brands’ online presences. According to a 2016 study by Twilio, 66% of consumers now prefer to reach brands (or be reached by brands) though direct messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger. Millennials especially prefer messaging—even over email.

What does this look like in practice? It’s helpful to set aside some time each day (or a few times a week) to check your direct messages on each of your business’s social media accounts. Remember that consumers are able to message you on pretty much every social platform these days: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Answer questions and be helpful, even if the message doesn’t seem directly related to getting any business from this person. Someone who has a question about the homebuying process now may become a customer down the road.

If you’re worried about getting swamped with social media messages on top of all the other things you have to do, there are a few tools that can help. In Facebook, under
Messaging Settings, you can set up “Instant Replies,” which act as an away message to
let people know that you’ll respond to them soon. Reply to messages quickly enough,
and you’ll get a “responsiveness badge” on your page that encourages users to chat
with you. There’s also an option to “book an appointment” with people you’ve been
messaging. Try these tools and you may be surprised to find yourself actively funneling
potential clients into your business instead of waiting for the phone to ring.