But you can create a vanity URL, “facebook.com/YourBusinessName”. And you should do it now –particularly if your name is like hundreds of other business names on Facebook (you know, “Superior”, “Quality”, “Speedy”, “Dew Drop Inn”).
Here’s why: Facebook plans to feature the vanity business name (or “username” in Facebook speak) as part of a push to build its Messenger app into the go-to channel for customer service communication The username will appear as “@YourBusinessName” beneath the Page title, starting within the next few weeks. Think of it as the Facebook equivalent of the Twitter handle.
Facebook wants the username to be the unique identifier, like an email address or phone number, for customers to reach you through Messenger. Unique as in: Only one business gets it, first come, first serve.
More than one billion messages per month pass between businesses and customers on Messenger, according to Facebook, so this is already a big deal. It seems the social media giant’s goal is to move customer service communication off public Facebook pages and on to the app.
- Messenger Links, short links (“m.me/username”), that customers might click or enter on the web to start a conversation on Messenger.
- Messenger Codes – like QR codes, customers scan them with their phones from your ad and connect to Messenger (something like the codes on its upstart competitor Snapchat).
- Messenger Greetings, a customizable greeting (“Hi, Customer Name” etc.) that pops up as Messenger launches.
- Set up your username on Facebook. Instructions here.
- If you’re not already on Messenger, check it out. Here’s Facebook’s information and signup page, as well as a tutorial about set-up from Social Media Examiner.
- Download Facebook’s Page Manager for iPhone or Android. You can run your Page and Messenger on your mobile phone with this app—and, for better or worse, always-on customer service is where we’re headed.