24-Hour Facebook Messenger Policy for Auto Dealers Using Marketplace
A good business owner knows that when a potential lead reaches out, it’s wise to respond promptly.
In fact, sales conversions increase by 391% when inbound leads are contacted within one minute, and the odds of qualifying a lead decrease 80% with every five minutes that pass without a response.
Facebook knows this, too — and the social media giant wants to make sure you respond quickly to messages from your potential customers, as businesses that respond to users’ messages faster see better business outcomes.
That’s why Facebook has implemented a 24-hour window response policy on Messenger.
If you’re a business owner — especially one using Facebook Marketplace to sell used vehicles, like many of our automotive clients — take note of this policy.
What the Policy Says
Regarding standard messaging between a business and a consumer, Facebook’s policy states:
Businesses will have up to 24 hours to respond to a user. Messages sent within the 24-hour window may contain promotional content. We know people expect businesses to respond quickly, and businesses that respond to users in a timely manner achieve better outcomes. We highly encourage businesses to respond to people’s messages as soon as possible.
This policy formerly included a 24+1 rule, in which a business had a 24-hour window in which to engage, plus one message after the window closed — in case they didn’t respond in time.
Now, businesses have 24 hours from last engagement with the lead, period. However, pages can apply to use an API that enables the previously-available one-time notification after the 24-hour window has passed.
Here’s the point:
Respond to your business’s messages from potential leads and customers promptly. If you don’t, you’ve lost your chance.
Who the Policy Is For
This policy applies to all businesses on Facebook, but is especially relevant to businesses using Marketplace, as Messenger is the sole method of communication between the prospective buyer and the business.
Our team helps many automotive dealerships use Marketplace to list their certified and pre-owned inventory. The lead cannot purchase the vehicle on Marketplace; the platform simply connects the user via Messenger with the dealership advertising the vehicle.
So, if you are a dealership using Marketplace to list your vehicle inventory, effective communication on Messenger is your only shot to getting that lead in the dealership and behind the wheel.
Use it well. Encourage your dealership’s sales team to answer the message promptly with helpful information before 24 hours (or better yet, before five minutes) have passed as to not lose the opportunity to your competition.
A Workaround Option for Real Humans
Fortunately, Facebook provides a solution that approved developers can implement to opt-out of the 24-hour message rule.
This message tag allows vendors to flag a message as being sent from a human instead of a chatbot, thus allowing those human users to respond outside of the 24-hour window.
This “human agent” tag is not available to just any and all; developers must apply to use and be approved by Facebook.
At 9 Clouds, our Marketplace partner is approved to utilize the message tag, so the 24-hour window does not apply to our clients who use our Marketplace service.
Since most car salesmen are on the ball with applying promptly to their Facebook Marketplace messages, this largely proves valuable when a lead messages the dealership on a Sunday, when no one is online to respond in realtime. Our auto clients have appreciated that they don’t miss out on communicating with weekend leads.
Remember, the whole idea of this message tag is for your sales team to respond to messages as real humans. Your dealership cannot use the functionality for marketing purposes:
Message tags may not be used to send promotional content, including but not limited to deals, offers, coupons, and discounts. Use of tags outside of the approved use cases below may result in restrictions on the Page’s ability to send messages. See the Messenger Platform policy for details.
Not Using Marketplace? Consider It!
We’ve seen many automotive and RV dealers find success in using Marketplace to sell their certified and pre-owned inventory.
That’s because on Marketplace, you can show your vehicles to shoppers where they’re already shopping. They want to see your listings — and they want more info ASAP.
9 Clouds can help you not only get your inventory to feed into Marketplace, but also train you on how to best handle the leads you receive. We can even provide real-time notifications via text or email, so your sales team can follow up with a lead the second they show interest.
If your dealership is interested in listing your vehicles on Marketplace, you’re in the right place!
Check out our free Facebook Marketplace guide for even more of our tips.Download Our Free Marketplace guide