“What’s the best way to find the owner of a local business?”
“How do most business owners today like to be contacted?"
For those in the Commercial Real Estate industry, we have found a powerful combination of outreach for reaching new prospective tenants and it’s so good we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves! We’re going to be publishing best practice guides for the trifecta of modern prospecting: Facebook Messenger, Email, and Phone. Read on below for part one!
Facebook is the hottest prospecting technique right now since it offers high reply rates and a fast-path to the decision maker. Facebook also keeps score of how quickly the page responds to your message, so they are incentivized to get back to you. However, many who have jumped on the Facebook messaging trend report being limited to only sending 10 messages a day. Follow this playbook and you can easily send 50+ per day in less than 30 minutes.
Facebook is relatively strict in terms of limiting your cold outreach on Messenger. It is critical you review all of the guidelines in this page before you start using this channel.
HOW MANY MESSAGES TO SEND AT A TIME
Because so many people use Facebook for soliciting, they have built in protections so that users do not receive an overload of messages. Once you send (on average) 10 messages in a short amount of time, Facebook will prevent you from sending more because they recognize higher volumes of messages as spam.
You know your messages are getting sent if you see the small box on the bottom right turn into a checkbox. Like in this image:
After you hit your limit, the circle stops turning into a checkbox. Notice the empty circle on the bottom right of the below screenshot. This means that a message is in the process of being sent. If the circle keeps spinning and does not turn into a checkbox, you have hit your limit of messages you can send for now.
To send more, wait 1 hour. It is best to wait exactly 1 hour before attempting to send more. It may even help to entirely log out of Facebook for 1 hour. Setting a timer is a great way to ensure you don't attempt to send messages again too soon. After the hour is over, you should be able to send another 10 messages. This can be repeated throughout the day. Some clients report sending over 60 Facebook messages in a day following this method.
Similar to emails, Facebook has spam filters. If you manage a business page, you can go to your inbox and check it out! It's very important that you avoid these spam filters if you want your messages to reach prospects.
They do not publish publicly how spam filters are triggered, but after some research we know how to minimize the likelihood your messages end up here.
- Customize every message. This does not mean alternating between a couple of different messages. Ideally, every message has at least one word that is entirely different. The templates at the end of this guide all include some variable that you should personalize before sending.
- Avoid links. Similar to email spam filters, sending links raises red flags. Don't send links in the first message. If they reply and ask for a flyer, then it is safe to send them a link. Pro-tip: if they ask for a flyer, make sure to also personalize your reply and don’t just send the link to the flyer. Also make sure to follow up later with them about the flyer you sent.
- Avoid images or media. These are also recognized as spam.
- Keep your messages short. Not only are long messages less likely to get replies, they're more likely to land you in spam. Aim for no more than 2 sentences.
The final state of a message (prior to receiving a reply) is that the prospect has viewed the message. When this happens, the grey checkbox will become a mini version of their profile picture. If you see this, you know your message did not go to spam. In this example, we see the mini profile picture in the bottom right.
We’ve included some templates below to help you visualize what your initial outreach message should look like.
Do you have any plans to relocate or expand? There's a popular shopping center in [Location] looking for a [Category]. I was reading about [Business name] and thought you'd be a fit.
If you use this template, you can copy a version of it with the location and category pre-set. For example, Philadelphia and salon. Then, all you need to do is change the business name each time you send it.
I’m working with a [Value Prop] shopping center in [LOCATION] that has a couple available spaces and I think [NAME OF BUSINESS] would be a good fit. Do you have any plans to relocate or expand to new locations?
In this example, you should pre-set it with a top selling point of your shopping center. Is it high traffic? Mention that. Is it next to a Chick-fil-a? Definitely mention that. The more specific and compelling, the better. But make sure to avoid CRE jargon. Small businesses don't think in terms of "outparcels" "in-line" or "end-cap".
We hope this guide helps up your Facebook prospecting game! If you want to take it up another notch, Resquared can help you further optimize your outreach with our integration with Facebook Messenger. This allows you to source new businesses, keep track of them with the lists feature, and reach out to them all within the Resquared platform.
Lookout for our next piece where we take a deep dive into Email. And as always, feel free to reach out anytime for a platform demo!