A popular social network which many businesses now leverage for engaging with customers is Facebook. With roughly 2.85 billion monthly active users (est as from early 2021 and not considering the catfishes which are likely included in these numbers) its no surprise that facebook dominates the social media platform landscape. According to statcounter, Facebook has a 71.5% market share of the social media platform landscape.

Social Media provides a close relationship between businesses and their customers and has allowed the growth of many businesses through savy social media marketing.

Facebook and other Social Media platforms are typically seen as a marketing tool. However, they can be instrumental in providing customers with the level of customer care that they expect. According to Smart Insights , 47% of customers will voice their complaint on social media and according to Go Globe , 60% of customers expect a response to their complaint on social media within an hour.

Lets put our focus primarily on Facebook. There are two main ways of interacting with a brand on Facebook – through Pages and via Direct Messaging. Pages is one of the most public ways in which a customer will complain and if left unchecked and unresponded will negatively affect businesses. According to Gartner, not responding to a complaint on social media can lead to a 15% increase in customer churn. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s social media tool – Social Engagement was deprecated some time ago. Microsoft’s response to interacting with customers via Facebook is to engage via direct messaging using the Omnichannel for Customer Service module.

In this blog, I want to show how we can leverage Omnichannel for Customer Service to allow interaction between agents and customers.

Pre Requisites

  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook developer account

Step 1: Prepare Facebook 

Set up Messaging on Facebook Page 

  1. Browse to your Facebook Page and log in as the admin to the page 
  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page. 
  1. From General, click Messages. 
  1. Click to check or uncheck the box next to Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the Message button. 
  1. Click Save Changes. 

Create a Facebook App 

  1. Log into the Facebook account being used for delivery 
  1. Register an account at  developers.facebook.com 
  1. Click on My Apps and press the Create button 
  1. Populate the Display Name with an appropriate title e.g. Omni Training. The email will be pre populated with your email address. This can be changed if required.  
  1. Click Create App ID.  

Setup Facebook App 

  1. After creating the Facebook app 
  1. Add the Messenger product by clicking Set Up 
  1. In the Access Tokens section, select the option to add an existing page. 
  1. In the screen displayed, select the page you have previously configured for this training session and click Next 
  1. Click Done on the next screen.  

In order to fully use Facebook, the company must be approved by Facebook to access live data. Until then, they will only be able to use test accounts.  

Request Facebook API Permissions 

  1. In the App Review for Messaging section of the Facebook Messaging settings, Click on Add to Submission for the pages-messaging and locale options.  
  1. For the pages-messaging section, click on Add Details  
  2. Populate the additional information required. Below shows an example of what can be added.
Additional Information Required  
Tell us about the use case(s) for your app will use the permission for Involved business integration to support live chat by humans. 
Test and reproduce the functionality of your integration Select the Facebook page and Populate step by step instructions with: – Go to the test page and send a message to the agent – The agent will be prompted to reply in the Omni Channel Engagement Hub 
  1. For the locale section, click on Add Details 
  1. Specify the reason for needing access to the location e.g.  We need to be able to route the chat to an agent with the skills to speak to the customer in their language. 
  1. Browse to Settings – basic option and populate the privacy policy url, upload an app icon, choose a category and select a business use. 
  1. Submit the app for review in the settings area.  

Setup Facebook Channel in Omni Channel 

Create a Facebook Workstream 

Follow the steps detailed in the previous section: Setting up a Chat Widget to create a Facebook Workstream. A default facebook workstream may already be available.

The details to be used are below: 

Attribute Value Description 
Name Facebook Workstream  
Channel Facebook  
Capacity 30  the units of capacity that are required to process a conversation for the work stream in the text box. 
Auto-close after inactivity 5 minutes Closes the conversation after the specified amount of time.
Assign Work Item After Decline or TimeOut 15 minutes Set the time after which a work item can be assigned to the agent again after he/she has declined the work item or the request has timed out 
Work Distribution mode Push Selecting Push automatically routes to an agent. Pick assigns to a queue and allows an agent to select to work on the item 
Allowed Presences Available, Busy Which status can the agent be in to accept the conversation 

Create a Facebook Channel 

  1. In the OmniChannel Administration App, click on Facebook in the Channels section 
  1. Click on the New button 
  1. Populate the form as below 
Attribute Value 
Name Facebook Application Name 
Application Id ID of the Facebook application. To get the application ID, go to your Facebook application, select Settings > Basic, and copy the value in the App ID field. 
Application Secret Application secret of the Facebook application. To get the application secret, go to your Facebook application, select Settings > Basic, and copy the value in the App Secret field. 
  1. Save the form to generate the callback url and token 
  1. Browse to the Messenger product in the Facebook App 
  1. In the settings area of the Messenging Platform, go to the WebHooks section and choose Add Callback URL 
  1. Populate the Callback URL and Verify Token with the Callback URL and Verify Token created and displayed in the Omni Channel Facebook Channel.  

Setup Facebook Page in Facebook App 

  1. In the OmniChannel Facebook Channel, click on the New Facebook Page button 
  1. Populate form with the details below 
Field Value 
Page Id ID of the Facebook page. To get the page ID, go to your Facebook page, select About, and copy the value in the Page ID field. 
Page Name Name of the Facebook page. A Facebook channel can have multiple pages so ensure it is easy to identify them.  
Page Access Token Page access token from the Facebook application. To get the page access token, go to your Facebook application and then go to Messenger > Settings. In the Access Tokens section, select the page, and copy the value in the Page Access Token field. 
Work Stream Select the Facebook Workstream previously created 
  1. Click Save. This should allow Facebook to be configured with omnichannel. This will be signified by the Provisioning Status. It will be in a status of Running.  

While I think its awesome to be able to leverage direct messaging to engage with customers and prospects via Facebook, it would be another level of awesome to be able to view and respond to messages with a negative sentiment voiced on the actual Facebook page. Here’s hoping its on a future roadmap somewhere…