Facebook Testing Instant Replies, Response Time Display and Away Messages for Pages

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Facebook Pages are seeing a massive amount of revamping! We see this as a sign that Facebook is looking to drive as much branding and marketing traffic on their platform as possible, which could put Facebook on top of most online marketing budgets. Now there are more new Facebook Page features and tools.

We’ve already told you about the cosmetic changes, new tools, and about the addition of donate and buy buttons in the ‘call-to-action’ section. Now, Facebook seems to be making extra effort to make sure that admins of Facebook Pages have more tools and incentives to communicate frequently with their audience.

Facebook Page Messaging Settings
Messaging in Page Settings

Here are a few more changes we have noticed:

Instant Replies: Quickly respond to initial messages

Facebook Page Messaging:  Instant Replies
Facebook Page Messaging: ‘Instant Replies’

This is the latest update to the response system for Facebook Pages. If you turn this on, you can have an automated reply that goes to all users who message you on your Page for the first time. It cannot be personalised, and if your status has been changed to ‘Away’ – more on that as you read on – it won’t be sent. It has to a quick, 250-character message that’s sent to the user before you send a more detailed and specific response.

Response Time: Let them see how soon you respond

Facebook Page Messaging: Response Time
Facebook Page Messaging: ‘Response Time’

What is your biggest peeve when you have to call a customer care centre? It’s usually being put on hold endlessly as you try to find somebody who can actually help you. Sometimes, you can press 2 for one option, 5 for another, # for yet another, and in the end be back on the main menu. This is why online response forms are a lot easier – you just put the right subject in, and you don’t have to worry.

But how can you be sure that they will even read it and give you more than a canned reply? Well, on Facebook Pages, you have the option of letting people contact you. Now you also have the option of letting people know that you respond to these messages quickly, giving them a good idea of when to expect a response from you. This works for both your target audience and you: they know you will reply, and you have added incentive to reply as quickly as possible, and will get more engagement.

If Facebook declares that your response time is quick, that’s a great customer service endorsement. Of course, standards are high – you need to respond to 90 percent of responses within five minutes (median time) to get that Facebook green light. That’s quite literally a green light – it’s like a green ‘very responsive’ merit badge from Facebook.

Outside Business Hours: ‘Away’ Option for Admins

Facebook Page Messaging:  Outside Business Hours
Facebook Page Messaging: Outside Business Hours

Yet another way to make life easier for admins and users, you can set your status as ‘Away’. An extra incentive to use this feature is that if you declare you’re ‘away’, your response time won’t suffer. This means that you can get the green badge for being responsive even if you don’t respond within five minutes because you’ve already told the people contacting you that you aren’t around. You can choose to put this for 12 hours, and turn it off when you’re back.

This is also a great tool if you have a large audience and only a few admins – you won’t lose your badge as long as you take this timeout option.