Part of my role as a social media manager is managing community & for one client I am in a number of Facebook Groups to find leads and answer questions. Today the question came up on how businesses either don’t have Facebook Messages turned on or they take a long time to respond. For the majority of people in this group, this was a major barrier to them using the business. So I was wondering: why don’t businesses use Facebook Message? So I asked.
So what I’ve been told is:
- I’m sick of the constant pinging
- People message me hourly find out what is happening
- I receive too many to manage
- Facebook filters too many of the messages, so I miss out on customers
- Too many time wasters messaging my page
So these fall into two main groups: technology & expectations.
Managing the technology
It seems that we have all turned in to Pavlov’s Dogs with the ping of our devices sending us running. We are now faced with the issue many businesses had 10 years ago with email. We are falling victim to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Sadly this is actually a chemical reaction. The good thing is that we can actually train our brains out of this with a few steps.
Firstly, realise that you do not have to respond straight away. There generally isn’t anything so urgent in a Facebook Message that requires immediate attention. This will take a fair amount of self-talk, reassuring yourself that you don’t have to have that immediate knee-jerk reaction to the ‘ping’.
Next, either turn the notifications off altogether in Facebook, on your phone, or as I did for about 6 weeks – just put your phone on silence. This removes the trigger for the reaction. You can then look at your messages when you choose, rather than when they are sent.
Granted, this has become harder since Facebook introduced its gold star for their top students in responding to messages. But seriously, is it that important? What did customers do before the star was introduced (not to mention before Messages or even Facebook)? It’s what’s called in the industry a ‘vanity metric’. It looks pretty, but tells you very little about the actual value of the content. So why have it, well it’s another FOMO tool.
So what’s my point? Business page owners, don’t be fooled and don’t get bent out of shape in your quest for the ‘holy messages grail’ – the gold star. Realise that you are able to look at & respond to messages when it suits you. In fact, I give you permission to look at and respond to your messages when it suits you.
So I hear it already. Kara, what about that person who messages, then messages again an hour later, then again, and again, and again. First of all consider if they will be your ideal client, I bet they wouldn’t be. Now consider how you set their expectations on how you will see to their messages. If you jump at them like a terrier whose owner has just walked through the door, then they will expect that each and every time they message you (including 9pm Saturday). However, if you set up an auto-response that thanks them for their message and lets them know that you will respond between 9-5 Monday-Friday and aim to get back to them within 3 hours for simple questions and 24 hours for quotes, isn’t that a better way to set the scene? What if you responded, how I did for a client, thanking them for their message but asking them to email you so that you have all of your queries in one place and theirs will be addressed in order with all your other queries (humans actually behave remarkably well in queues). Or asking them to leave their contact phone number so you can call them and speak to them personally about how you can help them. (Sales can be easier to close on the phone than online) So what other benefit to auto-responders have? So other than it being like a personal VA, you are meeting the Facebook Messages time targets, setting expectations, and giving you that piece of mind for when your phone is on silent.
So how do you set up Facebook Message auto-response?
First of all you need to be in the Messages tab on your Facebook page (it’s up the top). Then you will need to look down the bottom of the Messages box.
Facebook calls it ‘Saved Replies’ but it’s really where you set up your auto-responses. Click on the little speech bubble to access & set up your responses and this is what you will see.
1. Facebook sets up two auto-responses for you.
2. You can search for your responses
3. You can create a new response
So, here’s a quick overview of how you create a new reply.
1. Give your auto-response a meaningful title
2. Add your message text
3. Personalise your message with names (names are good, they build trust and relationships)
4. Don’t forget to ‘Save Reply’
Don’t forget to personalise your responses. While people might realise that you are sending an auto-response, by using their name you still make it friendly. So here are the options you find when you choose to personalise your responses.
So there are a number of ways there to address and redirect your enquiries. I hope this helped. I can also recommend reading my article on FOMO where I go deeper into why we feel like we are missing out and how we can reduce the reaction.