The Importance of Replying to Facebook
Messages: How to Do It the Right Way?
Social networks have become customer support. And it didn’t happen yesterday. Clients have become ultra lazy and like to get an answer right away. Instantly. Without waiting. They don’t call on the phone anymore. They don’t even send an email. They post Facebook messages on your page and expect an instant response.
Responding to Facebook messages can help businesses meet customers’ needs. On the other hand, the goal of every company/brand is to make a profit. In order to make a profit, they must meet the needs of their consumers. The hairdresser satisfies the need for neat and trimmed hair. The butcher satisfies the need for food. The dentist satisfies the need to preserve dental health. The sneaker store satisfies the need for footwear and foot care. We are not going barefoot, are we?
Many Business Owners Think They Can Maintain Social Media Accounts on Their Own
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t know this, they have not figured it out, and since they too often don’t hire anyone to manage and maintain their accounts on social networks, they are losing clients – because they think they can do it on their own and that it is no science. They probably, instructed by previous experience with other areas of marketing, think they need no help in this. For instance, doing email marketing can be done on your own, sure, especially when you use the ’assistance’ of online tools developed to make subscribers’ lists and shape newsletters according to the needs, such as Benchmark. But, let’s get back to the main thing: most often, marketing experts encounter situations where the client manages the profiles themselves, and in a very, very bad manner. They do themselves more harm than good. Clients ask a question and, you guessed it, are left with no answer. This is disastrous for several reasons:
- You present yourself as a very frivolous company
- You don’t instill trust because clients wonder who is behind the profile, how serious it is, and what kind of company it is in general.
- Clients, therefore, avoid you and go where they can get in touch with someone
- In the long run, you are making yourself a catastrophically bad position in the market
It’s Better Not to Answer Anything Than to Answer in a Wrong Way
The boss/owner neither has the time nor is professional and, at the same time, he is very subjective. And then, he answers the questions with a great delay, often grammatically incorrect, and even more often in the completely wrong ’spirit’ of the target group.
We are sure that you encountered many times as potential buyers with answers that don’t begin with “Hello“, “Dear“, “Thank you for contacting us“, and the like. Instead, owners immediately ’aim for the head’ with “What do you need?“, “I have this. I have that“, “This is the price“ – so, without any general culture and positive business correspondence whatsoever. It is better not to answer anything than to answer in the wrong way.
Badge as a Symbol of Responsiveness of the Facebook Page
Facebook greatly appreciates responding quickly to customer messages and rewards it with a special badge – green Messenger symbol in the “About“ section on the company’s page. Brands, small or large, can get a badge like this even within a few days if they try hard, telling all potential customers that the company is serious, that it is always there for them, and that it will answer all their questions.
When the Messenger symbol is not in green but says “Typically replies within a few hours“, is an example where the firm responds slowly. What does a badge like this say? That it takes a few hours to get an answer, logically. And that is bad. Let’s say this is the case with a dental office – if you have a toothache and it takes them a few hours to answer you, you will probably give up because you have to find a dentist who will see you as soon as possible or at least tell you when he can see you. For God’s sake, you are in pain.
And when there is no information next to the Messenger symbol, it means that they rarely reply to Facebook messages or don’t reply at all. Imagine seeing it on a truck transportation page. God forbid that you have to transfer something urgently – you come to their page, see that they don’t have a special badge, immediately know that they are not serious, and move on.
So, the badge exactly helps businesses and brands on Facebook to show their seriousness and professionalism and thus stand out in relation to others. Especially in their industry. And the badge is obtained when in over 90% of cases you respond to the client in less than 15 minutes. Simply put, it is like when you walk into a sneaker store and wait forever for someone to serve you, to help you find your shoe size. If you enter and if you wait longer than 10 minutes for the seller to come to you to help you, you leave the store and move on. You will not waste your time. It is the same thing with your Facebook page. It is a mirror of your corporate culture.
Facebook Messages: Response Automation
Also, there has been automation of replying on the Facebook page for a long time. You can set up an automatic message in two clicks when someone enters your page or sends you Facebook messages. You can even put a message that you are not currently available. However, people make mistakes here too, so they leave default messages in English. If you operate in the market of the country in which you live and your target group is predominantly residents of that country, then change the text of the message to your native language. Don’t be so lazy that you don’t set this up. Or, if you really want to ’catch’ a foreigner or two, set up a bilingual message.
How many people in your country speak English? And how many, say, need a dentist? What is your target group? These are the questions you need to answer before you leave an automatic reply in English. So, adjust it. In doing so, don’t respond in any way throughout the entire day (24h). That is very wrong. Set a schedule, working hours, because if you set to reply 24 hours a day, and realistically it is impossible (we guess you sleep sometimes, right?), people will expect an answer from you to a question asked at 2 o’clock at night. We hope you understand that the goal of this text is not to diminish anyone but to educate business owners and point out bad practices.
Facebook Messages: Response Mode
The second biggest problem, after a slow response or no response at all, is the subjectivity of the boss who runs his page. Some potential buyers are difficult. Some are bots and haters. And then, a dissatisfied customer speaks up and says some not-so-pleasant things on the page. He makes the brand look very bad. The boss goes crazy and throws everything ’in his face’. And so permanently damages the brand. Marketers have a lot of such clients and generally struggle to ’iron out’ the corporate image.
The boss is subjective. Business is his ’baby’. And if someone attacks his baby, he can’t ’chill’. He cannot answer calmly. Although it is not so rare that the boss is actually right, he must respond calmly, culturally, and professionally to a bot or a hater who is often rude and malicious. It is hard, yes, but it has to be this way. That is why smart bosses hire freelancers, marketing agencies, and others to run their pages. Because the other person, a neutral person, who is not emotionally tied to a business, will bear insults, false reviews, and hate much easier than the boss.
Those who specialize in managing profiles on social networks, i.e. social media managers and community managers, have seen everything from false reviews, malicious and unfair competition, to simply insane and rude people. And such people deserve to throw them a swear here and there. But you cannot do that. You just can’t. End of story. If you don’t know how to restrain yourself, to respond calmly, normally, and adequately, you will ruin your corporate image and you will lose.
So advice to businesses and bosses: leave the management of pages on the social networks of your brands to others, to those who know how to deal with it, who know how to do that job, and who will be able to communicate objectively and calmly with your target group and consumers. It may be more expensive in the short term, but it is much cheaper in the long run because it will cost you more to have someone else correct your mistakes after you make them.