Instant Reply on Facebook, Are You Using It?

There have been so many changes on Facebook.  All of the revamping is a great sign that Facebook is looking to drive branding and marketing traffic on their platform as possible. 

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Today, I have information about another tool, Instant Reply.

Instant Reply..What is it?

Instant Reply is the latest update to the response system for Facebook Pages.  Facebook’s definition is:

When Instant Replies are turned on, people will receive an automatic response when they message your Page.

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Good customer service is essential with your potential and current customers.  The expectation of the fans and customers is at an all-time high.  If someone messages you on your fan page and it takes you a while to get back to them- that actually reflects poorly on you and your business. 

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Facebook has given us a way out by giving us the Instant Reply option.  Providing you have not changed your status to ‘Away’, the first time a fan messages you, a message is sent to your fan stating that you are away.  You can personalize this message and there are additional options available as well.

I like to refer to Instant Replies as an autoresponder for Facebook.  Someone referred to it as a boomerang since Facebook sends a reply automatically as soon as someone messages you.

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Why this is a good idea

What do you hate the most when contacting Customer Service for a business?  For me it is feeling like I am on hold forever.  Sometimes you can press numbers to get through a little faster.  But it still seems to take forever.

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Have you ever complained by email?  I like that you can put in a type of subject and you usually get an email letting you know how quickly someone will get back to you.  For me, even if it is 24 hours, just knowing when makes it easier.  Facebook has provided us a way to do something similar.  When a customer comes to your page and contacts you, you may not respond within the ideal five minutes (which gives you that Facebook green light-or very responsive merit badge) but you can let your customer know when you will respond, thus giving your customer a better experience with your company. 

Setting it Up

You may have already had a notification at the top of your page suggesting that you turn on instant replies.  It would look similar to this:

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You may have however, closed it without realizing what an great opportunity you were passing up. Go to settings from the top right of your page

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From there you want to look at messaging on the left side of your screen (1)

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Up will come a screen with a section on Response time and a separate section on Instant Replies.  Obviously you want to go to Instant Replies (2)

To me one of the best features of Instant Reply is the fact that you can add a personalized feature. Find a way to make it a bit personal and not some canned reply. 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. I chose to send a message about my work hours and when I would reply along with my website. A nice feature is to include the first name of the person, this is done through the (3)

Add Personalization at the bottom of the customize box.  You can also add your website or other info if you want.

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Here are the options available to make it more personal

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One final note, according to Facebook, Instant Replies are not sent when your Page’s messaging status is set to “Away” and Instant Replies are not included in your Page’s response rate or response time.

If you want to check it out for yourself, send me a message stating :”Checking it Out” on my Facebook Page.  Unless you have a specific message, I will just respond with a smiley. 

What do you think?  Do you think this will help your business?

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