Facebook Instant Replies were launched in 2016 and were seen as a great way to automate customer service support for your brand.
In essence, Facebook Instant Replies can be setup so that when someone private messages your page, an instant response is sent to them acknowledging receipt of that message.
This seems to be a really great idea, considering many internet users are now preferring to use social media to interact with brands regarding customer service support instead of picking up the phone:
However social media is also about creating a channel to allow for authentic, 2-way communication with your customer base. If you run a local business, it would stand to reason that most customers would expect you to respond within business hours. If you make a habit of checking your brand’s Facebook page every day on a regular basis – you should capture anything that needs responding to.
Where can I turn on/off my Facebook Instant Replies?
To turn your Instant Replies on or off, you need to:
- Go to your Facebook Page and click on Settings. This is usually hiding in the top right hand area (on the desktop).
- From the menu on the left, then select Messaging.
- Scroll down to the Response Assistant and turn on or off:
While I’ve said that Facebook Instant Replies aren’t a great idea, there are always exceptions to the rule!
So when might a Facebook Instant Reply be suitable?
There are a few situations when having Instant Replies setup might be suitable, mainly for those who can’t be in front of a computer at all times when their customers are likely to be online:
- If you have customers in different time zones to you that may use Facebook as a customer service support mechanism, such as a software provider or web designer.
- If you run a business where you are unable to respond during busy periods – such as a cafe, restaurant or bar.
- If you know that customers may message you in an emergency situation where you need to give them immediate advice – such as a medical centre or dentist.
If you know particular times that you are not available, you can turn Facebook Instant Replies on using a Schedule:
Tips for Facebook Instant Replies
If you are going to use them, then please make sure that your Facebook Instant Replies are customised and are in-line with your brand personality and tone of voice. They need to sound like you and be welcoming – give people a nice experience and make them feel engaged. They’ve come here to start a conversation with you!
Also use the personalisation features so that you can address people by name:
So there you have it – Facebook Instant Replies! I’d love to hear from you how your business uses Instant Replies, or whether you’ve had an experience with a business that uses them (good or bad).
If you need help determining whether Facebook Instant Replies are for you, and how to set them up – just give us a call, we like to start with coffee.
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