Social media has forever transformed the way that reputation managers
and PR professionals go about their daily business. So much has this
been true, that companies now regularly hire “social media managers,”
professionals who are solely responsible for posting on social media,
responding to customer mentions and messages, and sourcing/writing new
content to keep people interested in liking, sharing, and interacting
with a brand.
Facebook, which still sits atop its throne as the biggest social media
platform around, is about to roll out the ability to answer comments
privately. In the past, companies were limited to responding via the
same Facebook channel that they were contacted on (responding to
comments by commenting, messages by messaging, etc.). Now, Facebook
page managers will have a new option to click when fielding page
comments which will take the comment conversation into a private thread
with that individual. The thread will include a link to the original
comment, and will allow the two parties to communicate privately.
Of course, as the tool is used more and more, more individuals will
likely take advantage of the increased speed and communication with
companies on Facebook. This will mean an increase in the amount of
messaging threads that social media managers have to deal with. To help
alleviate message overload, Facebook also announced that they will be
introducing new messaging tools.
One of the most welcome additions will be the way in which companies can
save boilerplate responses and messages to commonly asked questions.
Customers can therefore be easily responded to and would cut down on the
time spent servicing the most common, easy-to-fix issues. This feature
has been in testing for several months now, but it will soon be
available to everyone.
Facebook itself is one of the fastest growing customer support platforms
on the planet, and Facebook has created more incentives for companies to
use their pages as their primary response method. For one, the company
has created a badge that will display on company pages in order to let
customers know that a page is very responsive to its messages and
feedback. For the badge to display, Facebook pages will have to respond
to 90% or more of their customer messages and have a median response
time of five minutes or less; data will be based upon the last seven
days. It’s unclear if “hours of operation” will be available so that
companies won’t lose face their status if their support would not
normally be open 24 hours per day (or perhaps this itself is a
What does this mean for you? It means that Facebook is getting more
useful as a customer management tool, but along with it will come more
responsibility and the need to learn new tools and functions. Let’ be
honest, though: If you’re managing social media for a company you’re
already likely a digital native who gets excited about such updates,
rather than shying away from a new social challenge.