Imagine walking into a store where only 1 out of every 8 questions were answered.
That’s what many customer are facing  on Facebook, according to a recent 2015 SproutSocial Index report. The report reveals that 88% of brands are failing to respond to social messages within a 72-hour period. And it’s not helping them build valuable relationships with customers.

In fact, the bad news is that many customers are increasing the use of social messages to contact businesses, with a global increase of 21% in 2015. SproutSocial’s report suggests that while brands continue to ignore social messages from customers, they continue to publish new social content, which reinforces to the customer that they are being ignored by the business.

Luckily, Facebook has introduced some new features within the last few months to help you build better customer relationships and social ROI:

  • Businesses can now replay to a user’s post comment or post with a private message. Previously, Pages could only reply in the same way the user reached out. This helps Pages address concerns or sensitive requests privately and promptly.
  • Pages can earn a special badge when they are “very responsive to messages”
  • Pages can now create and save commonly used responses (aka “canned responses”) to messages helping them respond to messages faster.
  • Pages now have access to more features to make managing messages easier. This includes bulk updates: archive, delete, flag, mark messages as read, unread, and spam.

Saved Replies

The most powerful feature that Facebook has introduced by far is the “saved replies” feature.

Just like a website form triggers an “auto-reply” email to ensure the customer that the submission was received, the “saved replies” feature on Facebook helps ensure your leads receive confirmation that your business has received their question or comment and will be responding to them shortly. This is an excellent feature and recommended for businesses that receive a lot of messages, especially ones that contain repeat questions.

To set up saved replies, click Messages at the top of your Business Page. Open up any message in your inbox and you should see a saved replies column on the left. Click on one of the default messages to respond to the user right away or prepare a “canned response” to send and use at a later time.

Social Monitoring

Sometimes, Facebook notifications can fall through the cracks, especially if you receive several comments, shares, likes, messages in a single day. It’s important for businesses to take the time to read and respond to customer messages as soon as they come in. This prevents customer complaints and problems from snowballing into bigger issues. And it prevents those bigger issues to be shared to a greater audience.

A great social monitoring dashboard can help you by sending you notification emails in real-time every time a post is made. There are even monitoring applications that will let you pass along the task of “responding” to the customer’s message to another person on your team.

Not only will monitoring your social media channels help you manage crises in an appropriate manner, but will also allow you discover new brand influencers, reach ready prospects, spot new trends, and manage your competition.

Small Screen Producer offers a reputation management program that can help you build and monitor your brand’s online reputation. Click here to learn more about our reputation management program.