Automation is such a big part of not only mobile marketing but our everyday lives. It makes everything quicker and easier – including replying to your customer, which is the main topic of this article. More specifically, we’re talking about Facebook instant replies, which is a powerful tool for automating communication and messages between your business and customers.
What Are Facebook Instant Replies
On its mission to improve user experience and embrace businesses, Facebook created Facebook instant replies. As of recently, they renamed them to Facebook automated responses. Before there were instant replies, Facebook had away messages. They all stand for the same features but get smarter and more advanced over the years.
Facebook instant replies (automated responses) allow businesses to send out automated responses to frequent queries they receive from their users via Facebook messages.
In other words, they are allowing businesses to be instantly and constantly present for their users.
Facebook says that its users exchange over billion messages with businesses on Messenger each month. Messaging a business directly is a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch with questions about products and services, appointments, customer service questions, and more.
Plus, it allows businesses to build personal connections with the people who are interested in them.
How to Turn On & Turn Off Facebook Instant Replies
You can set messages to let customers and fans know that you’ll get back to them soon or to thank them for contacting your Page. Here’s how you do it.
Turn on FB Instant Replies
- Click on your Facebook business page
- Go to Meta Business Suite and click Inbox
- You’ll find Automation, at the top of your Inbox
- Click on Greet People
- Choose Instant Reply and then click on Create Automation
- There will be a button to toggle instant replies on or off (when it’s blue it means it’s on)
- Now you can enter your desired automated message and save it
Turn off FB Instant replies
- Go to Meta Business Suite
- Click on Inbox
- Choose Automations
- Scroll down to Your Automations and find Automated Messages
- Click the on/off button to turn it off
Look at the following instant replies sample:
Facebook offers you a way to display important information (in 160 characters) to people before they even start typing their message. You can use this feature to tell people more about your business, point them to your website, show your business location and phone number or tell them about your working hours.
Personalization is included as well, which enables you to give a warm welcome and encourage people to message your business page.
As Facebook says – Instant Replies are a good way to let people know that you’ll respond soon.
This allows you to buy some time until your community manager is available. It also tells users that your business is concerned about social customer service.
The instant reply is fired a few seconds after a person messages your business page. Facebook added those little three dots like someone’s actually writing a message to create an impression of communicating with a real person and not a Facebook auto-reply bot.
Personalization is exactly the same as in Messenger Greeting.
Schedule Responses When You’re Away
No matter if it’s a long vacation or just your office after hours, you can let your potential customers know that you’ll respond when you’re back. This feature is especially handy for brands that want to keep their responsiveness on a high level and leverage the power of customer service excellence.
This is a nice touch as it lets your customer know that even though you’re unavailable at a certain time, you got their message and will respond as soon as possible.
How to Make Facebook Instant Replies More Relevant
As you can see, Instant replies are all about purpose and relevancy. When you’re setting them up, think about what your users need most.
If your target group are new customers, introduce your company properly. Explain what you do or what you offer, so they can know what to expect from you.
When it comes to timeframes, always be realistic and establish a trusting relationship.
Moreover, if you have a lot of messages coming in, you can use instant replies to offer other contact methods. For example, you can direct them to an FAQ page, a customer service email, or a phone number.
The new and improved Instant replies – Facebook Automated Responses also allow you to send detailed location information. This is especially important information if you have a brick-and-mortar store. In it, you can provide a written address, directions, a location link, and even a map.
Facebook Instant Replies Examples
Here are several examples that you can use as your message to customers.
"Thank you for contacting us! Our average response time on Facebook is 3 hours or less. If this is an urgent request, please call _phone number_ and we’ll be more than happy to assist you further!”
If you are a small local business this reply is perfect for you:
“Hello! We’re currently on vacation and without access to the internet. We will resume normal operating hours on _date_. For urgent requests, please contact _alt contact method or person_. Thank you for your patience!”
If you are an e-commerce, then you maybe want to go with this type of message.
“Thank you for reaching us! If you’ve placed an order and haven’t yet received the download link, please wait 24 hours as our email system is currently a bit behind. Our sincere apologies for the frustration!”
Keep in mind that marketing automation & personalization increase overall user satisfaction which results in more sales.
Overall, there is enormous potential in Facebook Instant Replies. Do you have it yet? How are you using it?
What You Can’t Do with Facebook Instant Replies
As you can see, Instant replies can be a pretty great thing for your business.
However, they aren’t almighty. Therefore, you should know about some things you may expect from them, but they can’t help you with.
Some of the things you can’t do with Facebook Instant replies are:
- customizing “out of hours” messages to the user’s query
- directing users straight to the right department of your company
- improving your Page response time (and earn the famous “very responsive to messages” badge)
- automatically moderating spam, trolling, and complaints