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How to improve response times on Facebook

How quick are you responding to messages on your business page? If you have a high response rate and fast response time, people who visit your Page will see a Very responsive to messages badge. So how do you get one?

The Very responsive to messages badge shows people which Pages respond quickly and consistently to private messages. To get the badge, your Page must have achieved both of the following:

  • A response rate of 90% or more

  • A response time of less than 15 minutes

Response Rate and Time

You would have noticed at the top of your business page the alert about the new response time and time measurement.

Your Page's response rate is the percentage of messages that you (and other people who manage your Page) respond to. To qualify for the badge you need to be responding to at least 90% or more of the messages you receive.

Your Page's response time gives people an expectation of the amount of time it takes your Page to respond to messages. To qualify for the badge you need to be responding within 15 minutes.

The average response time for a brand to reply on social media to a user is 10 hours, while the average user will only wait 4 hours, as a recent 2018 study by Sprout Social found.

How is this calculated?

Your Page's overall response rate/time is based on messages received in the 30 days prior to the last message. For example, if it's the 6th of September, and the last message your Page received that counted was on the 30th August, then your Page's response rate/time is based on messages that occurred from the 1st August to the 30th August.

What Messages Are Included In My Page's Response Rate and Time?

Message replies that your Page sends manually and via API (such as from a bot) are included in the calculation of your Page's response rate and time.

Keep in mind that the following types of messages aren't included in the calculation of your Page's response rate and time:

  • Instant replies

  • Away messages

  • Messages people send you when you're away from your Inbox

  • Messages marked as spam or that you mark as done

  • Messages people send within the first 24 hours in response to a Page-initiated message, such as a broadcast or a private reply to a comment or recommendation

What does this mean if I'm on holiday or just not quick enough?

As a sole trader or small business, you may be the only one responding to messages. By going away on holiday for a couple of weeks, or you're working hard doing the day job, it's unlikely you're going to respond in 15 minutes. This new way of measuring your response time means you're not going to get the badge as your 'away' messages will not count towards your response time.

How can I respond to more messages, quicker?

  1. Download the 'Facebook Pages Manager' app, you'll be able to get direct notifications to your phone that you've got a message to follow up on.

  2. Identify some common questions and draft short and definitive answers to them. You can copy and paste the answers within the 15 minute window.

  3. Ask a friend/family member to respond to messages when you're away, they don't have to answer the message directly, just send a follow up message that you're on holiday and that you'll respond in more detail when you're back.

  4. You can outsource your social media, by working with an agency, they can take the burden of social media away from you. Work closely with them to ensure they're providing the correct information.

This move by Facebook is another sign that they're focusing more attention on better ways for customers to engage with businesses. Managed in a proper way it can create greater customer satisfaction. This development is just one of many in Facebook’s efforts to make their platform better in terms of business and customer communication.

The good thing is that the 'very responsive' data Facebook are using is based on the last 30 days, so you could find that the badge will turn on and off throughout the year. At What a Jem, we work with many businesses via a monthly retainer where we can provide social media support - if you think this would be handy for your business, get in touch for more info.