Facebook Launches a New Feature- Page Responsiveness

Social Media Care

There are tons of blogs available online that advise companies about the importance of responding quickly on Social Media. Well, if that doesn’t convince you, we have seen enough social media disasters to know its importance. Whether it was the recent online fiasco of Air India’s insensitive management of its customers, followed by online shaming or the famous case of HCL employee who received an appointment letter 3 years late, tardiness in responding online is the biggest crime an organization can commit in the social media world today.

Most of these encounters were made viral majorly through twitter which were then amplified over other social media networks like Facebook. But nobody can deny Facebook’s impact in this area. And so Facebook has launched a new feature today to help organizations understand their own responsiveness.

Facebook has started a rating mechanism to identify the responsiveness of the page. It is shown as an additional icon that appears right below the profile picture in the left hand corner of the page and states the page’s current responding time.

How does Facebook judge a page’s responding time?

Facebook takes into account two things to rate the page-

  • Percentage of messages responded to.
  • Time taken in responding.

This is how Facebook shows the response time-

Facebook Page Responsiveness Icon  Facebook Page Responsiveness

 

If the page is highly responsive, Facebook starts showing a ‘Very Responsive To Messages’ icon on the page which is visible to the public. The icon appears as-

Very Responsive Icon

But how do you achieve this icon? According to Facebook, it is required that the page-

  • Responds to 90% of the messages and
  • Maintains a median response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent

When the page has this icon, it automatically becomes visible to the public. Until then, the responsiveness of the page is only visible to the page admins and other managers.

But what if you have not allowed people to contact the page? Then, this feature is unavailable for you and Facebook will continue to show the panel as it used to-

Facebook Page

With the launch of this new feature, social media agencies now have a way to judge their performance with respect to their average response time. If the green icon is not present, then it is a clear indicator that agencies need to work on that. On the other hand, for brands it is a tangible indicator of how responsive their brand is on social media.

At Solomo Media, we are pretty much obsessive about this as we understand that Social Customer Care can make or break a brand. Timely, personal and humanized response is something which win the hearts of users, current and prospective. This approach has always helped our brands connect with their customers and present a pro-active brand persona and thank god now there is a good measurable metric for that!

You can read more about this new feature on Facebook’s help center.

[Update] I think Facebook has realized that 5 minutes is a really difficult target for many page owners and so they have introduced a new feature to facilitate the responsiveness feature. Here’s what you can do-

Status as away

Whenever you are out of town, going to sleep, traveling on a plane or just not available, turn on the “Show status as away “ When people message you during this time, the unread messages won’t contribute in the calculation of your responsiveness rate. The default time is set for 12 hours. You can turn it off if you are available before that or turn it back again if you need to remain unavailable for a longer time.

This makes more sense Facebook Good work! 🙂

20 comments

  1. Brendan · June 11, 2015

    I’m slightly confused by Facebook’s wording on this. Does “responded to 90% of messages” count all new messages in the last 7 days, all new conversations in the last 7 days, or all messages over the history of your page? (I hope it isn’t the last one.)
    As an example conversation:
    Facebook Fan: Do you sell bread?
    Page: Yes we do!
    Facebook Fan: Thank you!

    Did I respond to that message or not? Based on my first look at the stats that Facebook gives me, it seems like I responded to one message and not the other. (I hope I’m not required to send a smiley face back every time someone thanks me.)

    Do you have any thoughts, or are there still some unknowns with this new feature?

    • Rany Horne · June 11, 2015

      I have that same question as well. I even sent it to them.

      • Brendan · June 11, 2015

        Great, would love to hear their response!

        • mariana · June 11, 2015

          I have the same questions about how Facebook is qualifying this new feature. I would like to see their response too.
          ¡Thanks!

          • noneya · June 11, 2015

            Someone should put a “response time” up for facebook itself. If they respond at all, it’s never timely. Isn’t facebook, after all, a business? Doesn’t it seem slightly (understatement of the century) hypocritical to publicly and socially, set a standard for the “world”, which they themselves, are not currently adhering to?

            Facebook always has seemed a little like “big brother” after all, so it shouldn’t surprise me. What does surprise me, is that 99% of the population accepts this as par for the course. “It is what it is”. Bullocks!

            The fact that they even originally set it to 5 minutes, shows there’s no humanity over there. I’m sorry, I love my customers. Would do everything I could for my customers, but this is not walmart, and we aren’t open 24/7. We DO need to sleep. We DO need to eat. We DO need time off. Could it be that fb felt that not enough people were on their phones/tablets/computers/laptops enough already? They thought they needed to make the business owner’s busy day, even busier? Add one more parameter to their already hectic business scheme? Customers already expect you to answer the phone at midnight (seriously, I’ve got the biz phone forwarded to my cell, and I’ve received multiple calls after midnight from customers/potential customers. I finally got smart and got a separate biz cell, but it’s facebook and businesses getting involved with social media that trains these people to think it’s ok with mess like “page response time”. Trains them there’s no such thing as office hours), now we need to be tethered to our phone and have alerts on, just in case someone sends us a message about what colors we offer, when the information is plain as day on our website? I’m seriously sick of social media, namely; facebook. I haven’t even logged into my personal account more than 3 times in the last 6 months.

    • Rajat Setia · June 11, 2015

      Hi Brenden, thanks for that question. Though the Facebook help article is not detailed, but in most likeliness the responsiveness of a page will be analyzed on a weekly basis. Let’s say as a page I decide today to remain responsive, the least minimum amount of time in which I can get the green mark is 7 days. But on the 8th day it will be a new week counting from the 2nd day till the 8th day. The cycle keeps running within this 7-day period. It is not a constant figure, it is more dynamic and will keep changing and so I don’t really believe that you need to respond to all the message in the history of the page.
      Secondly, in the instance you’ve shared, Facebook will count that as responded. It’s looking for conversations where the page admin has responded even once. For one of my pages, I had a rating that said- Answered 100% and in one day. In many of those conversations, I was not the last one to leave a message. I hope this answers your queries.
      Just an update: in India today, the feature is not visible anymore. Is it still showing on your pages? Let me know.

      • Brendan · June 11, 2015

        Thanks Rajat,
        The feature is not visible on my page right now either.
        Yesterday it showed that I answered 33% in 7 days even though I had responded to all conversations in that time period. Maybe there were a few kinks that Facebook needs to work out?

        • Rajat Setia · June 11, 2015

          That might very well be the case! But the feature has started showing up this morning again. Looks like Facebook was working out its kinks. 🙂

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  3. Page Admin · June 11, 2015

    5 minutes is super short – for pages this should be hours if not 24 hours. Facebook is promoting a fast paced workaholic rate here that isn’t human. Didn’t reply over the weekend? We’ll remove the badge. Bad for page admins (especially working in different time zones) – hope the feature goes away.

    • Danielle · June 11, 2015

      I agree! I am a baker/cake decorator and I wouldnt get any work done if I was just sitting on Facebook waiting to answer emails within a 5 min time frame,

  4. Jenneil · June 11, 2015

    The 5 minute reply average is absolutely ridiculous. All pages would then have to have 24/7 Facebook coverage. This is not feasible for most businesses.

    We serve SE Asia as accommodation, but have questions from N.A. and Europe. How are we supposed to meet this average when we are sleeping when they message us?

    Large brands or businesses can easily cover the time zone issues. Small local businesses can’t.

    Utter failure on the part of Facebook for not realizing this issue.

    I think an average of 8-hour response is pretty great for most businesses actually.

    • Danielle · June 11, 2015

      Absolutely agree! I am a sole owner of a cake business and it is impossible for me to answer emails in a 5 min time frame 24/7.

    • Rajat Setia · June 11, 2015

      Have to agree with you on this. This move seems to have been taken considering bigger businesses and almost looks like a way to start a new war on Facebook with bigger businesses scrambling to make the responsiveness icon green. Small businesses are loosing in this rat race, but there’s one silver lining to it. If the green is not turned on, at least it doesn’t show it publicly to all your audience.

  5. Suzy · June 11, 2015

    I completely agree, this 5 minute metric is impossible, and will only lead to hasty, incomplete responses. Sheesh, sometimes it takes me 5 minutes just to write a response or find an image to include to address the customer’s question. Oh, and let’s not forget about sleep! We all have customers in different time zones that send messages in the wee hours. 5 minutes is crazy.

  6. Reload Food · June 11, 2015

    Great insight, thank you very much for sharing.

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  8. Apostolos · June 11, 2015

    Great article – I found it by googling “facebook pages response time ridiculous”. Pretty self-explanatory, I believe… We’re humans and we need to -believe it or not- sleep, Facebook! Come on! I’m writing the replies like crazy in the metro, worrying to have signal reception so that I’m in the 5 minutes deadline, and all it takes to destroy this effort, is a plain mednaight message from a client! Fail!

    • Apostolos · June 11, 2015

      *midnight, sorry for the typo

    • Rajat Setia · June 11, 2015

      Thanks, Apostolos. Just updated the article with a new feature that Facebook has introduced to facilitate page owners in being more responsive. Might help you resolve your problem as well.