At Facebook’s f8 conference earlier this year, Facebook outlined a plan for post-sales communication to be done through Facebook messages, bypassing email and embracing a conversational format.
The company today took a step toward making pages a message-friendly format. Facebook has added an ad format based on messaging, developed an option to respond to a comment via a message and will indicate which pages are most responsive.
With these moves, Facebook is trying to bring onboard the kind of communication that would usually send many users scurrying for a proper email address.
Facebook blogged about these moves:
There’s a reason many people prefer to communicate with friends and family through private messaging: it’s fast and convenient. And increasingly people want to communicate with businesses in the same efficient way. Over a billion people visit Pages every month looking for more information from businesses. Today we’re introducing new communication features for Pages, including more ways for customers to send private messages to businesses and new tools for Page admins to manage and respond to messages.
One of the first major features Facebook announced Wednesday is the addition of a message call-to-action ad format. Through these ads, pages can have “Send Message” be the call-to-action. Incoming messages to the page will have an attachment showing which ad prompted the message.
Now, when someone comments on a page’s post, the business has the chance to privately message that user, Facebook for Business points out:
Until now, Page admins could only respond to customers in the same way that the person reached out to the Page, either through a comment or private message. In the coming weeks, Page admins will be able to reply to public comments with a private message, helping them solve private customer requests more efficiently.
But when a user sends a message to a page, how confident can they be that someone would respond? Facebook has been testing a feature that shows responsiveness, marked by a green icon. The company is rolling that out more widely, among pages that have the messaging feature turned on.
Pages that respond to 90 percent of messages and have a median response time of less than five minutes will now have a the badge on their profiles.
Facebook is also releasing more tools and support for pages to help them respond to messages quicker:
Now that people and businesses have more ways to initiate messages with each other, Page admins need features that help them manage and respond to messages.
To help Page admins respond faster to incoming messages, they can now create and save responses to common questions. Page admins can pull up saved replies and send them in one tap, making it faster and easier to respond to customers from mobile devices. Page admins also have the option to edit saved responses before they send them.
We’ve also updated the admin inbox to make it easier to keep track of messages. Page admins can now conduct the following actions in bulk: archive, delete, flag and mark messages as read, unread and spam.
Readers: How often do you message a page?