Though it has long been active in attracting businesses to its platform, Facebook hasn’t really released that many updates for business pages over the last few years. That changed recently with a number of new updates coming to the business pages, some designed to encourage companies to interact more effectively with their fans and customers.
With the number of businesses on Facebook around the 45 million mark, it makes sense for Facebook to take more of an interest in this area of their platform. A few of the changes have been introduced to enable a more mobile friendly experience but others give business owners a real chance at creating a bigger impact.
First of all, Facebook will soon provide two different sections that you can easily add to your Facebook Business Page – the shop and the service sections. In these areas you will be able to showcase your commercial offerings. Also included are more visible call to action buttons such as ‘call me’ or ‘message me’ which a simply bigger. Another important change allows businesses to reply privately to comments or queries left by customers, whereas previously you had no choice but to respond in the method the customer used.
We’ve written before about the importance of engaging with customers on social platforms such as Facebook. The largest and I think the most exciting new release will be the ability to earn a green badge if you respond promptly to queries and comments which will then be displayed on your page. What does it do? Well it lets your customers see that you are responsive to their needs for one, it tells them their comments won’t be ignored that real people are behind this Facebook Business page. It also gives your business a goal to aim for when it comes to customer interaction.
New Facebook Green Badge
According to Facebook, the badge will go below your main profile picture and you need to meet two specific requirements before you are eligible:
- You need to respond to 90% or more of messages.
- You need to have an average response time of just five minutes.
For many businesses this may create a problem, especially if they are international and get comments and queries from different time zones. Whilst most will be able to meet the 90% level of reply, it’s the speed of response needed that causes an issue.
Another question is how the badge is perceived by customers and whether it will become a good selling point for businesses. Most customers probably aren’t aware of its existence and the only time they consider the effectiveness of customer service for a particular business is when they have a problem or query.
The good news is that Facebook are providing a way for businesses to automate their replies to common questions or problems which could help take the pressure of time starved SMEs that don’t have the manpower to monitor their pages 24/7. Sending these as a private message rather than one that is seen on your timeline can help solve the problem of having the same message repeated over and over again on your page.
Whether you qualify for the green badge, when the facility is released, or not, interacting fully with your customers and fans online is important if you want that business boost which comes from word of mouth advertising. You need to respond in a timely manner and ensure you answer a query properly. That means checking your page regularly and making the effort to engage.