Sometimes this summer, Facebook rolled out their new messaging options for pages, along with response rates and other statistics. The point of these new features are to make the pages more appealing to fans, entice them to message their feedback, request, and general thoughts on your brand. If you play nice, respond fast, and don’t ignore too many messages, you get a Very Responsive badge on your page.

Is it worth the trouble, though?

It’s not easy to get said badge. According to Facebook, you need a 90% response rate and an average response time of 5 minutes. Yup, that’s fast! And really not worth attempting if you don’t plan to have someone run your page 24/7. If you work with different time zones, you’re pretty much required to have your social media team take shifts at monitoring messages.Especially when there are only a few coming through – one out of two missed messages means a 50% response rate!

Is there an alternative to the badge?

As long as you reply your messages within a day or so, you still get a Message now prompt on your page. This screenshot shows how one o my page likers sees it:

Facebook messaging for pages

The message is similar to the Very responsive badge – you get to talk to the page administrators fairly quickly and they tend to reply to all messages. Engaging enough, and I don’t have to obsess over not being awake in the middle of the night.

What does it mean to reply to messages?

I’ve tried to figure out how this response rate works, but the stats on my own pages confuse me. It’s not just the first response, I assume. Because I had a 1 out of 2 response rate when I hadn’t replied to the last smiley face message from someone talking to my EyesOnBooks page… So you get into this weird “have the last word” contest that leads to a lot of smileys and no-thank-yous.

When should you attempt to optimize your messaging strategy on Facebook?

Social media is all about engagement. So another avenue to engage your customers and communicate with them is an amazing idea. But the badge and the pat on the back from Facebook is not necessary in all cases. If you do a lot of business through Facebook, if you offer tech support through your business page, or if generally that’s the main medium your customers use to get in touch with you, then you should definitely make sure someone’s always checking Facebook for new messages and replying asap. Otherwise, you should probably focus on different types of engagement and resign yourself to being fairly responsive instead!

Other caveats

Facebook notifications for pages are not always that great. Late notifications, messages not showing up despite the notifications flooding you, these things still happen now and then. So keep an eye on your page and manually check it for new items in your inbox.

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