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Have you noticed on someone else’s Facebook Page there’s a little box that pops up and suggests questions for you to ask? Or perhaps you’ve sent off a message to a Page only to receive an instant message back letting you know your message was received? Many small businesses have not taken the time to set up these very useful features in Facebook and their popup boxes suggest I ask questions that simply do not fit the business. Facebook automated responses are very easy to set up, can help build trust and credibility on your page, and will definitely save you time in the long run.
What are Facebook Automated Responses?
The automated responses on your Facebook Page are kind of like automated email vacation responders and website FAQ sections. It’s a chance for people to get an immediate answer to their question, or to find out where else they can get information. As a small business, the beauty of this is setting it up once can answer the same query for hundreds of customers. This can be a huge time saver and it’s an excellent way to ease the stress of taking vacation time away from your social media presence.
If you’re in the habit of answering your Facebook messages once a day, or every few days, having the automated responses set up can improve your credibility on Facebook by decreasing the amount of time it takes for someone to get their question answered. This time is figured into the response time Facebook displays in your Page’s about section. People look here to see if a Page is likely to respond to their query, so having a better response rate is obviously better from the client perspective.
Where to Find Facebook Automated Responses
When you go to your Facebook Page you probably won’t see your own automated responses pop up because Facebook knows you’re the administrator. However if you go to another Page it will be the white conversation box that pops up in the bottom right corner of your screen if you’re on a laptop. If you’re on mobile, it’s the conversation that pops up when you click to send a message to the page.
Also note, if you’re using a chat bot, the automated responses are most likely disabled as the two systems conflict.
The FAQs and Greeting options would show up in the box outlined in red in the image below.
How to Edit Facebook Automated Responses
To get to your automated responses section follow these steps:
- Go to your Facebook Page.
- Click on the Settings tab. Be sure this is your Page Settings, not the general Facebook Settings by your name.
- Next, choose the Messaging tab.
- Scroll down to the section “During a Messenger Conversation”.
- Beside “Set Up Automated Responses” click the Set Up button.
- Inside Automated Responses, you’re looking for the Frequently Asked Question section
ADDED Nov 2022: (If your Page has been converted to the new Pages experience, things are a bit different. Go to your Page’s Inbox and look for the “Automations” tab. Currently, I believe this has to be done from your computer, not your phone.)
There are several types of automated responses, other than the FAQs, available to you here:
- Greet Customers
- Away message: think of this as an email vacation autoresponder, but inside Facebook!
- Instant reply: send an instant reply to any message letting people know how long it will be till you respond, or where else they can get help.
- Share Info About Your Page: This is basic info about hours, location, etc., and the FAQ section we’re looking for is here!
- Respond to Feedback: This adds an automatic comment to reviews on your page. I don’t recommend doing this as you might not respond appropriately. The AI can’t always determine if it’s a positive or negative review and sometimes people don’t use the system properly. Automated responses this way can easily go awry.
- Communicate about Jobs: Unless you’re posting jobs through the Facebook recruiting features you don’t need to worry about this.
- Communicate about Appointments: It is possible to set up a button on your Page that allows people to book appointments without leaving Facebook. If you’re using that feature, you’ll want to address this section.
What to Include in Facebook Automated Responses?
You can set up four questions and corresponding answers through Facebook’s automated responses so you’re going to want to be strategic about which questions you use here. Pick, literally, the most frequently asked questions that are easy to answer in a few sentences.
- You have 280 characters for each response.
- You don’t have to include links in the response, you can set them up as clickable/tappable buttons just below the response.
- You can also add attachments to a response. This is great for menus, instruction manuals, checklists, forms, etc.
In case you’ve skimmed to the bottom… please note, use of a chatbot will affect the features of the automated responses on your Facebook Page, so if you’re already using a chatbot, be careful what you do in this section or you might disable the chatbot by mistake. Likewise, if you’ve been using the Automated Responses and have recently started using a chatbot, you may disable Facebook’s automated responses features.
Did you know this feature was available on your Facebook Page? Have you already customized it? Have you seen any really awesome uses of this feature you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!