Facebook “Reply” Feature: A customer service game-changer

| March 27, 2013 | 4 Comments

This week Facebook launched a new feature, “Reply,” for pages and accounts with over ten thousand followers, but no one quite hit the mark as to why it’s such a big deal.

Facebook Reply Feature

Ex. option to “Reply,” adjacent to “Like”

Before, a page manager had to be friends with a commenter in order to tag them in a conversation, which was the only reliable way to notify them that their comment received a response. This made Facebook less-than-ideal as a customer service channel, because it forced page administrators to write seemingly arbitrary responses to customers on Facebook that rarely reached them, leaving reputation management as the only real business case for customer service on Facebook business pages.

Customer service before the “reply” feature:

    >Find the customer on a different social network and ping them after responding
    >Write to the customer and hope they come find your response
    >Friend the customer on your personal account — or worse — business account, in order to be able to tag them in the conversation
    >Message the customer from your personal account to notify them that you replied

Nothing was really sustainable and those of you who manage social media for organizations will probably recall endless frustration with the network. You can’t market “business pages” to customers before optimizing the offering for businesses to use!

With the addition of the “reply” feature, all that’s coming to an end — hopefully.

From March 25, 2013, pages and accounts with over ten thousand followers will be able to click the “reply” button, next to the traditional “like” feature and begin a new conversation thread. That will allow organizations to see customer service inquiries through from start to finish – hopefully – without losing the customer.

An additional feature that sorts the conversation threads in the body of a comment by popularity and engagement has been announced. If helpful conversations are indeed popular, they will rise to the top for future customers to draw knowledge from, which may allow to a page manager to address many with just 1 response.

Early adopters of the “reply” feature, how do you like it?

About Andrew Grossman


Andrew Grossman is a freelance social media and communications specialist in Portland, OR. Also, a board member for Social Media Club PDX. Just two years into college, Andrew started a business of his own, Pathos Digital Marketing. With it, he quickly took on small business clients and has since grown to work with notable local non-profits and Oregon's largest corporate utility, Portland General Electric. Andrew prides himself on professionalism, dedication to his craft, and an unmatched thirst for knowledge -- reinforcing his self-proclaimed title, "biggest social media geek in Portland, OR."

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Category: Recruit 101, Social Media Marketing, Special Agent Intermediate, TMMPDX

  • http://twitter.com/larahaehle Lara Haehle

    Great article, Andrew! I administer our company’s social media, as well as the occasional client account. I could always reply by posting a comment in the thread, but no guarantee it would be seen by the person making the comment. This new feature seems like it will actually be helpful – can’t wait to try it out.

  • http://twitter.com/agpdx Andrew Grossman

    Lara, I know exactly what you mean! I’m hoping that replies have a stronger, more reliable notification than the previous “blanket comments.” Unfortunately, Facebook’s release didn’t really clarify if it would, but I’m confident that a direct reply would include a notification.

    Regardless of the outcome of this particular addition from Facebook, I’m just happy to see them continuing to optimize the business page! It feels like we’re pretty much stuck with the network, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience for businesses and their following, right?

  • Joel Bornzin

    Good post Andrew. Have been looking for information about this feature. Helpful, thank you! jb

  • http://twitter.com/agpdx Andrew Grossman

    Joel, thanks for the feedback! I’m glad this well helpful for you. It will be interesting to see how the change will affect customer engagement. You know, notifications usually help with that kind of thing. ;)

http://tmmpdx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Facebook_Conversations1-e1364320196957-150x142.jpg Andrew Grossman Recruit 101Social Media MarketingSpecial Agent IntermediateTMMPDX ,,,,,

This week Facebook launched a new feature, “Reply,” for pages and accounts with over ten thousand followers, but no one quite hit the mark as to why it’s such a big deal.

Facebook Reply Feature

Ex. option to “Reply,” adjacent to “Like”

Before, a page manager had to be friends with a commenter in order to tag them in a conversation, which was the only reliable way to notify them that their comment received a response. This made Facebook less-than-ideal as a customer service channel, because it forced page administrators to write seemingly arbitrary responses to customers on Facebook that rarely reached them, leaving reputation management as the only real business case for customer service on Facebook business pages.

Customer service before the “reply” feature:

    >Find the customer on a different social network and ping them after responding
    >Write to the customer and hope they come find your response
    >Friend the customer on your personal account — or worse — business account, in order to be able to tag them in the conversation
    >Message the customer from your personal account to notify them that you replied

Nothing was really sustainable and those of you who manage social media for organizations will probably recall endless frustration with the network. You can’t market “business pages” to customers before optimizing the offering for businesses to use!

With the addition of the “reply” feature, all that’s coming to an end — hopefully.

From March 25, 2013, pages and accounts with over ten thousand followers will be able to click the “reply” button, next to the traditional “like” feature and begin a new conversation thread. That will allow organizations to see customer service inquiries through from start to finish – hopefully – without losing the customer.

An additional feature that sorts the conversation threads in the body of a comment by popularity and engagement has been announced. If helpful conversations are indeed popular, they will rise to the top for future customers to draw knowledge from, which may allow to a page manager to address many with just 1 response.

Early adopters of the “reply” feature, how do you like it?

About Andrew Grossman


Andrew Grossman is a freelance social media and communications specialist in Portland, OR. Also, a board member for Social Media Club PDX. Just two years into college, Andrew started a business of his own, Pathos Digital Marketing. With it, he quickly took on small business clients and has since grown to work with notable local non-profits and Oregon's largest corporate utility, Portland General Electric. Andrew prides himself on professionalism, dedication to his craft, and an unmatched thirst for knowledge -- reinforcing his self-proclaimed title, "biggest social media geek in Portland, OR."

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