On Friday of the Canada Day long weekend, I bought a new product I had seen promoted in my social media feeds. A yeast made specifically for pizza crusts with the promise that the dough will be ready in 30 minutes. We were making pizzas in our Big Green Egg that night, so I bought it instead of my regular trusted brand.
There were no recipes on the jar, just a URL - brandnamehere.ca/pizzacrust. When I went to the URL, I received a 404 message (no such page). I searched their website - nothing. I was starting to feel frustrated and angry. There was a link to their Facebook Page, so I followed it and sent them a message at 3:49 pm asking for help. They replied at 9:02 am Tuesday morning. Really?
I had a similar experience with a large garden centre. One Saturday morning I had a question about some plants I was dividing. I messaged them through Facebook - as per their website instructions. They replied Monday morning explaining how to do it. Google had long since answered my question.
When are people most likely to be making homemade pizzas? When are people gardening? Why did these businesses wait until “normal business hours” to reply?
Social media is open 24/7. When your clients ask you a question on Facebook, how long do they wait for a reply?
Here are a couple options that allow you to reply quickly based on the size of your business:
Sole Proprietors/Small business owners:
Download the Facebook Pages Manager app to your smartphone. It lets you view messages and comments with just a glance. You can reply to urgent questions through the app and let the general questions and comments wait until your regular business hours.
Turn on your Facebook messenger settings. (see attached video) Facebook lets you do automated responses, answer frequently asked questions, and even turn on a vacation reply. This is a wonderfully useful tool as it allows you to respond to your clients but still be “unplugged”. Small business owners especially, need to take time off!
Medium to Large Businesses
Allocate staff to be on-call after hours and on the weekend. Assign them the role of Editor on your Business Page. (see video)
If your business operates 24/7 and you have a high volume of questions on social media you should have a social media manager or brand ambassador replying to comments and questions around the clock.
The quicker you can answer your client's questions and concerns, the more likely they are to stay loyal to you and your brand.