Friday, April 19, 2013

New Facebook Feature Improves Fan Engagement with Businesses

Last month, Facebook introduced a new “Replies” feature on Pages and popular Profiles to help boost interactions with fans and readers. Up until the launch, Facebook users could comment on a post, but others, including the Page owners themselves, were unable to respond directly to them.

According to an article on TechCrunch.com, a Facebook spokesperson said the feature is intended to increase engagement and allow Page administrators to easily manage conversations. “We think this update will allow for easier management of conversations around posts, which is a better experience for people interacting with Pages and public figure profiles.”

After doing some research and activating the new feature on Pages managed by our team, ECPR is able to weigh in on the benefits and bring our fans up to speed on how it works and what it means for business.

Understanding the Replies feature 

Simply put, the Replies feature grants readers and Page managers the ability to respond directly to comments left on a businesses’ Facebook page. With this feature, companies can create personal conversation threads with several fans, but still allow other users to join in, too.

With the March 25th roll out, Facebook provided a few examples of Replies-conversation threads from companies that have been involved in the features’ running tests since November 2012.

Below is an example of an open Q&A-post created by Sports Center to heighten fan interaction, and thanks to the reply feature, allowed the page administrator to answer each user directly. 

Photo courtesy of Facebook. Click to enlarge.
Additional features – Active-thread sifting

With regard to the new Replies feature, Facebook has also launched what is called active-thread sifting. This attribute orders the most active and engaging conversations to appear at the top using an algorithm to appear higher in the posts. Now, companies can be ensured that fans who visit their pages will see the best or most popular conversations. Facebook officials have revealed that conversation threads are also re-ordered by relevance to viewers, and may appear differently to each person based on their connections, specifically:
  • Positive Feedback: the amount of positive feedback based on the total number of Likes and Replies in a conversation thread, which includes Likes or Replies by the Page owner. 
  • Connections: connections to participants in a thread may move the conversation higher. For example, conversations with Comments left by friends may appear at the top. 
  • Negative Feedback: the total number of spam reports in a thread, as well as marks-as-spam made by the Page owner. We also may down-rank comments made by frequent spammers. 
What this means for your business

Fans and friends, our team can’t encourage you and your company enough to take the plunge and activate this new feature. By taking advantage of the Replies feature, you’ll be able to start meaningful, open dialogues with your fan base, while building crucial business relationships and branding the social media persona of your business.

Acknowledging consumers and showing them you care enough to answer their comments and questions has the possibility to improve sales, but, most importantly, it’s likely to strengthen your fan loyalty.

Note, Replies and the algorithmic sorting will not work everywhere. Right now, Facebook users with personal accounts are unable to activate this feature. Businesses with Facebook Pages and Profiles of public figures with more than 10,000 followers are the only users with the ability to activate Replies. Also, users can only expect to see the option on the desktop; it will not work on mobile devices. However, Facebook’s intention is to make Replies part of the Graph API and mobile in the future.

To learn how to activate this feature click here.

Resources:
  • Facebook 
  • TechCrunch.com

No comments:

Post a Comment