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Facebook introduces 'Reply' option for comments

This Monday saw Facebook make another announcement – it has introduced the option of replying to comments on your Page directly.

Being able to reply to comments directly will help you start conversation threads easily. You can then interact directly with individual users and connect relevant conversations. A plus here is that the most active and happening conversations will be floated up to the top of your posts. You can now be ensured that users who visit your Page will first see only the best conversations.

You can opt-in to Replies through your Page admin panel in the ‘Manage Permission’ section where you will see a prompt to turn on Replies. You can opt-out of Replies after opting-in. Eventually this feature will be rolled out to everyone on July 10 this year. This feature will also be automatically turned on for profiles that have more than 10,000 followers. Now the feature is available only on the desktop. Facebook has plans of stretching this to cover Graph API and mobile in the future.

Implications for businesses

The Replies feature can really help improve conversations because brands can now address each individual user’s query/comment directly. You can customize your answers for each user. And as we know it, personalized response is the name of the game in content today.

Many brands use Twitter as their customer service platform. With the launch of the Replies feature, companies can now also use Facebook for their customer service. Since you can correspond with each user specifically, resolving customer complaints on Facebook is easier. Businesses can also use Replies to host open dialogue sessions with their fan community.

Even if you don’t want to use Facebook as your customer service base, you can still use Replies to establish and solidify your connection with your customers.

Here are a few examples of how the Replies feature can help your business in different situations:

Scenario One: Question sourcing

Grantland’s Bill Simmons invited questions from his guests during his March Madness live stream which they answered during the live stream and also replied directly to the person asking the question. Bill Simmons used this tool to interact with viewers directly and source questions from them.

Scenario two: Q & A sessions

SportsCenter was the host of a Super Bowl chat session with erstwhile NFL coach and player Herm Edwards where users’ questions were directly answered by him. As said earlier, the most active conversations from the session were featured higher up the conversation thread.

The conversation threads are re-ordered according to their relevance by users and may appear differently to each user based on their connections:

  • The quantity of positive feedback is based on the total number of Likes and Replies in a conversation thread which also includes Likes and Replies by the Page owner.
  • Connections between conversation participants may move the conversation higher. For example, if friends are commenting, the conversation may appear at the top.
  • Negative feedback depends on the total number of spam reports in a conversation thread and marks-as-spam made by Page owners. Facebook may also bring down the ranks of comments made by frequent spammers.

What are your thoughts about this feature? Do you think it will help businesses maintain better connect with customers? Post your comments below…

Team Position²

Position2 is an innovative digital marketing agency that accelerates demand through integrated Content Marketing, Paid Acquisition, and Marketing Technology solutions. Our demand acceleration solutions map the buyer's journey across multiple touch points such as search, social, mobile, media, and email. These integrated campaigns are powered by cutting-edge content creation, digital advertising, web design/development, marketing automation, and analytics. We serve hundreds of clients ranging from VC funded startups to Fortune 500 multinational firms. Our 200-member team is based in Silicon Valley and Bangalore and consists of marketing gurus, engineers, data scientists, writers, and designers. Founded in 2006, Position2 is backed by Accel Partners.