On Monday, March 25, 2013, Facebook announced a new Reply feature that has been designed to improve conversations on pages. Users will now be able to address each individual user directly below a comment. In addition, comments will be ranked on engagement, ensuring maximum visibility for the conversations that are most relevant to fans.
For now, Reply is available as an opt-in feature. Users can opt-in through the Page admin panel in the Manage Permissions section. As of July 10, 2013, the feature will be a default for all pages containing 10,000 or more followers.
For the launch, Facebook has made Reply only available on desktop, with plans to make it available via the Graph API and mobile.
How It Works
Conversation threads are re-ordered by relevance to users, and appear differently to each viewer. Factors include:
- Positive Feedback
Comments that accumulate the most Likes and/or Replies in a thread are featured at the top. This includes Likes or Replies by the page owner.
Connections to participants in a thread may move the conversation higher.
- Negative Feedback
The total number of spam reports in a thread and/or against a particular user may result in comments made by spammers being ranked down.
- Showcases the most relevant and engaging conversations throughout page posts.
- Makes it easier to reply directly to fans and connect relevant conversations for a more personal interaction.
- Provides opportunities for open Q&As or informal polls about products and other topics.
The new feature was designed to increase time spent on the site, as it improves the interactivity functionality of Facebook. While it will potentially improve engagement on pages, the change does mean that community management, moderation, and customer service via social media are more important than ever. Therefore, prior to opting-in, take a little time to ensure community management processes and guidelines are standardized and understood by all page managers.
- Carry out regular audits of post comments and page posts throughout the day, so as to stay apprised of, and involved in, community conversation.
- Address complaints in a timely and helpful manner.
- Keep in mind that your posts could gain high visibility in a short period of time. Evaluate all responses to ensure they provide value to your fans before posting on the page.