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How To Set Up Automated Responses In Facebook

Automation is becoming an increasingly big part of our lives. In your real estate business, you likely already send out automated emails, automatically update your website and other directories with new listings, and more. But have you automated your social media yet? 

People are spending more and more time on social media each year. This includes an increase in use of social media to keep in touch with brands and resolve customer issues. For your real estate business, this means you have to spend a lot more time on social media managing incoming messages, comments, reviews and other interactions. 

Luckily, some social media channels have easy automation tools available, such as Facebook. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into Facebook’s Automated Responses function and how to set it up for your real estate business. 

What are Facebook Automated Responses? 

As the name suggests, Facebook’s Automated Responses tool lets you set up automated replies to certain common queries your page may receive. By doing so, your page will send instant replies to people who message your page, regardless of whether you are online or not. It’s basically a mini chatbot. 

The reason we call it a ‘mini’ chatbot is because the tool is relatively limited with regards to what it can communicate – there are 13 predefined questions/topics you can set up responses for. Which is still extremely handy, considering these are commonly asked queries or actions that your page will now instantly reply to without you having to lift a finger!

Why should I set up automated responses? 

Automated responses allow your page to automatically send instant replies to your clients – whether you’re available to chat or not. We all know an important part of customer service is our response time, so eliminating any waiting time at all for these queries is a great way to improve this. 

On top of improving your response time and customer service, it will simply save you time. Setting up the responses is easy, and once it’s done, you won’t have to lift a finger anymore to answer these common questions (it is however worth following up with a personal message in some cases, more about that later). 

What can I do with it?

So, there are 13 predefined questions and topics you can set automated responses for via the integrated Automated Response tool on Facebook, including:

  • Instant reply
  • Away message
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Comment to message
  • Contact information
  • Location
  • Hours
  • Job application received
  • Positive feedback
  • Negative feedback
  • Appointment reminders
  • Page recommended
  • Page not recommended 

You can easily add personalisation to each message, such as the person’s first name, surname or full name. You can also add CTA buttons, media such as photo and video, documents and links to redirect the person messaging you to your website or any other resource. There are plenty of options!

We’ll now dive deeper into each one of the 13 available options and guide you through setting them up correctly. 

1. Instant reply

An Instant reply is an automatic response to the first message someone sends your business page on Facebook. You can greet the person, provide more information about your agency and let them know when they can expect a response. 

This is a great feature to turn on when you don’t have someone monitoring your inbox 24 hours a day. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger and Instagram

Timing: Instantly

Example message:

2. Away message

When you turn the Away message function on, your business will send away messages to anyone who contacts you via Messenger. You can manually set your business as away in your Inbox, or schedule times to be away each week (for example, if you don’t monitor your inbox over the weekend). 

You can customise your message to let people know when you’ll be back and when they can expect a reply.

Sent on: Facebook Messenger and Instagram

Timing: Instantly when you’re marked as away – you can schedule times for this in advance

Example message:

3. Frequently asked questions

If you opt to turn on Frequently asked questions, a set of predefined questions that you enter yourself will appear at the beginning of a chat with a client. These questions will appear as suggestions – they can be added to a menu for access during the conversation. This allows people to easily select a predefined question for your business. You can add up to 5 questions with this function. 

In addition to setting up the questions, you can set up the automated responses that reply instantly to this question. We definitely recommend doing so, as this will improve the client’s experience even more (and you’ve set up the question yourself anyway – you might as well save yourself extra time by entering the response). 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger and Instagram

Timing: Instantly after a question is selected

Example questions:

4. Comment to message

The Comment to message automation lets you set up an automated response that will be sent to a person after they leave a comment using a certain #hashtag on your posts. You will select and provide certain keywords with hashtags that trigger these, and customise the responses yourself.

You can add a maximum of 4 keywords in this function. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: Instantly after someone leaves a comment under your post with one of your hashtag keywords

The set-up for Comment to message:

5. Contact information

The Contact information response is an automatic reply that gets sent when someone asks your business page for contact information. You can customise your message to include additional contact information, such as a link to your Instagram or an additional phone number. You can also add a button to this message, such as a ‘Visit Website’ button. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: Instantly – only when your conversation hasn’t been active for at least 30 minutes

Example message:

6. Location

The Location option lets you send an automated response when someone asks about the location of your business. You can opt to add additional information to this message, such as options for parking or public transport. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: Instantly – only when your conversation hasn’t been active for at least 30 minutes

Example message:

7. Hours

The Hours automated response will be sent when someone asks about your business hours. It’s a good idea to update this message when you have a change in hours, such as for upcoming holiday hours. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: Instantly – only when your conversation hasn’t been active for at least 30 minutes

Example message:

8. Job application received

The Job application received response is a confirmation message that will automatically be sent when someone has applied for a job that you’ve posted on Facebook. Customise this message by thanking them for their interest or advising them when to expect a response.

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: Instantly

Example message:

9. Positive feedback

Send an automated message when someone leaves positive feedback about your business. Take this opportunity to thank them for leaving positive feedback, and possibly send an offer or start a conversation. 

Tip: If you’re looking for more Google reviews, you could potentially add a button here with a link to leave a review (you can get this link in your Google My Business account). This person has already provided you with positive feedback, so they may be willing to leave a Google review as well!

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: 10 minutes after someone has given positive feedback

Example message:

 10. Negative feedback

Send an automated message when someone leaves negative feedback about your business. You can customise this message to apologise for the negative experience, send an offer or start a conversation to learn more about their experience with your business. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: 10 minutes after someone has given negative feedback

Example message:

11. Appointment reminders

Send an automatic reminder via Messenger or text (SMS) the day before a scheduled appointment. There is unfortunately no option to customise this message yet. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger and SMS 

Timing: Day before confirmed appointment

Example message:

 12. Page recommended

Set up an automated response for when someone publicly shares they recommend your business (when they share your business page). Thank the person for recommending your page, and optionally send an offer or start a conversation. 

If you’re using the Google review option in the Positive Feedback response, you may want to add it in this one as well.

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: 10 minutes after someone has recommended your business

Example message:

 13. Page not recommended

Set up an automated response for when someone publicly shares they do not recommend your business (when they share your business page). Apologise for their negative experience, optionally send an offer or start a conversation to learn more about their bad experience with your business. 

Sent on: Facebook Messenger only

Timing: 10 minutes after someone has recommended your business

Example message:

Setting up your Automated Responses 

It’s easy to set up your Automated Responses in Facebook. Simply head to your business page’s inbox and click on ‘Automated Responses’ in the top right corner.

From there, you can select the type of automated responses you want to turn on/off and customise each message. Facebook will automatically show you a preview of your message, and you have the option to test your automated response via sending a test message to your own Messenger account. 

That’s it! Automated Responses is a great Facebook feature that will help you save time and improve your customer service when it comes to response time. 

Whilst the tool is extremely handy and a lot of questions will be instantly answered, it’s worth always going through your messages regardless and following up with each enquiry if needed. This shows there is a real person available behind the business page available to help. You may even opt to add a ‘Is there anything else I could help you with?’ to each automated response – you can then follow up manually if someone has further questions. 

Need help with your social media marketing?

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If you don’t have the time or resources to implement digital marketing strategies yourself, make sure to schedule a free consultation with our expert team today. We’ll create a tailored proposal and action plan for your real estate business, suited to your budget and needs.