Facebook Replies: How to Generate Deeper Engagement with your Audience
Well, we're still catching our breaths from the last round of Facebook changes, and, well, here we go again with the next! Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it is rolling out a threaded Facebook replies feature to their interface, and sure enough, if you look at comments made on your page, you can see it!
What this means is that when replying to a post, instead of just having the reply end up at the bottom where it might be confusing to follow who is replying to what (the original post or the comment), now people can actually respond to each other – like a real conversation.
In some places, there's a rumor that the Facebook Replies feature is only being rolled out to Fan Pages with over 10,000 followers, but there are some pages with lower numbers of followers and fans who appear to have it already.
At the very same time, Facebook is tweaking its algorithm behind the scenes to make sure that more active conversations and threads appear higher in a Page's posts than less active conversations.
Another limitation is that at the present time, the mobile version has not been updated to have the replies feature. For busy social media professionals, this could be a huge limitation. I don't know about you, but more and more it seems like I’m replying from a mobile device rather than a traditional laptop or desktop computer. And it seems to contradict earlier statements by Facebook that it values the quality of the mobile experience.
How Facebook Replies Contribute to Quality Engagement
The biggest way Facebook replies can benefit you as a brand is by facilitating quality engagement with your followers. This allows you to be more personal in your replies. It's just plain easier to reply to individual comments in an organized manner than it is to have to add your replies all at the end ofa string of comments in a way that doesn't make sense for future readers.
This is also likely to simply create more engagement as well as better engagement. It's just easier to converse back and forth in a threaded conversation than it is to add comments to the end of a mixed up bunch that doesn't necessarily apply to everyone reading.
The Danger of Facebook Replies for your Brand
Even though I think the Facebook Replies feature is going to be great for strengthening brand engagement, there's one catch. I think that this will require Page administrators to be more watchful over the quality of conversations happening on their pages. Threaded comments may turn out to make flame wars more likely to happen, as people engage directly with each other. Page administrators might need to add more moments throughout the day to monitor the conversation on their Pages, making sure that the kind of engagement is actually contributing to their brand and isn't 2 people off on a tangent flaming each other over a difference of opinion.
What do you think? Will Facebook Replies add quality to your followers' experience on your Fan Page? Leave a comment below!