Facebook Messaging: To automate or not to automate?

When it comes to Facebook Messaging, brands are faced with an important question: To automate or not to automate?

The answer: Both (You should know by now these are never black-and-white answers, otherwise, why would we even blog about it?) Have no fear though, we have created a decision tree to help you decide the best choice for your business.

facebook messenger bot vs human


As you can see there are two general ways of responding to Facebook messages to your business page.


1. Use an auto-response in tandem with a real human that works at your company

Pros: 1. Customers like talking to other humans. 2. Customer questions are usually answered in less steps.
Cons: It does take a little bit of time, and possibly an investment to hire someone to manage the messages.

Even if you have a full-time employee or team of employees managing messages, you’ll still want to be prepared for times when your team is unavailable. Consider an automated response to be responsive, even when you’re away.

Example of auto-response:
Hi! Thanks for reaching out! We are reviewing your comments and will get back to you within one business day. In the meantime, please take a look at our FAQs page here: https://exampleurl.com/ or book an appointment online here: https://exampleurl.com/ If you need immediate assistance, call us at: 888.888.8888. We look forward to speaking with you soon. Have a great day!

 This type of message gives the customer an immediate response with helpful resources, while also allowing your team time to gather further information you may need to answer a more in-depth question.

Pro-tip: Even if you don’t want to add some more difficult, obscure or unflattering questions to your FAQs page, keep an internal list of these questions and management-approved responses for easy access later.


2. Use a chat box to automate all of your messages.

Pros: Little time spent managing messages
Cons: It can be frustrating to consumers who have questions beyond the normal FAQs

Chatboxes can be helpful when you…

  1. Get hundreds of messages per day
  2. Are getting the same few questions over and over again.

However, just because you have a chat box set up, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to manage your messages at all. You want to be able to give all your customers the personal attention they deserve, even if their question can’t be answered by a bot.

Notice you did not see this option:
Ignore all incoming messages.

Consider this information from a 2020 marketing dive article:

Consumers also want brands to provide quick responses through social media, making the platforms much more significant in customer relationship management (CRM) efforts. 40% of consumers said they expect brands to respond within the first hour of connecting through social media.  79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.

If you absolutely cannot respond to your Facebook messages, turn them off completely so that at least your customers know that you aren’t accepting communications, or set your auto-message so something like the following: To better serve you, we have moved all communications to contact@contact.com. Just be warned that you may be missing out on opportunity.


If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how social media communications can help your company or about NewPoint, please reach out to the NewPoint team — interested in food marketing topics? Please visit our “Intel” page or check out my book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.