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The problem with automated messages…

Traders- Hints & Tips

Who are they for? Why do we feel we need to share an automated message on various channels?

liking a photo on instagram

For many years Facebook used to almost ‘threaten us’ with a message saying that we’re not being as responsive as we need to be with our customers if we hadn’t jumped on a messenger within 5 seconds of a message being received.

Nope! That is not viable for every business. In a world where things are pretty much instant nowadays for many aspects of service, small businesses can’t and shouldn’t work like this!

There are lots of special features that small businesses have to offer that bigger companies would love to emulate, but can’t. This is one feature a small business needs to let go.

Auto messages usually have the same format – they tell people that you will be with them when you can. Of course you will. They sometimes add links, but you have your links in bio on Insta.

Most companies have the function that allows them to show if the message has been read so is there any need for anything else? We know, as customers, if a message hasn’t been read then we need to wait a little longer or head over the the website.

Here’s our summary, Facebook messenger – leave the auto response on if you wish. If that stops those passive aggressive messages from Meta telling you ‘you are not being responsive enough’ – leave it on. On Instagram, turn them off. You can manage this within business suite on settings and notifications.

Some people do add links to these messages which I get, reduces clicks, but I’d hazard a guess that after they have left you a message they are heading over to your links on Insta. Maybe look at this feature on Instagram if you haven’t already – utilise the 5 links they allow you. This might stop people messaging as they have found what they want in your shop already.

So… let’s not pretend we are huge companies, let’s get back to people when we can (ideally within 48 hours unless a weekend and it could be longer) and then let’s run our businesses guilt free.

There is a but…

When you go on holiday, you cannot shut your Insta account down and you might not want to publicly announce that you are away – then the addition of an automated message would be perfect for this purpose to let people know when you will be responding. You would put this type of message on your website/shop, so it’s more than acceptable to put it on Social Media.