Apparently, according to Facebook I need to reply faster my clients. Apparently the fact I replied to 96% of messages in 8 minutes, or if you checked two days ago 100% in 19 and wait even 100% in 6 minutes is not fast enough. Although none of these figures will be shown to users on my page as I don’t yet hit what they class as responsive enough. We live in a world of 24:7 news, we want our food fast, our media instant and apparently no longer willing to wait. But, surely this “responsive to messages” thing that Facebook is currently adding to pages is one step too far. Are we not allowed a life? How an earth do you get the green “responsive to messages” icon?
This icon is granted to pages that have a median (I had to remember my secondary school maths lessons to figure out what that meant) responsive rate of 90% in 5 minutes over the space of a week. Read Facebooks explanation of how it works here.
I feel I am pretty responsive as it is. I reply to emails, texts, posts and Facebook messages as quickly as I can. I am a primarily a Mum of two and a wife. I do need to sleep, eat, walk dog etc! For emails I aim personably to reply within 2 hours but definitely within 24. I have Facebook on 3 different devices, I reply when I can. I am not going to stop playing with my kids (or sleeping) so that I can reply instantly around the clock.
Over 50% of the messages I get are when I am asleep. The nature of catering to parents of babies is, they will typically be awake at night. This time last year I frequently had conversations with people as I tried to get Isaac to sleep all night. Now, thankfully, I have two children who do sleep and therefore I am not sat on landing catching up with admin at 1,2,3am.
That means messages sent in evenings are not going to be replied to until the next day (usually before 8am). But Facebook doesn’t seem to get that we are human beings not robots. I am not a big corporate business with lots of staff who can reply 24/7 and 365 days a year. You have me, Rachel and my volunteers. Yes, volunteers who like me are allowed to sleep/eat/live too.
The next issue I have is when do the messages stop counting as being responded too. Take for example this common conversation completed via my page message function:
“Can you tell me when next library session is” Reply with dates and times
“Oh that’s great will you have x,y,z sling”
“Yes we have x,y, and z will be back on”
“Thanks, see you on X”
I usually then add a “see you then, any questions ask”…..but frequently they will come back with an “ok”, “thanks” etc. When does it stop. “You hang up”, “no you”. So once I have to ended a conversation as the last one to reply, does that mean I get 100%? What if I decide to not carry on the games of constantly replying? Currently Facebook classes these as not responded too. At least now while I am answering messages via my PC they have allowed me the benefit of prefilled stock responses (and ability to add own). This is great for while I am on computer but it doesn’t yet exist on the app for iPhone or iPad, where I spend almost 80% of my “online” time.
I hope my clients will understand that if I don’t get the iconic “responsive to messages” icon they won’t think I am useless or not focused on their needs. I hope they will realise that I too have a life. That I too need to be able to care for my kids. My part time job is a big part of my life, but it is not the only thing in my life. Facebook, you really need to reasses your priorities, if you think 5 minutes is an acceptable time to wait.
So if I never reach the Facebook holy grail of 90% in 5 minutes, to be honest I don’t think I care. “Control the controllable” is one do the phrases we live by in this house and Facebook algorithms are definitely not controllable.
Edited on 1st July – despite me not doing anything differently in the day I have apparently been deemed worthy of the green message icon. I have started switching message function off at night. Do you think this is the reason. Wonder how long I will keep it for?