Written by Holly Phillips

November 5, 2021

Turn Instagram conversations into conversions!

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If you use social media for marketing or customer service purposes, you’ve probably thought about the time it takes to respond to comments, questions, and direct messages. If you haven’t thought about it, this article will provide some food for thought! 

According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index, 40% of consumers want brands to respond to them on social media within an hour of contact. As many as 79% of consumers expect a reply within 24 hours. Sprout Social also found that the average business response time is around five hours.  

Responding to customers on social media in any time frame is, of course, better than saying nothing, and it’s essential to take the time to write a fitting response. But what’s considered an acceptable response time on social media?

This article will explore the importance of a (relatively) quick social media response time, expected response times for each social media platform, and some tips for managing it all. 

Why is a social media response necessary? 

Social media has proven to be a great place for brands to build relationships with their patrons. It’s also a channel that current and potential customers can leverage to speak with a business. The amount of time it takes a brand to respond to a question or comment greatly influences the overall customer experience and future relationship. Of course, you want a customer to have a great experience with your brand—whether it’s on social media, in-person, or on your website—so responding to customer concerns should be a top priority

Research from Salesforce shows that 78% of consumers will repurchase products from a brand—even after an issue—as long as the customer service is solid. Furthermore, 38% of customers say if the customer service is good, they’ll recommend that company to someone they know. A positive customer experience, including interactions on social media, can support customer loyalty and referrals. 

There are repercussions when brands ignore social media posts and comments directed at them, especially negative comments. When they don’t respond to a social media comment, it gives all the power to the user. By replying, the company maintains control of the situation, and their response can ease the minds of other easily-influenced consumers.

How quickly should you be responding on social media?

Now, let’s get into some numbers and see how quickly users on each social media platform expect a response from brands. 

Facebook

A study from Social Stamina found that the average time for businesses to respond through Facebook is 28 hours. Keep in mind that Facebook puts a “Very responsive to messages” badge on any business’s page that responds to 90% of comments, posts, and messages within 15 minutes of receiving them, providing a clear incentive for brands. 

Instagram

Research from Khoros indicates that 55% of users who reach out via direct message and 56% of those who have left a public comment expect a response on Instagram in under three hours. 

Twitter

Social Stamina’s study also found that the average response time for companies on Twitter was 31 hours. Hubspot describes Twitter as a place to share breaking news and shorter messaging; as a result, many users may expect quick responses.

Response time by industry

Research from Sprout Social revealed that social media response time varies by industry, no matter the platform. However, the research also showed that many industries struggle to respond to customers at all: 

Sports brands, for example, only respond to social media comments and inquiries 7% of the time. 

The last thing you want to do is leave potential or current customers hanging. If you’re struggling to respond in a timely manner (or at all), let’s look at some options for improvement:

Tips to speed up your social media response time 

If you’re not responding to users on social media within a 24-hour window, it’s time to pick up the pace. Here are some ways you can reply faster on social media: 

Use ManyChat

ManyChat is the #1 Facebook Messenger chatbot that also automates several tasks within the platform. Its robust feature set ensures you’ll have more time for other tasks and still exceed customer expectations. 

For example, the Comments Growth Tool enables you to automatically respond to comments on your Facebook posts. You can answer common questions, offer product recommendations, initiate newsletter sign-ups, and more, all without placing extra demands on your time.

ManyChat also provides Instagram DM Automation, which allows you to instantly (and automatically) reply to direct messages, comments, and Story mentions. Not only will you dramatically improve your response time, but you won’t have to manually manage interactions on Instagram or Facebook. 

On top of automating responses, ManyChat has several other benefits, such as the ability to:

  • Manage messages and engagement from multiple social media platforms via a comprehensive dashboard
  • Direct current and potential customers to the right place to get support, such as a knowledge bank or a contact form 
  • Link customers with a Live Chat agent when necessary 
  • Collect contact information and important user data

Keep a bank of common responses

Keep a cache of answers that you can copy and paste into a response if your customers repeatedly ask the same questions about your products. This allows your customer support team to answer swiftly and correctly using pre-written and pre-approved responses. 

You can also create a robust knowledge base on your website, such as an FAQ page, to direct customers to when they need additional support. (If you use ManyChat or another chatbot, you can automatically refer users to the FAQ page when necessary.) 

Get customers to the proper support channels 

No matter how your brand handles customer service, it’s critical to inform customers of the process. For example, if your customer support team works strictly via email, make that clear. You could accomplish this by putting the information in your social media profiles or sending a direct link on a case-by-case basis. 

Informing customers about your service process is also another task that automation can handle. Say a user has a customer service issue. In this instance, you could instantly send them a link to set up an appointment or collect their phone number for a representative to use. 

Prioritize social media mentions

All social media mentions are essential, but companies should prioritize those that may impact their bottom line or general reputation. When looking through social media mentions, decide which ones need to be handled immediately and which ones can wait. 

Set goals for average response times

Start by documenting your current response times and create a reasonable goal to improve them. Then, create an action plan based on the tips in this article. 

Managing your response time on social media should be part of your customer service strategy if you want everyone to have a positive experience with your brand. With the right tools and tactics, you can improve your response times and even exceed consumer expectations.

Ready to use Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat to improve your response time?

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.