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As different demands emerge for Facebook businesses and users, the social media platform has evolved to provide more accurate insights and metrics. However, the recent updates to Facebook’s response rate and response time algorithms have users confused and many companies are seeing unexpected response time statistics after this calculation change.

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Upon review of Facebook’s Help Center article, here are the most important highlights about the latest changes in response metrics:

 

1. Frequency

The countdown begins after a user sends you a private message and ends after you send your reply. Your response rate is based on the percentage of “new” messages from users that are responded to. A message will be considered a “new” message if neither the user nor the page has sent a message in 24 hours. If a new message is responded to within 24 hours, it will be counted towards your page’s response rate. Otherwise, it will be counted against your response rate.

 

2. Volume

The number of messages responded to in a specific timeframe will have an influence on your response metrics. Facebook will calculate your response rate/time in this order as available:

  • Previous 30 days from last responded new message. (if there are 10 or more messages during this timeframe)
  • Last 10 messages received. (if there are 10 or more messages total)
  • All messages received.

 

3. Speed

Another important factor to keep in mind for Facebook response metrics is the speed of your page responses. This is calculated based on responses to new messages (for the appropriate time span from those listed above) - the slowest 10% of responses are excluded from your page’s response time.

This is how a page’s response time is displayed to users:

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4. Message Type

Something else to consider is the types of messages that are and aren’t included in this new calculation. Facebook will continue to include messages sent natively or through their API. This will continue to support Social Media Management Platforms like Sprinklr, Spredfast, and Conversocial. 

The following messages are not considered when calculating response rate and time: 

  • Instant replies
  • Away messages
  • Messages received while your page’s messaging status is set to “Away”
  • Spam
  • Responses to page-initiated messages received within the first 24 hours

Note that if your messaging status is set to “Away,” any messages received from your audience will not count towards the response rate and response time. This means that when a moderator is ready to return to duty and start answering messages, the time and effort taken to process these messages are ignored by Facebook. 

If you need help setting your page to “Away,” here is Facebook’s Help Center article on setting your page’s messaging status to away.

 

5. The Grand Prize: “Very responsive to messages”

Any Facebook Business page worth its salt should work towards obtaining the “Very responsive to messages” badge from Facebook. This badge shows users the timing and consistency that a page usually responds to private messages. 

Here’s what the crème de la crème looks like:

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In order to attain this badge, your Page must have obtained both of the following metrics:

  • A response rate of 90% or more
  • A response time of fewer than 15 minutes

This aligns with the expectations of today’s consumer since most social media users expect a response time of less than one hour. Responding to your audience can have a major impact on your brand. According to research, 70% of those helped via social customer service return as a customer in the future.

 

Now is a great time to reevaluate your company’s Facebook page and determine how quickly messages are received and replied to. Engagement on any social media channel tends to attract more engagement opportunities. Facebook is capitalizing on this and rewarding those businesses that frequently engage with their audience.

Peter Cassetta
Peter Cassetta

As our Senior Software Engineer, Peter leads our development team on SPS DGTL Engage, a platform built to assist our engagement team in performing digital customer care for our clients. He's loved web development and programming since receiving a website for his 10th birthday. Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Computer Science from Texas State University.