If you have woven Facebook into the menu of social media platforms you use to engage existing customers and attract new ones, you’ve noticed their somewhat annoying trend of endless alterations to both policy and offerings. The Mother of All social media networks, Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, a social media monopoly. That won’t be changing any time soon.
No one feels sorry for them, but it’s fair to acknowledge that Facebook executives who need to continually balance the need for revenues while keeping users happy face their share of challenges. And for an online platform that is now regulated by Federal and state entities because of its heavy volume of political content, it creates an ongoing need to shift gears.
In 2011, Facebook started forwarding only critical notifications through email, so as to cut down on high-volume inbox flooding. Photo tags, security, payment, and privacy notifications made the cut. Business owners who are accustomed to a high volume of email communications, but not having to access Facebook several times per day, will have made that adjustment.
Now there’s a new revision that business users need to be aware of. Beginning March 4, 2020, access to supported “Message Tags” after the standard 24-hour window (following the last customer contact) whittled down from 17 supported tags to three, plus an additional tag in beta. Message Tags facilitate one-to-one interactions with customers, including updates, customer service questions, promotions, and pretty much anything relative to your customer relationship.
With that pathway narrowing, it’s critical to build in adjustments that will maintain your presence on Facebook and keep you in good standing with the platform. In order to bypass the allowed 24-hour period, you must use these remaining tags with your messaging.
Here are the tags still supported following that 24-hour time frame:
It’s not all bad
As with many Facebook functions, the above restrictions may be waived by users/customers changing their own notification settings. It wouldn’t hurt to instruct them of this option at some point.
If you use a third-party platform to enable chat bots, you will need to look over their flows, and apply the appropriate Message Tag to any Facebook message that may be sent outside the 24-hour window. Without a Message Tag, the message will not be forwarded.
The workaround for possible interruptions related to this new policy is simple. Compile a list of contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses. This will open up access to your customers independent of Facebook. It sounds backwards – after all, wasn’t social media supposed to facilitate convenience? – but in the long run, it’s never a bad idea to prepare for the worst.
For a complete explanation on this new policy, see Facebook’s instruction page designed for developers.