Using Facebook to respond to your district’s patrons

On my district’s Facebook page, there is a little badge that sometimes turns green and sometimes does not, depending on how quickly we respond to questions and comments from our patrons.


The badge itself is not an incentive, because we don’t have the staffing to try to beat Facebook’s target of responding to each message in about 15 minutes. In addition, if you don’t get the last word in the conversation, Facebook sometimes doesn’t count your response. We don’t want to make our interactions awkward just to game this measurement.

However, we do try to get back to people within 24 hours, as the Messages tool is a great way for students, parents, community members and alumni to reach out to us. We turned off the ability for people to make public posts on our page, so they tend to use this feature to contact us.

Recently, Facebook beefed up the Messages interface, and we find it easy to use when responding.


How do you use this tool?

8 Replies to “Using Facebook to respond to your district’s patrons”

  1. I would love to do more with the Response Assistant for what they call “instant replies” and “away messages” — I haven’t figured out quite how to leverage it in a way that is authentic, but it’s on my list!

      1. We have an instant reply that says, “Thanks for contacting us! This page is maintained by the district communications office. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. If you need immediate assistance, please call your child’s school or the district office at 954-2500.”

    1. I’m not thrilled with our canned response
      “Thanks for messaging us. We try to be as responsive as possible. We’ll get back to you soon.”

      At the very least, it gives people some minimal feedback, but I will make some improvements after reading these comments.

  2. Curious if there are any other Districts that do not use messaging. I have it turned off (as well as the ability for the public to post to our feed) and direct people to use the Contact Us button on our facebook page that takes them to our website. For me it is a matter of being the only person who manages our social media.

  3. I am also a one-person operation did the same. I turned off messaging on Facebook and use the Contact Us button, which links to our searchable staff directory. This way users get to the appropriate person directly for a faster response. When they ask a question in messenger, you have the extra step of asking them for their contact info before you can forward to the right person. Also, Facebook changed the way messenger worked awhile back and combined personal and page messenging feeds – I was afraid it might open up my personal messenging to possible public information act requirements.

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