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What The New Facebook Threaded Replies Means for Your Social Media Crisis Management

27 Mar

Set to roll out completely in July, but starting to make an appearance as we speak, are the Facebook threaded replies for fan pages.


image credit: Social Fresh

A cool concept in theory, being able to reply directly to individuals posting on posts can have many advantages. But what about the disadvantages? What about the risks and the absolute do NOTs that come along with this new feature?

If you’ve ever experienced, took part in or witnessed any kind of Facebook attack, the comments streaming from a comment or post can be overwhelming. Add the possibility of threads into each one of those individual comments and we could be talking about an overly overwhelming mess of havoc! This means that it’s going to be even more important and challenging for your community managers, social media monitors and crisis team to be on top of what’s going on on your Facebook page in a crisis, and respond within the briefest delay.

List of do NOTs when it comes to the new Facebook threaded replies in a crisis

That said, here are a 3 important do NOTs when it comes to using these new Facebook threads in your crisis communications:

  1. Do NOT copy/paste the same reply to each individual comment. Switch it up and sound human
  2. Do NOT forget to monitor the threads along with everything else you’re already monitoring
  3. Do NOT let the comments and threads take on a life of their own before you’ve even issued your response to the crisis situation

The new Facebook threads aren’t a game changer but they are a game challenger. It will make your crisis team’s job harder and messier in a crisis, but the rules and the end-goals remain the same: React and respond in real-time, be human, be sincere, be understanding, be timely and focus on building that relationship with each one of your fans.

It’s time, once again, for an update to your social media crisis plan!

As it is often, it’s time once again to update your social media crisis communications plan to incorporate this new Facebook fan page feature. Create procedures for responding when the threads take on a negative tone, in and out of a crisis.

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3 Responses to “What The New Facebook Threaded Replies Means for Your Social Media Crisis Management”

  1. Ike June 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    One more option to consider?

    Turn off threading.

    It might be better in some circumstances to respond to several at once than to chase individual rabbits.

    • Melissa Agnes June 27, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      I definitely agree, Ike. It's good to respond individually when the issue or crisis isn't going viral and the comments and attacks are in the dozens, rather then the hundreds or thousands. At that point, comments get lost and it's always better to respond to the situation as a whole, in a place (i.e.: on the brand's timeline) where everyone will see the communications.

      As for turing off threaded replies, that's for the brand to decide in advance, but it certainly is a possibility if they deem it appropriate and worthwhile.

  2. Melissa Agnes March 28, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Good points. I suppose it will depend on the way people decide to use the threads vs. comments. It could go either way but I'm sure we will see a pattern of use emerge quickly and be able to adapt and prepare for the "common use" of the feature. Though I still see that it could get rather complicated with many comments and even more replies to those many comments. There are both positives and negatives to watch out for on our end, that's for sure! ;)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new feature. It's always nice to hear from someone else within the industry on these topics, issues and features!

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