29/12/2015 7:31 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

New Updates For Facebook Pages Will Help Small Business Manage Customers via Getty Images
An attractive young businesswoman having coffee while working at her office desk

Social media is a key component of small business marketing these days -- and almost all start with a Facebook page.

Several new features have been introduced for Facebook pages which will allow the more than 50 million businesses worldwide to communicate more effectively with their customers.

Never miss another comment

A new tool will help page administrators monitor and respond to comments made by customer.

Comments are a key way to interact with customers and receive feedback, and Facebook’s new tool allows business owners to monitor and respond to comments in a single space via a new tool under the Activities tab.

Respond to comments in one go with the new features.

Admins can avoid missing a customer comment and respond quickly and efficiently by keeping track of responses by flagging interactions for follow-up, replying privately and marking them as done when you have replied.

Using this tool you can instantly see profile information from customers leaving comments as well, to give you better context as to why they are commenting and how you can assist them.

A new-look inbox

Keeping up with customer messaging can be a challenge in a time-poor work environment -- something small businesses know a lot about.

The changes to the Facebook page inbox are meant to help admins manage conversations with customers more easily and respond quickly.

All past interactions with a customer who has sent a message to the inbox will now be visible when a message comes through, as well as the information shared publicly on their profile.

Admins can also add in notes about orders they have made, customer service requests or issues and current orders.

Tags are now available to categorise those conversations to separate them from others and make them easier to find later.

The new inbox will allow small business owners to track conversations more easily.

We’ll get back to you in five

Pages can set the average time it takes for them to reply to messages: either “within minutes,” “within an hour,” “within hours” or “within a day”.

Even if you are able to respond within minutes, you may choose to set your timeframe to within a day so as to manage customers’ expectations -- and avoid frustration if they don’t hear from you as soon as they would expect.

These response times will also now appear in Facebook Messenger threads when a customer messages a business, so they know when to expect a response.

There is now also a new messaging status called “away” so customers will be able to see when you are not manning the Facebook station.

You can also set Away Messages and Instant Replies to tell customers when you’ll be back on deck and dealing with their inquiry.

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