I apologize in advance for this being long and bitchy. I need some advice, please. In addition to having a website I have a business page on Facebook as do many of you. I keep getting comments under photos like this "how much for this cake?" "how much does this cake cost?" or "I want this for my (whoever) birthday." Ever so often I update the status to say "thanks for all the photo comments, but if you have questions about cakes, prices or need to order a cake please email me at (my email address) or call. Click on the info tab under the profile picture for all my contact information, thanks." But yet it continues and it's grating on my last good nerve.
Being a business page there isn't a message section, I get that. For the longest time I didn't get notifications that I had comments, so I would get the occasional pissed off person posting on my page wanting to why I hadn't responded. Responded to what, I didn't know I had a comment and I sure as hell have something better to do that go looking at hundreds of pictures to find the ONE cake someone is interested in. Now when I get a notification I go to their page a leave a private message for them with my contact info. On more than one occasion I got messaged or comment back "oh I don't want to order the cake I just want to know how much it cost" WTF!!!!
I can't seem to get folks to understand that each cake is customized to their specific needs, therefore there is no one set price. There are starting at prices but I can't quote an actual price until I get the specifics. I also don't consider "I want this cake in May" to be an order but some people do. I don't find it hard to understand. My main peeve is I think it is crass to discuss money and prices in a public forum.
Is there a better way to handle this or is this just what you get on Facebook?
I'm not a business owner, so take this with a bucket of salt if you like!
I think you need to respond to things that look like genuine inquiries, regardless of how you receive them. Some people are a bit Facebook illiterate, and others just use it differently. It's not wrong to use photo comments to have a conversation, although it may not be the way you usually do it. I think, though that you're doing the right thing in taking the conversation to whatever forum you feel comfortable answering, ie private message.
That being said, it's not crass to discuss a business's pricing on a business page. It's not a social situation.
I respond to any inquiry on Facebook, with a general:
Thanks for the inquiry. If you haven't already, please check out my website for some basic info: www.website.com . Then send me an email with your date and contact info or give me a call: email@example.com ; (555) 555-5555 . I look forward to hearing from you.
If you send an email, please provide:
-Date, time of your event
-Type of Occasion
-Approximate # of servings
-Your telephone # and email address
If they come back with saying they were just curious, I would respond with:
"Each cake is completely customized and as such I can only offer quotes for specific inquiries for actual cakes. I do have an order minimum of $xx and go up from there, depending on # of servings and design choice. Please contact me via email or phone if you are ever interested in ordering."
When I get that on my photos I tell them the per-serving price for the cake as pictured with something like "larger or smaller sizes and changes in decor will change the price accordingly". A lot of times people want to know the prices for the same reason we like (or beg) to see them on the cake TV shows - sheer curiosity and as a reference point. I don't treat it as the first step in an ordering process unless they say something else. When you respond, you can tag them in the comment so you know they will see it.
Make sure your settings are the way you want them to be notified of comments and such. It's Facebook and it's social, but it's also you BUSINESS page and you should treat it as such. I have found that a lot of times I don't get a notification that someone commented, but one that says someone "liked" it and REALLY there is a new comment. So make sure to check those all out.
Also, they just added a messaging ability for business pages (like just this week)
mcaulir, I think you're right some people are a little facebook illiterate. I always felt that if I could figure it out then everybody else should have known about long before me. The thing about the price/money deal is, if that picture is tagged I don't think it's business like to post that the cake cost $75 (or whatever the price was) if someone ask. The customer might not want everyone knowing how much or little they spent on their cake.
FullHouse, I've directed them to my website for basic info but some just can't quite get it. I consider myself not very computer savvy but I'm shocked that younger people raised on computers miss the basic steps.
This is par for the course on FB. We ended up pulling all photos and content from our FB page and just including a link to our real web site, which does not allow comments on photos and funnels all contact requests through an order form page.
I hate the FB timeline which is the format everyone pages will be changed to soon. I'm thinking about pulling my page when it switches over.
I never wanted a FB page but the web designer who was "supposed to be designing my website" started a FB page instead of actually making me a website. The only good thing FB it is I can post cake pictures. But there in lies the current issue.
That does seem like a headache!
You should probably try updating your status every couple of days or so saying that you are having issues with your FB notifications, and to email you if they had any questions... Hopefully that will help.
It is hard to keep up with all the comments and wall posts sometimes it is literally another job
Great website by the way, would love to check out your page as well