Why Won't You Answer Messages To Your Business Page?

Business By Jen80 Updated 18 Sep 2015 , 1:13am by aarika

Jen80 Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 2:10am
post #1 of 26

 Hi all,


This is a bit of a rant, but I really, really, honestly do want to know the answer to this question.


Why won't some business owners answer messages which have been sent to their facebook business page and instead redirect the person sending the message to email them through an email account?


Is it because some messages get lost?

Is it because it is easier to keep track of orders?


I have my own business page and I don't have any issues with messages on there. 


I wanted to contact someone through a message  who may have been able to provide me with a service to my business.  So I went to their business page and sent them a private message asking them a few questions.  Without answering any of my questions the business owner asked me to resend my questions via email.


Why?  Can they not read what I have already written and respond from there?  It just all seems like a waste of my time and a little bit rude.


To make it even more frustrating the business owner, not knowing which business I own, sent my  business page five messages advertising their services just a day later and are waiting for a response.



25 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 2:28am
post #2 of 26

I think some find it's easier for them to keep track of orders if they are all in one place.  Some feel it's not professional. 

I do orders via FB all the time and have never had a problem with lost messages or anything like that.  At least half of my orders come from there.  I attach contracts to FB messages  just like I do with email messages.

I agree that if I had spent a lot of time tying a a message and then was asked to do it again in an email I probably would be a little annoyed as well.

Jedi Knight Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 5:05am
post #3 of 26

I have actually turned off the message function on my business FB page. 

It is easier to keep track of everything when it's all in one place.

Personally, I find it quite unprofessional to do business via FB and text messaging.

costumeczar Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 11:35am
post #4 of 26

I'm with Jedi Knight on this one, it's much more professional to take orders and answer questions through your website than it is to deal with people through facebook. And with people devaluing the cake industry the way they do now, anything that keeps it on a more professional level is appreciated.

I've also had facebook throw messages into the "other" folder that nobody checks, so it's not the most reliable messaging service.

On the other hand, the person you sent a message to should have asked you for your email address and responded to you that way instead of telling you to email them without answering your questions.

Webake2gether Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 12:14pm
post #5 of 26

I've been contacted through text and fb messages (friends and family) but once they've told me what they need I then follow up with a phone call after the phone call I then email from our business email  with everything being finalized and confirmed through email. I look at texts and fb messages much the same as quick calls (price checking) or even in passing chats which to me means nothing is set in stone and easily disregarded. I will only accept orders through phone calls or emails to my business email. Right now bc it's friends and family I'm not as strict on that but once we are open to public for my sanity no orders accepted that way. it will be in clear writing so there isn't any confusion as to how to contact me. I would have asked for your email as well and answered your questions  through an email I sent. As a soon to be business I like the idea of shutting the fb messaging off  too much to manage phone email and fb messaging.  I don't want the businesses I do business with messaging me on fb  it does seem a bit unperfessional. but everyone has the right to run their business the way they want to and maybe fb messaging isn't a hassle for some like it can be for others. 

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 12:32pm
post #6 of 26

I am a bit less fussed but would always prefer to go via email and always refer people the website for images etc.  That said, i think it's probably 50/50 in terms of where enquiries come from.  I have had big problems with my emails going into people's spam folders (which is very very annoying) though so if people have contacted me through FB and I email them back, I usually send them a FB message to tell them to look out for the email.  I do not confirm an order until I have both a signed order form and the deposit so whether that is returned to me comes through FB or email, I'm not that fussed.  I always call them at some point at time of booking and a week before the wedding anyway.

I think one problem is that many cake makers websites are very poor both in terms of being able to find contact details and for SEO rankings (actually being able to find the website).  In many cases, the email addresses aren't hooked up to open a mail client on click so to use it, you have to copy and paste the address.  That is a PITA.  If you can find the company easier through FB and the 'message' button is one click, then it's much easier for customers to use facebook.

Apti Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 3:44pm
post #7 of 26

Believe it or not, there are actually some people (me), who don't use facebook or have anything but a vague knowledge of how it works.   I imagine there are a lot of bakers using facebook who "think" they have a terrific vehicle for ordering their cakes with their FB pages.

However, as mentioned above by Snowflakebunny23, the baker's FB "website" may  actually be very poor in construction.

Frankly, I still do not understand how a customer can determine prices, sizes, etc. on most FB sites, let alone order a cake or ask a question.  If I were a customer, I would never try to order on a FB site, I would only look for a dedicated website link. 

FB was introduced in 2004.  That's only 11 years since it first hit the internet.  Young people may understand how it works, but the "older people who have money" may not have a clue.

If I were marketing a luxury item like custom cakes, I would make darn sure that my target audience (working adults with disposable income for luxury items) could easily understand how to find and order my product.

Annie8 Posted 28 Aug 2015 , 9:21pm
post #8 of 26

Technology keeps changing and I think the younger crowds expect answers through facebook.  Years ago, taking orders through email would have been unheard of.  Expectations would have been an order placed through a landline phone or in person at the storefront.  Then we evolved to websites and emails.  Up next are cell phones, facebook, and too many other social media sites to mention.  I suppose an owner will keep up with what they are comfortable with, but I'm not of an opinion that taking orders through facebook is inappropriate.  If that's how you best communicate, it can certainly be done and done well.

Apti Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 1:24am
post #9 of 26

Sales, marketing, and networking to increase sales has never, ever been easy; whether it was accomplished face-to-face, by mail, by facebook, by email, by mass mailers, by providing "free baked goods" for the exposure, or by tiny little balloons dropping millions of tiny leaflets over a city. 

@Jen80--People are generally not being rude, typically they just don't have time or care.   You have no way of knowing if that business receives 2 inquiries a day or 2,000.  My guess is that you received the "five messages advertising their services" the next day because that was the quickest, most efficient way for them to respond.    The business you contacted may be so flush with customers that they can ignore networking requests, or they may not care.

Time is money in business.  If they don't need/want/care about networking referrals, they are not going to waste time responding because it will cost them $$.

mccantsbakes Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 9:28am
post #10 of 26

Like it or not Social media is changing how we communicate.   People check FB daily.  People get much of their news on FB.   They stay connected to their friends through fb.  Not having a Facebook page for your business is outmoded in many people's view.   Think about the audience that a business can reach by shares.  If your business is in a metropolitan area, being able to make your little cake business a common name in the city you live by clients or other people sharing your business name is a really great way to get future new clients.   It's like word of mouth on steroids.  Each share reaches the hundreds of people the sharer is connected to.   That's a lot of people!  Every major company has a Facebook page.  Not only do they have it, when people get loud over something, they respond....fast.  Because things can go viral in hours.   

With a cake business, who is your target client? Brides? Moms with kids having birthdays?pregnant moms needing Baby shower cakes? They tend to be in the younger demographic no? They are using social media.   

my grandma is on Facebook.... Which is both awesome and disturbing since I have to be aware of my posts.   But that's a whole other topic....

i don't think it is necessarily a bad thing to have FB for business....but being more formal with email and a web page proper in addition to a fb business page is the way to go in this brave new age of digital communication. 

mccantsbakes Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 9:31am
post #11 of 26

I will not text cake business though......I find texting invasive.   Only my "people" are welcome to text me.   I am still old fashioned in some areas ;)

Apti Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 4:20pm
post #12 of 26

@mccantsbakes ~~ What???  Couldn't hear you with my head buried in the sands of denial.

Facebook?? What's that?   I'll bet it's somethin' used by those young whipper-snappers that think horses ain't good enuff and want one o' them thar auto-mo-biles.  Hmmph...   That's all I got to say to this foolishness... Hmmmph...

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 8:13pm
post #13 of 26

I hate to tell you all, but facebook isn't where the millennials are anymore. They're on Instagram most of all, but facebook is the least-chosen platform when they do surveys of which social media is the favorite. My daughter's high school did a survey and facebook was the favorite of a whopping 1% of the kids. They're not using it at the rate "old" people (myself included) are.  When businesses complain about facebook not getting them any business I always think that it's because their customers aren't on it anymore. 

I asked my kids, who are both older teenagers, and they said Instagram, twitter and snapchat are what people use now. ask again in 6 months and there will be something new.

mccantsbakes Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 9:15pm
post #14 of 26

I apologize for my laziness when I broadstroked social media as "fb" exclusively.  

What I was poorly trying to say is that businesses are adapting to what the trends are in social media    

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 11:31pm
post #15 of 26

Nothing to apologize for, I'm just saying that if you have a business, you'd better have a decent website that acts as your online home, since social media trends come and go. By the time you adapt to one there are ten other ones to take its place. Facebook is being used more by old people now (and again, I put myself in that group), but the younger generation isn't using it as much. 

Just out of curiosity, I asked my daughter what she would think if she was looking up a business online and they only had a facebook page and no website. She said that she would think they were really new, or very small local, or a scam business that was unreliable and was going to take your money and disappear. So a website does give you legitimacy, as any marketing person who's ever been paid to develop a fancy bells-and-whistles website for a brand-new business to make them look bigger than they are knows.

Jinkies Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 2:30pm
post #16 of 26

I have two teen daughters and they are never on Facebook.  Instagram, Twitter and Tumbler are where it's at theses days.  If you try to keep up with all the social media these days you'll never have time to actually bake.

However, it is important because it does bring people to your website which is good.  I added Google Analytics to my website to see how much traffic I was getting. Did a little networking on Facebook and BAM, tons of traffic on the website.  Now, granted, it was people from all over the world, but it does move me up on the search engines.  My orders started picking up from there, because I am no longer on page 83 of a google search.

costumeczar Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 11:08pm
post #17 of 26

But you have to make sure that people are going to your website, not staying on your facebook page. Google doesn't index facebook consistently or at all, depending on the type of post. Visits to your website will improve your rankings, though.

Jen80 Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 11:57pm
post #18 of 26

 After reading a blog post about how we NEED to cover more ground on social media I spent daaaaays editing my photos for Instagram (square format), purchasing and setting up a website with added email account, setting up accounts with Twitter and Pinterest only to find that Facebook is still generating at least 80% of my incoming business with the rest being from word of mouth.  Yes, these other social media sites are promoted through facebook, email signature, business cards etc. 

This business was clearly advertising through their personal page, business page and private messages so I'm not sure they were worried about message etiquette.  

I agree with you on the texting mccantsbakes.  I have received texts at 6am asking if their cake would match the party table in the picture from Google Images.

Thanks for your input everyone smiley.png.  A number of points there to take in  and consider. 

Jinkies Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 11:57pm
post #19 of 26

Yeah, that's what I mean.  When I was networking on Facebook, people ( for whatever reason) went to my website (I have a link on my fb page).  So, the traffic on my website went nuts during that time, had a huge spike in traffic, hence the higher google ranking.

That's the key, getting people to your website.  They don't have to be perspective clients, just their traffic is good.

Jen80 Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 1:23am
post #20 of 26

 Ok.  I see, Jinkies.

 I've just Googled my town name and the word cake and even though my town name is in my business name, I am still on page three and that's my Pinterest account showing up first.

 So that means anyone not on facebook, looking for a decorator in my area would have to do a bit of searching to find me. 

 Good point. 

goodvibrations Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 3:01am
post #21 of 26

I don't mind a facebook message, however, I won't respond with a quote. I don't bother them to resend all the info to my email address. I ask them for their email address and explain that I will send a quote via email. My website address is also attached to that message. That sets up a whole relationship via email. All of my templates are set up in email format. (quotes, invoices, etc.) The only time I respond via facebook is to let them know I'm booked up on their requested date. I have a message that I "cut and paste" with 4 reputable cakers in my area that may be able to help.

goodvibrations Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 3:01am
post #22 of 26

I don't mind a facebook message, however, I won't respond with a quote. I don't bother them to resend all the info to my email address. I ask them for their email address and explain that I will send a quote via email. My website address is also attached to that message. That sets up a whole relationship via email. All of my templates are set up in email format. (quotes, invoices, etc.) The only time I respond via facebook is to let them know I'm booked up on their requested date. I have a message that I "cut and paste" with 4 reputable cakers in my area that may be able to help.

costumeczar Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 11:32am
post #23 of 26

They've also shown that people tend to look at the top results on the early pages in google results more than the results at the bottom of the first page. So if your business is ranked on the top of the second page that could be better for people searching than being at the bottom of the first page.

And now Instagram supports regular photos in vertical or horizontal frames, so they don't have to be square anymore. I think that was new about three or four days ago.

Jen80 Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 12:16pm
post #24 of 26

 Oh that is good costumeczar! It doesn't always suit an image for it to be square and yes, I tend to spend more time scanning the top of a Google results page than the bottom.

leta Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 10:08pm
post #25 of 26

One other thing to consider is that FB messaging is more like a real time conversation.  Some people expect real time response.  In addition, if you're a night-owl, and you send a response through FB, it may alert them in the middle of the night.  Whereas with email, I can set a delay on the message response to send at 8am.

Lastly, we dont need another communication system to keep track of.  Email/Voicemail/Text is more than enough, that's why we disabled our FB message a long time ago.

aarika Posted 18 Sep 2015 , 1:13am
post #26 of 26

This is a bit late to the game, but I always defer clients who contact via Facebook to email. If you respond within 5 minutes on average, you get a little icon that says, "fast responder" or something similar. Otherwise, it lists how long your average response time is. While that might seem like a ridiculous expectation of instantaneous contact, it's not an uncommon one. I learned about this by casually going back and forth with a friend who wanted to order a cake via my business's page, and then noticed later that my response time was displayed to the public.

Quote by @%username% on %date%