Tips For Turning On The Very Responsive To Messages Icon On Facebook

1272999_10151685721068214_1924325673_oSeveral months ago I had a problem. Not an earth-shattering problem, more like the ruin-a-six-year-old's-birthday problem. You see, I forgot to order his birthday cake from the local franchised bakery. My excuse: he's my youngest of four boys.

To save the day, I asked for bakery recommendations from my local community residents (via a Facebook Page) and soon found myself Liking four new Facebook Business Pages and promptly messaging each page to see if they can help me.

Five minutes passed and none of the businesses replied.

I started to fret and become anxious, especially when I noticed the pages had read my message (desperate plea for help).

At the 10 minute mark finally I had a reply. Within minutes, several messaged between the page owner and I were exchanged. We had organised a cake, agreed on a price and a pick up time, but towards the end of the conversation I found myself asking

“Ummm…. who are you?”.

I felt like I needed a human face, and a name to go with the messages I was receiving. I've got to tell you, it's pretty awkward to ask someone what their name is after you've been chatting to them for more than 10 minutes!

Anyway, all went well. My son got his cake and ate it too, but that night I was left thinking about the situation I was faced with, realising that three of the other businesses I contacted STILL hadn't even bothered to reply.

As a business owner, who manages two Facebook pages, I found myself asking two important questions:

  1. How do I make sure I reply to messages quickly?
  2. How do I introduce myself, so that new customers have an instant rapport with me?

I managed to resolve both of these problems with one, very simple idea which I will get to shortly, but first I want to explain why a timely message response is now more important than ever.

In April 2015, Facebook stated to roll out a ‘response rating' to Pages and it didn't take long for some Facebook Page Admins to see a green icon indicating that they are ‘very responsive to messages'.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon - Cherie McKay

This green very responsive to messages icon has the potential to be the gold (green) standard of customer service. It communicates to your customer that you reply very quickly and that they are important to you. Put simply, the green icon gives your customers the ‘green light'. It's the Facebook world's virtual light in the shop window, communicating to your customers that you're open for business and ready to chat.

If this green icon was available when I was looking for a baker on Facebook to make my son's cake, I would have only messaged the pages that had the green light, in fact I would have only Liked the pages with the green light.

Thinking forward, as with other Facebook initiatives, it's possible the very responsive to messages icon and your overall responsiveness rate is something Facebook might include into their algorithm, giving Pages with the green very responsive to messages icon Newsfeed preference.

It seems this very responsive to messages icon is something all pages owners should strive for.  It tells your customers that you are ‘open', it attracts new Likes and may give you Newsfeed preference.

Turning On The Very Responsive To Messages Icon

So how do you get your green icon badge of honour?

In order to achieve this green icon, firstly you need to have the message feature enabled on your Facebook page and secondly you must reply to at least 90% of all messages you receive via your page within an average of five minutes.

You need to reply to at least 90% of all messages you receive via your Facebook Page within an average of five minutes in order for the very responsive to messages icon to appear on your Facebook Page.


How the hell are we meant to respond to EVERY Facebook message in under 5 minutes? Does Facebook not realise that we have businesses to run?

But don't stress, I have a great little hack that will make this as simple as… cake!

Facebook gives you the ability to save frequent responses, which helps to speed up your response rate, ultimately helping you to achieve your very own special little green icon.

The functionality of the saved responses is endless and has the potential to save you a lot of time. I find it particularly useful for my photography business, as I am able to easily answer questions about pricing and even the styles of photography that I do.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon

But what's more exciting is that this feature has the capacity to solve the ‘faceless/nameless issue' that I experienced when ordering my son's birthday cake with the inclusion of basic merge fields.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon - Add Personalization

By inserting basic merge fields, such as “Person's firs name” you are able to make your messages more personal, without even having to remember what their name is.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon

Facebook Pages are a wonderful tool to slowly build a rapport with your customers, but you can't make the mistake of assuming that the customer has been paying attention to who you are, or that they've been Following your Page for long enough to know who you are.

It is important that you introduce yourself at the beginning of every new interaction. It's important that your customers feel the ‘human' side of these interactions.

And the best way to do this is: VISUALLY!

I want my potential customers to feel like we are having a face-to-face conversation, so several months ago I designed a template to achieve just that!

Here is what my customers are faced with when they message me on my photography page.  You'll see that I've given reason why I'm not available, I've kept the style fairly professional looking but also friendly.  This simple image shows my customers who I am, what I look like and gives them my first name, the very hallmarks of a face-to-face conversation.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon - Hack 2

Below is an example of what people see when they contact me via my writing page.  In this case I've provided a time as to when my customers can expect a reply.  I've kept the mood light hearted and funny, keeping in line with my typical style of writing.

Facebook very responsive to messages icon - Hack

Pretty Cool huh!?

I've set each image up as a saved reply for desktop use, and I keep a copy of the images in the camera roll of my mobile phone for replying when I'm out and about.

The template fits perfectly within Desktop messages:

Facebook very responsive to messages icon

And mobile messages:

Facebook very responsive to messages icon

If you want to make an image similar to this, the dimensions are: 490 x 592 pixels.

Go ahead and set one up and lets see if you too can start responding to Facebook messages in less than 5 minutes so that you can turn on your green light.  Have fun with them.  If you're going on holiday, why not tell your customers and include a fantastic holiday image.

If you have any further tips for how to turn on the Facebook very responsive to messages icon, then please share them in the comments below.


  1. Sheila says:

    So there’s no way to automatically get this feature?
    The post is a bit confusing (sorry!)

    • Sheila you need to reply to at least 90% of all messages you receive via your Facebook Page within an average of five minutes in order for the very responsive to messages icon to appear on your Facebook Page. This blog posts shares some tips on how to make this easy to do so, whilst at the same time build a rapport with our customers.

  2. Is the measurement retrospective or are response rates only recorded since the feature was introduced? I tend to get more comments than messages and I always respond quickly but it sounds like this wouldn’t be counted in this particular algorithm?

    • Cherie McKay Cherie McKay says:

      Hi Bec, That’s a great question, but the truth is we aren’t sure. Our advice is to just respond as fast as possible from this point forward. It’s great that you respond to comments quickly too, but you’re right, at this point response time to comments does not make up your reply rate and reply responsiveness time. 🙂

  3. PS – great to see another friendly face on Impactiv8 Cherie! I really enjoyed this post.

  4. Hi Bec, I’ve only very recently noticed this feature on my Page and your post has come at a good time as I’ve been pondering something. I’m pretty quick at responding to messages (except those that are asked in the middle of the night!) but often I’ll respond with an answer, then the person may respond with a “Thanks” or a thumbs up and I then may not respond to that message as often it’s not necessary. I’m now thinking that FB will penalise me for not thanking the person for thanking me? What do you think?

    • Cherie McKay Cherie McKay says:

      We haven’t found any information about this scenario but from my experience I haven’t replied to these types of messages and it has not affected my response rating. I have a suspicion that FB is only timing the response to the first message we receive but I have been unable to confirm this in the information I’ve read to date.

  5. Great article which I was surprised to see was written by an old school friend! I love tjis idea, thanks Cherie x

    • Cherie McKay Cherie McKay says:

      Hey Jessica!! Thank you. Let me know if you implement the idea and have fun with it. 🙂

  6. Youarn says:

    Great tip – not that we’re inundated yet, but it’s good to be prepared. The only thing missing in this article was the step-by-step guide as to actually how to do this. The screenshots did show me what it would look like when I got to the right place, but I had to go elsewhere (off this page) to get bridge that gap.

    It’s also good to note that the saved replies function seem to work much better when using browsers other than IE.

    All of that said, very useful advice.

  7. I really love your visual responses, Cherie!

    So these can be templated responses? And is there a way to automate them out of business hours, or do you still have to respond manually with them?


  8. Carol says:

    I don’t think it counts replies to messages, only the first reply. To turn my icon on, this is what I did:

    1) Archived any messages that didn’t require a reply or were spam
    2) Started replying to messages asap

    After a few days, the icon appeared. When I receive a message from a customer in the middle of the night, I archive it before I reply. It seems to keep the icon lit up. Hope that helps!

  9. Christine says:

    I find the response rate green icon great, but we businesses are being penalised sadly when someone messages outside of business hours. Although I try to remember to turn on the ‘away’ function for messages, I often forget and I wake up to a message that was sent at 11pm. Instant replies do not count as a reply and the response rate plummets. This is why I found your comment about avoiding businesses without the green icon a little unfair.
    Anyway, wouldn’t it be lovely if Facebook introduced the ability to preset the away function?

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