Instant Replies and Messenger Greeting options are a great fit for utilities

Do consumers send outage complaints on Facebook Messenger only to be told they need to call an outage hotline to report problems? Facebook offers 2 easy-to-automate ways to save consumers (and you!) time and frustration.

Messenger Greeting

Facebook’s Messenger Greeting shows important information before a consumer types a message. You can make the message generic, or opt to include the consumer’s name (first, last, or both) for a personal touch. For utilities, the most common way to use the tool is to provide an outage reporting number. Be concise; there’s a 160-character limit.


facebook greeting examples from 3 utilities

Instant Replies

You can also send an automated response once a message has been received. Facebook Instant Replies offer more space (250-character limit) and the same personalized options as Facebook Messenger Greetings. This is a good way to thank a consumer for reaching out and tell them when to expect a reply.

The downside? The message might be about an outage, and if your reply includes the number for reporting outages, the consumer might feel as if time was wasted typing the initial note.


example of Habersham's instant reply

How to Use the Tools

To add one or both of these options, go to your Facebook utility page. Click on Settings in the top right corner, then Messaging on the left column.

facebook settings for messaging

  • Messenger Greeting: Under Response Assistant, turn on Messenger Greeting. Select the edit option to reveal draft text as it would appear on a mobile phone. You have a 160-character limit. Focus on a message to help consumers avoid frustration. If they cannot report an outage by messaging you on Facebook, say so. Then give them the best way to report power issues.
  • Instant Replies: Under Response Assistant, turn on Instant Replies. You will then see an edit option. Click it to write your message. You have 250 characters to work with, but aim for short and simple. This is a good place to tell consumers when your account is monitored. You can also offer other ways to get in touch with your utility if there is an emergency.

Make it Personal

Both tools offer ways to make messages personal. To add a first and/or last name to your message, click the ‘Add Personalization’ button on the bottom left side of the edit box.


personalizing your message exxamples