Facebook Ordering Comments and Replies by Popularity

This morning when I was pottering around on Facebook attending my duties as a Social Media Community Manager, I stumbled upon a little surprise wrapped up in a comments-shaped box. Let me tell you about it…

Let me bring you up to speed. After testing the feature out for months, Facebook has decided to roll out new threaded replies and comments for Pages. Threaded comments and replies essentially allow Facebook Page managers to reply to specific comments in a thread, rather than the disjointed method of random name-dropping in the linear comments stream we’re all familiar with. In my opinion, this feature will make it much easier to interact directly with individual consumers and keep relevant conversations connected. So thumbs up from where I’m sitting.

But I knew all of this already. What came as a surprise this morning is that the most liked and replied to comments on a post appear to be pushing their way to the top of the comments section, while comments that are not replied to or are marked as spam will remain at the bottom. See below:

For a post with positive comments like the above for the Brisbane Broncos (disclaimer – not a client of ours) this feature is great! But what about when a customer posts an unrelated complaint in the comments section of that ‘cute cat Friday’ picture you just posted? And what if they have a lot of friends who love to ‘like’?

What had originally started as a great new feature has now turned into a pain in the neck. In the past negative comments could be somewhat hidden by the sheer mass of the comments stream, but now they have the potential to be highlighted, nay, glorified on your very own page!

This, friends of the Internet, is why businesses need a dedicated Community Manager in their ranks. Someone there to encourage and rally the advocates. Someone on the front line to dive onto ticking time bombs of public complaints. Someone to pick the brand up, dust it off, and keep on marching. And this is why businesses continue walking through our doors asking us to sort our their social media marketing for them.

And that is why I love my job.