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A guide to Facebook’s new private messaging feature

Facebook is testing private messaging between Pages and Fans.

Background

Currently, all communication between pages and fans appears public on the page.  This new feature will allow brands to respond privately to visitors of the page (this doesn’t have to be just fans who have ‘liked’ the page).

Description

-       Alongside the ‘like’ button on a fan’s comment, a ‘message’ option is now available:

-       Page admins are notified of new messages under the ‘notification’ tab on the right-hand side of the page, under the admin section:

-       It is impossible for page admins to proactively send a private message to visitors unless they have already commented or sent a private message.

Why?

-       The new feature makes it easier for brands to interact on a more personal/ direct level with fans.

-       Brands can now take continue difficult conversations and complaints in private.

-       It will become easier to ask for and manage personal contact information from fans within the same platform.

When?

At the moment, this is just a trial and only available for a limited number of pages.  Facebook are not giving away anymore information currently.

Take-away

This small development is quite key for brands who have been challenged with the need for one-to-one communication on Facebook since pages were available.

At the moment, brands have to give fans an email or telephone number in order to directly communicate with a fan. This new feature will further enhance the customer experience of customers who went to Facebook with their issue.

What should you do?

Use it! (as soon as you can)

There are lots of ways that this new feature could benefit your brand. However, having public conversations is also beneficial to you and your wider community. So it is all about getting the right balance.

This post was filed under Marketing & PR, Social media, Working culture. Join the conversation - leave a comment.

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