Facebook Users Can Now Send Private Messages To Businesses Via Local Ads
Brands that make particularly good use of this feature will be publicly endorsed by Facebook with a certified ‘responsive’ badge.
Facebook will now allow users to send a private message to a brand or business’ Place Page directly from the brand’s display ads. Facebook hopes that this new feature can be used to offer a more localized and personal take on customer-brand interaction.
Many businesses, especially larger ones with gigantic advertising budgets, reach thousands of customers through all sorts of different avenues – be it display ads, mobile ads, personal video, etc. But for others, especially SMBs, that kind of reach isn’t always available. Many businesses, for example Big Gay Ice Cream, rely heavily on word of mouth and interactions through social media to drive up interest in their business.
For brands with an active social media presence and a smaller advertising budget, Facebook’s new Pages Messaging system will serve as a helpful intermediary. Essentially, there will be a direct call-to-action “Send Message” button on Facebook display ads prompting customers to correspond directly with a brand’s Facebook page. This will allow a more “personal way to connect with businesses directly from ads,” Facebook said in a statement.
Lines of Communication
For the brands themselves, the message received from the customer will let them know exactly which ad they were served that led them to initiate a conversation. This is a good way for brands to know which of their ads are performing well and which are not, so that they can better tailor the ads to facilitate more conversation.
Facebook also points out that until now, the only way for brands to converse with customers was through whatever method the customer initiated the conversation. If the customer left a comment on the page, the brand could only respond in more comments – ditto for messages. But now, brands will be able to reply to a comment with a private message. This could hopefully eliminate some of the embarrassment in working through customer complaints and other unsavory interactions without broadcasting them to everyone who views the Page.
Other viewers to the page will see that comments were responded to privately, so as not to leave the impression that commenters were ignored. Users can also block messages from brands and businesses if need be.
Additionally, brands that make efficient and effective use of the new messaging feature will be recognized with a “Very responsive to messages” badge on their Page, assuring users that their questions and concerns will be met with timeliness.
But keeping that badge might be difficult if brands are forced to answer hundreds of identical questions in a timely fashion. To avoid this, brands will be able to create and save responses to common questions.
For brands who rely more on communication and interaction over inflated ad budgets, the new features sound like a good way to get more use out of what money they do spend on advertisements.