Facebook's latest announcement concerns those of you who manage one of the 40 million Pages on Facebook. Facebook's latest set of admin tools, called Pages Messaging, will soon give Page admins the ability to reply to customer's comments on posts with a private message. Currently the only option to Page admins when a user reaches out via Facebook is to respond in like, meaning either public-for-public or private-for-private.
Now brands will have another avenue to connect with customers and potential customers without being forced to have them publicly where they are accessible beyond the Page itself.
One possible use according to Facebook is with local awareness ads. When a company advertise on Facebook, they will have the option of including a call-to-action link that allows users to message them directly with any questions, complaints, or concerns about the item being advertised.
What will happen is that a new 'Message' button will appear next to the Like and Reply buttons under a comment. Once clicked, a messenger interface will open and you will be able to communicate directly with that user, who will be informed that they are communicating via private message. On top of having the user's original comment come up for reference, an attachment will also be included that shows which ad prompted the person to reach out.
Additionally, Page admins will be able to create and save responses for quick responses (which are editable before sending). You will also be able to archive, delete, flag, and mark messages as read, unread, and spam in bulk.
While this information will only help businesses to analyze their ad metrics to find out which of their ads are receiving engagement and which aren't, Facebook is also hoping to help customers identify which brands they can expect prompt responses from. This will come in the form of a new badge that Facebook will add to Pages that are the most likely to respond to users. From Facebook's press release:
"Pages that respond to 90% of messages and have a median response time of less than five minutes will now have a "Very responsive to messages" badge on their profiles."
Facebook says that these responsiveness ratings are "dynamic and calculated based on data from the last seven days." Page admins will be able to see this information in the Page insights tab. Currently there are only badges for responsive brands; there isn't a 'Not Responsive' badge, yet.
This is another step by Facebook (Did you read their other announcement this week to compete with Meerkat and Periscope?) to be a one-stop-shop for all your brand's social media needs. Last year I wrote an article on how brands can use Twitter as part of their customer service, specifically about the benefits of being able to communicate real-time with users. This ability to get answers immediately has been a big draw for Twitter.
Now, those 1.5 billion monthly users won't have to leave Facebook to get in touch with brands. Facebook says to expect the new tools to show up on Pages over the coming weeks.