Facebook Feature: Better Messaging for Business Pages

For those of you who have felt a bit helpless in terms of communicating privately with your followers, your prayers are about to be answered.

According to a new blog from Facebook, business page admins will now be able to respond to comments from their followers in a private thread.

In the past, if someone commented on a listing asking something that you'd like to discuss privately, be it price, credit-related topics, etc., you'd have to respond in the same way they asked the question, usually publicly. Your only real plan of action was to comment back, "Please send me a private message, I'd love to answer all your questions." You'd have to assume there's some drop-off there. Plus, you want to serve your potential clients, not work harder to communicate with you.

As Facebook rolls this out, you'll be able to respond to a comment with a private message to the interested user. In the past, sending a private message to a follower of yours would result in your message going straight to Facebook's version of a spam folder. Going forward, you'll be at the top of their inbox and, with the immense number of people with Facebook's Messenger app on their cell phones, your message will likely cause Facebook to send them a mobile notification. This exponentially reduces the chance that they'll miss your message.

When our team discussed this development, my first thought was obviously that this was a positive update and would greatly help communication between agents and their followers. I then had a quick moment of panic when I realized that if you respond to all comments privately, to the outside world it will look like you're ignoring everyone that reaches out, though you're doing quite the opposite. Luckily, the men and women of Facebook were one step ahead of me:

"When a business responds privately to a comment, the comment shows a note that the business responded privately, so other Page visitors know that the business handled the request."

My last note for you is to use this new capability wisely. If Back At You Media posts an infographic for you on your business page, and a follower of yours comments, "Awesome! Good info," there's no reason to send them a private message. The best thing to do in that situation is just 'Like' their comment so they know you've seen their comment. If you want to comment back and add your thoughts, that's ok too, just don't abuse the power Facebook is giving you by being overly sales-oriented.