Eagle-eyed Facebook users may have noticed that certain Facebook pages now have a private message function, where fans can send a page a private message.
Now this, like all new Facebook services, has pros and cons.Pros
- Pages can directly message someone regarding a dispute or when delicate information is involved.
- It could cut down on page spam/abuse, if pages are allowed to respond directly to certain individuals.
- It could add a personal touch, allowing page users to personally thank certain individuals- therefore further improving the brand/fan relationship.
- Twitter already has a similar system, and it works well there.
- Facebook admins will no longer need to use personal profiles to send messages.
- It could actually increase spam and abuse, with fans able to send anything by private message.
- Equally, it could lead to controversy if an inexperienced Facebook page manager responds to a private message in the wrong way.
- Currently, private message conversations can only be initiated by a page fan, and a page admin can then respond. This limits conversation options, and means fans hold all the power when it comes to starting a private conversation. However, reports suggest it is possible to privately message some fans when they comment on a wall post.
- Facebook admins may choose to only respond to negative wall comments privately. Dealing with constructive criticism publicly, in the right way, can actually be great PR for a brand, so to not do so could be bad for a page.