Facebook has added a ‘Send Message’ button to its platform, allowing users to privately interact with SMEs through advertisements on users’ news feeds.
According to Facebook, ”more than one billion people visit company pages every month looking for information.”
The new feature has been developed to help small businesses improve their customer support. It will let business owners know which of their ads prompted a customer to message them.
Nick Hoppe, director of strategy for social media agency The Movement Strategy, believes that the send message button can be useful as a lead generation tool.
‘‘If someone were to see an ad about a product and then immediately send a message to the company to find out where that product is available near them, there could be considerable value in running ads with that feature.’’
Facebook has also released a tool that lets businesses privately message people who have publicly commented on their page.
Stephanie Shkolnik, marketing strategy director for digital agency Mirum, believes that the tool can be useful, but warns: ‘‘The community manager should indicate publicly that they will be reaching out privately so other consumers in any given thread can know that a brand is being responsive.’’
If businesses respond to 90 per cent of their messages, then Facebook will award them with a ‘‘very responsive to messages’’ badge on their pages.
The social network declined to publish its product roadmap, a move that will keep the likes of Shkolnik guessing as to Facebook’s next move with its social marketplace.
‘‘Facebook may be poised to take market share from these tools that have built their businesses on social networks, or maybe brands will continue to leverage holistic external tools that streamline day-to-day productivity serving multiple networks in one place,” she added.