Facebook's New Direct Messaging Offers Interesting Possibilities

The new direct messaging by Facebook may have a very big impact on brands' customer care efforts. One such company that has been using the direct messaging system (though from their personal accounts) is Tesco’s Fresh & Easy. This western United States grocery chain has been using it for months, and consumers are overjoyed with the attention. According to the company, the response has been 100% positive. With the soon to be implemented direct messaging option, personal accounts will no longer be necessary. 

Here is how the system is going to work: once a Facebook user sends a message to a brand, the brand has the ability to answer back. Those consumers that are worried that they are going to be overwhelmed with direct messages need not worry, the consumer him or herself needs to initiate the dialogue.

Before this new addition, companies could only respond via wall post responses. Especially when dealing with something of a personal nature, this may not necessarily be the greatest option.

The truth is that it provides another social CRM channel. Some companies may see this as helpful whereas others may perceive it as more trouble than it is worth. There is no denying that customers are already spending time on Facebook, why not integrate their user experience and allow them to directly relay any problems to the company from there?

What should be evident by the fact that a company can only respond once a consumer messages them first, is that this is not something that should be used to spam consumers. This should be a method to address consumers' ideas, thoughts, and feedback – not about providing a sales pitch.