Private Messages Feature in Facebook Timeline

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image of mcdonalds-facebook-fan-pageWith the change to Facebook for Timeline it is important to understand what this means for messaging.  Previously you had posts on your page and private messaging was not allowed, but now you have options and it is a really great feature that has been added.  So the decision you now face is whether you will allow private messages from your fans.

With the new implementation taking effect on March 31, 2012 you need to weigh your options and make your decisions very soon.  As the new timeline design is rolled out your fans can choose to send you a private message instead of posting on your page publicly.  There will be a message button placed underneath your cover photo and on your side you will see the messages displayed on the right side of the admin panel.

There are many great reasons for this feature and while it means more customer service from your side, it could offer up some very good business opportunities.  First you can now communicate information that could be private or sensitive in nature directly to your fan without having to require an email address or locate another contact method.  The feature will also allow you to really showcase your customer service and provide support that otherwise might not be really seen by our fans.

The privacy thing works both ways as well, as this allows your fans to reach you privately about issues without having to tell everyone about the problem or discussion that can be one on one.  Of course it means you might have to add resources that you currently do not have to respond and handle the message traffic.  It could be that it simply does not fit for your business and could be better to disable the feature from your page.

Watch a Video on How to Change Your Facebook Business Page to Timeline

If you decide you do want to disable the feature, then simply go to your admin panel and click on manage, and edit page.  Under the manage permissions tab you will find the check box to disable the message feature.  It is easy and quick and could be you want to change it later on when you have the ability to handle it better.

In order to prevent spam and protect your privacy there are some restrictions you need to be aware of.  Since Facebook does limit the way the pages can interact with the messaging feature, it will limit the back and forth messages.  So if you happen to be communicating with a fan that is going to require quite a lot of this, you may want to opt out for email, as you will be limited in that exchange.

The timeline feature is going to be a great change and will bring on many opportunities for the business.  You have to decide what works best for you and for your business and how your fans are best managed.  Just review and understand so you can have the setting in place and be ready for the big conversion as you want your timeline page to be a great reflection on you and your business

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