Though the news hasn’t appeared as an update on its official blog, Facebook has has begun introducing a new feature which allows business pages to receive private messages from their fans on the social network.
Right now, the new feature has only been rolled out to Asia-based admins. When it launched on Monday morning, Facebook page admins woke up to the following information box:
While this certainly will be a significant change for customer service pages, it can also be a huge gain for Career and Employment Brand pages. As the feature works now, private messages have to be initiated by fans, but once that connection is established the door is open for further communication. Imagine being able to privately communicate with people through your company’s Facebook careers page, even though you are not directly connected. And more, for sourcers this opens up an opportunity to scour for more information on those who initiate communication. It’s one more foot in the door to cultivating good relationships with potential candidates.
There are some downsides to this of course. According to The Next Web, which first broke the news,
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A possible negative effect of the new messaging feature and less public communication with brands, could be lower rates of organic growth for business pages. Facebook socialises each fan’s interactions with a page — sharing likes, shares, comments, and other interactions fans make there, with their friends — which can help raise a page’s visibility. So, more private messages may lead to less public comments, which could curtail this growth somewhat.
While this is certainly a cool new feature — and hopefully will be rolled out worldwide in the very near future — it is behind the unveiling of the new Google Plus Pages for organizations which were introduced back in November, as well as Twitter’s redesigned Brand Pages which was announced on December 8.
Regardless, each of these more intimate connection opportunities between brands/companies and customers/potential candidates creates a better experience for consumers (and candidates) and allows for more freedom and creativity of pursuit on the side of the companies and brands. As sourcing professionals, the best place to reach potential candidates is where they already congregate — Facebook is an excellent source and it will be interesting to see who takes advantage of this new messaging tool once it becomes available outside of Asia.