What's to Like: Facebook Messages and What it Means for Marketers
You’ve undoubtedly heard about Facebook’s new Messages platform. Although Facebook hasn't completely fleshed out all of the current or planned-for capabilities, it has emphasized that this isn't a new email browser, as many had originally anticipated. So what exactly is Facebook Messages?
Facebook Messages is made up of three components:
- Seamless messaging: the ability to carry on a conversation across email, SMS, IM or Facebook Messages.
- Conversation history: the ability to index and reference a complete history of conversations.
- Social inbox: the ability to prioritize and filter messages in your inbox.
What does this new channel mean for brands currently interacting with consumers via Facebook, or for marketers who will be messaging to Facebook.com email addresses? There are a few things you may want to address as Facebook rolls out the new Messages product to users.
1. Update your email preference center. User adoption of Facebook Messaging will be interesting to watch. Facebook Messages’ segregates messages automatically, so messages and emails from Facebook friends appear in your Messages folder. Updates and emails from brands appear in your "Other" folder.
From our testing, it doesn’t appear that being a fan of a brand’s Facebook page influences the placement of the message at all. You may want to add language to your email sign-up page letting Facebook users know where to find your emails, or ask them to move emails from your brand to the Messages folder so that subsequent messages come directly to that folder.
2. Pay attention to your pre-headers and subject lines. With Facebook Messages, there are no subject lines. All conversations are threaded based on who’s taking part in the dialogue. For emails that arrive with a subject line, that subject line is turned into the first line of the message. So a distinct subject line will become even more important when consumers are searching through recent messages to find that great deal you sent them.
Related story: What Facebook Messages Means for Email Marketers