Mashable is reporting a change in the Force. Facebook is testing two new comment features that could have a big impact on brand pages.
One is the ability for page admins to reply directly to an individual comment. I’ve had this feature on my wish list for some time now. It would really help turn Facebook posts into a conversation which is vital for the strength of the community.
Right now, your only option is to add a post to the bottom of the list and hope that the person your responding to scrolls down to read it. And seeing how individual comment replies are common everywhere else, it should be an easy thing for Facebook to initiate.
Question though, if I can reply directly to a comment, will that commenter get some kind of notification saying I’ve replied? If so, that could be a major way to boost traffic to the page.
And speaking of boosts. . . the other feature Facebook is testing is an option that pushes the most popular comments up to the top.
If your page isn’t very busy, this won’t help you out all that much, but if you get 50 or more replies on a post then this could be very beneficial. By allowing popular posts to rise to the top you’re rewarding people for leaving good (though not necessarily positive) comments. If you’ve ever seen the folks crowing over landing the Top Comment spot on YouTube, you know how much this kind of recognition can mean to a person. Validated consumers are happy consumers and happy consumers spread the word to their friends.
Promoting popular comments can also help segregate helpful information from so much noise. The downside is that negative comments can land in the top spot permanently with the support of the community. After that, your only option is the delete key and that can get you in more trouble than just allowing folks to speak their mind. Eventually, every Facebook tirade fades away so waiting it out is generally your best bet.
What do you think of these potential Facebook comment options? A help or a hindrance?