It used to be that if your agency had a fan page (as opposed to an individual profile) your fans couldn’t send your organization private messages. With the new Facebook layout, rolling out at the end of March, fans can now send private messages to any brand, agency or organization. The message button appears right below the cover photo on the right side. To turn off this feature, go to the setting pages and select Manage Permissions, then uncheck the box that says Show Message Button.

If left on, the new feature poses challenges and opportunities for agencies. In addition to providing a private way for citizens to offer evidence or tips to law enforcement, it also means agencies should monitor those messages.

In order to stay on top of the messages, an agency might want to give admin access to additional individuals within the organization, which also adds new challenges. Giving access to other individuals lessens the workload for the main admin, but you may not want those people to have complete access to your page. The good news there is Facebook plans to initiate levels of admin access.

Facebook has indicated it may have up to five levels of administrative access for pages and plans are to roll them out by the end of March.

This Social Media Quick Tip was previously published at