A direct message (DM) is a private form of communication between social media users that is only visible to the sender and recipient(s). Online businesses communicating with customers often use direct messages to clarify order details, answer complex product questions, or resolve disputes out of the public eye.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all allow for direct messages between their users, with varying restrictions by platform.
- Twitter allows DMs to be sent to 50 users and requires a follow
- Instagram DMs can be sent to up to 15 people.
- Facebook requires a users to like a Page before DMs are permitted
Social media plays a major role in crafting and maintaining a business’ online reputation. Publicly-visible praise goes a long way to validating a brand, while criticism can have a significant negative impact on sales. Though it’s important for brands to address negative criticism and not run away from it, there’s no reason for long-winded communications to play out in public.
When users tweet negative feedback or post on a business Facebook page, one tried-and-true method is to respond publicly and follow up with a direct message. This makes it clear you’re not hiding from the encounter and shows the complainer that you stand behind your products or services; and just as importantly, it shows this to viewers of your account.