Facebook Groups: What’s new?

The title of this post is a bit misleading. This is because anyone who has used Facebook for any length of time knows that Facebook makes significant changes on an ongoing basis. So are they ever really new or just ongoing?

Today I’m writing about Business Pages and how creating Facebook Groups can be useful to your marketing strategy!

Keeping up with Facebook

Here at HPMG we always like to be in the know and do our best to roll with what’s coming, in order to best serve our clients. It’s important that we keep informed and in turn, we are happy to pass our knowledge on to you. 

One very notable shift in Facebook within the last year or so is the increase in Facebook Groups. You are most likely in at least one Facebook Group by now, and you may even be an administrator of one!  Check out this stat from SocialMediaExaminer.com.

“Currently, 200M people are members of groups and Facebook has stated they’re aiming to raise that number to 1B.“

This number is only expected to increase as people congregate with other like-minded people on a platform that is often the first thing viewed on their phones each morning. This happens all around the globe! Facebook is encouraging Business Pages (and all Pages) to create groups so their followers can easily engage with each other. Remember, Facebook is all about community and this move to groups is part of their return to that focus.

The Decline of Facebook Pages

We are seeing less content from Pages (including Businesses) on our own personal news feeds and it’s being replaced by more group posting. So, how do you navigate around the Facebook algorithm if want your Page content to reach your followers? You can always contact us and we would be happy to assist you.

One of the best ways to get your followers to engage with you is to meet them where they are. This is now in Facebook Groups. So make a group! Strategically speaking, once your group is up, and has active members, they will begin creating content FOR your business.  Check out these stats from this Conde Nast Traveler group.

Wow, 31 posts in one day?!  That’s an impressive amount of content being created by followers (members of the group). Using this concept you’ll have users creating content for you, rather than coming up with something to post about yourself. 

While this customer-generated content can be great as noted, it isn’t always necessarily the best option for all businesses. We still suggest keeping up with regular, CONSISTENT, posting on your primary Business Page and adding a Facebook Group when if fits in with your goals. Here are a few examples of how groups from a page are and can be used (according to Facebook).

Rules and Regulations Within Facebook Groups

While Facebook Groups can be fairly easy to create, there are decisions to make. You will need to set up rules and regulations within the group. Decide if it’s going to be an open group (meaning everyone can join) or a closed group (you have to approve / not approve people who request to join). It will be important to make sure you or someone on your team is moderating the group. This is often where customers need help.

Our social media experts can not only help navigate the ins-and-outs of getting a Business Page up and running smoothly but also launch a group as part of your business strategy. We will moderate the comments and other engagement from your pages and/or group(s).  We can help set your guidelines and expectations clearly. Let us monitor both your page and the group as much as possible to make sure people abide by those guidelines. 

Just like Pages, Group insights are available on Facebook as well, but only for groups with 250 or more members. Generally speaking, anyone can create a Group. We suggest that you consider creating a Group when you have reached over 5,000 likes on your Business Page. 

Facebook Experiences Should Be Authentic

As noted earlier, Facebook is about building community and always has been. Therefore, authentic high-quality content will be a winner every time. (Forbes.com) explains it perfectly.

“Back in the day, most interactions on social media were with real people, many of them friends and family. Believe it or not, Facebook was a place to be yourself and let your guard down.” 

Setting clear guidelines in your group such as topics to avoid, clean content, positive community etc. will help your group members ‘feel’ like the nostalgia that was once social media. Having your guidelines set forth before you set up your group will deter ‘Spam’ and having a social media expert to monitor your group will help keep it focused and on topic.  

Sometimes a member in your group might try to spam everyone in the group with a product they are selling. It’s simple to remove or block this person. You can have set questions that people have to answer, don’t just let anyone in when they select ‘join.’

Don’t Lose Your Audience!

Creating a Facebook Group as part of your Business Page may sound like a somewhat daunting task. There seems to be a lot involved if you want to do it right, many rules, guidelines, monitoring, and then walking that fine line between building authentic community vs. streamlined marketing. We believe groups are one of the best tools to continue engaging your audience and keeping them active. You should evaluate this possibility as part of your digital marketing strategy.    

Sarah Howk
Media Specialist