Facebook groups are a way organizations or businesses can promote activities. Members of a group are able to share their thoughts on a wall and connect in discussion threads. Basically, it creates private communities for Facebook users.
Facebook, at their F8 2019 Conferencedescribed groups as the following:
“Groups provide a space to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything — your family reunion, your after-work sports team, your book club — and customize the group’s privacy settings depending on who you want to be able to join and see the group.”
So, Why Are Facebook Groups Important?
Facebook groups are for more than just book clubs or garage sales. Many businesses are beginning to use them as a key factor in their marketing strategies. If a business can create a group around their brand, they can create a community around it. This makes a brand and product more valuable to a customer while connecting people who enjoy your product.
They also provide a platform for a business to connect to its customers. Companies can answer questions, request feedback, generate networking opportunities and make connections with customers that will ensure their loyalty.
Who Is Using Them?
Influencers are beginning to use Facebook groups as a way to connect with their audiences and create communities in the same way companies are. It provides fans a platform to communicate with other fans as well as directly connect to the influencer.
Nas Daily is a great example of an influencer who uses Facebook groups to connect with his following. His closed group, Nas Daily Global, has over 650,000 members. Each day, only the top two to four posts from the members spanning over 100 countries are featured. This creates an interactive experience for his following while also generating content with no effort.
It also drives traffic back to his main Facebook page, Nas Daily, where he posts short videos featuring interesting news and stories from countries around the world. On his main page, the Nas Daily Global group pops up on the right-hand side, making it extremely accessible and inviting everyone, even first-time visitors, to join his community.
How to Use Them Effectively
Fill them out entirely:Facebook actually walks you through all the steps while setting it up, so take advantage of this and make sure you place information throughout the group.
Set the rules for the group: This will be extremely important once the group gets off the ground and running. Things like ‘no spam’ and ‘no hate speech’ are examples of simple rules that are very important to include.
Post consistently: It’s important to post regularly, especially in the early stages of your Facebook group. Using tools to help schedule posts and providing questions for the members are some ways to make sure the group gets consistent posts.
Create content specifically for your group:This ties into the whole idea of exclusivity. Designing content that only fits your group strengthens the connection and makes the members feel even more important. This could include a group-only discount or download.
Respond to posts:If you’re going to ask your members questions, be sure to respond to them. One of the main functions of a Facebook group is to keep your company or brand connected with the audience. Ignoring questions will completely undermine this whole purpose.
Use analytics: Regularly checking in on analytics will help you see what you’re doing right and what you need to improve on. Luckily, Facebook provides group analytics, which makes it very easy to see how you’re doing.
Important Improvements to Facebook Groups
This year, in early May, Facebook hosted its F8 2019 Conference. One of the most important topics discussed were the changes they made to groups. They announced:
“This redesign makes it easy for people to go from public spaces to more private ones, like Groups. There are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook, and when people find the right one, it often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook. That’s why we’re introducing new tools that will make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests.”
So what exactly does this mean? Basically, Facebook wants content from groups that users are involved in to appear more frequently and earlier than other information. If Facebook is about enhancing relationships and creating communities, it makes sense that information from groups users join would be prioritized.
For influencers and companies, this algorithm change means groups are now more valuable than pages on news feeds. Information shared in a group will now appear higher up on a feed than the same information shared on a page. This makes it even more important than before for influencers to create groups for their followings and companies to create groups for their brands or products.
In addition to algorithm changes involving groups, Facebook also added special features for specific groups. For example, in a Health Support group, members can now ask personal medical questions anonymously; in a Job group, employers can list openings; and in a Gaming group, users can create multiple threads within one chat.((https://www.f8.com/))
Other Recent Facebook Updates
App Redesign:Moving away from the heavily blue color scheme (that many people began to associate with data theft and privacy scandals), the new desktop and mobile versions are mostly white.
The new desktop format has a similar tab-like layout the mobile version already had, creating consistency across platforms.
Each part gets more individualized focus, like the groups tab shown above. This makes it easier to navigate through the various groups and other features across the site.
The mobile version looks very similar to the desktop, with white becoming the main color. The formatting changes also make it easier to navigate between multiple groups.
Facebook Dating:Facebook also gave an update to a newer online dating feature on its site. The feature is being introduced to 14 countries alongside the five it already exists in. The main part of the update was the introduction of the ‘Secret Crush.’
This is what Facebook said about it:
“If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list, it’s a match. If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list, no one will know that you’ve entered a friend’s name.”
New Shipping Options for Marketplace:Marketplace shoppers are now able to have items delivered to them with the introduction of this feature. Items can be shipped anywhere in the continental US and payments can now be made directly on Facebook.
New Events Tab: Facebook also introduced a new and improved events tab that lets users know what’s happening around them. It will include better recommendation services, listings from local businesses and tools to help organize outings with friends.