There is a push in Facebook Land towards Facebook Groups. It reminds me of when Pages first came out and then there were all of these developments Page Owners could leverage. Now they’re increasing the offerings to Facebook Group owners and I want to not just explain them, I want you tell you how you can leverage them.
Here’s the thing… before you go throwing your page out with the bath water, you need to realise that a Facebook Group needs as much work. A disengaged group is as much of a wasteland as a postless page. It also has the same baring on your business. Facebook Groups are not the Holy Grail.
Getting people into your Facebook Group
Let’s face it, we would all like more people in our group. So let’s talk about it first.
Facebook have recently integrated a 3 question screening to Groups. This means that you can make people requesting to join your group are required to answer up to 3 questions. As the Facebook Group Admin, you set the questions and your only constraint is a 200 character limit for each question.
Entry questionnaires are nothing new, admins have been sending them out or redirecting applicants for years, however this is integrated into the Facebook Group. This reduces the time taken by Admin and saves messages being lost in that pesky “Others” folder.
The questions you ask are entirely up to you, but consider them as not just ways to screen but also ways to gather information about the content you provide and how your group is being promoted.
You can find the questionnaire under the ‘Group Settings’ for your Facebook Group.
The following options are being tested and rolled out. This means that they may not be available to you or they may be withdrawn. Regardless, they are worthy of mention as it demonstrates the increased push to Groups.
Ads shown in Facebook Groups
I have only ever seen one Ad displayed in a Facebook Marketplace (buy/sell/swap) Group. I understand that in the US, some advertisers have access to advertise into groups but it is not a global option.
The ad I saw was run off of a Pixel, meaning that I saw the ad because I had visited a website. This is handy for applicable pages as you can then run ads in shopping groups built around reselling your product.
I am interested to find out if you can target your own group. This would mean that you could offer specials or promotions just to your group based. This is helpful for large or highly active groups where posts move quickly.
Linking Facebook Pages to Facebook Groups
I have seen this on one of my client’s pages. They do not have an associated Facebook Group and Facebook is telling them to create one. I, however, have a group but no option to link said group. (yet)
Why is this important? Well, many pages see Groups as a way to deepen interaction. Some businesses use them as an income stream. Other businesses have them as part of their sales process. There are many reasons to link a Facebook Group to your page. In the main, it’s a community place to expand relationships with customers.
There is a lot of psychology around groups, group think, and group behaviour. It differs from a page, where it is more one-to-one. When we know we are in a group, we tend to chat more as a collective. Think of it as the difference between an email or phone conversation and a chat at the bar.
I am looking forward to using this as I transition from email to where my clients enjoy hanging out – Facebook.
Trial Facebook Group in Mobile Toolbar
I am seriously loving this change and I hope it sticks. I’m using it as often as possible to ensure the beta testing data goes back to Facebook.
Last week I updated my app, I’m an Android Facebook Beta tester, and I found that there was a Group tab to the left of the Marketplace tab. Of course I explored away.
What it does is that it shows me any outstanding notifications for the groups I am in. This is great as I am a member of far too many groups, but I love them. So, at a glance I can see if there are unread posts; best of all I can see if there is anything needing attention in my own group or groups I admin.
Under that, I can post to a group – any group I am a member of, without actually going into that group and down some mysterious Facebook Group rabbit hole. (You know the one where you’re scrolling, liking, commenting and lose track of time. Or is that just me?)
Next down the screen is the notifications. It’s a chronological (yup it is, no algorithm here as yet) list of posts and comments on posts on all the groups I elect to receive notifications on. Perfect. A one stop shop to catch up on the Group happenings.
I love this update as it puts the groups in one spot, in one app, with the rest of my Facebook – just like on the desktop. I was never a fan of the Groups app. I found it clunky and as a result, I didn’t use it. Having a way to interact with my Facebook Groups where I hang out is smart business and a move for Facebook to listening to user behaviour.
So what does it all mean and where does it come from.
This is a quote taken from the 2017 update to his 2012 letter on his Facebook Profile.
It shows that they have realised the power within Facebook Groups to drive community, the original reason behind Facebook. So leveraging this space where people again derive community is a crucial business move for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.
As a publicly listed company and one entering its second decade of operation, Facebook will look to new avenues of revenue – it seems that Groups is the new frontier.
So what do I recommend for businesses? Jump into Groups if you haven’t already. Get started before the rush and your competitors take the lion’s share of a new marketing space. Hone your skills, nurture your community, and grow your business.