Facebook Groups have always been a mysterious and integral part of the biggest social media network. The primary idea behind Facebook is communication, and Facebook groups provided a unique way to connect with like-minded people.
There is a Facebook Group for pretty much any interest. The main purpose of Facebook Groups is to help Facebook users socialize around any topic or community. Everybody has an option to set up a group for some cause or interest relevant to them.
If you wanted to create a group called “Class of 2019” to connect with your high school friends, it would be very simple to do. Facebook is still the biggest social media network, but it is losing popularity among younger generations. Top three social media networks among teens are Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, leaving Facebook on the 4th place.
When thinking about Facebook, your focus would probably be on Facebook pages and Facebook ads. What is a business without a Facebook page, right?
However, have you considered the potential of Facebook groups that gather brands, marketers, and people around similar interests? Facebook groups range from a few students going to the same class to thousands of people loving the same brand of cars. The thing that unites them is the same passion or interest. Some groups are local, connecting people from the same community, while some are international, connecting people from all over the world.
Brands and groups
Brands can use groups to their advantage, centering the communication about the brand, engaging the communication within the group members and answering the questions. BuzzFeed, one of the biggest Internet entertainment companies, created “BuzzFeed Book Club” to promote their book club project.
We’ll chat about these books in the BuzzFeed Book Club Facebook group — where we’ll ask discussion questions, share our opinions, gush and rant about our favorite and least favorite characters, make plot predictions, host Q&As with the authors, and generally drop in random thoughts as we read together.
BuzzFeed is an epitome of a Millennials generation. This huge network became famous for its signature lists and quizzes, but it soon expanded into video production, lifestyle, film and digital platforms. One of them is BuzzFeed News, offering a different approach to traditional news reporting.
BuzzFeed Book Club is a project curated by BuzzFeed Books, one of the subsections of BuzzFeed News. The club sends two newsletters a month, but that is not enough for real engagement.
At the time of the writing this article, the group had 7,022 members, and it was created on October 11, 2018. In the last 30 days, it grew by 2,668 members!
But why should you use Facebook Groups?
Facebook Groups are delicate flowers of Facebook, requiring your constant nurture and attention. You can’t leave them unsupervised and expect great results. But if you invest your time, set the rules and engage with users every day, the results will follow.
Some of the benefits for your business groups can provide:
Give extra value to customers
Facebook Groups give your audience a more personal way to connect with your brand. This way, they’ll be able to discover “real” persons behind the brand and connect on a higher level.
Canva has built a Facebook Group where the users can connect among themselves and solve each others problems. Despite having a huge Facebook page, they invested their efforts into a Facebook Group since it offers a different way of communicating with their users.
Building a community
You may already have a Facebook Page with a large following and engaged audience and you’re wondering why do you need a Facebook group. How often you answered the same question in your Facebook page inbox? Did you ever receive a question you didn’t know the answer to straight away?
Facebook groups will be the best tool in building a relationship with your audience, talk to them and listen to their feedback. Members of Facebook Groups can start conversations among themselves and even answer each other’s questions.
Private Facebook groups can give a sense of exclusiveness to their members. Who doesn’t like to feel special?
Both private and secret groups can help build a sense of exclusivity for the people you allow in. The main difference that the secret group cannot be found in search, while the private can. Content of the discussion in both cases is only visible to the group members.
Beating the algorithm
It is no secret that the organic reach on Facebook has been constantly decreasing. In January 2018, according to Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, Facebook began to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.”
The main thing that will beat Facebook’s algorithm is engagement. Comments, shares, likes, clicks… The more comments, likes or share some content gets, the more people will see it.
Groups generally see higher levels of engagement than Pages so creating a Group can be an effective way to beat the algorithm.
How to effectively use Facebook Groups?
Establish a clear Group Policy
Since you’re using the Facebook Group as an extension of your brand, you want to make sure it has clear rules. You should publish the rules in the Group’s description or place them on a pinned post at the top of your group.
Some of the common policies of Facebook groups include:
- No-self promotion without checking it with admins first
- Respect other members, don’t be aggressive or offensive
- Terms of service, for example: only subscribers to this service will have access to the group
Fill in all the sections
Fill in all the sections about your group, description, group type, even the small icon that will be next to your group that will distinguish you from other groups.
Consistency is the key element in building interaction on any social media platform.
I would recommend that you create weekly themed polls and that you post often. Polls are a great way to find out more from about your audience. You can also create watch parties or ask your group for recommendations.
Respond to posts
If a member of your group writes a post or asks a question, you should answer or reply to spur further engagement.
Check your analytics
Facebook groups now have analytics – under the tab “Group Insights”. Now you can track how many new members joined your group in the given period. You can also track post, comments and reactions.
Our Facebook group
Some of the examples in this article were from the Mobile Entrepreneurs (Apps & Games) group we created on Facebook.
We created this group to provide value and insight to people who want to stay on top of the trends in mobile app and game industry. In this group we’re discussing where the mobile industry has headed, we share the best practices, case studies, success stories, do Q&As and podcasts.
Our Facebook group has proven as a great place to connect with people from the industry. If you want to join our group, hit that join button on Facebook!
To sum up:
Social media can be a very influential tool if you utilize it in the right way. The success of your Facebook group is directly tied to your success in providing a comfortable environment for the members of the group. The more time you invest into the conversation as the brand, the better reputation you’ll create for yourself.
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