If you’re looking for a new way to generate brand loyalty, it’s time to brush the dust off your Facebook Group marketing strategy. That’s because an old standard, Facebook Groups, is getting an overhaul. These upgrades are slowly being tested through 2022, so you may not see them this year.
While many people have been using Groups for a long time, others have found Groups to be cumbersome and time-consuming. Many businesses don’t have enough personnel to consistently run a Facebook group, especially if they already have a Facebook Page.
Many Facebook groups are moderated by volunteers, thereby producing an intermittent level of administration. Small business owners need to prioritize their schedules for profitable activities, and it’s difficult to justify spending too much time in a Facebook group. But now Facebook is changing Groups to alleviate some of these issues. Here’s what you can look forward to.
What are Facebook Groups?
Groups are exactly what they sound like, groups of people gathered together because of something they have in common. What they have in common is really anything you can think of that you can post about on Facebook that doesn’t violate Facebook policies and standards.
Participation rules in each group vary. Some groups are completely public, and others are completely private. You can also be in a group that is visible to the public, but where only members can comment.
If you’re interested in joining a group, you can check the privacy settings before joining. Groups are formed for many reasons that can range from etymology to traveling in New Zealand to supporting a Mustang horse sanctuary. Many businesses form Groups to support their business and/or their Facebook Page.
Is Building a Community on Facebook Worth My Time?
This is a question only you can answer when you consider starting a new group. You need to decide how much time and effort you or your company can afford to spend, and what your ROI will be. Will your Group promote products, coach individuals, train professionals, or offer customer service?
A good place to start is Facebook’s Community center, which offers resources for anyone who wants to use Facebook Groups. This page has regular announcements related to Groups, and how-to articles for you to browse.
New Facebook Group Features
Meta announced new Facebook Group features at their Facebook Communities Summit on November 4, 2021. The ultimate goal of the new features is to empower community growth and interaction in Facebook Groups and give Group leaders, admins, and moderators the ability to personalize the group experience. Facebook is also considering a Group and Page integration.
Customization: New Facebook Admin Options
Do you administer a Facebook Group? If so, you will have more options to customize your Group to support your community culture in the following ways.
- Customize group colors, post backgrounds, fonts, and emojis as defaults inside your group.
- Create feature presets for post formats, badges, admin tools to reflect your community culture, and turn them on with a single click.
- Suggest post formats that you prefer when members post in the group with a new posting button. Members will see the new button as they browse, so they don’t need to scroll back to the top to post.
- Create a greeting message that new members get automatically after joining, along with a set of group rules.
Interaction: Strengthen Community Connections
Additional new features were added to give members more reasons to interact with each other.
- Community Awards – Members can give awards for content they value. Awards say things like “insightful,” “uplifting,” and “fun.” Having the ability to give awards encourages member interaction and promotes valuable content within the group.
- Subgroups – Create Subgroups for discussion topics, regional issues, or celebrating an occasion to keep the discussion readily easy to find without it getting lost amongst the main feed.
- Community Chats – Both Facebook and Messenger will allow members to connect in real time.
- Recurring Events – Add repeated events for regular periodic meetings, whether in-person or virtual.
Management: New Tools
Look for exciting new tools to make managing groups easier for admins.
- Pin and order announcements at the top of groups in a new Featured section.
- Updates to Admin Assist offer personalized suggestions on criteria to add and provide additional information about why content is declined. Admin Assist is also expanding to Facebook Lite so you can use it on more devices.
- Create a Community Chat with moderators to help coordinate decision-making for your Group in real time.
Support: Raise Funds for Your Organization
A new selection of tools helps you monetize your Group by donating to charity, to cover Group expenses, or to make a profit.
- Community Fundraisers – Raise money for your Group projects, to cover Group costs, or for members to reward their Group admins and moderators.
- Shop – Sell your own merchandise in a Group shop so members can offer support and appreciation for the community.
- Paid Subgroups – Create subscription-only Subgroups that members can join for exclusive access to lessons, coaching, networking, or other services you can provide. This feature is designed to help Group leaders offer a deeper level of connection in a meaningful way. It also pays for the time and effort it takes for an admin or moderator to run the Group.
Admins can tailor their approach to raising money within the Group dynamic.
Continuity: Facebook Groups & Pages Together
Your Facebook Group marketing strategy will get a boost with new features that bring elements of Pages and Groups together.
- Clarifying Confusion – Do you use both Facebook Groups and Pages to connect with your audience? Using both takes a lot of time and effort, and may confuse members as to which one to follow and interact with.
- New Consumer Experience – Bring Facebook Pages and Groups to one location.
- Official Voice – Use one unified voice for Pages and Groups.
- Building Community – Members can participate and engage in one location.
- Admin – Admins of Facebook pages can use moderation tools already in use by groups. This experience is in early testing before it is released to the entire Facebook membership.
Sound Like a Good Opportunity?
If you are interested in learning more about Facebook Groups, or how to use these new Facebook features when planning your Facebook Group marketing strategy, contact us. We’ll provide a free business audit that includes strategy recommendations on services like Paid Search, Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing and so much more to customize your business plan.