For the past 10 years Facebook have been focussing on Communities in form of Facebook Groups. This stepped up a gear in 2018 when Facebook announced their plans to bring the social media platform back to its grass ‘social’ roots of connecting people, rather than being known as a mere distributor of content.
Much has changed with Facebook Groups. They are now regarded as a hub of information, education, knowledge, support and inclusion for all sorts people with a variety of hobbies, interests and needs.
To date there are over 70m Group Administrator and Moderators and 1.8bn people using Facebook Groups every month. In fact, on average, half of Facebook users globally are members of 5 of more Facebook Groups. So you can see how popular they’ve become.
Earlier this month Facebook held their Facebook Communities Summit Keynote 2020 where they revealed their latest plans to improve and enhance the Facebook Group experience for both private and public groups.
I thought I’d summarise the key points for the Summit that you need to know as a Small Business Owner who is either using Facebook Groups as part of your marketing strategy (which you should) or are considering it in the future (which you should…did I just say that?).
So here goes;
Introduction of Admin Assist
To make Groups easier to manage for Administrators, Facebook are introducing Admin Assist. This will make it easier to moderate enabling Group Admins to set up automated rules for post moderation, saving them time in having to sort through common problematic posts.
In a nutshell it means you can automate what can be posted, by who and when in your group, using keywords, links, length of membership as the criteria for restricting content that gets shared.
More Control Over Rule Breakers
Members of Groups with Community Standard Violations (i.e they break your rules) will now require admin approval for 30 days for any posts they make.
You can now order your Group content into topics using a hashtag in front of a keyword or phrase. Making it much easier for your Group members to find and engage in specific content they find most interesting.
Brand Collabs Manager
Brand Collabs Manager is possibly something you’ve seen on the Facebook platform but not yet explored. The idea behind this feature is that allows Facebook Pages (i.e your business page) to connect with advertisers for sponsorship. Essentially advertisers pay to place their ads on your Business Page Feed (which is attractive if you have a big enough following).
Facebook are now rolling this feature out to Groups, meaning advertisers who want to get in front of your type of Group audience, can reach out to agree sponsorship with you.
My thoughts are this. If you have a Group and consider allowing adverts to run in your Group, make sure that they are so specific and relevant to your audience and establish some guidelines for would be advertisers. You don’t want to undo your hard work in nurturing a Group, only for them to get irritated and leave as a result of being served ads.
Chats Are Coming Back
Facebook are bringing back Chats to Groups (did you even know they were a thing?). Chats are a way for a few members of your Group to ‘chat’ in real time. This is a great way for your Group to facilitate deeper connections and take discussions out of the Group environment for further discussion/debate.
Conversation Starter Post Types
The roll out of new ‘Conversation Starter’ type posts in the form of Prompts and Q&A, will enhance the engagement experience your members have. Quite simply Admins of Groups will be able to encourage discussions across their community, with posts designed to have a more interesting look and feel, making it easier for their members to engage.
Public Groups Getting A Leg Up
Public Groups will get more distribution across Facebook, meaning that that public group discussions will surface in Newsfeeds, where they may be a relevant interest.
This will be a great way of attracting more like-minded people into your Group but won’t benefit to you if your Group is private.
Easy Access to Public Groups
Joining public Groups will be made much easier, by removing the need to wait for admin approval to join a public Group. Don’t worry though, as the Admin in the group you can still decide who can post and comment, plus allow non-members to participate.
Hyper-Focussed Group Types
New group types in the form of hyper-focussed topics. So, if you are particularly interested in the different varieties of chilli’s, or you want to share your office wear faux pas with others. This could be for you.
Some great new initiatives from Facebook when it comes to Groups. One that I believe will be great for you as a small business owner is the boosted distribution of Public Groups across the platform, because if it’s done right, it will really help you to grow your audience and increase your awareness.
Facebook Groups are massively in favour right now, so if you aren’t using them as part of your marketing strategy, now is the time to start thinking about it.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information on how to create a Facebook Group that will help you attract your STAR Customers so you can start nurturing them and developing a community of raving fans.
If you already have a Facebook Group, head over to ours The Business Owners Lounge and share it with us so we can check it out.