Facebook groups have been around for a while now but in light of the changes announced by Mark Zuckerberg in January 2018, their popularity is on the rise as the focus returns to them as a marketing tactic for businesses.
Facebook Groups are an incredible way of connecting with your customers. So what are they?
In Facebook’s early days, Groups were the only way of connecting large groups of non-friends together. They were soon superseded by Pages, but Groups remain an important way to connect like-minded people together and, as a business, they could also work for you.
It is often perceived by businesses that you either need a ‘Page’ or a ‘Group’. Depending on your type of business we would say you can use both. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but Groups have become much maligned in recent years yet remain a very powerful tool for any business. There are literally millions of groups on Facebook covering almost every topic imaginable. So what benefits do they bring and how can you harness their power?
Do Facebook Groups give you the power to connect with your audience?
The key difference between Pages and Groups is this. Whilst Pages are solely about your particular company or brand, Groups are not. Facebook Groups are a way of connecting people together who share a joint interest. Whilst that interest could be your company or brand, it is not driven by that.
Facebook Pages operate on a ‘one-to-many’ basis. One ‘topic’ (which may be a company, a brand, a product, a celebrity or musician) being promoted to many people; those who ‘Liked’ that particular page. Groups, however, work on a many-to-many basis. Many people sharing news, reviews and opinions in a much more decentralised, community-focused way to many other people within the group.
One other key difference between the two is their visibility. All Pages, unless stipulated to be ‘Administrator Only’ are available publicly. Anyone can see their content regardless of whether they have ‘Liked’ the page or not.
Groups can be restricted on a much more granular level. They can be open to everyone (public – anyone can see who’s in the group and what they post), but can also be made completely ‘private’ (only members can see who’s in the group and what they post) meaning that people have to be ‘approved’ by the Administrator before they can join, making them an exclusive online treat. You may, for example, only want your customers or commercial partners to be part of the group, which is only possible with Groups.
The key benefits of Facebook Groups
The final key benefit of Groups is how you are kept up-to-date with the latest posts. When you ‘Like’ a particular Page, you don’t get update notifications unless you manually (and specifically) set them. Anyone who has tried to navigate the choppy waters of Facebook settings will know this is easier said than done. Group notifications, on the other hand, tend to be to ‘highlight’ by default. This means that when someone joins or posts in a group, most people in the group will get notifications about this, so you can always stay ahead of the latest developments. If you see something of interest, simply click the link and you’ll be taken straight to it. If this gets to be too much, you can always turn them off, easily and quickly. Finally, thanks to Facebook’s own search algorithms, the visibility of your group is given positive bias, this alone means that many companies are using them to support their own marketing strategies.
Which type of businesses would a group work well for…
- Sports Clubs – communicate important messages to supporters.
- VIP Clubs – customers feel like they are getting something special or extra.
- Community information – many areas now have community groups where they ask for word of mouth recommendations.
- How To Groups – share tips and the latest information on a particular subject.
If you thought a Facebook Page was the only way to promote yourself on social media, think again. Facebook Groups are a fantastic way of connecting with your customers and allowing them to be your own private army of devotees. Why not start your own Group today!
If you would like to be part of our Facebook Group you can join here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/pieceofcakemarketing/