Since early last year, Facebook has been putting more emphasis on groups within its platform. This focus stemmed from users wanting to have more of a community feel around topics and interests they care about. This was something Facebook lost ground on in more recent years and saw users spending time on other platforms to have these experiences with both people they know and brands. We will dive into why Facebook groups are important for brands and new opportunities for brands within those groups.
Why Facebook Groups Are Important
Let’s start out with some Facebook group stats (from Facebook):
There are over 10M+ groups on FacebookThere are over 1.4B people using groups every monthMore than half of Facebook users signed up to more than five groups each
The pandemic has fostered the growth of groups with more people looking to connect virtually about the topics that interest them. These numbers could hint at groups becoming the new brand page if you’re looking to have an engaged community. Facebook’s research also indicates that Gen Zers are open to brands posting to online groups, as long as the brands offer genuine and valuable content. This is good news for Facebook and marketers trying to reach a younger audience on this platform.
There are some key benefits to groups:
Priority and visibility in the news feed and notificationsHaving an engaged community, if done rightAbility to gather insights from the group and apply them to your strategyIdentify advocates and be able to have more personalized conversations
New Opportunities for Brands and Facebook Groups
As a part of Facebook’s Communities Summit, they recently released some new features to help group admins better run, organize, and manage their communities. These updates include collaboration opportunities, real-time conversations, and group topics that we will dive into in this next section.
Branded Collabs Manager
Facebook recently announced that it has expanded its Brand Collabs Manager tool to groups. This is a great opportunity for brands that aren’t sure they want to set up a group of their own but want to reach people that could be interested in what they have to offer. The Brand Collabs Manager will serve relevant, public groups for partnership opportunities. You can preview the group engagement, demographics, and any previous brand partnerships through this tool.
You can read more about unlocking new opportunities with the Branded Content Tool here.
Facebook has also been testing media placements in the Facebook groups feed. A brand’s ad would show in the mobile feed in the Facebook groups tab next to community posts. Right now, this placement is only for single image ads, but with more people spending time with groups, this placement could be a great way to gain more visibility for your brand.
As a part of their recent updates, Facebook added real-time chats, which is essentially messaging within the group, conversation starter prompts, Q&A tools for interview sessions, and the ability to go live. There are a lot of exciting opportunities here for brands to deliver exclusive content to their group members before the general public. Some ideas that come to mind are product announcements, Q&A sessions with influencers or designers, or leveraging your members as a focus group asking for feedback or insights.
Group topics will be supported by using a hashtag before a keyword or phrase, for example, #recipes. Admins can then pin topics to the top of the group for people to see and filter. This will help brands better organize content based on topics.
Speaking of hashtags, Facebook recently announced the ability to do ‘hashtag challenges’ that have seen success on other platforms like TikTok. Brands with groups should consider launching a hashtag challenge in the new year and tie some giveaways or surprise and delights to those who participate to foster group engagement.
Highlighting Public Group Content in New Areas
Facebook is looking to increase group engagement by showing more public group activity. When you visit your groups tab, you will see popular posts from public groups that are recommended for you and from public groups that are related to your interests. Facebook alluded that people might see content in public groups in their news feed or even outside of the Facebook walls in web search results. Having group content that could potentially reach non-members and outside of Facebook is another exciting opportunity for brands.
If you need help coming up with your Facebook group strategy, we would be happy to help – contact our team today. Additionally, keep yourself up to date on how Facebook groups and other social media marketing tactics continue to evolve by subscribing to our newsletter below.
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