At the 2019 F8 Conference, Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives outlined the plan for their privacy-centered social network. The priority will be to foster more authentic interactions between users (and keep users on the platform for longer amounts of time..). Due to this shift, one of the platform’s features that we will see becoming more prevalent is Groups.
Facebook Groups certainly aren’t new, there are currently 1.4 billion people that use Groups, and if we know anything about Facebook, there will be tons more.
Groups have always been a place to connect online. Whether you own a group are or a member of several, there are benefits to your active participation, including building your community, getting feedback, sharing experiences and giving you the opportunity showcase your expertise. The latest wave of features will allow those benefits to be expanded – the connections facilitate reciprocity, which is a key component to true marketing.
For Group administrators, the newest wave of features allows for a higher level of stewardship of the members and the community vibe, starting with the data. Group insights track the most important metrics for Group owners, including growth and engagement rate. Administrators can also be shown the top countries and cities where their members reside. Additi-onally, Facebook is prior-itizing Groups (have you seen the commercials?) and beginning to recommend communities for users to join, so if group growth is an objective, this information can be very valuable. If Facebook’s goal is creating community, create a community!
Group owners aren’t the only ones that can take advantage of Facebook’s pivot – members can (and should) leverage features that can help expand their networks, support other members in finding solutions and promote products. For example, when the member badge feature is activated, members can set themselves apart with their participation. Being identified as a rising star, conversation starter, or visual storyteller is an easy way to stand out, particularly in a bigger group.
Even though we’re getting new tools, the number one rule for Groups is the same: engage like a person. Facebook is changing our idea of community; small business owners shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to be an active participant on the bandwagon. Your business will benefit when you stay connected with clients and followers in the place where they spend significant amounts of time already.
Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at www.moniekjames.com where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.