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Facebook Groups: The Overlooked Engagement Goldmine?

facebook groupsFacebook Groups has completely fallen off the radar for most people since it’s major change back in 2010 but some people have managed to resurrect it and use it the right way. Up until a few months ago, I thought Facebook Groups was a complete bust. It was a seemingly useless feature that would only annoy me when friends put me into random groups without my permission.

Since then I have come to see it in a different light and think that you might as well, especially considering only 7% of fans are seeing posts from pages they’ve liked. The numbers are simply atrocious and nearly every page admin who has noticed has uniformly determined that something must be done. Before that something becomes deleting your Facebook page, it might be time to consider a new alternative…

 

The Second Rise of Facebook Groups

I think many early adopters of Facebook for business use likely created a Facebook group before figuring out there was a page option that was completely separate. After meeting an untimely demise with the Facebook Groups overhaul two years ago, most group admins decided to abandon ship for the new standard created by pages.

It is my belief that groups could give resurgence to organic engagement on Facebook because of a few reasons:

  1. It creates a highly focused and engaged environment
  2. Group members play a much larger role than page “likers”
  3. Freshly commented & liked posts are brought to the top of the page (helps popular content get exposure)

facebook groupsThe last point is really the doozy for me. Every time somebody likes or comments on any post in Facebook groups it brings the post back to the top of the page. This ends the slavery to EdgeRank since popularity is determined by the group’s users rather than an algorithm and expensive ads.

If you read my last blog, Meet The 7 Types of Social Media Users, you will recognize the main users of Facebook Groups are what I call “Passionistas” – the people who primarily use social media to satisfy their specific interests, hobbies and passions. The opportunity for more people to stay better connected through their passions using Facebook Groups is a truly exciting prospect.

 

facebook groupsSome Facebook Groups No Nos

  1. “Link dropping” – Going into random Facebook groups to promote your blog post (or products) is considered foul play. Adding value to discussions and encouraging friendly, healthy debate should always be the goal.
  2. Controversial or “dead” arguments – Don’t say something if you know it’s going to ruffle feathers. Freedom of speech is great until you start using it to promote negative, hateful or simply irrelevant arguments. Play nice!
  3. Off topic comments – This becomes a major pet peeve for group admins as well as members. Groups are meant for a specific purpose and that’s why people like to use them. Leave the off topic stuff for your private Facebook wall, that’s what it’s for!

Facebook Groups: The Experiment

I realize that many people might be skeptical about creating and maintaining ANOTHER social media group/page/profile/anything so I want to create a small experiment to see the potential “long term” benefits are of an active Facebook group.

Those of you that have an interest in using social media to promote a business are invited to join the Top Dog Social Media Facebook group, Social Media Marketing Strategies. Whether you want to engage in the discussions or simply observe, I hope you will join the group and gain from the knowledge that will be shared.

You can join the group by going here and clicking “Join Group” in the upper right corner of the page. Be sure to fully read the groups rules (and the no no’s listed above) to ensure you don’t get silenced by the mighty block button.

Do you think Facebook Groups could be a powerful tool for businesses? Let the debate begin below in the comments section!