Why do you need Facebook Groups for Your Business
When you think of a Facebook Group, what comes to mind is a place where you can share value with people who have a common interest in a particular topic or cause. But, the best thing about Facebook groups is that they can serve as a great marketing tool.
Brands have a lot to gain by creating a Facebook Group around their products or services. It can offer them an opportunity to encourage a dialogue around their brand – answer questions, request feedback, solve problems and build a community.
Social Pilot has successfully built a community of Social Media Marketers through their Facebook group. They use the group to showcase their insights, product updates, marketing discussion, and posts from their team. It is a place where digital marketing enthusiasts can share and build on their knowledge and network at the same time.
Mobile monkey island is another great example of a successful facebook group created by Larry Kim the founder and CEO of Word Stream. Mobile Monkey Island is every chatbot marketers go-to place to learn about building messenger bots and chatbot marketing.
Facebook Page or Facebook Group
You may be wondering if I am already successfully doing a lot of the things mentioned above through my Facebook Business page so why do I need a group.
Well, the foremost reason is the Facebook algorithm change which has altered the way content is being distributed in the newsfeed. We have witnessed a systematic decline in page reach over the past few years while group communications are being pushed to the top of the newsfeed. Facebook Zero was all about showing users more of the content they want to see and building communities. By building a successful group around your brand you have a better chance of making to your target audiences newsfeed.
This does not mean you can do without a Facebook Business Page because there’s a lot that you can only accomplish through your business page
- A Facebook Page allows you to have strict control over the content; Users post to your Page appear under the “Community” tab and do not appear on the newsfeed of the page until you choose to share them.
- Brands can use the Business Page for blatant self-promotion, running contests, offers or ad campaigns, promoting events and generating reviews.
- On your business page, people expect to find valuable information about your business like address, directions, timing and other details about your business.
- Your audience can message you or call you directly from your page.
- Business pages show up in Google search results thereby adding to your SEO.
- A group, on the other hand, is more focussed on the community. You can have some degree of control over the content- by choosing to allow approved posts only.
- Nobody appreciates excessive self-promotion on a group. It is more like a knowledge-sharing platform, where you can generate interactions around your niche.
So, the bottom line is that as a Brand you cannot do without a Facebook page. Creating a group, on the other hand, is optional and depends largely on your requirements as a business. It is generally recommended as a great way to engage with your audience and create a community that cares about your brand. So, let’s get started with setting up our Facebook Group.
How to Create a Facebook Group
Head over to your Facebook profile, click on “Create” in the top Menu Bar. Scroll down and select “Group” in the drop-down menu.
Name your group:
Select a name for your group. Keep in mind that this should be something that reminds people of your brand/product or service and should be easy to recall.
Invite People to join your Group:
Facebook provides you the option of inviting people to join your group right at the start. Since this is not a mandatory step, we recommend deferring the invite until you complete the setup.
The next step is to choose the type of group you want to create. You have the following options:
- Public Groups can be found by anyone who searches for them. Anyone on Facebook can see group members or group discussions without joining the group. Since there is no restriction on who can join the group, it can become difficult to keep the discussions under control.
- Closed Groups Selecting this option allows your group to appear in search while giving you control over who can join your group. You can view discussion only if your request to join the group has been approved by the admins of the group. can be a useful feature to regulate spams and mala fide connections.
- Secret groups are hidden from search. Only members who are invited can find the group and only members can see the group’s content. Private but hidden groups are ideal for small businesses using groups for internal teams.
Facebook has recently announced some updates to group privacy options to make it more convenient for group admins.
You also have the option to select an icon for your group. This should ideally be your brand logo. Once you are done hit create to publish your Facebook Group.
Customize your Facebook Group
Now it’s time to customize your Facebook Group; Click on “More” in the top menu bar below the group banner and select Edit Group Settings. You will be led to the settings page where you can customize every aspect of your Facebook Group.
1. Add a Cover Photo
This should be something that adequately represents your group’s identity or purpose.
2. Select Group type
Selecting a group type helps your audience gets a clear idea about what they can expect from joining the group. The availability of group tabs and shortcuts also depends on the group type you select.
3. Add Description and Location
Add a short description to help members get an idea about your group.
- The purpose of the group.
- From who it is intended or who can join the group.
- Group Rules
- Location – In case you have a physical store you can provide the address, if not this will ideally be your location.
4. Add Tags
Adding tags or keywords related to your business makes it easier for people to find your group. You can add up to five tags.
5. Add App:
You can authorize apps that have access to your group.
6. Linked pages:
If your brand owns a Facebook Business Page, you can link it to your Facebook Group to consolidate your brand identity.
7. Customize your Web Address
Group name in the URL makes it easier for people to find your group.
You can choose to award badges to members of your group.
7. Organize Posts by Topics
You can add topics under this section and organize your posts by topic. Topics can keep the conversations within the group organized and easy to navigate.
If you have created a group for “Social Learning“, you can organize your posts into learning units to make them more structured and easy to access. If you have not already selected “Social Learning” as your “Group Type”, you can start adding learning units by changing group type to Social Learning. Once you have selected Social Learning as your Group Type a “Unit” tab will appear on the Home Page of your group.
- Click on “Units” to start creating units;
- Add a name and description.
- You can choose to make the unit optional or mandatory. If you choose “optional” then group members can navigate to other units without having to go through this one completely. If you prefer more structure, you can choose not to select the optional box, in that case, group members will have to go through this unit before proceeding to next.
You can create multiple units that are part of a broader category or have one unit for different categories like in this picture below.
You can go ahead and start creating posts under each head/subhead. Users will be able to comment on these posts and ask questions, and you can also add videos or other media.
Admins will be able to see individual members’ progress as they move through the course. Units are a great way to create value for your customers. Used creatively, you can create a lot of value for your customers through this medium whether you are a product or a service brand- such as creating how-to articles, FAQs or service details.
8. Membership Approval
As an admin, you can control who can add members to your group. To keep some degree of control most brand groups allow only moderators to approve/reject new member requests, however, if you want more visibility and reach for your group you can also allow other members to add members.
- Allow anyone to Add Members
- Only admins and moderators can add members
9. Pre-approve Memberships
To cut down your task of approving membership requests, Facebook provides you the option to pre-approve membership requests based on certain criteria.
You can choose to automatically approve people who are already members of other groups you are managing. You can even upload a file of email addresses of people whose requests you would like to accept automatically.
10. Membership Requests:
In this section, you can add a set of three questions you would like to ask any person who seeks to join your group. This option allows you to screen spam requests. For instance, if you own a childcare product brand and running a group for mommies on Facebook located around your physical store-you can ask questions like:
- Do you have Kids?
- In what age group are your kids?
- Where are you located?
Click on “Ask Questions” to start adding questions.
11. Membership Request from Pages
Facebook has added a new feature using which you can allow Facebook Business Pages to join your Facebook Group. Earlier only individuals could join a Facebook Group. However, with this new feature other Business Pages can also join your group. It totally depends on your business requirements, if you feel other business pages can contribute to your group in a constructive way you can choose to allow them to join your group,
12. Posting permission
This allows you to control who can post within a group.
- Anyone in the group.
- Admins only
The basic idea behind having a Facebook Group is to encourage interactions among group members, so ideally all group members should be allowed to post in the group. However, there are many Facebook groups that function more like pages and allow posts by admins only. Depending on your goal in creating the Facebook group, you can choose who you allow to post in your group.
This requires you to decide whether every post made on the group needs to be approved by the group admin or moderators. Selecting this option ensures that each post made by group members is sent for admin/moderator approval before it is published on the group feed. Since every post has gone under your eye before being publisled this offers you full control over the nature of posts that are circulated in the group.
The Admin or the moderators would have to remain available at all hours to frequently go through the posts and approve them in order to maintain the smooth flow of interactions within the group. The other option is to allow posts to be published on the feed instantly and the admin/moderator intervenes only if they feel that the post violates group rules or is causing unnecessary furor among group members.
Once you are happy with your page settings you can click on “Save” at the bottom of the page. Your group is ready to be introduced to be the world, you can now start inviting members to join it.
Facebook Groups provide you with a number of other features to make your life easier. Here’s an overview of what all you can do on your Facebook Group.
On the homepage of your group, in the left-hand menu bar navigate to “Members“. On this page, you can see the list of all existing members of your group. If you just started out this may not be a huge list, but this is a place where you can remove/ block members, choose moderators for your group or assign another admin.
Running a Facebook group can be a humongous task especially if you have a thriving community that interacts on a regular basis. There are a host of tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis to ensure that group interactions are smooth and friendly.
- Post on a regular basis to main active conversations in the group.
- Review posts made by other members to ensure that no spam or unwanted content is posted on the group.
- Comment regularly on posts made by group members.
- Moderate comments on posts- sometimes comments and discussion may get out of hand, in such cases, admin/moderators may need to intervene and block further comments on the post
- Reviewing content that has been flagged for review by other users.
- Reply to queries or concerns and inbox messages.
At any point in time, you may want to rope in a few other members of your team to help you with the overall management of the group. There are two types of roles you can assign within a Facebook group.
Admin: Just like an admin of the facebook business page, a group admin is a controlling authority.
- An admin can add or remove other members including other admins or moderators.
- They can also change the group’s settings, tags, and descriptions.
- They can post, pin unpin posts, access the inbox and review comments.
Moderators are like editors on Facebook Page.
- They can approve membership requests, remove and block members and review posts and comments within the group.
- They can approve posts- if post-approval is required.
- Thet can pin or unpin posts, remove spam or unwanted posts and close comments on posts.
- They can access the inbox.
- They cannot change group settings or assign other admins or moderators.
b. Moderate Group
Navigate to “Moderate Groups” on the home page. Here you can control other settings for your page.
1. Scheduled Posts
In the middle of 2018, Facebook rolled out the ability to schedule posts for groups. The process is similar to that on a Facebook Page. Once you have created the post, instead of posting it you can choose to schedule it for later. This function is quite useful, especially if you plan to post several times within a day to generate interaction or if you want to cross promote the same content that you have scheduled on your page.
However, you may want to consider that most of the people in your group may already be following your page, so it is not a good idea to share the same content on your Facebook page and Facebook group on a regular basis as this may put off your community.
You can even schedule content on your group through a third-party app like Hootsuite.
Just like on your Facebook Page there are several kinds of posts you can create on your page book page from simple text to text with an image or video. You can use Gifs or polls to increase interaction, ask for recommendations, create live videos and more
Released earlier this year a watch party allows you to share public videos on Facebook to your group. You just have to select Watch Party while creating your post and start adding videos you would like to share. You can share multiple videos in a single watch party that you can watch with other group members and have discussions around them in real-time. It is not always necessary to share your own videos, you can share public videos available on Facebook. Watch parties are a great way to share industry-related news or an important update about your business and you can invite people to join your watch party.
2. Member Requests:
This section allows you to filter requests based on several criteria making it easier for you to approve or disapprove requests- for instance, you can choose to select people who are members of any other groups you manage, by location, gender or people in your friend list. This not only helps you to save a lot of time but also makes it easy to weed out spams.
3. Approval Notifications
This section allows you to choose to receive a notification every time someone sends a request to join your group. This is certainly a useful feature as this helps you to keep a tab on pending requests.
4. Creating Rules for your Group
Creating rules for your group is not mandatory, however, in the long run, it is quite helpful to have a handy list of rules in order to maintain healthy interactions within group members and deal with spam.
You will usually find the group rules mentioned in the about section of Facebook Groups where they can be easily seen by everyone. However, with the new Facebook update – there is a separate section where you can add group rules.
Click on the “moderate groups” tab on the home page of your group. You will find the create rules tab on this page. Click on it to start creating rules for your group. Here you will find a set of most common rules for facebook groups. Check the image below:
You can choose to select these and add your own list as well. For instance, you may clearly state that you would like the discussion to be centered around particular topics, or say the number of pictures it will allow on posts, or policies around forwarded content.
This newly introduced feature allows you to link to your other groups that you may be managing or groups you think your followers may be interested in. Click on more in the top menu bar below your group banner to start linking other groups.
Facebook Group Quality
In 2019, Facebook rolled out Facebook Group Quality metric
In this section, Facebook will flag any violations be committed by members of the group including admins and moderators and notify you if any fake news is posted in your group. You will find the group quality tab in the left-hand menu bar on the home page of your group.
Facebook Group Insights
Another new addition to Facebook Groups features is the availability to access Group Insights just like we have had for Business Pages on Facebook. However, unlike Page insights, Group insights do not appear instantaneously after the group is created. The Group Insights tab is available only after your group has more than 250 members and only admins can access this data. Admins can export the details of Group Insights at any time by clicking on “Download details.”
Facebook group insights provide data under three heads group growth, engagement, and membership. On the home page of Insights, you will find an overview of group insights under these three heads. Detailed information can be found under each tab.
These metrics can help you evaluate how your group is performing over a period of time.
- The number of new members added to the group in the last 28 days.
- Percentage increase, or decrease in new member requests.
- Audience Growth over time
This gives you a detailed understanding of engagement levels in your group.
- The number of posts being shared in the group including posts made by you.
- The number of comments the posts are generating
- Number of reactions on posts including likes
- Number of active members in the group
- Popular days and popular times to post.
- Group’s top-performing posts and the related metrics
This provides you demographic data about your audience
These insights can help you understand your audience and build a strategy for promoting your group further.
Facebook groups have seen remarkable growth in the past few years. With the algorithm change favoring groups and these new tools, Facebook groups can help you to increase engagement with your brand.