Last year Facebook changed its mission statement to “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” A huge focus for Facebook is the development of Facebook Groups for Business. One billion people already belong to a Facebook Group. This number is growing quickly, and many now state Groups as being one the most important features of Facebook. According to Facebook, Groups allow people “to come together around a common case, issue, or activity to organise, express objectives discuss issues and post photos and share related content.” Facebook recognises that their users enjoy belonging to a Group with other users that share their interests and values. Groups offer more of a connection between Facebook users, and if the Group is private and well-moderated they often offer a feeling of safety. More recently Groups have become a fantastic way for businesses to engage their potential customers and loyal customers. Facebook now states Groups for business can:
- Nurture and reward your best customers
- Understand the wants and needs of your customers, and provide support and encouragement
- Spark meaningful conversations among people who share a relevant passion
- Shape discussion within your community and provide a forum for Q&A among your members
We believe there is a huge opportunity for businesses to build and grow communities using Facebook Groups. Recently our founder Alison Battisby attended Facebook Business Connect, an exclusive conference at Facebook HQ for business leaders who are utilising Groups.
Our Founder Alison Battisby at FacebookWe learnt about key tips and product updates for building business communities on the channel. So what are the top tips for building a Facebook Group for your business?
- Create a clear mission for your Group: Prominently state the Group’s mission in the description section and write clear rules, communicating them often to members. A clear group mission will help members determine what they can post, and gives the Group more chance of being found.
- Cross-promote your Group: Promote the Group on your existing channels, invite people to join the Group, and welcome new members. Drive people towards the Group from email marketing, and don’t forget to talk about your Group offline too at events and networking meetups.
- Encourage engagement: Ask regular questions, create weekly rituals, comment on members’ posts and collaborate with your members by getting their input, working together and using the Events tool to create Live videos and meetups.
- Measure the results: Understand when users are most active and schedule posts accordingly. Recognise the most active members and reward them. Learn what types of posts are popular with your members and encourage them often.
- Celebrate your achievements: If you hit a milestone, celebrate it with your community! If you Facebook Group has connected some interesting folk, tell the story.
We were also briefed on some upcoming and rumoured new features from Facebook:
- There will soon be a way to save and review the answers to any pending member questions you have asked when members request to join. This will be useful to understand where people are hearing about the Group,and other key insight you might ask your pending members to answer before they can join.
- A new feature that now allows Group admins to post up to 10 announcements to appear at the top of their Group page. This is a progression on pinned posts, where you have to decide on one single post to stick to the top. This is currently being rolled out across Groups…
- Facebook has recently added the ability to personalise your Group, with a colour that is displayed on mobile. Perhaps we’ll see more personalisation such as a cover, or introduction video?
- Rumours of Facebook enabling advertising are most likely to be on the way, but Facebook was adamant this is not a feature set to come out for a while – as there are so many other requested features to come first.