The Complete Guide To Facebook Groups | Social

We're all part of groups. Sometimes we're active members. Other times we join a group and never look at it again. It's the one part of Facebook that lets us meet people with similar interests and establish a community outside of physical boundaries around a specific topic, geographic area, or both.

On a media platform that is increasingly pay-to-play, groups are the one aspect of Facebook that the company hasn't monetized yet. (Facebook has tested fees for subscription-based groups, so it's only a matter of time before it's implemented.) Currently, this doesn't affect many groups.

Why Would I Consider a Facebook Group for My Brand?

A Facebook group will help you identify your core group of fans and cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Bands, such as Tsunami Bomb with its Tsunami Bomb Squad, are particularly adept at providing safe spaces for fans to share stories and memorabilia.

Facebook groups give brands a faithful captive audience that ideally will interact and provide feedback on what it loves about your brand, things it doesn't like, and ways to improve your brand. Another perk is that often Facebook will alert active members that there is a new post.

If your brand is big enough, such as Fender guitars, there may be a fan group already dedicated to your brand.

If you find a fan group, don't hijack it for your own purposes. It's wiser to let it be. The last thing you want to do is anger your biggest fans. However, you can start a group associated with your Page that gives fans things they can't get from other fans. These can be special offers, exclusive Q&As, or contests. Your imagination and budget are the only limits.

Is a Facebook Group Right for My Brand?

It's important to note that Facebook groups don't work for every brand. A local ice cream shop isn't going to find a Facebook group sustainable unless it sponsors a group dedicate to the town it's located in. However, a personal trainer will because there is the possibility her business will grow outside a specific geographic area. She will also always have new exercises and diet tips to share, whereas the ice cream shop only has so much material to work with.

How Should I Manage My Facebook Group?

There are some basic guidelines every Facebook group should establish.

1. Establish Who You Are
Facebook allows you to choose your group name and post an “About.” Choose a relevant name that is easy to find and make good use of the “About” section.

Answer the following questions:

  • Who would be interested in your group?
  • What can members expect from the group?
  • Are there any perks group members get, such as exclusive coupons or previews?
  • Why would people want to join this group?

2. Make Your Rules Clear

Most groups with stringent guidelines pin a post with details of what is allowed and will get a member banned. Usually, these are fairly straightforward, such as don't abuse other members or sell in the group.

3. Decide Who Should Be Able to Join

You don't want your group to be overrun with spammers, which is why you need to establish some form of gatekeeping.

Facebook makes this easy. You can ask potential members up to 3 questions as to why they want to join and what they plan to contribute. If you find that questions take away from the spirit of the group, you can allow everyone to join and booting the disruptive members.

Another way is to only allow members who are paying to be in the group. This only works for organizations or programs that charge fees. For example, Toastmasters International maintains private groups only accessible to those in the organization and the band Icon For Hire's Icon Army Headquarters is for the band's Patreon subscribers only.

While Facebook groups won't work for everyone, there's nothing stopping you from experimenting with them. As long as you're willing to show fans you care and let them be honest in a closed environment you have control over, you will find Facebook groups can be very rewarding.

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