Facebook just dropped some big news at their first Facebook Communities Summit. Facebook Group Insights are finally here. If this isn’t huge news to you, you’re not taking advantage of groups as marketing and learning tools.
And you really should be.
How cool are these Facebook Group Insights?
Filtering Facebook group members and behavior
If you’ve ever been in a group or administered a group, you know what a hassle it is when spammers attack with questionable images promoting even more questionable products. Or, perhaps worse, when a formerly even-keeled member of the group goes rogue and sets everything on metaphorical fire.
The new tools promise to give admins a better bird’s eye view of what’s happening in their groups—starting with the ability to filter Facebook group membership requests.
Admins can now remove not only a person but also the content they’ve posted to the group, their comments, and even the people they’ve added. This takes the burden away from group admins facing harassment, spam, and crappy behavior from group members.
New tools promise to give admins a better bird’s eye view of what’s happening in their groups.
Scheduling posts to Facebook groups
As digital marketers, we love scheduling posts. Until now, scheduled posts weren’t available for Facebook groups. Facebook’s update gives admins the ability to schedule posts. This is tremendously powerful for groups centered around thought leadership and online education. An admin can create discussion posts, for example, and schedule them ahead of time.
(This doesn’t absolve admins from paying attention to conversations once they’ve posted. Members will be quick to notice if an admin is suddenly phoning it in. Don’t be that marketer.)
Better insights into Facebook group metrics
All of us have unwieldy spreadsheets for tracking the growth of Facebook groups. Facebook Group Insights make them delightfully obsolete. Admins can now easily track growth and engagement, and even see what times of day members are most active.
Make good use of these metrics by paying attention to the types of content that get the most buzz in your groups, and leverage that on your public pages and your marketing content.
What do Facebook group insights mean to marketers?
Don’t dive headlong into Facebook groups if you haven’t used them before. These are organic, active groups of people who gather to be heard, to listen, and to share very specific experiences. Leveraging Facebook groups from a marketing perspective means treading very carefully.
Good use of Facebook groups:
- Using groups to share useful information
- Connecting your fans with each other and staying out of it
- Providing a forum to allow your customers/clients to ask questions
Annoying use of Facebook groups:
- Adding people without their permission
- Using groups only to promote and sell
- Joining groups and posting about your business
This barely scratches the surface of Facebook group etiquette and best practices.
Use Facebook groups wisely
At the very least, join groups. Listen. Watch the way people behave. More than a billion people use Facebook Groups, so you won’t have trouble finding ones to observe. Observe the struggles admins go through in terms of monitoring spam and inevitable arguments. See that in the majority of cases, groups are highly user-driven. Many groups are focused on affecting change, resulting in high levels of engagement.
Think about how that can translate to your business? We have a client who uses Facebook groups to bring people together around a very specific topic they teach. They rarely promote themselves and instead encourage users to share questions and resources with each other.
If you offer a specialized product or service, consider creating a Facebook group for fans who aren’t necessarily your customers. For example, if you sell a back pain device, create a group where people can share their personal stories and how they’ve found relief. (As opposed to creating a fan group about your back pain device.)