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Facebook Expands Groups & Opens Organic Reach

Public Facebook Group Posts To Begin Ranking In News Feeds

Facebook has introduced a new range of features to Groups that will make them easier to manage, increase engagement and boost organic reach.

Over 1.8 billion (yes, you read that right) people use Facebook Groups every day and the changes are designed to make life easier for those who run them, as well as opening up some interesting marketing opportunities.

As the world still grinds its way through lockdown, people are seeking more ways to connect with those around them.

Getting your brand across them will now reach more eyeballs and fingertips than ever, and as Groups tend to be choka-block with engaged users, including advertising on Groups could return some excellent value.

Groups will now be easier to run and have fewer pain points, while some of the other features are designed to spark discussions and increase engagement.

Chief among them is the new Admin Assist tool, which has a number of features and objectives:

  • Moderation of posts can be improved with a new keyword filter. This can be used for individual words but the filter can also be used to block off-topic posts.
  • Posts can now be automatically declined or filtered on an individual basis, Admins don’t have to turn on post approval for all posts or users.
  • Admins can now organise posts by keyword, and pin them to the top of Groups. This would provide useful for tracking popular subjects, or to direct users to an FAQ section to avoid repeated questions being asked.

Brand Partnerships provide an opportunity

One change that all marketers should be reading up about are the new brand partnership posts, which will be built into the Group experience.

This gives public Group admins the opportunity to post in partnership on behalf of, or with, advertisers. This will help those Groups boost their revenue, but it also gives advertisers and marketers another way to reach a highly engaged (and often large) audience.

Group promotions have been added to its Brand Collabs Manager tool. This’ll make it super easy to find Groups for brands to work with. When brands go looking for partnership opportunities within Brand Collabs Manager, relevant public Groups will be displayed.

Group demographics, engagement and previous brand partners will be listed within the Group information, which gives marketers a further avenue to explore opportunities – as well as providing further information with which to make an informed choice.

Increased organic reach

One of the most notable changes is how public Group discussions could become visible on non-group member’s News Feed and web searches. This feature will still need to be tested, but it’s a massive signpost pointing in the direction that Facebook wants to take Groups in.

Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App, Facebook

“You might see Related Discussions in News Feed when someone posts a link or reshares a post on Facebook. This will let you dive deeper and see what other groups are saying about the same content.

When you visit the Groups tab, you can see posts from Public groups related to your interests, as well as popular posts across Public groups, recommended to you.”

Public Groups will now see their organic reach expanded in order to improve engagement. While this will give users an increased exposure to subjects that interest them, it’ll also allow Group Admins the chance to reach a bigger audience than ever.

That’s good for Admins, and it’s great for marketers who want to connect their brand with Groups who are suddenly on course to have higher engagement levels and organic reach than ever before.

What are the other updates?

Other changes include an online course, which will be available for Group Admins to take. Named the Community Management Certification, this will teach Admins how to ‘build, grow and support your communities through a set curriculum and exam.’

Facebook is seeking to increase engagement levels through an updated, real-time chat feature that will let Group users engage with each other in Messenger.

Prompts, meanwhile, have been designed to use photos as a way of encouraging Group conversations. Prompts will be collaborative posts where anyone can share photos about a certain topic and swipe through other responses.

Q+As will allow Admins to encourage discussions and allow for community engagement without turning it all into a thread – think the Instagram Story Q+A sessions you’ve seen and you’ve got the idea about what one will look like on Facebook Group.

Finally, Group users will be able to customise their profile picture for each Group they’re in.

These new changes should be exciting for brands. They’ll allow an increased opportunity to build and boost community engagement, while the improved discovery of discussions and topics mean this could this is the time to establish conversations that relate to your brand or niche.

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