Facebook Rejigs Group Invites & Analytics
Facebook has just released a new Facebook Group update, impacting how marketers engage, build and report on Groups on the platform.
At the start of 2018, Mark Zuckerberg altered the fundamentals of the Facebook algorithm to favour content which drives more active engagement, i.e. commenting, over passive, i.e. liking a post.
Resultantly, Groups, which generate high levels of active engagement, now dominate feeds and are very much in the spotlight for marketers in 2019.
When Is A Groupie Not Really A Groupie?
Now, one of the oddities of Facebook Groups has always been how the audiences are built.
Up until a few days ago, Facebook users have been able to add friends to Groups which they thought could be of interest. The friends above were then automatically added to the Group, often unwittingly.
That’s how I ended up in the Backstreet Boys World Tour 2019 Group…
For shifty admins its been a convenient way to overinflate group size and organic reach.
In recent days Facebook has addressed as follows:
- People who've been added to a group, but have never visited it, will appear in the new invited section of a Members list
- Only available to admins and moderators
- Invited people will not be considered a member until they accept their invite
- Meaning they will no longer be included in a group's total member count, and those who have yet to accept will be transferred to invited section
- In the next few weeks, Facebook says admins will be able to send one notification to invited people to remind them to accept or decline the invite to a group
Why facebook allowed this annoying feature in the first place is anyone’s guess. However, given the growing importance of Groups on the platform and Facebook’s multitude of issues with misreporting it’s a smart, proactive move.
Leveraging Groups To Win In 2019
Facebook Groups offer high organic reach and are expected to be an important feature ongoing, as social interaction shifts to more private forums. See LinkedIn breathing life back into Groups, also.
Groups are also seeing an expanded feature-set possessing many distinct marketing functions which Pages do not always enjoy, or enjoy later, e.g. Facebook Watch Parties.
Facebook Pages and Groups can, and should, be used in compliment. An easy way to think about it is; a Facebook Page is communications and advertising, while a Group is better used for customer relationship management (CRM).
As such, Groups do not need to be targeted at all stakeholders. They could be aimed at a small lucrative customer base or perhaps for a local council tailored for hard-to-reach local constituents.
Whether it’s building Groups or engaging niche Groups, as part of an influencer push, Groups should be on most marketers agendas in 2019. In some capacity.