Last month Facebook announced the launch of Groups for Pages, allowing businesses to link a group to their company page. You can both link an existing group to a business page, (making the company page an administrator) and create new groups without the need for your personal Facebook profile.
This new feature means that as a business, you are now able to publish and comment to a group as your company page, enabling branding opportunities. It will also mean that you can showcase related groups straight from your Facebook company page, making it easier for your customers to find the group.
So what is a group and how does it differ from a page?
A company page is your professional image, it is where you share branded content, get reviews, provide valuable information like a map and contact information for your business.
Only your business can make posts on your page. When a customer submits a comment, it won’t show up on your page’s newsfeed, only on the community section which is hidden away and some pages choose not to publish this section.
A business group on the other hand, puts more of a focus on community. When any member of the group posts in the group, it publishes and stays in the feed, centre-stage, for other users to easily see and engage with. Groups also naturally invite more continual interaction and discussions, because that’s what they’re meant to do and users feel more comfortable.
So, what are the benefits to a business of having a business group?
A group should not replace your company page but instead, provide another way for your community to find you and engage with you. Creating a group solely focused on talking to your customers, and sharing content they will love, can add real value to your business.
Group discussions are more likely to appear on news feeds than a post on a company Facebook page, therefore a group should provide more potential exposure for your business. Facebook prioritise on their newsfeed content that they believe will be more interesting to users. More often than not, this is at the expense of brand messaging on a company page as this is very one way, whereas group conversations are high on this list, as groups give all members who share an interest equal standing to start or join a conversation.
Running an effective business group requires a time commitment. The biggest mistake many businesses make is creating a group and then just spamming members with links to their website. This is not what a Facebook Groups for Pages should be about. You’ve got to show up to welcome new members and encourage discussions. You also need to closely moderate content, banning any members who spam or post abusive content.
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