Facebook Pages are now able to join Facebook Groups
"This is a good way for businesses to get on top of the so-called "dark social" effects on campaigns. If you're suffering from problems with engagement and reach you can take a more direct and proactive approach to social." - Michelle Faulds, Social Fox at SlyFox Digital Media Marketing
Up until now, only users’ personal profiles could join member-only Facebook Groups and interact with its members. However, Matt Navarra, a self-described social and digital media consultant, noticed last week that Facebook is now letting Pages join Groups. This also means that Pages are now able to share posts and publish comments within the Groups they’re a member of.
Posting on Twitter, he shared a screenshot of two options; the first being to allow Pages to request to join a page as a Group member, and the second being to switch off the option for Pages to join Groups. As Mashable explains in their article, this new capability means that businesses, public figures and any other users that publish posts through public Facebook Pages can interact with communities of private Groups on the platform. Previously, Pages could only create their own Groups.
"This update is important because (as Facebook points out), there are actors, musicians, politicians and influencers that use Facebook Pages as their main account." - Debbie Aurelius, Peppermint Fish
Now that they can use these Pages to join Groups, they can more easily interact with their supporters. A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable that they decided to test the ability for Pages to join Groups because they’ve “heard from people that engaging with public figures, non-profits, publishers, and businesses in a more intimate setting can be meaningful.”
"Users very rarely want businesses promoting their products but any good business will know that in order to get the most out of a group you need to give more than you take. You can't link spam users and expect business value. If businesses join a group, help a lot and get the occasional sale, that's win-win.
Obviously, this is very dependant on the group purpose. If a private weight loss group allows MyFitnessPal in, that could create a very poor user experience. If a business group allows marketers and accountants, it probably fits the purpose very well and will result in those win-wins." - Matt Antonino, Head of Operations for Digital Eagles
This new capability is currently being tested, and all Facebook Group administrators will soon be made aware of it. They will also be informed of how to turn the setting off.
"Businesses are actually people - they are run by people and as such, there's no real difference if you come into a group as an individual vs a business. The main key is to ensure that the business owners contribute as people, rather than banging on about their 'stuff'." - Emma Sidney, Digital Copywriting
The TJM take: The obvious advantage of this new capability is that businesses, public figures and other owners of Facebook Pages can now communicate more closely with people that are interested in their “brand”. However, as Matt Binder from Mashable points out, Pages may be susceptible to abuse from users within these Groups because they don’t have a personal name tied to the account.
Another thing to aware of is that although some Pages may spam users in Groups with too much 'salesy' content. However, most Page owners will realise that this isn’t the most effective way of building their audience and customer base on the platform.
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