This summer, Facebook made it possible to link previously separate Pages and Groups. Pages are the official profiles of businesses, brands, and public figures, while Groups are generally community and interest-oriented collections of Facebook users. With the new feature, Pages can either create a new group or link an existing group to their Page. The idea is to create and engage with a community connected to your brand in a more collaborative way.
Facebook envisions these new groups as an outlet for super-fans of a brand or artist. In a Facebook post, Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, described the benefits of groups for “super-fans who wanted to be a part of the day-to-day discussion of the decisions inside the walls of an organization they care about, and more importantly to connect with everyone else who felt the same way.”
Facebook’s inspiration was a group created by the Washington Post called PostThis, in which reporters talked with enthusiastic readers about the process of creating stories.
On official Pages, posts from followers tend to be the least visible component. Groups, on the other hand, place interactive posts from all users at center stage. Rather than a place where brands can give information to their fans, Groups are a place where fans and brand representatives interact at the same level. This has the potential to facilitate more organic community building.
Now that Groups for Pages have been going for a few months, we can see lots of creative ways that businesses are using them. Addiction Unscripted, for example, created an online support group that currently has over 50,000 members. Authors can create book discussion groups linked to their official Author Page, and sports teams can create official fan bases for game-day chatting.
At Social Image, we’ve created our own group dedicated to Facebook support. It’s a place where we can discuss new developments in the world of Facebook, and we encourage people to post questions about their Facebook marketing strategies. Our team will be monitoring the group to provide some advice, and we’re also excited to see what ideas and approaches our members have to talk about.
If you’re a brand already using a Facebook Page, we recommend trying out a new linked Group. And if you’re interested in using Facebook to promote your business, come join the conversation in our Facebook Support group. We have over 2,000 members so far, and we’re excited to see where the conversation takes us.
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