Facebook F8: New Emphasis on Groups

At the end of April, Facebook held its annual developer conference, F8. Facebook company executives took to the stage to announce updates to Facebook’s core service, Messenger, and Instagram.

Among the many announcements was Facebook’s new focus on building community within the network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated Facebook’s recent pivot towards deemphasizing commercial posts from businesses in the News Feed in favor or posts from friends and family.

A new focus on community groups

Facebook has long been talking about the demoting business posts on users’ News Feeds in an effort to show more posts from friends and family. Now, they’re overhauling their desktop and mobile apps to focus more on groups.

With more than 400 million people belonging to a Facebook group, these new communities have become an important part of users’ online experience. In response, Facebook is now prioritizing groups by making it easier for users to find and join groups. Group content will also begin appearing in News Feeds and will recommend similar groups related to a user’s interests.

What’s a Facebook Group?

A Facebook group can be considered more of a forum; it’s a space where people can connect to and interact with others around shared interests. common cause, activity or issue. Engagement on Groups has steadily grown over the years, as more users are attracted to the semi-private aspect of their interactions (Groups typically require an admin invitation or acceptance before seeing posts, which means your posts aren’t readily visible to the general public).

Benefits of Facebook Groups

Facebook groups tend to generate more engagement than Pages, simply because members are able to start conversations. If you’re able to effectively maintain a group, here are some benefits you can receive:

  1. Creates a sense of community: Groups are a great way for members to interact with each other and share ideas, thoughts and seek answers.
  2. Builds trust: You can build a sense of trust in your customer’s minds by being available to answer questions and address concerns.
  3. Provide extra value: Groups give your customers an additional touchpoint to connect, not only with the business but also with other customers. Businesses can use groups to get immediate feedback on new ideas, products or services and create a conversation surrounding the topic.
  4. Game the algorithm: While you won’t be able to outwit the algorithm, you can use groups to get your posts seen by more of your members more consistently. While only a portion of your Page fans sees your posts, posts from groups members are actively engaging with are given higher priority in the News Feed.
Facebook Page or Group? Which should home builders choose?

There are a lot of benefits to Groups but which one is right for your business? Ultimately, it depends on your overall goal.

If your goal is to promote your new homes, then a Facebook Page is your best bet. It’s where you can share information on your new homes, special incentives and promotions, and information on upcoming communities. The content you share on your Facebook Page can also help improve your overall SEO as well.

Conversely, Groups work well if the goal is to foster deeper communication and connection with customers. Groups aren’t inherently promotional; instead, it’s a space where people can share their thoughts and ideas. You won’t be able to grow your brand through groups but you will be able to develop relationships with your members.

This isn’t an either-or situation; Facebook Pages are an essential part of your social media strategy while groups are a great supplement to your core network.