Whereas Pages are the public watering holes for fans of your brand, Facebook Groups are like private backroom parties – you can set up private communities for your company, both internally or externally. And in October 2010, “new” Facebook Groups became a much more powerful marketing tool.
Facebook Pages are designed to provide companies, celebrities, or other public figures with the ability to establish a presence to allow them to interact publicly with their fans, prospects, or customers (see Figure 3.22). However, some times you want a private area in which you can engage a select group of customers or a special area just for your employees. This is where Facebook Groups come into play.
Figure 3.22 Behind-the-scenes of a Facebook Group. Brian participates in five Facebook Groups daily. He finds them to be the best part of his Facebook experience.
A Facebook Group can be best described as “a real-life interest or group or to declare an affiliation or association with people and things...you are creating a community of people and friends to promote, share and discuss relevant topics.”
Review the privacy settings for Facebook Groups in chapter two.
Facebook Groups are usually created around a particular topic. But, as you can see, a Group can be used in a few uniques ways and for corporate use, too.
In October 2009, Facebook transformed the format and functionality of Groups to be more similar to Pages. They now look and feel the exact same way including posting updates to your News Feed, thus leaving little differences between the two. The one major difference is that you can’t install applications or extend functionality with FBML coding in Groups like you can with Pages. This limits the usefulness of Groups compared to Pages.
The “new” groups in October 2010 meant several more major changes:
- Everytime anyone posts or comments in the Group, everyone is notified. Initially this is via email and the “red alert notification” which is a numbers inside a red box above the clickable world icon in the upper left of your Facebook screen.
- These emails can seem spammy to anyone new to the Group, so make sure you tell new members to turn off the email notifications (Figure 3.23)
- There’s also a chat feature now, for chatting specifically only with members of a group.
- You can set up a group email address so people can post via email while on the move. Note though that people with a Facebook mobile phone app can also access Groups directly through those apps. Emailed posts can be annoying because often people leave in their email signature and reply info from the previous email they received. Once you set up a Group’s email address, you can’t remove it.
Figure 3.23 To edit the Group notifications you receive as a member, click on Edit Settings. You may want to turn off emails if you already visit Facebook several times a day.
Set up options for Groups are limited. Choose a name and image for the group. Select the privacy option you prefer. Write a description of the group. And you’re done! You may also want to create a Doc within the Group to explain policies.