1. A group of like-minded individuals come together and form an online community. A group can be global and made up of strangers, other times it could be localised.
Can You Join Facebook Groups as a Facebook Page?
When you join a Facebook Group, it’s always been the case that you have to join as yourself, an individual with a personal Facebook account. In a relatively recent update, however, Facebook announced that it would be giving Pages the option to join Groups too. This is being rolled out as we speak, with lot’s of Page Admins already having the option on whether they join groups from their personal accounts or from their Business Pages.
As a social media agency, this is fantastic news. An in-road into super niche interest groups? Great. A way to communicate and engage with people on a more personal level – and as a brand? Keep talking. Thanks to this update, there’s finally an honest way for brands (and the people who manage their Facebook Pages) to access these online communities. It’s almost too good to be true, and unfortunately it could well be.
So, What’s the Issue?
To see the downside of a brand infiltrating a group, consider how long Facebook Groups have been around, and how active these groups are too. People have spent time building these online communities, putting questions in place to approve new members, and creating a community that adheres to the rules outlined by the admins. Not to be dramatic, but there is a sanctity there. The conversations are for the most part, organic, and are fuelled by a common interest or passion. A brand or business, given access to join the conversion could be seen as disruptive – and not in a good way.
Take ‘Dogspotting’ for example; a global Facebook group dedicated to people sharing photos of pooches they’ve papped somewhere that day. Yep, a 1,170,233 member strong group with over 400 posts per day that’s been live for over a decade, just for sharing cute pictures of doggos. It would probably feel pretty intrusive if, say, Pedigree Chum started posting in this group to flog Denta Stix, wouldn’t it?
How Can Brands Appear Genuine in Facebook Groups?
Groups often see sky-high engagement rates and lot’s of the ‘meaningful interactions between people’ that Mark Zuckerberg so often coins as his vision for the Facebook platform as a whole. If brands are to utilise this opportunity in the best way, they will have to carefully consider a strategy for joining Facebook Groups, and it would be advisable to avoid selling. In 2018 people are much more wise to marketing tactics, and if they can spot an affiliate link on Instagram from an influencers IG Story, you can bet that they’ll spot a sales post a mile off, no matter how many emojis you put at the end to soften it up.
The takeaway? Be genuine, funny, engaging and create valuable content. Use Groups as an avenue for conversation and getting to know potential customers better. Use it to share knowledge on a subject of expertise and project a personable image for your business. Brands can’t go into these curated communities with an impersonal sales-driven approach – because it just ain’t going to fly.