Looking to “bring the world closer together”, Facebook is paving the way for super-fans to interact with their favourite businesses and brands with ‘Groups for Pages’.
Announcing the global launch, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox commented on how the move had been born from “new and interesting” user behaviour that was “in retrospect, obvious”.
More specifically, it stemmed from two reporters at The Washington Post who started the Facebook Group ‘PostThis’ as a space for the publication’s “most avid fans” to interact on a daily basis. Described as a digital version of letters to the Editor, it was a platform for real-time and on-going discussion – and readers loved it.
With over 70 million Pages on Facebook, the move intends to make it easier for users to navigate official brand Pages and Groups by simply adding a Group tab to the Page. For example, TV network HBO’s Facebook Page created a Group tab for Big Little Lies, the network’s premium cable series.
The Pages will allow super-fans to cultivate meaningful communities and feeds that can be easily accessed by the Pages’ owners, and could act as an opportunity for brands to embrace visibility and customer service. This also acts as a vehicle for niche content that users don’t necessarily want to share in their regular News Feed. From an in-depth discussion on your favourite band’s first album to the highs and lows of the CrossFit community – enthusiastic posts may be better received in a dedicated space.
Groups for Pages could potentially bring great benefits for brands looking to better engage with their loyal customers. Teamed with the recently released Facebook Group analytics, admins could gain a better understanding of their audience, what content is working, and how they can facilitate the conversation.
However, brands will be aware that the user’s News Feed is a competitive place and increasing audience reach is sure to be a good marketer’s priority. Whilst the benefits of offering more tailored content to a niche group suggests greater relevancy – and as such, engagement – it would be wise to monitor the impact that Facebook Groups have on the performance of the main brand Page. There is the potential that by signposting fans into niche Groups, the brand Page visibility will suffer. As always, due diligence and investigation will be key.