Many of us started using Facebook as a way to keep tabs on our friends and distant relatives, but we stayed for the active communities within various Facebook Groups.
Without further ado, here is your essential guide to Facebook Groups in 2019.
In April 2019, Mark Zuckerberg announced that “The Future is Private”. At the time, the news was met with millions of semi-convinced nods. But looking back, we can all now see how right Zuckerberg was.
We all know that social media communities have been growing in popularity over recent years as a way to bring niche (or even not-so-niche) communities together.
As a space to share and discuss topics in a more intimate setting with like-minded individuals, many social media users think of Groups as a ‘safe space’ where they can share thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment from the entire world wide web.
While LinkedIn Groups are mostly focused on bringing together those in particular industries, or those with similar job roles, groups in networks such as Facebook can center around anything from hobbies, to fandoms, to locations.
Some savvy business-men and women have even started using Groups as a way to generate revenue by charging a small membership fee (such as Rachel Pedersen’s Facebook Group).
So this is the current climate. But what’s in store for social media communities in the future?
It seems like Groups and other online communities will just keep blooming. As social networks take note of the increasing demand for Group culture, they’ll continue optimizing with new features and abilities to further let these communities grow, develop, and do more than ever before.
Death of the feed
Many have speculated over the possibility of the ‘death of the feed’. But as a key space for advertising, it seems unlikely that Facebook will let go of this too easily. Nonetheless, those at Facebook may very well be conspiring to place ads in more locations outside of the feed.
The Facebook algorithm already makes it difficult for content from Business Pages to be organically seen by their audience. Posting in a Facebook Group, for now, is a great way to cut through the algorithm and get more eyes on your content.
However, as the feed becomes more and more filled with Group-only content, is there a strong argument for keeping the feed as a separate space at all?
Groups are being used as places for friends and family to club together, fandoms to bond, and people to get to know one another. With all this interaction being increasingly removed the feed and poured out into Groups, the feed may be losing its value and appeal.
A replacement for the feed?
As of early September, 2019, Facebook began rolling out its updated desktop layout. This new refreshed layout means that it’s easier to navigate to various elements from within the feed with Groups appearing as tab along the left-hand side of the screen.
This update speaks volumes for how Facebook is evolving to cater for online communities.
Here’s what some top social media pundits thought:
Personally, I definitely don’t want the feed to disappear but I have certainly noticed that my feed is filled more and more with Group posts and less with people on my friends list.” – Cathy Wassell, Socially Contented Digital Agency and Go With The Pro
“On a personal level, I hardly use my feed – the vast majority of my engagement is within closed groups.” – Anon, posted in a private group.
“I am loving the current trend towards groups and communities. Knowledge sharing with like minded people has never been easier. Groups are invaluable for my job and a constant source of exciting and interesting information. They allow you to get straight to the communities and people you really want to interact with.” – Katie Cooper, The Social Giraffe
Could advertising be brought into Groups?
Following on from the above, advertising is the primary reason why the feed is so important for Facebook. But there’s nothing to stop Facebook from choosing to move these ads elsewhere, including into Groups.
If Facebook is to adapt with the growing popularity of social media communities, then they’ll need to continue shifting priorities and may even consider combining elements of the feed with elements of Groups.
Many of our survey respondents felt that advertising was sure to be coming to Facebook Groups in the future and we’ve gotta say – it sounds likely.
Paid advertising is always something Facebook will be willing to accommodate, and if Groups are where ads could be getting the most exposure then it’s definitely worth exploring.
“Facebook are going to increasingly monetise their groups with more advertising in them.” – Maria Harding, Four31 Digital
“I imagine that groups will be more important to the algorithm in the future. Currently, it’s not possible for FB Ads to run in groups, but I can see that this might change.
Groups are becoming more and more popular, but they’ll be looking for a way to monetise this, so perhaps in the near future groups will no longer have the option to be as private as they currently can be.” – Anon
Will Group membership monetization increase?
It seems highly likely that monetization will increase in online communities. Where businesses and brands are concerned, Group monetization provides a whole new way to make money from a social media audience.
However, as long as Groups are providing individuals with genuinely valuable and interesting content, many will be/are willing to pay for their membership.
This is certainly true of more professional-focused Groups where individuals are looking to learn more about a specific skill or to keep up to date on a particular industry.
Whether monetization could be successfully applied to other types of Groups remains to be seen.
“Facebook will become more and more of a pay-to-play platform. I feel this will extend into Groups as well as Pages. Facebook will become all about community building and engagement within these communities.” – Rachel Le Marquand
Some Facebook Groups to check out now…
Has all this talk piqued your curiosity? If you’re looking for some great Facebook Groups for social media marketers, then have a look at these –
- The Social Media Geek Out
- Go With The Pro: business support for social media freelancers
- The Hub – Ruth Kudzi Coaching Membership Group
- Digital Mums Become a Certified Trainer
- The Social Media Managers Hub
- The Inner Circle [Depesh Mandalia]
- Digital Women
- Become a Social Media Manager with Rachel Pedersen
- Helen Pritchard’s LinkedIn Marketing Group
- Facebook ADcelerator with with Emma Van Heusen
And let’s not forget our very own ContentCal owned Content Planning Facebook Group
ContentCal is now officially integrated with Facebook Groups. This means that you can use ContentCal as your got to social media planning and posting tool, to plan and create your Facebook Group content, ready to be published directly to your Facebook Group at your chosen time and date. 🎉🎉
To get early access to Groups publishing, just message us on live chat, and we can enable it for you.
Use ContentCal to master your Facebook Group content. Sign up for your free trial now.