Groups, Not Pages, Will Drive Facebook Use
Facebook has to walk a fine line when it comes to brand interaction and more "traditional" social media, which aims at connecting people. Clearly, users start on the platform because they want to connect with other users and they value that experience. To some degree, they're also fine with connecting with brands and advertising content, especially when it focuses on their interests. However, when ad content gets too heavy and it feels like brands are more important than users, some feel pushed away from the platform. Facebook is always working to make the site engaging and attractive, while also making it useful for branded content. It's not as easy as it sounds.
To this end, they have decided to push Group content over Page content. This focus will, at least, show up for mobile users. Content in Groups will get a higher level of priority and exposure than content posted on Pages. The goal is to work toward a "meaningful connection" with the users, which Facebook believes they get in the Groups that they join more than they do in the Pages that they like.
Some of the usage statistics do back this up. For instance, in 2018, membership in Facebook Groups jumped by an impressive 40%. People clearly enjoy being involved in groups and it's only growing more common as the demographics for Facebook users continue to change. This type of adjustment is crucial if Facebook wants to stay relevant. The reign that it has had as the biggest social media force on the planet for over a decade is already very impressive, considering how the major players in the past -- MySpace, for instance -- have fallen by the wayside. Some of the reason for that longevity is Facebook's ability to change for the users, and this is just one more way for them to do it.
What Does This Mean for Your Brand?
In promoting your brand on Facebook, the natural place to start is with a brand-specific Facebook Page. That's still important in the same way that it's important to have a homepage. You need that hub where users can connect. You need it to be easy for them to find you, both for the sake of communication and for making purchases.
However, you also want to consider Group content and membership, which may get you a bit more exposure moving forward. While that may not be as important for those who have already converted and made purchases, it is important for reaching new customers and expanding your influence. You have to think about how Facebook gets content in front of interested users and how you can be part of that movement. That's always changing. While the focus is on Groups for now, that does not mean it will stay that way. You must keep your finger on the pulse of social media so that you can adjust with these changes and make the most of every opportunity.
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