If it isn’t already obvious, Facebook is taking over the world. Not only is the site where we go to stay in touch with our family and friends, but we also use it to follow our favorite brands, see what neighborhood events are taking place this weekend, and ultimately, find a sense of community in what can be an otherwise overwhelming world.
To further promote that sense of community, Facebook has spent much of 2018 improving the platform to allow for users to feel more connected to their environment.
What that includes, of course, are Facebook groups. If you haven’t yet discovered the Facebook group of your dreams, boy, are you missing out!
What’s a Facebook group?
You may see the term Facebook group and wonder, “How is this any different from a Facebook business page?”
First, Facebook groups are typically created by an individual or organization to promote discussion around a specific subject matter. Groups allow their members to come together for a common cause and/or shared interest. Members can post on the group’s wall, share their thoughts and opinions (similar to our personal walls), and interact with others in discussion threads.
Groups on groups on groups! There are so many groups.
Second, just about anyone can create a group, and for the most part, anyone can join. It’s up to the group’s administrators to decide if they’d like to make the group public or private. If the group is private, the administrator can create a set of criteria or questions that must be met or answered in order for users to join.
You name it, there’s a group for it.
Building relationships and fostering a sense of community on Facebook doesn’t just come from liking your coworker’s latest beach selfie or stalking your bestie’s potential love interest. Instead, it comes from finding, joining, and interacting with like-minded individuals in different types of groups on the platform itself. And trust me—there are a lot of Facebook groups!
I’m about to become a new mom, and if that thought wasn’t scary enough, knowing what to do when the baby cries, when the baby won’t eat, or how to take care of another human in general is information I know nothing about. It’s one thing when people who aren’t in my situation tell me I’ll be okay and I’ll figure it out. But going into a specific Facebook group and seeing other moms-to-be share their same fears and questions reassures me that a) this is normal, and b) I’m not alone.
(Editor’s note: “LO” means little one. Cute AF.)
At the end of the day, that’s what these groups aim to do: make the world a little smaller and let us know that we’re not alone in our fears, dreams, aspirations, opinions, and thoughts. While we may feel alone sometimes, with just a few quick clicks, these groups have the ability to calm our nerves and perhaps even teach us a thing or two.
It’s not just the mommy-focused groups that can have an impact on you, either. In fact, there are groups for just about anything. For example…
- Want a female-created and led book club? It exists.
- Are you a massive Harry Potter fan and feel like geeking out with fellow fans? There’s a group for it!
- Need someone to talk to about Game of Thrones and what we should expect from the final season? I gotchu!
- Moved to a new city or neighborhood and looking to connect with people in the area? Here you go!
- Want to talk shop about the Birds with fellow Eagles fans? There’s a group for that, too!
- Are you a new parent trying to figure out why your newborn won’t stop crying at 3:00 a.m.? Definitely got a group full of moms for this! (And yes…given that I am expecting my first, this may be most applicable to me.)
What’s next for groups?
Facebook recently introduced a few new features for groups that aim to amplify the communication tool to another level.
First, a feature called Mentorship and Support will be a free service that pairs individuals who need guidance and/or help with others who can actually provide it. For the time being (and during its initial testing phase), Facebook will use the service primarily to provide mentorship assistance to those in need from an educational perspective. For the groups slowly gaining use of this service, Facebook will allow each group’s administrator(s) to determine whether or not this is a feature they want to use. This allows the admin to retain full control of the group without feeling like Facebook is forcing yet another update or feature on them.
Second (and most excitingly, IMO), Facebook will roll out a specific pixel for groups that will allow marketers like you and me to track users’ behavior after they’ve clicked on posts. Why is this important? Considering that user growth of the newsfeed has slowed, but traction in groups has increased, it’s going to be interesting from an advertising perspective to follow the use of pixels in these groups and monitor the potential impact for brands.
Are you an avid member of any Facebook groups? Tell us which ones in the comments, or tweet us at @ChatterBlast!