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Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups: Marie Page's BrightonSEO talk

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Marie Page
THE DIGITERATI / THE DIGITERATI ACADEMY
Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups
@marie_page
http://www.slidesha...
“Context Collapse”
The way users act on
Pages has changed
@marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
New mission
statement
“Give people the power
to build community and
bring the world closer
together””
@marie_page · thedig...

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Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups: Marie Page's BrightonSEO talk

Slide deck of the talk Marie Page is giving at BrightonSEO in April 2018 on the topic of Facebook Groups.

A full transcript and video recording can be found here https://thedigiterati.com/harnessing-power-facebook-groups-brightonseo/

There is also a 'Part 2' video showing the slides that didn't make the cut for the main talk.

To get the free Facebook marketing resources Marie mentions go to http://www.freedigistuff.com

Slide deck of the talk Marie Page is giving at BrightonSEO in April 2018 on the topic of Facebook Groups.

A full transcript and video recording can be found here https://thedigiterati.com/harnessing-power-facebook-groups-brightonseo/

There is also a 'Part 2' video showing the slides that didn't make the cut for the main talk.

To get the free Facebook marketing resources Marie mentions go to http://www.freedigistuff.com

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Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups: Marie Page's BrightonSEO talk

  1. 1. Marie Page THE DIGITERATI / THE DIGITERATI ACADEMY Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups @marie_page http://www.slideshare.net/TheDigiterati
  2. 2. “Context Collapse” The way users act on Pages has changed @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  3. 3. New mission statement “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”” @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  4. 4. “Facebook Zero” “Facebook Apocalypse” @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  5. 5. Organic reach is falling
  6. 6. Facebook Groups are different @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  7. 7. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  8. 8. But can Groups work for commercial brands? @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  9. 9. Paradigm shift
  10. 10. Great reach
  11. 11. Brilliant engagement @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  12. 12. User Generated Content @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  13. 13. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  14. 14. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  15. 15. How to sell it in
  16. 16. Customer service where customers do half the work for you
  17. 17. Peer to peer advice and support
  18. 18. Discover (and address) your customer pain points
  19. 19. Position you as an expert @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  20. 20. Profile raising without overtly selling @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  21. 21. Enable you to sell in @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  22. 22. Tell stories, show the people behind the brand
  23. 23. Bring connection
  24. 24. Use it to improve your products/processes
  25. 25. Customer advocacy @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  26. 26. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  27. 27. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  28. 28. How to promote your Group in a Facebook Ad @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  29. 29. Don’t accept everyone! @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  30. 30. Content Ideas @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  31. 31. Theme days @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  32. 32. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  33. 33. Admin tools @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  34. 34. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  35. 35. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  36. 36. @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  37. 37. Coming Soon @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  38. 38. Tricks and Tips @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  39. 39. Data capture new members @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  40. 40. Stay out of jail @marie_page · thedigiterati.com · digiterati-academy.com
  41. 41. Facebook.com/groups/teamdigiterati Mention BrightonSEO when you apply
  42. 42. www.FreeDigiStuff.com
  43. 43. Marie Page THE DIGITERATI / THE DIGITERATI ACADEMY Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups Bonus Content! @marie_page http://www.slideshare.net/TheDigiterati

Editor's Notes

  • Hi
    I’m Marie Page
    I’m a co-founder of The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy.
    We provide digital and social media marketing consultancy and training. I’m the resident Facebook aficionado and I’m going to talk to you today about harnessing the power of Facebook Groups. You’ll find the slides over on Slideshare as well as a video of this talk AND the content that inevitably got culled to get me into 20 minutes!
    I’m using examples mainly from 3 commercial businesses I am involved with that have highly effective Facebook Groups. Two are B2C and one is B2B.
    I truly believe that Facebook Groups can work in the commercial world and not just for community groups or for those with special interests.
    But let’s start with looking at why Facebook itself is so keen on Groups and why Pages are simply not working any more
  • Over a year ago the media started reporting on a phenomenon called Context Collapse. Facebook was apparently terrified because despite spending increasing amounts of time on the platform people were sharing less and less intimate information about themselves. We’ve since seen a slew of new features such as “On This Day” that encourage people to share updates.
    But the behavioural change was already firmly set in and since then Facebook has made further changes.
  • At the heart of this was a change of mission statement aiming to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”
    You can see how Facebook Groups neatly help achieve this
  • Then in January this year a major announcement was made which was heralded as the Facebook Apocalyse or Facebook Zero. It appeared that Pages could be facing an era of zero organic reach.
    Facebook decided it was sick of passive consumption of content and will, in future, be focusing on pushing out content that drives meaningful interactions with a focus on content from friends and family rather than businesses
  • And certainly organic reach is falling.
    Average reach is currently around 7% but some Pages have seen it much lower than that, particularly those using click and engagement bait tactics which the new updates to the algorithm have severely punished
    https://locowise.com/blog/facebook-january-2018-edition
  • The Oatmeal has neatly summarised what has happened over the years
    We used to spend all our time driving traffic to our websites
  • Then Facebook appeared and people preferred to engage with our content there. And reach was pretty good
  • Then the brakes were put on organic reach
  • And Pages needed to start shelling out quite considerable sums for exposure
  • So Facebook Pages are now a total nightmare, especially for organisations without a lot of budget to spend boosting posts
    Facebook Groups are Different
    At least for Now
    Groups have more of a community feel
    Because Groups are generally not public people feel safer to talk and engage
    They know they are in a community of like minded people
  • And Facebook itself is focussed on Groups.
    If you are going to be putting Facebook at the heart of your marketing it is wise to go where they lead
    Here’s Matt Navarra tweeting from South by Southwest. Alex Hardiman is Head of News Products
  • Yes!
    It just requires a longer term view and something of a paradigm shift
  • Groups enable a multi-person conversation that you are far less in control of
    Groups won’t work as interruptive marketing
    The best Groups are where members feel a sense of ownership and any brand behind the Group spends most of the time playing a facilitation role rather than driving all the content themselves.
    In a world where millions are spent on sponsorship I simply don’t understand why Facebook Groups have not enjoyed more take-up by commercial brands. Groups could so easily be viewed as a form of sponsorship around a topic or interest area.
  • So why are Groups better than Pages?
    Well reach is soooo much better
    In any given month I am seeing a reach of 70% (this is using the Active Members metric) with top performing posts getting about 30-50% reach
    You’ll never get that level of reach in a Page now unless the content is super viral or you are paying to boost it
  • Engagement is through the roof in comparison to the equivalent Page. The News Feed algorithm loves that active engagement which further pushes reach.
    And the engagement tends to be peer-to-peer which these most recent algorithm changes favour rather than driven by Group Admins. It’s a meaningful conversation
  • This leaves your Admins a lot more time to spend on the beach
  • Here’s some fantastic User Generated content in Motability’s Facebook Group.
    In the first picture, the content is beautifully promoting Motability’s One Big Day – their most important commercial event of the year
    And in the other we have Sat Nav the dog. And we all know how cute dogs and cats drive reach and engagement. And here are members of the Group doing that for Motability. Sat Nav is fast becoming the new Motability Group mascot.
  • More user generated content here in the Team Digiterati Facebook Group.
    You may well know Dawn Anderson – she’s a familiar face at Brighton SEO. Here she is curating some content for us from Search Engine Journal
  • So far so good. What’s not to love about Groups?
    Well they appear to still be pretty hard to sell in at Board level. So what other arguments can you put forward?
  • Groups can provide a customer service option that takes the load off your own internal teams. Dell did this years about with their Dell Community. Independent experts and tech enthusiasts solve Dell technical issues in a forum Dell hosts but does not provide staff support to. All saving Dell month. The customers are happy because they get timely support and the enthusiasts get the badge of Dell Rockstar.
    Some people are easily pleased!
  • As well as the kind of user generated content we’ve already looked at, Groups tend to be a place where users ask loads of really useful and interesting questions.
    As a content marketer, this is my happy place.
    In this examples Par is asking the Digiterati Group for advice on SEO for YouTube
  • If you know the Business Model Canvas you’ll be familiar with the concept of customer pain points
    Again as a content marketer, hosting a community where these pain points are raised, and with our solutions only a click away makes a lot of marketing sense.
  • Here are three examples of users expressing their pain points.
    People will post questions looking for advice. If appropriate, you (or even other users) can position your own products and services as a possible solution
    They also provide the business with content ideas for blog posts, ads and even new products
  • Simply by actively hosting a Group helps position you, and your team, as experts.

    The association that comes from the sponsorship of the Group – a Group dedicated to a topic of relevance to your brand and bang on the interests of your members – will bring you and the brand kudos. You’ll enjoy more brand awareness and more brand consideration when it comes to purchase.

    And as time goes on you demonstrate that with your own content and response to questions
  • Normally the community *can* and will answer even the trickiest of questions. But I find that it’s rare one of our team can’t Google a response even if we don’t know it immediately ourselves.
    The Jumping the Shark post was a big opinion piece. The Group was a great place to seed that article for further sharing
  • A Group provides you the opportunity to showcase your expertise, the leader in your field with your finger firmly on the pulse of what’s new and what’s worth investigating.
  • I don’t advocate lots of overt selling in Groups but occasionally you earn the right.
    Here one of our members is asking for advice on Facebook ads for a Crowdfunder product. I gave a detailed response offering free advice. I will have included some links to guides I’ve written on the topic and to the Facebook ads course in the Digiterati Academy. Of course if I wanted to I could also follow up with a PM and offer some further possibly paid support
    And on the right is an occasional post that we allow ourselves to promote some of our own services. In this case it’s the launch of a course on content marketing.
  • Groups are a place to tell stories and show the people behind the brand
    People buy from people not websites
    And you don’t need me to tell you as marketers how important story telling is
  • The result is connection
    Between you and your customers
    And between the tribe that will grow out of your Group
    This will all drive loyalty
  • Groups are a great place for on-the-ground market research
    As well as giving insight into your customers you’ll get ideas and inspiration for new content across all social channels
  • You can use this to improve your products ad services.
    Here’s a post in the Motability Group where people are criticising an aspect of the website.
    This is really useful UX feedback that you can also go to work on improving
    You’ll also uncover work to be done on product improvement and new product development ideas
  • Groups are simply brilliant places for your community to advocate for you. We find that if someone kicks off, we rarely need to do anything ourselves because our community rally round and put the record straight.
  • In these examples on the left you find some unprompted testimonials about Digiterati Academy courses and on the right is a member of the Veganuary Group talking about how supportive and helpful she has found the Group in comparison with other Pages.
  • And here is Motability with some unprompted testimonials
    We were working with Motability for something like two years before we finally persuaded them to take the plunge and form a Group. They are classically highly risk-averse and were concerned about any potential bad publicity.
    But conversely (and partly because they are such a superb and caring organisation that delivers what it promises), the Group has been awash with praise.
    The Group is likely to be biggest Facebook Group in the world for people with disabilities. And it is all “sponsored” by a key commercial player in that space with a focus in the content on cars, mobility and freedom of movement.
  • Clicks to website ads work for public groups but not for closed or secret groups
    So 3 workarounds:
    Use a url shortener to bypass the facebook.com domain restriction in the ads create tool
    Use a link ad and send to a web page that has a forwarder in place to the Facebook Group
    Create a post on your PAGE with a link to the Group
    Boost that post
    So three different ways you can promote your Group in a Facebook ad
  • Tempting as it is to have a vanity metric of tens of thousands of members, large Groups are massively time consuming to manage and a magnet for spammers so: - Set your membership criteria
    - The tighter your criteria the less hassle you will have with spammy posts annoying members and causing you admin headaches

    Some Groups are offered only as part of a VIP membership package. Jon Loomer’s Power Hitters Club is a good example. You get access to Jon as well as all the training on his website.
  • Your community will post plenty of content but if it gets quiet you might like a few ideas to fall back on
  • Theme days work well for when the Group is a little quiet.
    I don’t follow them religiously though. I tend to “feel” what is needed rather than sticking to a strict schedule.
    The Friday Free For All works well as a thread where members are allowed to push out their own self promotion. So these include links to their own projects and websites. Keeping them in a single thread minimises the timeline spam for everyone else
  • Here are a couple of Motability theme days. They’ve also gone for the Free-For-All but have created other theme days in line with the pillars of their content strategy.
  • Moving now to look at Admin Tools
    In addition to the Admin Tools hub admins can
    Mute and ban members,
    message members
    Schedule posts
    View the activity of other Admins and moderators
    And see which posts have been reported to Admins or to Facebook
  • Recognising the time running a Group can take, Facebook is pulling together the 6 or 7 most important things Admins do in keep membership and conversation healthy to a single hub. This should streamline workflow and release admins to spend their time attending to people rather than doing admin.
  • You can now link your Page to a Group
    And link Groups to Groups
  • You can post as the Page in a Group
    This is great for Groups that need to protect the identity of Admins, for instance when dealing with vulnerable people
  • Use the Description to explain what the Group is all about and who is eligible to join A good idea to put a link to the Group rules here – we have these hosted on our website
    If you are using the three optional questions for membership refer to them here
    You can also recommend other Groups

    Use the Tags in order to guide Facebook in terms of who it shows the Group too as a suggested Group

    Locations – choose from specific geographic locations or Global – again useful in guiding Facebook on who to suggest the Group to
  • Plenty to explore in Group Insights
    Active Members gives a good idea of reach numbers
    Some of the data can also be turned into fun posts or competitions
  • Facebook has trailed a number of features that are coming soon to Groups
    These include:
    Personalisation – colours and theme
    Prominence of Rules
    Multiple Pinned Posts
    Topics – buttons that appear at the top of Groups a little like tags work on a blog with contents grouped into subject specific headings

    We’ve also seen some trials of Boosted posts. It does indeed look as if advertising is coming to Groups
  • Facebook has trailed a number of features that are coming soon to Groups
    These include:
    Personalisation – colours and theme
    Prominence of Rules
    Multiple Pinned Posts
    Topics – buttons that appear at the top of Groups a little like tags work on a blog with contents grouped into subject specific headings

    We’ve also seen some trials of Boosted posts. It does indeed look as if advertising is coming to Groups
  • Finally a trick and a tip for running your Group
  • You get to ask up to 3 questions when people apply to join the Group. Offer a freebie in return for the customer email address
  • Facebook is increasingly throwing people into Facebook Jail for their online misdemeanours.
    Don’t auto add people to the Group without permission
    Don’t PM people you don’t know asking them to join the Group
    Don’t post too often especially if content is spammy/salesy
    It doesn’t take many complaints to trigger jail time
  • That’s it from me.
    I hope you’ve been inspired in relation to Facebook Groups
    Membership to our own Team Digiterati Group is usually exclusively for Digiterati Academy subscribers but if you answer BrightonSEO in the questions we’ll let you join!
  • You are also welcome to grab some freebies from us
    These include our cover photo size guide and photoshop template, a checklist for setting up a Facebook Group and our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing.
    Go to www.FreeDigiStuff.com
  • Most BrightonSEO talks are just 20 minutes long. It’s tough cramming everything into a topic in that time. So inevitably I ended up culling a lot of my slide deck. Watch the video and blog post on the bits that got edited out. Still super useful for anyone about to launch or thinking about launching a Facebook Group.

    https://thedigiterati.com/harnessing-power-facebook-groups-brightonseo-uncut/
  • Inevitably there was a batch of content that didn’t make the cut for this 20 minute talk. If you’d like to see them do head over to our website and search for BrightonSEO where you will find a pre-recorded video of both this talk, a transcript and the bonus content.
  • Hi
    I’m Marie Page
    I’m a co-founder of The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy.
    We provide digital and social media marketing consultancy and training. I’m the resident Facebook aficionado and I’m going to talk to you today about harnessing the power of Facebook Groups.
    I’m using examples mainly from 3 commercial businesses I am involved with that have highly effective Facebook Groups. Two are B2C and one is B2B.
    I truly believe that Facebook Groups can work in the commercial world and not just for community groups or for those with special interests.
    But let’s start with looking at why Facebook itself is so keen on Groups and why Pages are simply not working any more
  • Facebook Groups are also a quick way of getting messages out
    Afterall, if Kennedy was shot today it’s likely that the first place we’d here about it would be Facebook.
    That problem of reach is not going to deliver such guaranteed exposure with a post on a Page
    Here’s an example from Motability busting some fake news about car insurance and read weather warnings

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