Facebook groups are growing in popularity following recent algorithm changes and many brands are shifting towards using groups to push their online community. Facebook algorithm changes have meant that groups are being given higher priority when it comes to news feeds and interaction – therefore, it can be extremely beneficial for a business to use groups if they want to engage at a better rate with their audience.
There are three types of Facebook groups; open, closed and secret.
Open Facebook Groups:
As the name suggests, open Facebook groups are available to everyone. Anyone with a Facebook account can search for open groups and can see the group’s name, location, members list and posts. Membership does not require approval and anything that is posted is available in Facebook searches.
Closed Facebook Groups:
The difference with closed Facebook groups is that membership has to be requested by an administrator. Anyone with a Facebook account can still search for the group and they will be able to see the group’s name, description and members list within their searches. However all content in the group is only visible to its members.
Secret Facebook Groups:
The secret Facebook groups are the most private of all the group types and offer a slightly different way of working. Similar to the closed groups, content is not visible to outside members, however neither is the group name or group details. If someone searches for the name of a secret group, it will not appear in search results. To become a member of a secret Facebook group, you have to be invited by another existing member and everything within that group is only visible to active members.
What are the benefits of joining a secret Facebook group?
Although most brands will want to create as much engagement about their company as possible, there are benefits to using a secret group. This can be a way of creating a new buzz or hype about an upcoming promotion or company change. It can be a place where people who would not normally feel comfortable speaking out can have a forum where they know they can be themselves and give opinions.
Brands can utilise secret groups to influence or build on brand awareness and with Facebook making it even easier now to link a group with a business page, it’s a great reason to start using them. Changes last year from Facebook means that business pages can be linked to one or more groups, without the need to use a personal profile – providing a safe environment where an audience can engage further with like-minded people.
Setting up a secret Facebook group
It’s simple to get started creating your group. From your Facebook news feed or profile page, use the menu options in the top right hand corner to select ‘create group’.
- To create your group fill in all the information required including a group name and you can even add in some members if you have people in mind that would be interested in joining. You can make this a pleasant experience for your members by adding in a personalised message explaining what the group is about and why you have added them.
- In the privacy settings choose ‘secret group’ from the dropdown selection.
- Now you’re ready to start personalising your group by adding a cover photo / header and description. It also gives you the option to add in a location and tags.
- It’s easy to change the settings within your group at any time by using the ‘more’ / ‘edit group settings’ function underneath the cover photo. This will allow you to change the group type, control membership and post approvals and set permissions.
- Finally, if you haven’t done so already, link your group to your business page to provide your audience a bigger engagement experience.
Make use of Facebook groups
If you’re looking to build a community of like-minded individuals, having a group where people can discuss and help each other is a great way to achieve this. A group is way of increasing your circle of friends and to build on what you already know – a place for learning and engaging outside of a visible newsfeed for the world to see.
Other features that are useful within secret groups which are great for small businesses is the ability to use the chat facility with more than one person at a time in the group. This could be beneficial if you are trying to work out an issue or explain something, without the need to pick up the phone.
You can also share documents within a secret group where members can have input on one document – similar to Google Docs.
Don’t forget that your outside audience will not be able to search or see your secret Facebook group. This means that if you want to build your group, you will either need to invite others or encourage other members to invite people they know to join.
Utilising Facebook groups for business is an excellent way to dig deeper into your customer’s experience and journey with your brand while providing a different and more unique approach to engaging with them.
What’s your thoughts on secret Facebook groups? Feel free to get in touch if you’re thinking about setting up a group for your business and would like a little friendly advice.
Facebook for Business, facebook groups for business, secret Facebook groups, social media marketing