Facebook Provides New Tools for Groups to Build Communities

Mark Zuckerberg has adjusted Facebook's mission statement to focus on bringing the world closer together. Facebook wants to bring half of its 2 billion user base into Facebook Groups.  With this mission in mind,  Facebook has just released some new tools that will help Admins of Facebook Groups encourage more engagement and manage their social tribe. 

1) Welcome Posts - One of the critical moments of a member joining a group, is in their first few days.  If they do not feel welcome or a part of the community, their interest will wane.  Good Facebook admins would welcome their new members but had to tag each new member, which was not always easy, especially if you had a lot of members joining your group.  Facebook has now made this more user friendly by allowing admins to write a welcome post that automatically tags new members.  

 Source - Facebook 

2) Badges - As a way to make it easier for members of the group to understand who the admin and moderators are, Facebook has introduced badges.  These badges easily identify group leaders.  There is also a badge for new members which enables members of the  community to welcome new members and help them to feel at ease and begin to build relationships. 

3) Member Profiles  - A group is only as strong as its relationships.  Helping members to get to know each other, is a powerful way to encourage engagement.  With this in mind, Facebook has released a new feature called Member Profiles.  If you want to get to know someone in the Facebook group, just hover over their name and a group specific profile will pop up. This profile shows what mutual friends you have in common, what activity the member has had in the group and other publicly shared information.   

Mark Zuckerberg in a previous post has said the following

"In many ways, relationships are the most important things in our lives -- whether we're trying to form healthy habits, stay out of trouble, or find better opportunities. And yet, research shows the average American has fewer than three close friends we can turn to for support.

Facebook has been focused on helping you connect with people you already know. We've built AI systems to recommend "People You May Know". But it might be just as important to also connect you with people you should know -- mentors and people outside your circle who care about you and can provide a new source of support and inspiration"

What will be interesting is to see if users have control control over what is pulled into their member profiles. 

4) New Admin Controls - If you run any type of online group, moderation is an important aspect of your role as an admin.  Even if you list your Code of Conduct that sets how people need to engage with your group, there will always be people who want to push the boundaries or engage in unacceptable ways.  You need to be able to manage these people quickly and efficiently,  otherwise it can effect the group as a whole.  Facebook has added a couple of new features that will make this a little easier.  Admins will now have the capability to temporarily turn off posts and comments by a member.   If they go too far and violate your terms, you can remove a member from multiple groups for which you are an admin.  Facebook has also expanded the Group Insights tool to give you personalised tips to help you know when your members are most engaged so you know when to post.  Definitely valuable information that every admin needs! 

Facebook is going to continue to encourage the use of Facebook Groups so I am sure new feature will be added regularly.  With Facebook moving in this direction and encouraging more and more people to engage in Facebook Group, maybe it is time to look into whether you could harness the power of Facebook Groups to help build your brand. 

Are there any tools you would like to see in a Facebook Group?  Please comment below. 

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Groups, Social Media, Online Community, Social Tribe, Social Media

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