What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers

Big news for Facebook Groups! Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform. Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community Along with expanding their own internal community teams, the social media goliath also kicked off its first-ever Facebook Communities Summit, gathering hundreds of Facebook Group admins from across the globe to discuss ideas and features that would make Facebook Groups, well… easier to manage. And that’s when a HUGE announcement was made! Key community management features will soon be gracing our beloved Facebook Groups, including: Group Insights Member Request Filtering Removed Member Clean-Up Scheduled Posts Group-To-Group Linking (this is the one I am most excited about, and I’ll tell you why in a moment!) So, what do these new Facebook Group features mean for community managers? Let’s talk about it with real-life examples and some sweet images (thanks to Facebook and TechCrunch!). And be sure to check out some of the most recent updates here (or scroll to the bottom of the post)… Group Insights From Facebook: Group Insights: Group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement, and membership — such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged. This. Is. The. COOLEST. Until now, community managers of Facebook Groups had to either rely on vanity metrics — like the total number of members — or invest in third-party analytic platforms to get any insight into who participated in their community and how often they did so. I’m so happy to see that Facebook is making an effort to help community managers measure what IS important — like participation and activity. A word of caution here — it looks like the initial version of Group Insights includes some vanity metrics when it comes to community growth: Community Metrics Insights Community managers shouldn’t measure growth by a total number of members or a total number of new members — real community growth is a result of member activity, so for the moment, it looks like there is still some work to come in the growth metrics department. This feature does mean that community managers can potentially stop investing in third-party tools and rely on Facebook to do what it does best – provide valuable data to make the best decisions. Up until now, Facebook only provided insights for Pages as a way to understand performance metrics, how people were engaging, and to help provide better ad targeting. Community Metrics Insights Which begs the question… what’s Facebook’s end goal here? Perhaps a way to better understand your community in order to… dare I say it… advertise? As Mari Smith noted in her insights into this feature, “This could be the first step in monetizing groups. We’ll see.” Member Request Filtering From Facebook: Membership request filtering: We also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once. Membership Request Filtering If you manage a Group, you are acutely familiar with the pain it takes to go through a long list of member requests every day. Filtering member requests in DigitalMarketer Engage It’s time-consuming, it feels like busy-work, and… it’s boring. I’m bored now just thinking about it. Facebook’s new member filtering feature will be a welcome reprise for communities who focus on catering to specific demographics or locations. And BATCH. ACCEPTS. Be still my beating heart. This means community managers can spend their time actually building up their communities through content and strategy instead of spending hours (yes, hours) going through membership requests one-by-one. From the bottom of my heart: thank you, Facebook. Removed Member Clean-Up From Facebook: Removed member clean-up: To help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments, and other people added to the group, in one step.

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