Facebook Groups: A Consumer Feature that Doubles as Tool for Brand Marketers?

The following is a brief excerpt from the October 2010 edition of the Facebook Marketing Bible, the comprehensive guide to marketing your company, app, or brand on Facebook.

Facebook Groups — and much of Facebook itself — was not originally intended for marketing purposes. And yet, people all over the world, in every imaginable demographic, have become so highly engaged with the site that brands have gravitated towards its features as tools for promotion. This article discusses the ways in which the newly launched version of Facebook Groups offers opportunities for creative niche marketers looking to target specific audiences organized around shared interests or experiences.

In a simple marketing implementation, guerrilla marketers can join Groups related to their product and post messages to the wall, start conversation topics, ask questions. However, marketers that default to spammy forum posting behavior will most definitely not succeed. Today’s Facebook users are both savvy and sensitive, and Facebook itself has responded to this evolving user standard for promotional material by tightening their own guidelines governing advertiser behavior on the site.

Groups differ from Pages in a few key ways. Unlike Facebook Pages, Groups are not a communications channel designed for brand marketing. Pages allow you to communicate with Facebook users who are your fans – in other words, users who have opted in to receive promotional content that you publish from your Facebook Page via their news feed. Groups, on the other hand, are organizations of Facebook users who have opted in to receive content from (or create content for) their peers with whom they share a special interest or element of identity.

As a channel designed for marketing, Pages offer numerous ways to broadcast to and communicate with users who are fans and with those users’ friends. With a Group, however, admins can send messages to members, but, aside from invites from members, there are no viral acquisition mechanisms to bring new users to the Group.

Why then, are Groups valuable to marketers? Pages allow you two-way communication with Facebook users who are your fans or friends of your fans — they are Facebook’s premier brand marketing tool. Facebook Ads allow you one-way communication with users who are not yet your fans, but whose profile information matches that of your target audience. Groups are different from, and complementary to, both of these options because Groups, if used wisely and sparingly, allow you to communicate in a personal, bi-directional way with Facebook users who are not your fans, but who could be.

For the full article, including specific, adaptable use-cases, please see the Facebook Marketing Bible, October 2010 edition.

Social Media 201

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Starting October 13, Social Media 201 will provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining followers and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Facebook Groups: A Consumer Feature that Doubles as Tool for Brand Marketers?”

  1. Christian says:

    Something which is also very handy with Facebook Groups is that they can be used as a handy ‘knowledgebase’ for sharing things between colleagues. For instance if you want to share news articles or blog posts, it’s a handy way to do it without constantly sending ‘all@’ emails around the office.

  2. Mikko.ws » Don’t hire a marketing manager (too early) says:

    [...] Facebook Groups: A Consumer Feature that Doubles as Tool for Brand Marketers? (insidefacebook.com) Share on: | [...]

  3. Using Facebook Groups to Market? — Profitable Social Media Profitable Social Media says:

    [...] Read more at InsideFacebook.com [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Web Developer

mediabistro.com
New York, NY

Web Producer (Homepage, BBC feature sections) BBC.

BBC Worldwide Americas
New York, NY

Social Media Assistant - Telecommuniting

Elements Behavioral Health
Long Beach, CA

SEO and Google Specialist

Elements Bahavioral Health
Long Beach, CA

Digital Media Buyer/Planner

High 5 Games
New York, NY

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us