In January, when Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize user content over publisher or branded content, ad buyers were quick to pitch Facebook groups as a way for marketers to reach target customers without being punished by the platform’s new algorithm. Five months later, user interest is tepid for many brand pages, with low participation and interaction by members.
Fitbit is one example. The company created 12 different groups geared toward major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Each group has around 200 members, but that’s a far cry from the 2.4 million followers of Fitbit’s Facebook page. Fitbit’s group for fitness-focused San Francisco had only 11 posts in the past 30 days.
Some companies are enthusiastic about the potential Facebook groups gives them, but getting groups discovered among the 200 million groups that exist on Facebook and having enough people to run them have held them back.
As a consequence, Facebook is now taking steps to make it easier to find groups. At Facebook’s F8 conference, the social platform announced a new Groups tab for users to discover groups and a Facebook group plug-in that companies can add to their pages.
What’s New in Publishing: Facebook Groups and Pages: What’s the difference?