Whilst many people have been overreacting to the news that Facebook is altering its Newsfeed algorithm (to place more emphasis on content posted by friends and family), publishers are right to begin strategising how they can diversify their traffic sources.
One strategy we’re seeing many publishers consider is launching Facebook groups. Several months ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will make groups a more central component to the Facebook experience, and by all indications this will be even more true once these newly-announced changes come to pass.
You’ve likely noticed that the Facebook groups you belong to are getting more prominent placement in your Newsfeed, and if you’re a publisher you might be thinking about how you can use this to your advantage, possibly by launching a group of your own.
But before you do, there are some factors you should consider, both in how you frame the group’s topic and how you monitor it. For the last several months I’ve performed extensive research into Facebook groups, including interviews with the moderators of some of the most successful communities, and there are several trends I’ve noticed for what makes a successful group:
- Launch groups with niche topics. Do not launch a generic Facebook group that is just a clone of your Facebook page. The incentive for someone to join a Facebook group is based on them getting to be part of a community around a central topic.