Building Meaningful Communities with Facebook Groups

Mark Zuckerberg announced on June 22, 2017 that Facebook is focusing on further developing Groups to give people the power to build community.

It turns out most people don’t seek out communities in the physical world or online. Either your friends invite you or on Facebook we suggest them for you. So we started a project to see if we could get better at suggesting groups that will be meaningful to you… In the first 6 months, we helped 50% more people join meaningful communities. — Mark Zuckerberg, June 2017

This shift in focus from News Feed to Groups is largely caused by the average person on Facebook being a member of about 30 groups, but only a few groups providing valuable content that connects people, that brings those communities closer together.

Facebook’s shift will impact you. It will change how you see, share, and interact with your content and community.

Communities give us that sense that we are part of something greater than ourselves, that we are not alone, and that we have something better ahead to work for. — Mark Zuckerberg, June 22, 2017

Thankfully for those in marketing, Facebook has been rolling out new features and tools, making it easier than ever to build and manage communities. These new tools offer insights into your members’ demographics, how members are engaging with your content, filters to manage and sort member requests, and moderation tools to keep the bad apples out and foster a positive community.

Facebooks claims to have studied academic research and partnered with leading experts at universities. Their research has shown that “passive” engagement is not good for our well-being. Rather, using the platform to instead connect with people and provide valuable content, is the key to long term measures of happiness and health.

As a health and fitness professional you inherently understand the need to provide sustainable long term measures of health and well-being. Below you’ll find some tips to leverage Facebook Groups to truly make a lasting healthy impact in your clients and communities lives.

Groups vs Pages

I want you to think of your company page as an information hub for your company’s specific information. Hours, services, reviews photos, etc… You know, the general “about” information. It acts as a billboard of sorts, where you advertise and share company announcments.

Groups on the other hand are all about community and social interaction. They allow any member to post and start a discussion.

Engagement and Interaction

Where can you provide true value to your community? Do you have a beautiful, well-lit studio and can record workouts to share with your community? Can you start a discussion with your members to share vegan or vegetarian recipes? How about sharing a simple health tip every few days and asking the group how they build healthy habits?

It can be easy to engage your audience. Focus on true value, information and content that you as a member would want to consume and interact with. However, you can only do so much if your community is tainted by a few negative members. If you and the community are struggling to change their attitude, then use moderation tools and the privacy settings below to ensure your community is engaging positively with on another.

Privacy Settings

Everyones favourite topic regarding Facebook, right? Well, it’s pretty simple with Groups. You have three options: Public, Closed, or Secret.

Public Groups allow anyone to join or be added or invited by a member.

Closed Groups, despite their crude title, allow anyone to ask to join or be added or invited by another member.

Secret Groups allow anyone to join only through addition or invitation by another member.

Succintly put, if you want your content showing up in the feeds of your members friends make it public. If you’d rather build and grow a more exclusive community stick to a Closed or Secret Group.

Are you changing lives by educating through personal training, fitness instruction, nutrition coaching, or private classes? I help small business fitness studios, personal trainers, and health experts, further develop a competitive advantage.

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