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Facebook Group Changes: Helpful or Hurtful for Social Sellers?

Posted by Drew Melendy on Jan 30, 2019 4:51:07 PM
Drew Melendy

Mid-January held unsuspecting changes for Facebook Groups. Needless to say, when Facebook implemented changes and group numbers plummeted overnight, many business owners were left feeling frantic and confused about the matter. We want to set the record straight. Don’t panic. We’ve got good news.

Facebook membership changes message
Group admins received this message in Mid-January

What are the changes?

In the past,  members add their friends and family to the groups they are in, which is fantastic if you want to grow your group numbers. However, these people may not be interested in being in your group. Odds are some of these additions are people that never commented, posted or even reacted to anything in your group.

Starting January 2019 and forward, when someone invites a person to a group, they will be sent a notification that prompts them to accept the invitation. Until they accept, they will see the group in preview mode, which will allow them to see what the group is about but restrict their activity.

With the new changes, the individuals that have been invited but have never even seen or interacted with your page will move to the Invited section of your Members list. They will no longer be included in the total member count unless they accept the invite.

Confusion ensued over the new Facebook Group changes this January

What does this mean for my business?

Your group numbers are probably way down. Some lost only double digits, while we’ve heard others claim thousands. While it might be alarming, consider this- Facebook’s algorithm favors interaction over user numbers.

That’s right. Group changes are a blessing, not a curse. They were never representative of the number of engaged fans groups had. Facebook did groups an enormous favor in cutting down totally disengaged audience members. Remember, the more engaged your customers are, the more your group will shoot to the top of member’s feeds. Less dead weight and more superfan interaction? Sign us up!

Does this mean that those who never accepted their invite are lost forever?

Not at all. The preview mode that we mentioned earlier will let them view group activity and get a feel for the community. It’s heavily restricted, though, so they can only observe posts and react. They will not be able to comment or invite others.

Preview mode only lasts for 28 days. If they interact with posts from a group that they've been invited to, preview mode will extend for an additional 28 days. This is excellent news if you want to reclaim those in limbo.

What steps can I take build my numbers back up?

1. Remind members to accept invites

Admins can send reminders to each invited person under their Members list.

Remind invited Facebook group members to accept their invitesSend reminders under the Members section of your group

2. Inform members of the change with a post

Inform group members of the changes that way they understand that if they invite someone, they will need to accept the invitation to be a true member.

The Gilded Pineapple boutique informs their members of Facebook Group changes so they can adapt.The Gilded Pineapple using engagement tactics along with an informative post

3. Drum up interest in your other channels

Facebook is a great way to find and meet customers. However, it is also a platform that you don’t control. Their monetary incentives are not always aligned with business owners. The only way to grow and secure your customers is to make sure they engage with your other sales channels such as websites and mobile apps.

Related Reading:  Why All Successful Retailers Have Multiple Virtual Storefronts

Flaunt Boutique advertises their new app to engage customers on another sales channel instead of relying on FacebookFlaunt Boutique encourages customers to download their app with a coupon code

The Takeaway

You can thank Facebook for lifting group engagement. Though this is a win for the social media front, you can never be too careful about relying on the social media giants to have your best interests in mind. Make sure to expand your brand presence to other sales channels to secure your hard-earned fanbase.

Topics: Facebook

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