What New Facebook Group Changes Mean to Chapter Leaders


Last week Facebook introduced some changes to their Facebook Group pages, which I imagine is part of the recent effort to refresh all member profiles and fan pages

Many of our Social Media Club chapters have active groups that they’re fearful will be lost with these new settings, here is a run down of what the Facebook Group settings really mean to you. 

New Group Page Changes:

  • Previous Features Now Unavailable 
  • Recent news
  • Group officer titles
  • Info box under group avatar
  • Members of your old group. 
Other Changes:
  • Group discussion threads will be published as wall posts
  • Moving location of group description to be highlight near top of page when you select ‘See All’ members in group 

via Facebook

What New Group Settings Mean

  • Members can chat with the entire group at once
  • Share photo albums
  • Poll the group with questions
  • Connect off Facebook using a shared group email address
  • Create group docs to share information 
Con’s of New Changes

People can be added to groups without their permission. That means you’re being opted into a Facebook group and instantly begin receiving email correspondence from the group, by default. 

 There’s a lot of outrage over this because what if people are being added to inappropriate groups or being spammed, and they have to go through the steps to ‘Exit Group.’ This step is not difficult, but shouldn’t be a step they have to do in the first place. 

Notification options for groups have limited filters, so you can either opt-in to all posts and comments on the page or simply the ones that published by your friends in the group.  I suggest turning off all the email notifications so you don’t receive a separate email for every post, comment that happens in the group. 

Current group members will not transition after the group page has been archived. It sounds as if some group pages will not be entitled to this new group pages change therefore, a lot of hard work on building communities, is lost. 

Differences Between Facebook Fan Page & Facebook Group

Fan Pages:

Establish credibility of the chapter. Only official representatives of the organization can create/manage fan pages, so users can be confident they are on a legitimate brand page. Fan page admins can also publish posts under the organizations name/avatar, instead of their personal Facebook account.

More Accessible and Stay Top of Mind. Allow anyone to “like” the page, which means posts will appear in their news feed and there is no limit to the number of members that can “like” a page. 

Facebook Insights are available to fan pages, which is important for chapter admins who want to track engagement, demographics or page growth. 

Groups:

Groups are not searchable publicly and by default are closed to members.  

Members who want to be included in the group must be accepted by the group admin. 

People may appear as ‘Group Admins’ to the group but when publishing a post, will appear as their personal Facebook account.

Notification settings, by default, opt the user into receiving an individual email for each post or comment made to the group. 

Worth Moving to a Fan Page? 

The majority of our chapters have Facebook fan pages because it’s easier for users to immediately opt-in to the chapter news by clicking “Like” on the page vs. groups who require members to be accepted, which is just another task for page admins to manage. 

While groups may feel more intimate, the whole idea of keeping it behind closed doors may turn off some members from inquiring about your chapter or see upcoming events.  

Unfortunately, once a group is created, it cannot transition to a fan page if you change your mind.  So be conscious of the time you want to put into managing the page and know that all your hard work may go to waste if your group reaches a certain number of people, as Facebook disables some group features. 

I tend to think fan pages are more beneficial for chapters and chapter admins because by making the chapter updates, upcoming events public, make the chapter more approachable since it’s easier to “Like” a page than to ask to be accepted to a group. 

Having a Facebook fan page allows all the content to be searchable, so users can easily find information on your chapter. 

Also, Group posts do not appear in members news feeds so someone may be a member of your page but never engage in conversation, whereas fan page posts appear in member news feeds and are more prevalent. 

Chapter leaders often want to track the growth of their chapter and measure interaction, which Facebook Insights allow fan page admins to do, which is unavailable to groups. 

I see Facebook groups being beneficial for a small number of people who may be planning an event, having ongoing private discussions or for families.  The settings are limiting and I think fan pages are more effective for Social Media Club chapter leaders and members. 

What do you think about the newest Facebook group changes? Is this forcing you to transition from a group to a fan page?