Facebook Introduces New Group Tools, Including 'Expert' Badges and Automatic Invites to Page Fans
Facebook has revealed several new group features, such as recognized community experts, new ways to draw members based on their expertise, and auto-invites for active followers of connected Pages.
The most significant change is the inclusion of a new 'Group Expert' title, which allows you to identify strong contributors in your groups in yet another way.
As per Facebook:
"There are more than 70 million admins and moderators running active Facebook groups around the world. Many of these groups are home to subject matter experts who love to share their knowledge - from fitness trainers to highly skilled crafters. Now, it’s easier than ever to help experts stand out in groups and offer ways for them to engage with their communities."
As shown in the example above, the proposed change will allow Facebook group admins to designate members as group experts, with a new description that will emphasize their comments and posts. Admins will subsequently be able to organize Q&A sessions with these experts, as well as invite experts into group conversations for further depth and perspective.
For a while now, Facebook has been experimenting with group member badges as a way to help foster community, with titles like 'Visual Storyteller,' 'Rising Star,' and other marks to encourage users to keep posting and interacting.
Group admins will be able to designate as many Experts as they like, which should help to boost engagement by giving these individuals greater prominence, as well as provide extra moderating support from these influential voices within the community.
Facebook has been testing the option in the past few weeks, with more groups now ready to see the feature in their settings.
Furthermore, for select groups, Facebook allows administrators to look for experts in specific areas outside their community. They may then contact these users to include them as acknowledged experts in their discussions.
This will give another avenue for more authoritative, insightful conversations in your community. At this time, the options will be restricted to gaming and exercise groups.
Finally, Facebook is introducing a new 'automatic invites' feature that will let Page managers who also operate a group to ask their most engaged Page followers to join their associated groups.
As shown here, the process will allow people in charge of Facebook Pages and groups to issue invitations to 'top fans and recently active' Page followers, inviting them to join the group to increase interaction and engagement.
That might be a fantastic method to grow your Facebook community, which could be especially beneficial for businesses because many of their Page fans may be unaware that they also operate a branded group.
You'll now have a simple, automatic approach to re-engage your more active Page fans and boost your relationship using Facebook's features.
Facebook groups have remained popular, with 1.8 billion Facebook users currently participating in groups each month. Facebook also claims that over 200 million individuals are now members of what it calls "very meaningful" groups, which rapidly become "the most important part of our social network experience" after joining.
That reliance has grown even more in the last year, as people seek alternative ways to stay socially connected in the midst of the pandemic, and with Facebook adding more tools like group video rooms, and now Clubhouse-like audio rooms as well, to its groups offering, that provides even more ways to build your online community, via a method that has already proven to be highly popular.
These additional choices increase that capability while also giving more methods to provide a measure of self-sustainability to groups by possibly decreasing admins' moderating effort.