Are Facebook Groups Our Forgotten Friends?

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Facebook Groups

Over the last year or so, my love for Facebook has slowly been dying.  While the world was getting all hyped up over the company being floated on the stock market, I was getting really cheesed off with how the Facebook Page I had spent time and money developing was seeing less engagement.

I was doing everything that I could do to keep people coming to the page and interacting with me, I was posting useful information, quotes, interesting and fun images, but whatever I did the amount of people seeing my posts was dwindling. Whatever was going on behind the scenes it was slowly getting worse.

Suddenly Facebook released the ‘Promote Post’ option which suddenly made sense, the price of the shares had dropped as did the amount of people seeing my posts. I was now being told that I had the ‘option’ to pay for my posts to be seen by more of my page fans. Hmmmm… call me suspicious but my reach dropped and now I have the opportunity to ‘pay’ for those who cannot see my posts to get them in their newsfeeds.

Hadn’t I already paid for these people to like my page when I used Facebook advertising? When they ‘Liked’ my page, didn’t they say, ‘Yes I want to see your posts in my newsfeed.’ Facebook had taken away from me what I had already paid for and what they say I could have. Was it to try and claw back the money they were losing from the shares falling?

Whatever your thoughts are on whether the fall of page reach was staged to force people to pay to promote posts or not, all I can tell you is that I did a couple of tests, I didn’t like it so I stopped and since then I have slowly distanced myself away from our Facebook page.

Interaction is now so low it is depressing. Out of nearly 900 people who ‘Like’ our page, only 16 or so are ‘talking about us’ (which actually means interacting with the page). I stopped running ads and trying to get new likes, as I no longer see a worth in a Facebook Pages any more. As much as I try, I really cannot justify wasting time on it. All I do now is share my latest blog posts on it hoping to get maybe a few people to read it.

A Change Of Heart

A few months ago I decided to create a Facebook group, I cannot remember exactly why, perhaps it was because I was trying out Google+’s new communities which is their version of the traditional Facebook Group.

I created a group and brought on board my two closest blogging friends Matt Smith (the owner of this excellent site) and Clair Trebes (our high priestess of social media). The three of us became the admins of this Group and set about getting people to join to see what would come of it.

So what can I say, so far, I think I can speak for all three of us, we are stunned!!! As I write this, we have 90+ members but what a difference there is between this Group and my Facebook Page. There has been some incredible interactions, lots of great discussions, plenty of sharing and within just seven days of starting the group I have had two guest posts published on members websites, been given an author account to another members site and received a great post for our site.

I know that I am not alone, there has been quite a few members swapping posts and putting in orders for future guest posts. It really has become a meet swap kind of place which is excellent, it is a shame that it doesn’t serve coffee, people pop in all the time to chat and socialise.

Happy Helpful Bloggers

Facebook Groups = Interaction

I have chatted to fellow bloggers in Australia, the USA and India with discussions of working together, we have people posting excellent articles that we have been able to learn from and share. We receive emails informing of us when someone has posted in the Group or even commented.

I cannot explain how different the Facebook group feels to the normal Facebook page. For starters there isn’t that annoying Timeline section, just a simple newsfeed where all of the action takes place. When a post is commented on, the whole post pops back up to the top of the newsfeed keeping it in the thick of the action.

It feels a lot faster too in loading, which could be the different browsers I use, I have my Facebook page open in Google Chrome which is normally excellent and the group is open in Firefox. I personally believe that the group loads faster than a page which is also nice.

The Group feels like the old Facebook. It is early days still, I am sure some people will get fed up with the email notifications, you do get a lot when there is a lot of posting and comments, and leave but I am once again excited to be using Facebook.

People are talking and sharing great advice, tips and information as well as sharing each other’s posts. I have learned a lot from the group and I mean a lot.

There are similar interactions within the Google+ communities but not to this level. Maybe we have really struck gold and got a fantastic group of members, maybe if all of us moved over to Google+ we would all be the same there.

As far as I am concerned our Facebook group is like an old long lost friend, forgotten about until that day they turn up with arms open wide and all that old forgotten fun begins again!

Do you have your own or are a member of a Facebook group?  Have you had any success with using Facebook groups? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Andi Leeman

Andi is part of Tim Lowe’s R&D team and writes for Tim's Minions, a fun based educational site covering all aspects of Internet Marketing & Social Media. You can learn more by following him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnBanksBlog John Banks

    Without doubt, the Facebook group you three have set up is by far the most social and interactive part of my all my SM stuff online……

    It is a great group – its the first page I check when I open my Hootsuite profile. I can check on my phone on the go too. I genuinely feel I have made some great friends/contacts through the group. This is what Facebook and other social sites should be like. I just don’t “get” the same vibe with LinkedIn, and Twitter is a different ball game really.

    Kudos to you three Amigos.

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Cheers John! That’s great to hear.

      Think all three of us were a bit blown away with how the group has been going lately. Just shows that this social media malarchy can work. :)

    • Kapil

      I share the same sentiment as John – I had totally discounted Facebook Groups until I joined the group you three created..So good that I even created a distinct account for the purposes of interacting whole heartedly without the fear of my friends knowing what I say / post. Thanks again guys and excellent post Mr Leeman :)

      • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

        Hi Kapil! Thanks for that. But without all our great members, are group wouldn’t be as good.:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ceri.fisher1 Ceri Fisher

    I value the fact that there are people with so much experience in the area that I’m interested in. There are questions I’d like to ask and the variety of expertise is great. I’m just at the very start of things and I’m so glad I found this group!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Ceri,

      My opinion on these groups has changed totally. Originally I wasn’t a big fan, but now I think they are great! There is always something to learn from one another and being part of a community is quite encouraging. I’m just happy you found us :)