Let’s talk about Facebook Groups. Chances are, you’re probably in a few of them. With the growing popularity of Groups and Facebook’s push for more meaningful interactions on the platform, we’ve seen first-hand how posting in Groups can lead to higher levels of engagement, visibility and reach. But how can government use Groups to best communicate with their online communities?
There have been many indicators of Facebook’s new emphasis on the use of Groups. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.” Recently, Facebook has made it possible for Pages to join Groups and also created a shortcut on the mobile app to make it easier to access your Groups more quickly.
It’s clear that Facebook recognizes the value of Groups and wants to promote the meaningful conversations and connections they bring and government agencies should take advantage of using Groups as a tool. GSMO member Kristen Waggener, Communications Specialist at City of Lenexa mentions in our most recent #GSMCHAT, “We’ve already started using a FB group for our seasonal Farmers Market. It allows the vendors and the shoppers to connect and talk with each other more organically than a page would.”
Various agencies have reported getting higher engagement in Facebook Groups, than on their agency page alone. Some popular government-run groups we’ve seen include Adopt-A-Road programs, a neighborhood watch, forums to report and respond to service requests, promoting local artists and events, and recreational initiatives.
As with any social media presence, groups take time and effort to get established but have the potential to be successful modes of communication between you and your community. If you already manage a Facebook Group for government, tell us about your experience!