Craig Hannabus
Craig Hannabus

The evolution of Facebook groups

by Craig Hannabus. There are stirrings in Meta and changes are afoot in Facebook groups as they evolve into true brand communities.

by Craig Hannabus. Back in the day, we used to throw the word ‘community’ around a lot when we were talking about Facebook. Remember when engagement meant conversation? Remember when reach was based on shares alone? Or perhaps we were always pretending and all we really had was a really long list of people who at some point had thought, “Yes, I like this”. Imagine a world where social media communities were exactly that, communities…

But Craig, I hear you say, what about Facebook groups? And to you I say, YES! There are stirrings in Meta and changes are afoot. Part of those changes include a bit of an overhaul for groups. But first, perhaps a quick catchup for those who have not used groups. A Facebook group works like a real community. It looks like a page and it sort of is a page, except… other people can post and share content and currently there’s a limit of 5,000 people. You’re either going to find this incredibly compelling, or you’re going to find it terrifying.

The good thing

The pro is simple. Whatever you post, everyone sees. If someone posts, everyone in the group gets a notification. Only one pro, but it’s a big one. You’re going to be dealing with an ACTUAL community of contributors. It’s going to be a dialogue, not just a one-way product showcase. The moment you need to talk about something, everyone in your group is going to know about it without you taking out your cheque book.

The bad thing

Now for the cons. With a two-way conversation, you’re likely to get a lot of nonsense. Community managers that spent half an hour per page are going to have to get their hands dirty in the world of brand ambassadorship right at the coal face. This is going to inflate your community management hours. Then there’s the 5,000 cap, something which is not going to be very attractive to a brand that  wants to get a million eyeballs on their content. But there are more good things coming.

More good things

If you structure your campaigns well and if your community manager is on it, then you’re going to end up with a group of 5,000 brand ambassadors. Simple as that. An army of 5,000 people contributing and sharing your content is WAY better than a million apathetic eyeballs. Does it sound like too much hassle?

Well, there’s another reason why you should get your head around groups as soon as you can, the Metaverse. Once again, I’m climbing on to my Metaverse soap box and I’m going to give it to you straight. Imagine your brand lives in the virtual space as an interactive representation of who you are, a showroom in cyberspace. People aren’t going to wander through your space with muzzles on. They’re going to talk. They’re going to talk a lot. If the experience you’ve crafted isn’t great, they’re going to talk. If it IS great, they’re going to talk.

My advice? Get your head around Facebook Groups soon. There’s a reason Meta is rolling out updates and changes to improve moderation and give community manager’s more tools. They’re building a model of things to come and there is not a doubt in my mind this is how things are going to play out.


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Craig Hannabus is strategy director at Rogerwilco. He has spent 11 years in the digital marketing industry. During his career, he’s gained exposure as a community manager, content writer, developer, and UX strategist, before embracing a new role in business strategy. He has worked on blue-chip brands, including Standard Bank, Nedbank, General Motors, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser and Caxton, etc.


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