What’s going on with your Facebook Group? Why is engagement low, and why isn’t it growing the way you’d hoped?
Facebook has over 2.9 billion followers to date, and Facebook Groups have been a popular way for influencers and brands to bring their audience together online into a community. There are over 10 million groups on Facebook right now – but over the years, a lot of problems and malfunctions have made it a mediocre platform to build a community on.
In fact, back in 2017, there was a pretty large downward trend in people choosing to build Facebook Groups. But why? Why did Facebook suddenly go from being “the” place to be online, to becoming just one of those accounts we check periodically out of necessity?
Facebook’s algorithm has never been one to help creators make money, get noticed online or actually monetize their content. However, Zuckerberg has announced lately that more tools and features are being designed and implemented to help creators thrive on the platform. One way that they are planning on improving is through building an algorithm that is similar to TikTok.
Currently, the Facebook algorithm focuses on ranking people with more followers. It doesn’t prioritize the actual quality of the content that’s being posted on the platform – whereas TikTok does. Facebook’s algorithm mainly prioritizes showing users what will generate money, like ads. This is one of the reasons why the updates you post in a Facebook Group are often left unseen by many of the members. The algorithm simply doesn’t work in your favor.
Facebook has always been a huge platform. It was initially booming in popularity across all generations – and if you didn’t have Facebook, you weren’t cool.
But today, it seems the opposite is starting to be true.
This is happening for many reasons, including the fact that it’s lagging behind in updated features. But another one is the controversy surrounding its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook hasn’t been deemed “cool” in quite a long time. It’s clunky, it’s one of those things that you have on hand in case you need it and you just use to keep tabs on old friends you don’t even know anymore – kind of like those phone numbers of distant relatives you think you should keep out of courtesy and in case of emergencies. It’s become a habit rather than an interest, and people tend to only have Facebook for one reason, and one reason only:
because they NEED it.
That’s why, if anything, starting a private group on your own platform or somewhere more focused on community building is going to be far more beneficial to your brand than Facebook. This is especially true if you are trying to reach a younger demographic.
The use of Facebook amongst young people has declined significantly over the years.
Therefore, if your audience is younger and you keep running your group on Facebook, you probably won’t grow that easily. This demographic doesn’t check their Facebook often enough to be highly engaged.
The features that Facebook Groups offer community managers and members are pretty limited. If you’ve ever used Facebook groups on either side of the equation, you’ll know that the “search group” function is pretty much useless.
So not only does the algorithm not allow you to keep up to date with valuable posts that are important to the overall experience of being part of the group – but you can’t even find them afterwards if you miss them.
The opportunities for branding within your Facebook Group are also quite low.
You aren’t able to really customize your group as much as you could on your own platform. You don’t have many options to make the experience unique, and the layout and tabs are pretty much the same on every other part of Facebook as it is in your group. It’s hard to stand out and feel like you’ve brought your users into your own space.
If you’ve ever been part of a Facebook Group, you’ll know that you only get selective notifications when things are uploaded or announced in a Group.
The notification feature doesn’t always work, and you never really know what’s going on in your Group unless you log in, and scroll through all the updates that you’ve missed. That is…when you actually remember to and have time to do it.
As a Facebook user, it feels like you consistently have to be on the app in order to keep up with what’s happening. And honestly…who wants to do that?
This makes it hard to keep your users engaged, and it creates a huge disconnect between your members and your group. But the problem is that the beef isn’t between the users and your group…it’s between the users and Facebook.
Since the COVID pandemic, it’s been clear to many people that Facebook can be a dangerous place where misinformation spreads like wildfire.
And, because of the lack of regulation for this misinformation as well as the privacy issues, many people have lost interest and trust in the Facebook platform.
Because of this, it’s attracted less users and attention to the platform, meaning users are less likely to engage with the Groups feature as well.
We’ve all gotten those suspicious DMs from old friends that we never talk to, comments on our posts with links about weight loss, or those looong, unrelated videos about absolutely nothing that people post in Groups.
This is another downfall of Facebook as a platform. People’s accounts get hacked left, right, and center, and the spaces that were once meant for community-building…are now just trash cans filled with endless spam.
Hacking, privacy and security have always been a concern for Facebook users – especially in recent times. And at this point, people are just tired of it.
Facebook has several different features, and is made to satisfy many different elements of social media. It’s a video platform, a marketplace, a group platform, gaming app, dating app and more. It doesn’t specialize in community building or Groups, meaning the Group features are definitely not at the level that they could be if you compare it to a company that does specialize in community building.
This means that there’s not enough customization, moderation options and control for users to make a highly engaging community experience. But it’s also the culprit of one of the biggest problems that Facebook Groups encounter:
Because it’s also a social media platform, Facebook is extremely distracting. When people log on to go and check out your group, it’s easy to get distracted by their private messages. They can get pulled into unrelated topics that show up in their notifications, their news feed – or the wall of ads that Facebook displays on every square inch of the page.
All of this doesn’t help people engage with your group, content or experiences that you create. It pulls them away from collaborating with each other as well, and doing what your group was meant to do in the first place.
When you use Facebook groups, you’re basically renting space to hold your community online. This means that you have a lack of control over your community. One day, you could wake up and your entire group could have been shut down by Facebook.
Everything you have on there could be lost overnight. That’s the problem with being a user and creator on social media platforms – everything is managed by a central authority. Your group would have to abide by Facebook’s rules of what is right and wrong.
This can have many problems when it comes to how much control you really have, and when you offer subscriptions to your members. If people are paying for your group to access exclusive content on there, you don’t always have ownership over what you upload or post – Facebook does. This can be seriously limiting for you as a creator and brand.
While Facebook is most likely the culprit for a lot of the problems your Facebook Group is facing, there also might be some things about your group specifically that are lowering the quality of your community experience.
One of those things could be the content of your community. You could be making your community too much about you, your product or your brand. Meanwhile, you should actually be focusing on building a space where your members can create relationships, network and have a sense of community.
In short: ensure you’re making it about the users. Make it about the community, about learning and about growth as a collective unit. If you do this, your community should be on the right track.
If you’re looking for a forward-thinking platform to build your community on, Nas.io is perfect for you. We aren’t focused on social media or ads, we are a platform that is directly committed to building functional, collaborative communities online for your brand.
We understand the importance of integrations with other platforms, and we want to help you build a customized space where you can create opportunities for growth, connection and learning – and all of our user-friendly tools will help you bring that vision to life. Read more at Nas.io.