Facebook, the business, offers students of business, entrepreneurs and anyone else interested in how organizations succeed, a case study in innovation. The already wildly successful company has achieved notoriety for its humble beginnings, huge IPO offering, and the culture-change it has driven.
But Facebook isn’t resting on its laurels: It continues to evolve, and in ways that will benefit small businesses that sit up and take notice — and take advantage of new features and apps available on the platform.
Facebook is rolling out a standalone app, taking its “Groups” feature and giving it a significant push out the door. Now, instead of having to hunt around for the “Groups” tab on the user’s homepage, when Facebook launches, users will see their “Groups” front and center. The groups that users visit the most will appear first on the list.
Why is it changing?
Primarily, Facebook is attributing the change to speed. As a standalone app, the platform will be faster, especially on mobile, where the majority of users access the social media tool. Additionally, Facebook hopes that the separate app will increase engagement, since it will be easier to use, featured more prominently, and facilitate better communication.
How do small businesses benefit?
Another feature of the app, Groups will offer a “discovery” navigation tab, which will offer users recommendations of groups that serve their interests, based on a Facebook algorithm. Businesses that use Facebook to establish authority and expand awareness can harness the power of the Groups standalone app to increase their reach. As of the announcement of the Group app, Facebook reported that it had 700 million group users. That’s a significant number of users at-the-ready to which businesses can reach out.
How to use it?
A business that sells pet supply products can open a new group or two, or join existing groups, that are focused on pet care, pet breeding, pet innovations, and so forth, making connections with users who share this interest. In this way, you’ll reach users who may never see or “Like” your business page, but the Group(s) will serve as a common denominator, providing a means to reach and engage new users — and ultimately, draw them to your website to make a purchase.
If you plan on taking advantage of the standalone app’s rollout, consider the needs and interests of your fellow pet lovers. What kind of information are they looking for? What “voice” will they respond to when you create content? Should you use a humorous persona, formal, informal? Take some time to investigate what speaks to your primary target audience and strategize how to create content that they’ll respond to, and you’ll get more bang for your buck that you invest in Facebook Groups.