Friday, July 1, 2016

Is it Worth Changing your Facebook Group to "Close Friends"?

If you’re in a group on Facebook, you may have noticed an influx of notifications over the past 24 hours letting you know that a group admin as deemed you to be one of her BFFs. In other words, she changed the setting of the group from something like “closed” to “close friends” in the hopes that you would see more of her posts in your news feed.
You likely also noticed that many of the groups that made this change are trying to sell you something (LulaRoe, anyone?!), so it makes sense that they’d want to get those posts in front of you to increase interaction and thus (in theory) increase sales.
Is this a good move? I suppose the jury is still out. As someone who is a Facebook groups shopper as well as a small business owner, I can see this from both sides. I completely understand the need for small businesses to get their message out there to the millions of daily Facebook users without wanting (or being able to) pay for ads or promoted posts. In fact, I’ve recently been testing out some theories on the latest Facebook algorithms over on our business page for this exact reason. But, I will admit, I haven’t tested any of these theories in our chat group…this was solely on our business page.
On the flip side, here’s what went through my mind when I woke up this morning to THREE TIMES the normal amount of notifications on my personal page:
“Whoa!! 25 notifications overnight?! Is it my birthday?? No…hmmm…something big must’ve happened. Let’s check…OK, so like ¾ of these are about LulaRoe groups. WTF? Wait…they’re all changing the groups to “close friends”?? Why?? Wow, how the heck was I in so many of these groups?! I need to clean up this list. Click. Leave group. Click. Leave group. Click. Leave group.”

So, as you can see, in my case it was not a great move for these admin to do this all at once because it brought attention to the fact that I was in way too many groups to begin with. But, you might look at that as a silver lining. The people who are going to leave are the ones who are done shopping and aren’t going to be your customers anyway. If changing the group setting increases your visibility to those who are actually going to buy your stuff, then it’s worth it to lose a few “duds” in the process.
Before you make any changes, decide what your end goal is. If your goal is to have higher numbers in your group, I say don’t mess with it. If you’re ok with losing some members in order to target those who are actually going to shop, then go for it! But, one more thing to consider before you make the switch it this: Does the setting of the group actually increase engagement? I’ve heard from some LulaRoe consultants that it has, but my thought is that it could just be residual from those notifications going through. If people weren’t (like me) just leaving the groups as they got notified, they may have actually clicked the notification to check out what was going on in the group and then interacted with a post. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the group setting change made the difference. Only time will tell. Of course, by the time we have this figured out, Facebook will probably change its algorithm again. ;)

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