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Arnold Tijerina

Arnold Tijerina President & Corporate Storyteller

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The New Facebook 'Groups' and Why You Should Care

I don't want to make this a long "what-it-is" sort of article because there are an amazing number of those available. Here's a link to the best one, in my opinion - The New Facebook Groups: All You Need To Know (Watch the little 2-minute video on that page for an easy introduction.)

Now before I get into the reasons WHY you should participate, go NOW and secure the vanity e-mail address for your company name, group, club, whatever.. some people cannot get there via the normal path as it's not completely rolled-out to everyone BUT there is a direct link that will allow you to get there. - Facebook Groups 

Go create your group, then, once you've created it, in the top right corner, click "Edit Group". Kind of in the middle of the box, there will be an option to create a group e-mail address. Get yours. Just trust me on this. I'll get around to explaining what it means and why you want it.

Alright, to the meat and potatoes...

In the beginning, Facebook was created and it was good. (Uh, not that far back)

Think of Facebook like your living room. In its origins and/or in its origins for YOU, you invited people into your living room. When you talked, they could listen and vice versa. 

The problem is that Facebook has grown so exponentially that many users have invited too many people into their living rooms. So now you have all these people, all talking at the same time and nobody hears anyone else.

Facebook's FIRST attempt at solving this problem was trying to filter out the people in your living room who you listen and respond to the most by filtering your news feed into "Top Stories" and deciding who amonsgst the people in your living room deserves a spot within your news feed at all (EDGE score). Remember I said that FACEBOOK DECIDES who you hear.... not you.

Now we have the new Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups is designed to allow you to segment your social circles and communicate only with those that you wish to at any point in time. Do you want to post those drunken party pictures? Make a group of your party friends. All of those business content shares would be shared with your business connections.

This functionality in Facebook already existed in the form of "Lists" but they were unwieldy and difficult for people to use and setup so they weren't used. 

With the new 'Groups', it is much easier to do this and share the content you want to with ONLY the people you want to without creating and managing lists and tweaking privacy settings.

There can be an infinite number of groups with the same name - ie. Family, Friends, Business, etc. BUT only one of those groups can have the vanity GROUP E-MAIL ADDRESS (ie. ) 

What does the group e-mail address do? It allows any member of your group to email content to that e-mail address and share it with the group. In marketing terms and strategies, it's important to understand that, to get people to interact, the easier you make it the better so you'll want to acquire the vanity email address that is simple for you. Instead of having to tell your group members to e-mail, you'll be forced to find some creative new e-mail address.. but c'mon, wouldn't it be easier to have your company name or keyword email address?

The new Facebook 'Groups" are like social networks within the social network. You can group chat, share and edit documents, links, video, etc. The beauty of groups is that they are group-managed. Anyone within the group can invite anyone else to join. No admin permission required (unless they have no connection and/or weren't added by any member of the group). So 'Groups' lets you interact with any member of the group WITHOUT them having to be your "friend" so while you can interact and share freely within the group, you can rest assured that your Facebook profile and wall are still secure. (Caveat: An Admin CAN remove people from the group. If it's your group and someone you invited into it invites someone in that you do not want there and/or they are disrupting the group, you do have the power to boot them from the group IF you are an Admin. Want a group of employees? When someone leaves your company, you can remove them from the group.)

Facebook got too "noisy" for some people. This is the way you'll be able to reduce that noise by kicking people out of the living room so you can hear and interact with only those you want to at that moment BUT not kick them out of the house (ie. un-friend them). You have your family in the living room, your business associates in the kitchen, your friends in the game room, etc. and YOU move from room to room as you choose which group you want to share and interact with.

The internet is transforming AWAY from a destination place and TOWARDS a means of travel. What do I mean? People are using social networks and apps more and more every day. They're getting the news from Facebook and Twitter and then sharing it with their friends. In the future, people won't go to PLACES (ie. websites) on the internet... they'll go to a PLACE (ie. Facebook). They'll use the internet as only a means to get there.

People spend more time on Facebook RIGHT NOW than on Google Search and all of Google's properties combined. This trend is only going to continue. 

Groups will transform Facebook, I guarantee it. They have big plans to keep adding new group functionality.

Don't wait and find this out later. Just go grab your group vanity email address now... if you want to wait after that, feel free. 

Yesterday was like the big domain name land-grabs of the past but it's happening RIGHT NOW. Don't be scrambling to grab your "real estate" later. 

If you do, you'll be sorry.
from bslashc
Theron Gammell
Right on. Thanks!
Brian Pasch
@Arnold This is a great post and of course I have setup some groups for Automotive SEO and Automotive Advertising that I hope you will join.
Eric Miltsch
The ability to pull your friends into any group that you've created is a sticky issue already. (Mostly from those who just like to complain) However, what if a friend of mine created a group for religion or politics and I didn't agree with the position of the group? Facebook took a leap of faith that your friends will pull you into relevant, interesting groups. Not gonna happen... One small saving grace though, even though you have to manually remove yourself from the group, once you leave - you can't be pulled back in again. Should be interesting to see the changes that come down the road - maybe even some add-on features will become available within the groups...wouldn't shocked if they added collaboration features similar to Google Wave. A group could turn into a virtual white-board with tools, apps & widgets...that would be cool.
Arnold Tijerina
Eric, there are already some collaboration features. The biggest being Docs. There you can post a document and then everyone can edit it.. kind of like a mini-Wiki. I agree that the new Groups have some issues.. those biggest being the following: the ability of your friends to add you w/o your consent and the default setting for e-mail notifications to "On". I anticipate that those two very easy fixes will be corrected quickly.. Facebook touted Groups as being a way to reduce noise within Facebook by grouping your friends. The one thing I don't like about Groups is that the only way that would work is if your friends posted to the group instead of their wall, and I don't see that happening. Who's going to post the same thing twice? What I would like to see added is an integration of kind of like a group news feed. This way, you can look at your group and not only see what people in the group are sharing with the group, but show a newsfeed of ONLY the people w/i the groups status updates and content shares. This would make groups truly useful for the person who just wants to see posts by family, or business associates, etc. Many of us in the biz have alot of dealerships that are our "friends" on Facebook but that doesn't mean we necessarily want to see all of their FB wall posts of "Come buy a car today". The ability to "group" people has always existed in the form of the "List" feature but, according to Facebook, only 5% of FB users actually made the lists. I did but it is very unwieldy. They said that the new "groups' would simplify this process but, so far, what it's done is only create a separate mini-social FB within FB. Let me group people and filter out my news feed with only those people with the OPTION of sharing just to the group.. that would be ideal, IMO

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