My Experience at Facebook's First Communities Summit in Chicago #FCS2017
I went to Facebook's first Communities Summit in Chicago last week.
I was lucky to be one of the 500 people invited because I wanted to find out WTF FB is up to!
What was it? In a nutshell...
Facebook invited admins of 200 groups to Chicago for a three day event of workshops and fun activities.
Mark Zuckerberg used the event as an opportunity to announce Facebook's new mission (keep reading to find out what it is).
FB also unveiled several new features for groups: analytics + scheduled posts, which were not available before.
A group is Facebook's forum product. Groups can be closed or open. Members of the group often lead the conversations, not just the admins/creators. The admins of groups are "moderator" - facilitating the conversations happening around a group and stirring in the right direction.
Groups are successful when they're about niche topic.... (see more examples below).
Why is this new group focus important?
It shows the dedication that FB is giving groups, which certainly give more power to user generated conversations and not necessarily publishers (Buzzfeeds, Tastys, etc.). This means groups have significantly more reach than before - that is, if you are a member of a group you have likely noticed more notifications of the posts in the past few weeks.
Why was I invited?
I often collaborate with Chef Fernanda Alvarez, who is an admin of a group - Healthy Cooking Coach.
Full disclaimer - I always made fun of Fernanda for working on her group ferociously and told her it was outdated - that she should focus more on her Instagram or Facebook page. Well, boy was I wrong. Facebook is giving Groups more tools and PRIORITY in the newsfeed, so we should pay attention.
What was the event like? A recap...
Topics discussed: confronting conflict in groups, management + leadership in groups, engaging your community , growing your community. Support groups, niche fan groups and local community groups are successful.
What groups were invited?
- Carnival Cruisers...Decorate Your Doors
- Bipolar Disorder Support Group
- Dairy Queens Breastfeeding Support
- Military Mama’s Network
- Female IN (FIN): Lola Omolola founded FIN, a secret women-only group with more than a million members that was founded in Sept. 2015. FIN is a no-judgment support group for women. Our cause is to end the culture of silence which surrounds our experiences; victories and struggles.”
- Beautiful Brown Bodies
- The REAL Nail Addicts - Closed Nail Art Group.
- Lets Argue - Passionate argument group with lots of interesting topics but (be warned) low standards of civility.
- Brasileiras do Vale (Brazilian Women of Silicon Valley)
- LATINAS THINK BIG®
- Locksmith Friends -Bringing Locksmith's from all over the world together
- Clean Up Miami Beach
- Paying For College 101
- Girls LOVE Travel - a global community of active and aspiring female travelers
- Mothers of Twins
- Dad support group
Here's some background on the whole thing and further reading...
Groups has quietly become one of Facebook’s most popular features, reaching over 1 billion users a year ago. Yet Zuckerberg admits that Group admins tools are relatively basic, despite the massive importance of communities coming together to his vision of a better world. Read more here: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/11/facebook-communities-summit/
Does Facebook have a fake news guilt trip?
Facebook has often been held responsible for the result of the U.S. election. Its algorithm, some argue, is the reason why fake news spreads like wildfire. Zuckerberg's rare press conference in Chicago is showing his "guilt" over this - or some say he is likely planning to run for office eventually.
What is Facebook's new mission?
“For the last decade we’ve been focusing on making the world more open and connected…We have a responsibility to bring the world closer together.” <<< NEW MISSION
Four elements of an effective Facebook Group
1. Shared Identity
This all makes sense - social media has lost the social aspect of it. Facebook wants to give the people more stage time. It's not just about followers, likes, comments - now it will be about contributors. Contributors to niche topics. Think UGC on steroids.
For brands? Well, they should make groups of their brand ambassadors. If you want my advice, call me and I can certainly come up with a plan for you ;)
How did I react to this? I got home really late on Friday night and opened about 10 different groups! Lol.