Facebook ‘recommends you create a page instead’ of groups for businesses

“Should I create a Facebook page or group?” That’s a question interactive marketing professionals hear all the time. Well, Facebook just made answering that question easier by announcing they are archiving all Facebook groups created using the old group format (‘old’ meaning groups created before April 1, 2011). In fact, the company has flatly stated, “If you’ve been using your old group to promote your business, we recommend you create a page instead.”

According to Facebook, the archiving process will involve converting all old groups to the new group format–but without several key functions and content. For example, old groups will lose members and will not show ‘recent news’ or information about the group’s network and branding.

Here are three things you can do to avoid losing your community of supporters to Facebook’s archive:

Step 1. Upgrade to Facebook group 2.0. If your old group had a lot of activity, you should be able to upgrade to the new version of group; a notification above your group’s wall will allow you to activate the upgrade. Alas, if your group had a steady following but lacked activity, the next time you log in you’ll get a notice that says, “This group is scheduled to be archived.”If this happens you can do one of two things:

  1. Get some activities going in your group – this might help recover the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ and save your group from being archived.
  2. Jump to steps two and three below.

Step 2. Start the group-to-page migration. If you have been using a Facebook group for your business or organization, you’ll need to create a Facebook Page pronto – and start inviting your old group members to join your page. You won’t be able to interact with your old group members after Facebook archives your old group so you’ll need to act fast!

Step 3. Start a new group. If you have been using a Facebook group to keep up with friends and family, you’ll need to create a new group and re-invite your friends and family from the old group to join the new one. Facebook wants group managers to use this product to communicate with “…small groups of people in your life“, so don’t start a group if you expect a lot of members – start a page instead.

There are lots of cool features in the new Facebook group format; users will be able to post updates, questions, and photos, host group chats, create shared documents and schedule events — plus take advantage of new privacy settings.

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