Over the last year Facebook has revamped the functions of Facebook Groups and Pages in significant ways. As Facebook’s unparalleled growth continues, it is sharing some growing pains with long time long time Page and Group users. Here’s a run-down of some Group and Page ticks and some tips to help you deal with them.
Facebook Groups – What if Yours Gets Archived?
Back in October, 2010, Facebook announced a major overhaul of Facebook Groups. The new features, such as group chats, email lists, document sharing and group tagging are meant to enhance the group’s experience for small groups of friends, but not so much for business marketers. A major change concerns the way members are added to new Groups.
As with Pages, one added members to the old Groups by inviting friends, and strangers could join Groups at will. Strangers need to be approved to join new Groups, and the group’s admins can add friends to the groups and they’re in until they leave -i.e. they don’t even do anything like accept or confirm. No more inviting people and waiting for people to join.
Old Groups, which function very much like Pages were not effected. Until recently. Last week, old group users and admins alike checked-in to their old groups to find this:
This group is scheduled to be archived
Over the next few months, Facebook will be archiving all groups created using the old groups format. If you would like to continue using this group, you can upgrade to the new groups format, which makes it easier for members to connect and share.
These are the fortunate ones. Just click on the upgrade and it’s smooth sailing into the new Group format. However, if your group hasn’t been active lately (according to Facebook’s byzantine algorithms), you might not have the option to upgrade and you got this:
This is a bummer because once the group is archived, you will lose all the members.
First, try keeping the group active. Post on the walls and create an event. This has worked for two of our groups. If that doesn’t work, or if your group does get archived, how can you get the members back? There’s an app for that called “Export group members to a .csv“. Contrary to what’s written on the wall I had no problem exporting members of a group of more than 500 to a .csv file, and now I have a list that didn’t take any pain to build.
Recommending Facebook Pages: WTF!
Back in February, Facebook announced its redesgin of pages, enabling many new features, the most prominent among them, the ability to use Facebook and like content as your Facebook page. There are some awesome things you can do with this (more to come soon…). So you’ve created a new page, and you want to get all of your friends to like it…. just use the “suggest to friends feature to get the word out to all of your Facebook friends. Easy, right?
Ay, there’s the rub. Facebook’s “Suggest to Friends” functionality has been down all year! Interactive Media reviewer AlKal reports that a number of complaints have been registered on the Facebook discussion board, including:
• FB tells you it has sent the page requests, but it really hasn’t
• Pages that have been suggested do not appear in the Notifications section or anywhere else on users’ FB pages
• These page suggestions do not appear when you look for them in your mobile app
• Once FB has mistakenly recorded your suggestion as being sent, there is no way to re-send
• Difficulty from one browser to another (e.g. list of friends will come up on Firefox but not IE)
So what can you do? AlKal says there are several things, such as “sending direct messages, posting on your own wall, setting up events, importing contacts (which is also buggy), and posting on other people’s walls (maybe a little too direct).” You can try contacting Facebook through Burson-Marsteller, but good luck with that. More fundamentally, take advantage of Pages’ new functionality and use the group to engage in discussion in your subject, like other Pages, and comment on people’s profiles. Social engagement is still the best way to build communities over time.