The new Facebook group stories offers brands a new way to increase engagement and communicate with audiences.
The social media platform is introducing stories to Facebook Groups for Pages globally, after first introducing the feature earlier this year. The feature allows group members to contribute to a collaborative story. Group members can now also communicate with “lightweight reactions” that let them respond to each quickly and directly with emojis that show a range of human emotions.
Facebook has introduced additional controls for group administrators. They include:
- The ability to block or mute a member from contributing to a story.
- An approval feature to approve members before they add content to a story.
- The ability to delete any story photos or videos not related to the group.
- Admin-only setting that limits to group administrators the ability to post and contribute to group stories.
- The ability to opt-out of group stories and disallow the feature within a group.
How to Manage Group Stories
To manage group stories, visit your group settings for story posting permissions and approvals.
Select “admin tools” on your mobile device or “moderate group” on a desktop to manage pending and reported stories.
When admins view a story, they can select settings to mute or block members from contributing.
Facebook cites the Milky Mommas group as an example of the feature’s usefulness. “Our members enjoy using it to show off their adorable children. It’s a great way for members to invite each other in, sharing snapshots of their day to day lives,” says Christine Rushing, admin of the group. “From an administrator stand point, we love the flexibility of the feature. Admins can directly and casually interact with group members or use it as another tool to reach membership.”
The news highlights the rise of the stories feature. Facebook, Instagram and other networks have embraced the format. YouTube also introduced the format, although it differs from those other networks. Available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers, YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, unlike the typical story that disappear after 24 hours.
Stories are Everywhere
As Verge says, “Basically, the stories format can’t be stopped, and it’ll be everywhere Facebook can possibly place it.”
With brands’ organic reach drastically down following Facebook’s algorithm tweaks, Facebook Groups for Pages offers one of the alternative ways to reach customers. Consider different groups for different audience segments. It’s critical to develop a community strategy and not treat the pages as just another place to broadcast your content, warns Simon Galperin, engagement advocate at GroundSource. The Coral Project’s Community Guides for Journalism can walk you through the process for developing a community strategy.
Consider different groups for different audience segments, and determine what your audience needs, Galperin recommends.
Examples of how companies have used Instagram stories provide some guidance for Facebook Pages. Instagram stories shared by coworking company WeWork revealed behind-the scenes images of people at work, according to Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Media Trends report. Its stories real because they feature the actual experiences of members using their work spaces. WeWork also allows members to host story takeovers to show a day in the life at their offices.
Dunkin’ Donuts was one of the first brands to create and use custom Giphy stickers for Valentine’s Day. The campaign was fun and interactive, allowing followers to use these branded stickers within their own stories.
Bottom Line: Stories, now available for Facebook Groups for Pages, offers social media marketers a new tool for increasing engagement and communicating with consumers and other audience members. Some experts predict stories will soon surpass newsfeed posts as the primary social media method.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.