With many people turning to Facebook groups to stay connected and informed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has been working to add new group tools and options to help admins provide accurate, timely information, and manage their communities during the crisis.
Now, Facebook's adding a new educational element to this push, with a series of free workshops to provide community managers with key insights and lessons on how to enhance group engagement during the global lockdowns.
As per Facebook:
"We're hosting an online event to help community leaders manage their communities during this challenging time. We designed this event to help you engage your members, manage conflict and bring members together online."
The workshops will be held between Tuesday, April 21st and Thursday, April 23rd, in varying local time zones and languages (English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Italian, French and Bahasa). The basic agenda for each program looks like this:
Facebook additionally notes that there will be breakout sessions and time for questions, along with "announcements from special guests", which could include newer groups tools like the recent expanded time frames on muting of group members.
Facebook has been working to put more emphasis on groups over the last couple of years in order to maximize engagement opportunities, and help users connect with like-minded communities. Back in 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that more than 100 million Facebook users were members of "very meaningful" groups.
"These are groups that upon joining, quickly become the most important part of our social network experience and an important part of our physical support structure."
Facebook upped that number to 200 million people last year, while the total number of people using Facebook groups each month now exceeds 1.4 billion. And as noted, groups have become an even more important connective tool amid the COVID-19 lockdowns - in the UK alone, over a million Facebook users now belong to one of the 1,000+ COVID-19 support groups that have sprung up on the platform.
Given the increased social and informational utility of groups, it makes sense for Facebook to help people make best use of the option, and these new education sessions could be a good way to enhance your community management knowledge, with insights from experts within your local region.
For those interested, you can get more information on the specific sessions, and register your interest in attending here.