Facebook continues to put increased emphasis on Groups, with Chief Product Officer Chris Cox this week announcing that Groups for Pages are now available for all Pages worldwide.
Facebook started allowing Pages to post as Pages in groups earlier this year, then extended that to enabling some Pages to create linked groups. Now, as they continue to evolve the groups offering, all Pages everywhere will have the capacity to create their own linked groups, and use that as a marketing and community-building option.
Groups have been getting a lot more focus of late. Last year Facebook announced that groups have more than a billion monthly active users - more than half their total audience - while more than 100 million people are members of what Facebook calls "very meaningful" groups, which quickly become "the most important part of our social network experience and an important part of our physical support structure".
In some ways, Facebook sees groups as a way to play a more significant role in broader community connection, as reflected in the recent change to the company's mission statement:
"Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together"
Amid criticism of the potentially divisive nature of Facebook filter bubbles, groups offer a means to connect people around causes and foster more civic engagement, which has lead to Facebook working to provide new tools and resources to improve the groups experience.
And those new tools could provide significant benefit for brands looking to utilize groups - with the recently introduced group analytics, group admins will now be able to get a better understanding of their audience, of the content and topics that are resonating, and the ways in which they can facilitate more conversation.
Conversations fuel reach on Facebook, and if you can use groups to help boost your engagement, research has shown that they can also help generate more exposure for your content via Facebook's infamous News Feed. And with organic reach declining more and more every week, every Page is looking for a boost on this front.
There are various ways you could consider using Groups to help fuel your Facebook engagement. Now that all Pages can create their own linked groups, it may be worth considering how you might utilize the option to advantage.