How to Use the New Group Chat Feature in Facebook Groups Strategically

 This is marketing GOLD if you have a Facebook group!

This is marketing GOLD if you have a Facebook group!

Facebook added a new feature to groups recently that you may have missed.

The feature is group chat, inside of groups. 

I know what you are thinking because it was my first reaction, too. 

I don't want to be distracted by annoying notifications all day long.

I don't have time for "chats", I'm working! 

But if you are a group owner, you are going to see that this new feature is actually MARKETING GOLD.

Here’s the quick overview, then I’ll share with you strategies you can use to blow the minds of your group members.

  • The group chat happens inside of your group. Anyone in the group can join.

  • You can send personal invites to anyone in the group who is a Facebook friend. (I do NOT recommend this.)

  • Up to 250 people can be in the chat at the same time.

  • Up to 50 people can be in the chat with video (even desktop!) or audio (think Zoom, or Google Hangouts)

  • Video chats, once they are over, do not save.

  • Anyone in your group can start a chat in the group.

So no let’s look at the play by play of how these work:

 This is how you start the chat. I don’t think you should invite your friends, even though you can. I think this will end up annoying people!

This is how you start the chat. I don’t think you should invite your friends, even though you can. I think this will end up annoying people!

 
 I think it’s a great idea to be very specific about what you are chatting about in the title. You must add at least one person to the chat. I recommend adding your VA, or a trusted colleague who understand that you might be adding her to lots of chats and you can do the same for her. You can always mute the conversation and/or leave after other members join.

I think it’s a great idea to be very specific about what you are chatting about in the title. You must add at least one person to the chat. I recommend adding your VA, or a trusted colleague who understand that you might be adding her to lots of chats and you can do the same for her. You can always mute the conversation and/or leave after other members join.

 
 View from desktop after you create it.

View from desktop after you create it.

 
 This is what your group members see in their notifications on their phone. (This person was on an Android).

This is what your group members see in their notifications on their phone. (This person was on an Android).

 
 This is what the notification looks like in the feed inside the group.

This is what the notification looks like in the feed inside the group.

 
 This what it looks like when you go inside the chat (desktop). No one is here right now but notice the options to join the chat via audio or video up on the top right.

This what it looks like when you go inside the chat (desktop). No one is here right now but notice the options to join the chat via audio or video up on the top right.

 
 These are the options you see if you click on the top right “i” icon.

These are the options you see if you click on the top right “i” icon.

 
 Here we see 7 people. (I’m in the lower right). 5 have joined by video and 5 have joined by audio. The clarity is astounding. Our connection was rock solid.

Here we see 7 people. (I’m in the lower right). 5 have joined by video and 5 have joined by audio. The clarity is astounding. Our connection was rock solid.

 
 If you ever want to leave a chat, this is how you do it. I recommend creating a similar screenshot and posting it each time you create one of these chats.

If you ever want to leave a chat, this is how you do it. I recommend creating a similar screenshot and posting it each time you create one of these chats.

 

Let’s talk about being strategic…

Use this for QA during your launches:

Do you ever start “pop up” Facebook groups for your launches? (If not, try it! It’s a wonderful place to create loads of excitement, show off your expertise, host challenges, and close sales!). This feature takes things to the next level.
When we talk to our members via livestream, it’s great, but even though they can comment, we are still sort of talking “at” them. This feature allows us to meet with the whole group, FACE TO FACE. There is simply no better way to build a solid relationship with someone than to meet with them face to face. The way I would use this during a launch is to host QA chats about your program. They will join for the information, but be DAZZLED by the community because what you are offering, which is so profound, is an answer to the iSOLATION we all feel when we are working as solopreneurs. They will feel the energy and the buzz of the group. They will laugh with each other. They will not want to miss the boat to join your program. Especially since doors to this pop up group will be closing soon!

Use this to welcome new members:

I’m thinking of using this welcome the new members who join my free group, The Front Row. As it is, I admit all new members on Fridays. Now, I can create a new member “Meet and Greet” each Friday afternoon from 4:00-4:40 PM. I will NOT invite them by tagging them, but rather, I will share the link to the chat and post it in the usual “Welcome to our new members post” and then tag them below the post. In other words, I am not going to add them to the chat (even though I have that ability), but just link them to the chat, so that they have the choice whether or not they would like to join. Can you imagine the impact of such a personal welcome will make? Wow. Additionally if you have a great freebie to offer, this is a wonderful time to drop the link to that opt in page while you are chatting. Now they have also joined your email list.

fbchat14.png

Use this to host any QA around any particular topic.

I can see this being a really great way to host QA’s about any specific topic. I think the key is to post a beginning and end time, and end/delete the chat when it’s over. This will make sure people aren’t fatigued by it all.

Other ideas:

  • Quick feedback for content ideas or offers you are thinking about.

  • Featuring one of your members as an expert, where the members of the chat can ask questions.

  • Testimonials. A fast an easy way to get testimonials. Just remember to ask for permission to record them using Quicktime or Skype or whatever you use to record your screen.

Words of Caution:

In order to make sure this doesn’t turn into a nightmare for you and your members, I recommend:

  • Each time you start a chat, let members know right off the bat what the chat is about, how long it will last, and that they can leave the conversation at any time. Posting a graphic that shows them how to do this will be appreciated.

  • Decide what you want the rules to be in your group as it relates to this new feature. Are you OK with anyone and everyone starting a chat whenever they feel like it or would you rather limit that to only admins and moderators? Whatever you decide, add it to your group rules.

  • Be very intentional with your group chats. Make sure there is a reason behind it. Jumping on willy nilly is going to exhaust you and your members quickly.

The Bottom Line:

One of the things I love most about digital media is the ability it gives us to create real relationships with people all across the world. To share our message and what’s important to us and to help people all across the globe. Nothing has the power to build a real relationship like face to face communication and this incredible new feature in Facebook groups is allowing us to do just that.

How will you be using this feature? I’m dying to know. Let me know in the comments.

(For more ideas about how to use your Facebook group to grow your business, make sure and listen to this episode of my podcast.)

Here’s the YouTube video.

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