Before there were Facebook Brand Pages for everything under the sun, there were Facebook Groups where business owners connected with users over a common interest. And even with the addition of these Pages, some small business owners are still loyal to their original groups, using them as powerful discussion forum and shared space. If you’re one of those people and you’re still using the old Groups format, it’s time to switch over. Before Facebook kills your entire community. Doh!
Wait – haven’t we heard this before? Sort of.
Last month we introduced you to Facebook’s Business Page Migration Tool, which allowed SMBs who had created personal Facebook profiles for their businesses to transfer them over to an official Facebook Brand page instead. We also told you that if you didn’t do this soon, you ran the risk of Facebook taking hold of your page and not giving it back. Well, it looks like the same thing is about to happen to that Facebook Group you created back in the day.
If you’re running an older Facebook Group, you may have seen the following Alert waiting for you at the top of your page:
The Alerts lets you know that Facebook will soon be archiving old groups and it asks that SMBs take the time to update to the new
What does that mean?
Essentially, Facebook is phasing out the old-style Groups they originally created. All Groups still using the old format will be “archived”, meaning the page will remain live but the community, for the most part, will be destroyed. According to Facebook, when the archiving process happens they’ll move over your Group photos, wall posts, and your Group description, but you won’t get:
- Recent news
- Group officer titles
- The info box under the old group picture
- The group network
- The members of your old group.
Yeah, it’s that last one that small business owners really want to be concerned with. Don’t upgrade your group and Facebook will wipe its members clean.
So what do you do?
If you see a message at the top of your old group with the option to upgrade, click “Upgrade This Group” to upgrade to the new groups format. Once you do, Facebook will move over all:
- Group photos and Wall posts
- Group discussion threads, which become Wall posts
- The group description, which can be found at the top of the page when you click “See All” members in the new group
- Members of the old group
Facebook will NOT bring over any news, officer titles, or the group network so if you want to keep that information, you should save it beforehand. Once upgraded, small business owners will have access to new features like the ability to chat with their group, share photo albums, poll the group, connect off Facebook and create group docs to pass along information.
It’s worth noting that creating a Facebook Brand Page is still the Facebook-approved way to promote yourself or your business on the site. Groups really are solely intended as a shared space for people to participate in a communal activity. For example, if you run a small business podcast for your business, your podcast may be a Facebook Group, but the page that represents your real business will be a Brand page.
There’s no telling when Facebook will archive all its old groups, so I’d recommend you upgrade sooner rather than later.