Facebook Groups are all the rage in 2018. Brands across industries are using them to build communities around their products and industries to beat Facebook's 2017 algorithm changes that hurt Facebook Pages and other published content.
We're starting a new weekly series where we showcase the best branded Facebook Groups. In these posts, we'll show you what brands are doing right with their Facebook Groups to achieve huge engagement numbers and community following.
This week, we're showcasing AwardWallet's Award Travel 101® Facebook Group. AwardWallet makes software that helps frequent fliers manage their airline, hotel, and credit card point balances. Its Award Travel 101® community is a place where travel hacking enthusiasts can discuss and ask questions about the best airfare deals, credit card rewards, and travel stories.
Award Travel 101® drives huge engagement numbers and—since launching in 2016—has amassed over 45,000 Group members. Many of these members are active and post in the Group's discussions on a regular basis.
Let's dive in and check out what Award Travel 101® does right!
Still on the fence about Facebook Groups? Here's five reasons your brand needs one.
Award Travel 101® is more than AwardWallet
This first point is crucial to any brand starting a Facebook Group: be more than just your brand. Foster community and build discussion instead of just posting about your product or brand. Creating a community creates a content marketing effect: provide good free information, and the sales will follow.
Award Travel 101® does this by almost never mentioning its Awardwallet in its posts. However, the name instead plastered in disclaimers, giveaways, and on the Group's About page. We think this is the perfect medium.
In-person meetup events
Award Travel 101® hosts real-life meetup events in various cities around the United States. This lets Group members in different cities mingle and take conversations offline, building a stronger sense of community. The events are generally hosted by the Group's founder in laid-back public places like bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Award Travel 101® has a set of weekly topics that rotate Sunday to Friday. The six weekly topics range from open question boards to a weekly shameless brag thread where Group members post how they've redeemed points and miles for travel.
These set topics foster conversation and keep the group organized. Having set topics ensures the Group isn't filled with the same question and makes it easier for Group members to engage and find answers to their questions.
Moderators are active
Award Travel 101®'s moderators are extremely active. We see the founder and his team of moderators answer questions, join discussions, and lay down the law of the Group when necessary.
Further, this takes advantage of Facebook's moderator and admin tags. Whenever a moderator posts, a small "moderator" symbol is shown next to his or her name. This adds a sense of legitimacy to all moderator comments and posts—something especially important when dealing with credit card tips and helping people book plane tickets.
Weekly live threads with the founder
Going off of that point, Award Travel 101®'s founder hosts a weekly thread titled "#BourbonQA Thursday." As you'd expect, this live thread is an hour-long question-and-answer panel with the Group's founder and moderators. Group members can ask travel and credit card related questions that are answered in real-time.
We like how the chat's lighthearted, too. The founder talks over a glass of bourbon, answers questions without judgement, and occasionally brings on guest bloggers to answer questions too. This makes the weekly thread reminiscent of a fireside chat of sorts. We dig it.
Award Travel 101® also hosts a Facebook Live stream on Tuesday dubbed "#AT101Live Tuesday." This stream covers current travel news and trends, giving Group members something to look forward to every week.
Is your brand ready for the Groups revolution?
Award Travel 101® is a prime example of Facebook Groups done right. Take inspiration from the Group and make one for your brand's industry. When done right, Groups will drive traffic and make up for engagement lost by last year's Newsfeed algorithm change.
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