Facebook released a function a while back allowing Facebook Pages to create Facebook Groups that link to the page. After several months of working with them, I have to say...
It is a game changer.
I work in Higher Education, specifically, with Development and Alumni Relations. We have alumni all over the world. We do our best to build that community feeling through the stories we tell and the interactions we have online, but there needs to be a sense of community offline as well. So, we host events.
And while we hold events where the higher concentrations of alumni live, those are only 2-3 times a year in our largest markets. So how do we keep the community feel going in between those visits? The solution was relatively simple.
We created regional Facebook Groups that are linked to the overall Facebook Page for the office.
In the areas that have the highest concentration of alumni, we've created a linked group. From the view of the main Facebook page, the "Groups" tab becomes a directory where our alumni can see and join there fellow alumni that physically are close to them. They now get to have that community within the overall community because it creates some unique opportunities. It allows our alumni to share that they want to meet up at a bar to watch the upcoming football game that doesn't get ignored or overshadowed by the interactions on the main page. They get to be competitive as they grow as a group to be the largest one.
Coming from the other side as the marketer, it is also has some excellent benefits. Even though sometimes you are duplicating your work of posting event promotions, letting the area where the event is being held know first so they can get excited has been more than ideal. They immediately start tagging friends and family when the post goes live on the main page.
How could linked groups work for you? Staying in the realm of higher education:
The options are really limitless as long as you've developed a strategy and follow through with it.