If you’ve spent any time on Facebook lately (no judgment), you’ve probably seen many business-focused Groups pop up. These can be of great benefit to businesses: they get a group of people with common interests together and puts your company in front of all of those sets of eyes. The Group will let you create a community around your product or service, establish your authority and provide extra value for your customers.
But, being the administrator of a Facebook Group can be a lot of work. You’re likely spending a ton of your time on sparking discussions and moderating comments. You may be offering exclusive perks like how-to videos or digital downloads. Would you consider charging a membership fee for access to your business’ Facebook Group?
Some companies are, and it seems Facebook is listening. The social network is rolling out a pilot program that would allow Facebook Groups to charge a monthly subscription fee. Group admins can charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to a subscription Group and users can sign up without leaving the platform.
Why would you want it?
There are some scenarios in which we can see this being helpful to the business owner, like if you run a fitness and wellness companies. Maybe you have a monthly challenge or want to unveil exclusive workouts or meal plans to your customers. With a traditional (read: free) Facebook group, you can throw down some teaser content for the masses while your paid subscriber-base actually gets the info. Maybe you run a successful subscription box company. You can up the value through an add-on Facebook Group subscription where your audience can get behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into a box, access to discount codes and bonus offers created just for them.
Of course, as with traditional Facebook Groups, the key is the same: it’s all about engagement. Get in there and create a dialogue with your users. Find out what they like, what they want or just what they’re doing this weekend. You’ll have to be mindful that people have certain expectation levels for things they’re paying for, so ensure that you remain engaged with your audience, whether they’re paying or not.
Facebook says the pilot is being tested first with a small number of groups including Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability, a dedicated college preparation group with access to college counselors to help prepare parents of high schoolers for the college application process; and Meal Planning Central Premium, a meal preparation group that includes weekly meal plans, shopping lists by preferred grocery store, and more.
Read more in Facebook’s blog post here.