How To Customize Your Facebook Group In Three Easy Steps

March 2, 2012

How To

How To Customize Your Facebook Group In Three Easy Steps

While everybody and their social media consultant is talking about the new Timeline for Facebook Pages I thought I’d be controversial and talk about something else. I’m going to show you how you can get the most out of your Facebook Groups.

Additionally to Facebook Pages Facebook Groups are the other main option Facebook is offering for businesses and brands. Facebook Groups are often overlooked, but can be as powerful as Pages if configured and managed properly. They have some cool features Pages can’t offer; for instance group chat and their own Facebook email address. For companies offering online support Facebook Groups are far superior option than Facebook Pages, or Twitter for that matter.

Three Steps To Customize Your Facebook Group

How To Customize Your Facebook Group

While the social media world has been preparing for the massive Facebook Pages update lately Facebook Groups have under gone their own updates somewhat unnoticed. They are, however now in very good condition both visually and feature wise to be used in lots of commercial and non-commercial applications. You just need to do a few important customizations and you’re all set. Let me show you what needs to be done.

There are three main areas of interest here. First we’re going to replace the image area at the top with a custom banner. Then we’ll sort out the Group Info box and finally we’ll set you up with a custom Facebook URL.

1. Customize Your Facebook Group Banner

The default mode for the image area in Facebook Groups is to present a flow of pictures from the Group. In most cases this is both impractical and visually unappealing. We’re going to fix that with a cool custom banner.

Customize Your Facebook Group Banner Click the top right hand corner of that photo area and you should see a pop-up menu for uploading a photo. The best size for a custom Facebook Group banner is 800 x 200 pixels, and it’s better if you already make your banner exact to these measurements so that the Facebook image robot doesn’t crunch it to something ugly and weird. Yes, it does that believe me!

Upload, and click the Save Changes -button.

Your new banner image replaces all those little images that were fed into the picture area originally. Now, isn’t that so much better!

Customize Your Facebook Group Banner

Notice that there is a semi transparent area of 30 pixels at the bottom of the banner, so make sure you don’t put anything important there such as phone numbers, web addresses and so on. Next we’ll have a look what you can do with your Facebook Group Info box.

2. Customize Your Group Info

Customize Your Facebook Group Info The Facebook Group Info box is useful for presenting the basic details of your Group. You get to this area by choosing Edit Group from the pop-up menu on the right next to Notifications. You can write as much as you want there but only the first ten lines are visible at first glance.

The important thing to remember here is that if you go over those ten lines don’t put your Website, Twitter, blog or any other URL’s in the end as they would not be visible with out clicking the See more -hotlink. I usually put them right at the top.

The other tip is when you write your URL’s make sure you write them including the http:// in front of the www. This way they will become live links that people can actually click on.

3. Get Your Own Facebook Group URL

When you first set up your Facebook Group it will have a very generic URL address with lots of numbers in it. Something like http://www.facebook.com/groups/283445239392807/. Not very nice if you want to print it on your business cards or stationery, yet alone remember! Luckily there is a way to get a custom URL for your Facebook Group instantly right after setup. With Facebook Pages you have to have at least 30 fans in order to get a custom URL but that rule does not apply with Groups. You can get your custom URL straight away if you know how to do it. Let me show you.

Get Your Own Facebook Group URL Again, you choose Edit Group from the pop-up menu on the right. You will see a button that says Set Up Group Email. Click it. A box opens up where you can write your email address for the Group. The email functionality is very cool by itself as emails sent to this address will go to all the Group members, but that is not the main issue here.

Ok, are you ready for this? [drum roll here] The name you put in front of the @ sign becomes your custom Facebook Group URL!

Once it is accepted it gets locked in and it’s yours! Now, how cool is that? You don’t have to wait for 30 fans to show up or anything! So now, instead of having the awkward http://www.facebook.com/groups/283455239392807/ you can have something like facebook.com/groups/SocialMediaAdvertising. Much easier to remember, print and use don’t you think?

Most importantly as there can be several Facebook Groups with the same (visual) name there can only be one Group with a properly customized name. If your Facebook Group has the name of your business or brand, please make sure that you set up it’s email address and secure the custom Facebook URL.

Ok, there you have the three most important Facebook Group customizations. Do these and you’ll get much more out of your Group. Next week we’ll have a look at what Facebook has done to our beloved Pages. It’s not all good unfortunately. Stay tuned and subscribe to RSS.

Let me know if you are already using or planning to use Facebook Groups in your marketing.

[image: photostock]

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About Kris Olin

Kris Olin is a web designer specialised in SEO, social media marketing, Facebook advertising and Internet promotion strategies. Kris has a masters degree in marketing, MSc (Econ.) and he has written the Facebook Advertising Guide. Follow Kris on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and .

View all posts by Kris Olin

5 Responses to “How To Customize Your Facebook Group In Three Easy Steps”

  1. bradshorr Says:

    Hi Kris, Thanks for the article – I didn’t realize Groups were still being supported by Facebook. With all the changes in the new Timeline format, I can definitely see advantages to Groups. Do you think users are familiar enough with them to join a Group and participate, or would companies need to spend a bit of time explaining how it all works? 

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Facebook Groups are definitely a viable option to Facebook Pages. What makes them really powerful is the group chat where you can engage direct with your audience. For instance companies can arrange support of training sessions conveniently through their Facebook Group.

      Facebook Groups are not as well know as Pages, but they are actually easier to manage than the new, and somewhat complicated Timeline format Facebook Pages.

      Thank you for your comment, Brad!

      Reply

  2. Mark Says:

    Used the email thing to get a user friendly URL.  Huge Thanks!!!!

    Reply

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