By: Amen Sharma / August 10, 2018

Facebook’s Secret Groups

Once again, Facebook’s algorithm has changed what it prioritises.  This time, Facebook Groups are gaining popularity over pages, meaning brands are having to shift their strategy and create groups rather than just having pages for fans to like and follow.

Did you know 1.4 billion out of Facebook’s 2.2 billion active users check groups each month?  However, Mark Zuckerberg states only 200 million of these are in “meaningful groups.” This number is expected to rise to one billion.

Many of the “meaningful groups” are secret groups.  These are hidden away from spammers, cyber trolls and contrarians.  They are a safe space for like-minded individuals that want to share opinions or get advice.  These secret groups are usually much more private so the members in them are more active and open.

Facebook Secret Groups- What Are They?
Facebook has three types of group: public, closed and secret.  Anyone can enter a public group without approval and see everything within it.

Like public groups, everyone can search for a closed group, however, these are more exclusive as you can’t view the content within it until you have been approved by an administrator to become a member of the group.  You can also be invited by a current member of the group.

However secret groups are different.  They cannot be searched for and you can’t request to join them.  The only way you’re getting into a secret group is if someone already in the group invites you.  Everything in the group is only visible to its members.

At HeartCMs, we can help you create and even run any type of Facebook groups with our social media marketing.

Joining A Secret Group
As they can’t be searched for and by definition are supposed to be secretive, you have to know someone who can invite you in.  The ways to get into a secret group are:

  • Ask a current member to invite you.  Note that you must be friends on Facebook for this to work.
  • Check your notifications or inbox for an invitation.
  • Read the guidelines of the group thoroughly.  These are usually pinned to the top on a page or in the description.
  • Look out for posts about new members.  Some administrators will make sure the new members have seen the guidelines and agree with them

    Just How Private Are They?
    Facebook Secret Groups are very private to you and me, but obviously, they have to adhere to Facebook’s guidelines.  So if they think you’re breaching them, they will review the group.

    This will be if it is a group that involves hate speech, harassment, violence or nudity.  Facebook also has the right to hand over any information in the group if it is requested by the government.

    However, following the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, Facebook made plans to restrict third-party data access to groups.  The only way this could happen now is if the administrator gives permission for a third-party app to do so.

    Settings within groups can also be changed without authorisation too.  Groups that have gained popularity may be made public if the administrator thinks it will benefit from a wider audience.  This means however that posts people may have thought would have remained private, go public.

    Facebook doesn’t allow groups with more than 5,000 members to switch their settings to less private ones.

    Why Use Secret Groups On Facebook?
    There are multiple reasons to be part of a secret group on Facebook.

    It is a great way for people to share their like-minded views, particularly if they are political for example.  People don’t like broadcasting their political views all over the internet but may want to share how they feel.

    Another example of this is people who share a like-minded embarrassment such as parents who want help with parenting advice.

    A really great use of a secret group that can’t be found was if you wanted to organise a surprise party for a friend or make an announcement to only a close group of people.

    The aim of a business or brand is to hopefully have a wide audience, but there can be advantages of creating a secret group for your brand.  It can create intrigue around your brand or you could offer special discounts to loyal secret group members.

    Now you know how to get into secret groups, we hope this has given you some ideas about what you could use them for.

About Amen Sharma

Director of and author of UK's bestselling online marketing book 'The Google Checklist'. Amen loves to help small to medium size businesses get more online exposure. Amen started his online marketing journey back in 2006 and now runs his own award winning marketing agency.

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