Facebook groups range from the heart warming to the down right absurd.There are groups to bring back retired chocolate bars, prevent bus services being cancelled, share stories of being a student, to commiserate the engagement of Russell Brand and on a more serious note to show support for charities; no matter your hobbies, passion, religion or opinions I imagine that there would be a Facebook group out there for you.
Although the number of groups on Facebook is reaching silly proportions and in many instances people join them only to never contribute anything ever there are the rare occasions when a Facebook group amounts to something more than just a giggle; actually doing a good deed or gaining momentum to the point where it brings around action.
One of the first Facebook groups that quickly became a national campaign was one set up to ‘bring back the Wispa’ chocolate bar. After several thousand fans joining the Facebook group and several other online petitions cropping up the people at Cadbury finally took notice. Cadbury spokesman Tony Bilsborough said: “We have noticed the web interest for some time and the consumer passion has undeniably swayed our opinion to relaunch Wispa” (BBC), demonstrating that Facebook groups have significant power not only for the consumer but also the corporations, think how much money Cadbury saved by not having to invest in research and development?
Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No. 1 is probably one of the most publicised Facebook groups so far. The group called for fans to buy RATM’s 1992 single “Killing in the Name Of” in a bid to challenge the X Factors dominance of the Christmas number one. As a result of this online campaign “Killing In The Name Of” secured the Christmas number one spot beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry and to date the number of Facebook users supporting the campaign has reached over 1.5 million. Amazing as it may seem that this small group page went on to be a highly debated topic, featured in the 10 o’clock news and powerful enough to keep XFactor off the most coveted No. 1 spot of the year, it is no real surprise. The very nature of Facebook is centred upon sharing and the entire set up of the website is dedicated to everyone knowing what everyone else is doing, therefore the potential for snowballing viral campaigns are very high.
Someone else looking to utilise the wild fire effect of Facebook is the administrator of the “Camera Found at Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party 2009/2010″ group, a group set up with the sole intention of finding the owner of a lost camera using the pictures on memory card to identify the true owner. This is not a one off either, there are several similar altruistic groups across Facebook helping people locate their lost items. A brilliant and very kind use for a Facebook group, I guess the majority of lost and found items end up on EBay, and one which relies very heavily upon the ‘word of mouth’ sharing aspect of Facebook- after all you don’t exactly search for “lost camera” on Facebook do you? What is so nice about this is the element of community, people joining a group to help someone find their camera and amongst the 80,000 revellers that attended the Edinburgh Hogmanay party they were able to.
Whether it’s reuniting a camera with its owner, sharing your views with the world or campaigning for a company to act in a certain way Facebook groups have incredible potential. There is, of course, power in numbers and where else to find numbers than on one of the most popular social networks in the world Facebook.
Tags: facebook groups