So, what's all the hoo-hah about? What are these challenge group thingys and how can you use them to build an amazing fundraising campaign? Read on...
What is a Facebook Challenge Group?
We’ve seen Challenge Groups explode in popularity over the last year. Organisations of all types have had to scramble for new fundraising activities. With new and ever-changing restrictions on in-person events, creative replacements have become essential.
A Facebook Challenge Group is a time-limited, closed, single-topic group. You can use them for fundraising, lead generation or any other creative purpose. For charities, they’ve been replacing in-person fundraising events with great success.
The group provides a structure for deploying content over a fixed period of time. Savvy event planners and marketers can use this built-in format to divide up a big topic or group goal. The smaller, more digestible pieces of content go out over the duration of the challenge.
How would you use one? What are good uses of them?
The only limit is your imagination. The better you can put that to use, the more likely your challenge group will be a success. The novelty of the format has worn off and so, the more
interesting and creative the challenge, the better. As an example - a dog walking challenge (see Samaritans) may be a better choice than a solo walk. Consider running a poll before choosing an activity to gauge member interest.
A challenge group can take the structure of a course. Each day of the challenge, you can share written content, video, or go live. Providing members a call to action and an assignment keeps the momentum going.
Like a course, participants register ahead of time. Once the registration period ends, the group closes and the challenge begins. Only members who have signed up can participate once the challenge is underway. So, use this as a call to action - build the excitement by having a deadline for entering the challenge. Build momentum.
As the challenge runs its course (to a max of 15 days), share content on a regular schedule. Encourage, or even require participants to react and interact with the content. They can also post their own updates and progress towards the goal as the challenge goes on.
During the challenge, participants progress towards a measurable end point. This could be a distance, number of landmarks visited, reps or anything else.
Why might you use a Challenge Group?
One of the advantages of Challenge Groups is the element of familiarity. The most active folks in your community are likely to be comfortable with Facebook. This makes interactions easy and low-friction for participants. They already know how to like, comment and post and will appreciate not needing to sign up for something new.
There’s also the massive advantage of being able to pre-plan the entire challenge ahead of time. This gives you more time during the challenge to work with UGC and create your own reactive content.
The challenge structure also provides a built-in community. You'll be starting out with a group of people organised around a common interest and goal. This foundation always makes community management easier. Being able to run an open registration period also gives you more time to promote and market your event.
What are some common issues that come up?
Communication will be the primary source of issues in your group. You can get ahead of this with thorough planning and prep before running the campaign.
Moderation. You'll need adequate resourcing and training of your moderators. It's important to train them both in the running of the group and the correct use of standard response templates/messaging (SRTs). They need to be equipped to both enforce guidelines but also to post useful information and responses for the community.
As you’re planning your challenge, think through each step. Look at everything from the participant's perspective. Make note of any potential issues or questions they may have. Prepare responses that address them, taking tone into account. A challenge can be stressful -- your messaging mustn't be. You're also preparing your moderators for success and preventing wasted effort. There's no need to write the same answers anew each time a question comes up.
Ensure your group guidelines are clear and understandable. When moderating, the team can select a guideline as the reason for removing or hiding a user comment. This creates a clear reasoning (and ‘paper’ trail) behind actions and also helps the users to understand the rules. Put an emphasis on safety and protecting your community.
As per usual, tech functionality can be a tad glitchy… Facebook can struggle to handle more than one admin user sharing an account. If your team will be sharing accounts, scheduling and managing overlap is crucial. Centralise your credential sharing and make sure security and permissions are in order. This will prevent inconvenient downtimes and login problems.
Moderator burnout is a very real possibility. While your office work day may end at 6pm, the Challenge Group is likely to see activity around the clock. After hours monitoring and active community management can overwhelm a too-small team.
How can we support your organisation's Facebook Challenge Groups?
We have supported several of our clients in their run challenge groups to great success. We can step in at any part of the process, from strategy and planning to last-minute emergency cover.
StrawberrySocial's team represents only the most expert community and social media professionals. Together, we have decades of combined experience in social media and online moderation. We hand-select team members, screening for sensitivity, emotional intelligence and empathic listening skills. We provide 24/7 coverage, with team members located all over the world.