Facebook Looks to Increase Engagement by Adding More Badges
In 2018, Facebook rolled out to account members the concept of group badges, which are little notes and graphics that appear alongside group member names, and are placed within group posts, in the section for comments. With these badges, each group in Facebook would have the capability of managing badges which are to be used within the group itself. Whenever any of the members in a group receives a specific badge, it would then show up right next to their name on all their comments and posts.
The whole point of this badge usage is to promote engagement among group members. For example, if you notice that someone has a badge which identifies them as a Visual Storyteller, you might want to investigate some of their other posts within the group. In the same way, if you received a badge as a Rising Star, it might motivate you to become more involved in your group, and to have a greater sense of belonging in that particular group.
Why group badges were introduced
According to Facebook, they have a keen awareness of how important it is to build communities on the platform, and for group members to get to know each other. Apparently, many new members of groups have contacted Facebook, indicating a desire for some method of easily identifying group leaders, other than having to ask other group members about it.
By the same token, group administrators and moderators have sought new ways of welcoming incoming members to the group, and for offering recognition to existing members who have made significant contributions to the group. Facebook listened to its members’ desires and then provided group badges which would appear right alongside a member’s name on their profile, as well as on group posts and comments.
When the group badges were introduced, they were made available to those groups having at least 50 or more members, and they were all made optional for every group, since they may or may not be appropriate for any specific group. Here are the original set of badges which were provided to Facebook groups:
- Group Anniversary – acknowledges the length of time any member has been involved with a particular group
- New Member – welcomes new members and provides a vehicle for improving support for them
- Admin and Moderator – the intent of this badge is to help group members quickly identify their leaders, and to help leaders keep the entire community engaged
- Conversation Starter – this badge is used for members who routinely initiate group discussions among members
- Conversation Booster – similar to a Conversation Starter, this badge designates someone who frequently promotes useful discussion and encourages others to become involved
- Founding Member – this badge recognizes users who were early contributors to a specific group, generally within three or four days of the group’s founding
- Visual Storyteller – this badge is intended to acknowledge specific members for their contributions to the group, especially in the area of sparking community conversation. A Visual Storyteller is someone who enjoys sharing photos or videos which are considered valuable to the entire community
- Rising Star – recognizes new members who have joined the group within the last month or so, and who consistently receive a number of reactions and comments on their posts
- Link Curator – a badge which serves to recognize members who routinely provide relevant news to the community, sharing high-quality external content which a number of group members engage with
- Greeter – this is someone who offers help to new members and provides support, making them feel welcome to the group. This person communicates regularly with new members, and provides helpful commentary on their posts.
Extending the badge concept
It appears that Facebook’s plan to increase engagement has produced the desired results, since it has been regularly adding more badges on to Page interactions as well in recent months. At the same time, the platform has also been expanding the signifiers available which could be used to feature the more engaged Page users, as well as those who are more active. Some of these new badges include signifiers for Top Fan, Anniversary Follower, Milestone Follower, and Follower, so that individuals can be appropriately identified within posts and comments.
This means that badges will now be made available beyond the confines of groups, and can be used by Page administrators to have a better understanding of Facebook fans who follow them. It’s even possible for a user to have more than one badge at the same time, and this would be displayed with a +1 notifier. With these new badges now available to administrators of Pages, it would be very easy for an admin to reach out to all Anniversary Followers, to express gratitude for their ongoing engagement.
There are plenty of other reasons why an administrator might want to contact such individuals, for instance to inform them of a new giveaway or an upcoming celebration for individuals who achieved specific milestones. There is also another potential usage for the badges to be used on Pages. In June 2019, Facebook rolled out a brand-new Page post-targeting option for some of its Top Fans. This provided administrators with a very specific method for contacting their most dedicated followers on the platform.
It should be noted that the new badges for Facebook Pages will not be made available to all administrators, but only those which have at least 10,000 followers. However, it does provide a significant way of boosting reach and engagement among Facebook users, because it focuses in on some very specific account members, rather than broadcasting a communication to everyone.
It’s very possible that the expanded badge options could do the same thing, in that for larger Pages it could provide ways to make use of various audience segments for specialized targeting. In this way, specific updates could be communicated to long-term fans very easily. It is quite likely that in the coming months we will see additional Page badges appearing, and that these could have even greater functionality assigned to them.
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