Trending March 2024 # How The Nvidia Shield Tv Holds Up As A Game Console # Suggested April 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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As a pure gaming machine, the new Nvidia Shield TV doesn’t have much in common with other consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. It can’t compete on computing muscle, and can’t natively run many new releases.

Just don’t expect GameStream to fully replace native PC play. I’ve used GameStream for years on Nvidia’s Shield Portable and first-generation Shield TV, and while the experience is passable overall, it does introduce a small fraction of a second of input lag, even under the best network conditions. The difference is most noticeable with mouse-and-keyboard input or with shooters that require pinpoint accuracy, and even an ethernet connection on both ends doesn’t completely eliminate latency. Stuttering also becomes a problem if your Shield isn’t getting ideal Wi-Fi reception, so an area that works fine for streaming video might still be troublesome for GameStream.

GameStream also supports UltraHD streaming. So if you have a 4K or 4K HDR television, a supported graphics card (GeForce GTX 10-series for HDR, many more for 4K ), and strong enough network conditions, you might get a better picture than on the ancient 1080p monitor connected to your desktop.

Although GameStream officially supports just a subset of PC games—they’ll appear in Shield’s GameStream menu, and on the Shield home screen once you’ve played them—there’s technically no limit to what you can run. Launching Steam Big Picture on Shield gives access to your entire Steam catalog, and you can add launch shortcuts for any other game through GeForce Experience, Nvidia’s companion software for PCs.

As with Nvidia’s Shield Portable and Shield Tablet , the Shield TV supports GameStream, which lets you stream games over Wi-Fi or ethernet from a GeForce-powered PC. This lets you play your existing PC game collection on the TV without having to buy another computer.

None of these offerings are strong enough on their own, but combined with everything else the Shield does as a media streamer, they could add up to a compelling console alternative. Let’s take a deeper look at the Nvidia Shield TV’s gaming chops.

Still, the Shield has other virtues, aside from being smaller and cheaper than a proper game console. For PC gamers, it’s a way to access those games in the living room through in-home streaming. For people who want high-quality games without the overhead of a proper console, the Shield can stream them through its GeForce Now cloud gaming service. And when the vagaries of remote game streaming won’t do, the Shield has a sizeable selection of downloadable games, including modern indies and some older console classics.

Shield isn’t the only option for PC-to-TV game streaming. You can also connect a $50 Steam Link or a low-cost PC and use Steam in-home streaming, which supports both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. (And maybe someday, Microsoft will get around to adding PC-to-Xbox streaming in Windows 10.)

The argument for Shield is that it’s an all-in-one solution for gaming and streaming video, and unlike Steam Link it includes a wireless game controller, which is much improved over the first-generation Shield. If you’re considering a Steam Link, Steam Controller, and Roku or Fire TV, you might as well roll them into one package for about the same price.

Games in the cloud

For folks who don’t own a gaming PC, the Shield tries to fill the void with GeForce Now, which streams games from Nvidia’s remote servers. An $8 per month subscription gets you a selection of back-catalog games, and you can also buy newer games a la carte.

To Nvidia’s credit, GeForce Now has made strides since the service launched in October 2024. The catalog continues to grow, the platform now supports multiplayer, and the server-side processors have become powerful enough to supply 1080p, 60fps gaming across the board. Nvidia has also enlisted Ubisoft as a partner, so in the coming months, certain purchases through Uplay will sync to GeForce Now, and vice versa. (It’s unclear whether this crossover support will apply to games purchased on Steam and activated on Uplay.)

IDG / Jared Newman

With GeForce Now, $8 per month gets you a Netflix-style grab bag of streaming games, but you can purchase others a la carte.

Still, the Venn diagram of potential GeForce Now users seems slim. Much like GameStream, the GeForce Now experience is passable, but not on par with local play, and the remote servers are even more susceptible to connection issues. Some major publishers are also still absent from the platform, including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Bethesda.

Worst of all, GeForce Now is still siloed from other devices and gaming platforms. It’s not available on PCs, phones, or other TV devices—the upcoming PC and Mac version of GeForce Now is a completely separate entity—and while GeForce Now purchases include download keys for Steam or GOG, save progress does not transfer between platforms.

While GeForce Now could appeal to people who bought Shield for other reasons and might be compelled to play the occasional game or two, if you’re at all serious about gaming, you’re better off with a PC or console.

Going the local route

Perhaps the strongest argument for the Nvidia Shield TV as a gaming machine is the selection of games you can actually download. While the Shield lacks the power of a proper game console, it holds its own as a platform for cool indie games.

IDG / Jared Newman

The Shield’s downloadable game selection easily beats other streaming boxes.

Compared to other streaming devices, like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, Nvidia has gone above and beyond the standard fare of free-to-play mobile ports. Games like The Witness, Titan Souls, Hotline Miami, GoNNER, Olli Olli, Mercenary Kings, Octodad, Not a Hero, Super Meat Boy, and The Talos Principle aren’t just mindless time wasters. These are well-crafted games with depth, many of which are otherwise only available on pricier PCs and consoles.

The Shield isn’t completely devoid of mainstream fare, either. It’s powerful enough to handle some games from the previous console generation, including Borderlands 2, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Portal, Half-Life 2, and Resident Evil: 5. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of these games, and their visual quality doesn’t quite hold up to their original console versions. If your primary goal is to revel in last-gen gaming, consider picking up an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 on the cheap.

IDG / Jared Newman

Resident Evil 5 on Xbox 360 (left) vs. Shield (right). Notice the loss of shadows next to the posts.

All of these games, by the way, are distributed through the Google Play Store, where you can also find a broader selection of casual games. But many of the Shield’s best games will only run on Shield devices (and in some cases, only on Shield TV).

The console for streamers

The common thread with these gaming features is that none of them are enough to justify purchasing the Shield over a dedicated game console. But in tandem with everything Shield does as a media player, the gaming features start to make sense.

After all, the Shield has a better selection of streaming video apps than any console on the market today. It also has some interesting perks for power users, such as the ability to run a Plex server, roll your own over-the-air DVR, or build your dream media center with Kodi. (The ethical murkiness of Kodi plugins, by the way, pair nicely with Shield’s ability to run classic console emulators.) And in the coming months the Shield will get some serious connected home smarts with SmartThings integration and Google Assistant.

While the Nvidia Shield TV is not a master of all trades, the hodgepodge of gaming and streaming features has an alluring way of coming together. If you can find that at least a few of these features resonate, this could be the console for you.

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Using A Projector As A Tv: Everything You Need To Know

Many people look for innovative ways to enhance their home entertainment setups as technology evolves. One such trend is using a projector as a television.

Good to know: Projectors offer many connectivity options, including wirelessly connecting your Android phone to your projector.

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Projector for TV Replacement

When selecting the perfect projector to replace a TV, you must carefully evaluate various features and performance considerations. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a projector specifically for this purpose:

1. Brightness

A projector’s brightness, measured in lumens, ensures clear and vibrant images in different lighting conditions. Aim for at least 2,000 lumens for rooms with controlled lighting and 3,000 lumens or more for spaces with some ambient light when using a projector as a TV replacement.

2. Resolution

High-resolution projectors deliver more detailed and sharper images. For a home theater experience, opt for a projector with a minimum resolution of 1080p (Full HD). Consider a 4K (Ultra HD) projector if your budget permits for superior image quality. Unlike TVs, 4K makes a lot of sense for projectors thanks to the huge image sizes that are possible.

Image source: Unsplash

3. Contrast Ratio

A projector’s contrast ratio determines the difference between an image’s darkest and brightest parts. A higher contrast ratio typically results in more vivid colors and deeper blacks. Look for a projector with a contrast ratio of at least 2,000:1, but higher is better.

4. Input Lag

Input lag is crucial for gamers looking for a projector. Lower input lag means a more responsive gaming experience. For casual gaming, aim for a projector with an input lag of 30ms or less, while competitive gamers should look for 16ms or less.

5. Connectivity Options

Unlike televisions, projectors may not offer as many ports and connectivity options. Therefore, you must carefully consider whether you can use all of your existing technology with a projector before you replace your television.

Ensure the projector has sufficient HDMI ports for all your devices, such as streaming sticks, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles. Additionally, look for projectors with wireless connectivity options, like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, to simplify your setup and provide added convenience.

6. Audio Considerations

While most projectors include built-in speakers, they may not provide adequate audio quality for a TV replacement. Some projectors offer better built-in audio, but for the best sound experience, investing in a separate soundbar or surround sound system is wise. Before you buy a projector, check what audio options will work with it to determine the best solution for sound.

Image source:

Pexels

7. Lamp Life

A projector’s lamp life impacts its long-term cost of ownership. Go for projectors with a longer lamp life rating (e.g., 5,000 to 10,000 hours) to reduce how often you have to replace them and overall maintenance costs.

8. Zoom, Lens Shift, and Keystone Correction

Projectors with these features make setting up and fine-tuning the image much easier.

Also Helpful: Size can be another consideration, but portable projectors can help. They come with a built-in battery or will run from USB power sources.

Prerequisites for Using a Projector as a TV

Before embarking on the setup process, make sure you have the following items:

A Projector: Look for one with at least 1080p resolution and a decent contrast ratio. Splurge on a 4K projector if your budget allows for the ultimate image quality. You may also want a particular mounting solution, such as a ceiling or tripod mount.

A Screen: Although projecting onto a blank wall is possible, a dedicated screen delivers better image quality.

Speakers: Frankly, built-in projector speakers often downright suck. So invest in a soundbar or surround sound system. Most projectors will have an audio-out port, and many modern models have Bluetooth.

Source Device: You’ll need a device for content, such as a Blu-ray player, game console, or streaming stick. That is, unless your projector has a built-in streaming box with apps like Netflix or Disney Plus.

HDMI Cables: Purchase high-quality HDMI cables to connect your devices.

Dark Room: Optimal image quality requires a dark environment. Consider blackout curtains or blinds to block sunlight. If you can’t darken the room enough, you’ll have to invest in a more expensive projector with a higher lumen count, usually at least 2500 lumens for daylight visibility.

Image source: Unsplash

Now that you have all the bits and pieces you need for your projector setup, let’s move on to setting your projector up.

Tip: Unlike TVs, most projectors only offer a single HDMI input. If you need to connect multiple devices, such as a streaming box and a console, you’ll probably want to invest in an HDMI switch rather than constantly plugging and unplugging your cables.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting Up a Projector as a TV

Whether you already have your projector or you’re preparing for the setup when it finally arrives, here’s the general process to get it all up and running. Keep in mind that individual projector will have their specific quirks, so always refer to the manual as the cardinal source of information.

Image source: Unsplash

These are just general steps that most setups will follow:

1. Choose the Right Location

Find a spot with the proper distance between the projector and the screen. Consult your projector’s manual for the recommended throw distance.

2. Set up the Screen

Securely hang the screen on the wall or position it on a stand, ensuring it’s level. Alternatively, use special projector paint to prepare the wall surface if you don’t want to use a screen.

3. Place the Projector

Position the projector on a table, shelf, or ceiling mount. Ensure it’s level and aimed at the screen’s center. Usually, you can adjust the individual feet of the projector to level it.

4. Adjust the Image

Turn on the projector and use its zoom, focus, and lens shift controls to get the image right.

5. Connect the Source Device

Plug your source device (e.g., Blu-ray player, game console, or streaming stick) into the projector using an HDMI cable or other appropriate connection.

6. Connect the Speakers

If using external speakers, connect them to the source device or the projector’s audio output.

7. Configure the Settings

Access the projector’s menu to adjust brightness, contrast, color, and sound settings.

8. Test Your Setup

Play content to ensure everything works correctly, making any necessary adjustments to optimize your viewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions Is it better (price and usability) to buy a projector instead of a TV?

Projectors can offer a larger screen size and a more immersive experience at a comparable price to a high-quality TV. However, they require a dark environment and more space for setup. TVs are generally more versatile, require less maintenance, and have better image quality in bright rooms. There’s no clear winner when it comes to price and usability, it all depends on where you want to use each device and for what purpose.

How long do projector lamps last?

Projector lamps have a limited lifespan, typically ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 hours, depending on the model and usage. Some projectors may offer lamp life up to 10,000 hours or more, which reduces the frequency of replacements and overall maintenance costs.

Can I use a projector for everyday TV watching?

Using a projector for everyday TV watching is possible, but there are a few factors to consider. Projectors tend to have a higher total cost of ownership due to lamp replacements and the need for additional equipment like screens and sound systems. They also require a darker environment for optimal image quality. A traditional TV might be better if you primarily watch TV during the day or in a room with lots of ambient light. However, if you value a larger screen size and a more immersive experience for movies and gaming, a projector can be an excellent choice for daily use.

Image credit: Unsplash

Sydney Butler

Sydney Butler is a technology writer with a background in Psychology who has written for a wide variety of technology outlets including How-To-Geek, Online Tech Tips, Helpdesk Geek, 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, and many more. He has 25 years of technology troubleshooting experience as a technician and user-education practitioner.

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What You Get With Your Game Console Subscription Service

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Gamers of a certain age will remember that you once had to buy a game console, and then you bought games for that console on cartridges (and then later on discs) which you manually inserted into the system (blowing on it first, to ensure it would function properly) and then played. When you were done playing, the console was switched off and wasn’t needed again until the next gaming session.

All that has changed, of course, with game consoles having evolved into all-around entertainment hubs, and games existing as downloadable and constantly updating digital streams divorced of physical media. Each major system now also comes with its own subscription service to further expands your console’s capabilities—but by how much, exactly? Here’s what you get with each of the “big three” subscriptions.

As for the games themselves, they really cover the spectrum from big time releases to cool indie games to bargain bin losers. You get things like Red Dead Redemption, The Last of Us, Saints Row 3, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, the Batman Arkham trilogy, Until Dawn, Borderlands, Bioshock: Infinites, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and Darksiders, while Sony provides a few platform exclusives, like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and Ratchet and Clank.

Like Sony, Microsoft brings a lot of potentially confusing membership and subscription services into play, with Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold the first entries, followed by Xbox Game Pass. They are all essentially the Xbox versions of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now—The “Live” accounts are necessary for online access, while “Game Pass” is the streaming game service. One of the major differences between the two is that, although its catalogue isn’t as extensive as Sony’s, all of the Xbox games available through the Game Pass subscription can be downloaded. They can also be downloaded to your PC, which is something PlayStation doesn’t allow (they are streaming only on PC). Members also get discounts on DLCs (downloadable content – extra elements included in-game), and a Game Pass subscription can be bundled with an Xbox Live Gold account.

What the Xbox library lacks in size, it tries to make up for in quality. Titles available include classics like Final Fantasy XV, Grand Theft Auto V, Tekken 7, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4, and Gears 5.

It’s fitting the the console that is more family-friendly offers a family-friendly subscription service. Nintendo Switch Online comes in two subscription types: Individual and family. An individual subscription covers one user, and a family subscription covers up to eight. Where the PlayStation and Xbox subscription services are about maximizing your gaming library, Nintendo’s efforts are more about trying to fix some of their consoles limitations. For one, it opens up online play for more Nintendo titles (previously, only Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 had online playability) and it allows for online chatting. However, you can’t chat over the console like you can with the other game systems—it requires you to download a separate smartphone app (which is a bit of a pain). One of the biggest knocks against the Switch when it launched was that there was no method for backing up your saves. If your console died, you lost everything. With a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can backup your saves to the cloud, ensuring that you won’t lose progress again. However, this option does not exist for all titles, with major games like Pokemon Let’s Go, Splatoon 2, Dark Souls Remastered, and Dead Cells left out of the cloud save option.

That said, the Nintendo Switch Online is extremely cheap and does give the nostalgic gamer access to a library of classic NES and Super NES games.

Nvidia Gpu Guide: All Nvidia Gpus Explained, And The Best Nvidia Gpu For You

See also: The global computer chip shortage explained: What it means for you and your tech

Current NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 GPU offerings

Coming to the GPUs you can currently buy in the series, there are five desktop options. At the top of the line is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, the most powerful consumer GPU NVIDIA currently sells. It packs in a whopping 10,496 NVIDIA CUDA cores, and 24 GB of GDDR6X memory. It’s for the enthusiast market, and a bit of an overkill, with the price-to-performance ratio not being the best you can get from NVIDIA.

That, however, isn’t the case with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080. The RTX 3080 is the best graphics card you can buy right now for your high-end 4K gaming system. It comes with 8,704 CUDA cores and 10 GB of GDDR6X memory. The RTX 3080 offers the best value proposition in the series, making it our NVIDIA GPU guide recommendation.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 series GPUs

Nvidia

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 was the first new series of GPUs from NVIDIA after a while. It introduced the RTX badging, and with it the ray tracing capabilities. While the series was a bit weak on the ray tracing performance as most first-generation efforts are, it had great performance otherwise. It came with the older Turing architecture.

The RTX 20 series was also the first time NVIDIA introduced a bunch of other features like DLSS. While first introduced in 2023, the RTX 20 lineup is still relevant today due to the silicon shortage that is affecting the industry. It also got a refresh with the Super variants in 2023. Due to the price gouging, buying these GPUs new might not be the best idea, unless you’re getting aggressively reasonable pricing.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 GPU offerings

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 series mostly targeted the high-end and upper mid-range of the GPU market. The main RTX 20 series has seven total models across three sub-series. The top-of-the-line model in the series is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. While NVIDIA didn’t have any 90-series cards for this generation, the RTX 2080 Ti was pretty much the predecessor to RTX 3090. The card packs in 4,352 CUDA cores coupled with 11 GB GDDR6 memory. NVIDIA also had a Titan RTX GPU using the same Turing architecture, for AI computing and data science applications.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16 series GPUs

Nvidia

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16 series is actually an interesting notch in NVIDIA’s belt. Team green introduced this series to fill out the lower-mid-range that the RTX 20 series lacked. It uses the same Turing architecture and has a total of eight GPU SKUs under two sub-series. NVIDIA marketed it parallel to the RTX 20 series, making it a bit of a non-RTX complement to it.

The GTX 16 series has come to be one of the most popular series from NVIDIA. Even today, the series has the only non-RTX GPUs that have a decent price-to-performance ratio. These have also been very popular in mid-range gaming laptops. Even today, the GTX 16 series GPUs have some of the best availability and relatively better pricing in comparison to other NVIDIA offerings.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series GPUs

Nvidia

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series is remembered as the point where its GPU offerings really matured. Despite being several years old at this point, these GPUs are still quite relevant and the performance holds up. The 10 series was an expansive lineup, with several GPUs under it. The series used the Pascal architecture and had cards from the GT 1010 to the GTX 1080 Ti and the enthusiast-grade Titan Xp.

Some of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series cards are still available in the market. The lower-end variants like the GT 1030, GTX 1050, and GTX 1050 Ti are still selling quite well. The GTX 1050 Ti is actually one of the GPUs that NVIDIA has brought back into production to try and meet the demand for more affordable GPUs — something that newer NVIDIA GPU lineups lack. The GTX 1050 Ti is thus our NVIDIA GPU guide recommendation for this series.

See also: GPU vs CPU: What’s the difference?

See also: What is an SoC? Everything you need to know about smartphone chipsets

The future of NVIDIA GPUs

NVIDIA is the industry leader in GPUs and currently offers some of the best GPUs money can buy. However, it is facing a few issues that it needs to deal with to stay on top. First of all, is the global silicon shortage. While it doesn’t only affect NVIDIA, it certainly has made an example out of the brand. NVIDIA GPUs are nearly impossible to get now, and even if you do manage to grab one, you will likely be overpaying for it.

NVIDIA has failed to counter the scalping and price gouging. It did introduce the anti-mining lock with the RTX 3060 but then managed to accidentally remove it with a simple beta driver. With lukewarm attempts like this, the woes of GPU buyers are unlikely to end so soon.

On the other hand, NVIDIA’s only true competitor in the GPU space, AMD, is catching up. Its latest Radeon GPUs get closer to NVIDIA offerings in performance than they ever have. NVIDIA will have to ramp up its efforts to make sure it doesn’t lose the crown. Its pending acquisition of Arm could also help it compete with Apple Silicon.

As far as the next generation of NVIDIA GPUs is concerned, we could see it drop sometime in 2023. It will bring in important improvements, no doubt. However, they’re just as likely to be in short supply. So for now, if you can grab an RTX 30 GPU at a price that is close to its intended retail price, go for it.

How To Set Up Restrictions In The Music And Tv Apps On Mac

If you share a computer with children in your home, your kids could end up seeing or listening to something they shouldn’t. To help, Apple offers restrictions in Music and TV apps to prevent inappropriate content from popping up, so parents can better protect kids from explicit content.

Before you begin: You can create a separate standard user account for your child on your Mac. This way, their files and everything else will stay separate. However, even if you let them use your Mac with your admin account, you can still set up restrictions, but doing so, explicit music & videos will be restricted for you as well (unless you go back to settings every time you’re using your Mac and turn these restrictions off).

Set up restrictions in the Music and TV app on Mac

1) Open System Settings and select Screen Time.

3) Enable Content & Privacy.

Movies and TV Shows: Choose ratings from the drop-down boxes. The rating here may be different as per the country you’re in. After this, only content of the chosen rating or below will be shown in the Apple TV app and the iTunes Store.

Allow Explicit Music, Podcasts, and News: Turn it off to restrict adult songs, podcasts, and news from playing in Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple News apps.

Note that these restrictions will only work in the above-mentioned Apple apps.

Next, you can turn on the switch for Use Screen Time Passcode from the first page of the Screen Time settings. When you try to set up the passcode with your admin account, it will ask you to create a standard account. You can choose ‘Allow this user to administer this computer‘ and hit Continue to set the Screen Time passcode.

Or, as mentioned, a better approach is to create a separate user account for your child on your Mac and set up Screen Time with restrictions on that.

On older versions of macOS

If you’re on an earlier version of macOS, the Music, iTunes, and the TV app have dedicated options to restrict explicit content. Here’s how to enable them.

Music:

Choose the Restrictions tab.

Start at the top of the Restrictions tab selecting those items you want to Disable.

Under Restrict, mark the boxes for restricted items. For Movies and TV shows, you can choose ratings from the drop-down boxes.

TV:

Choose the Restrictions tab.

At the top of the Restrictions tab, select Purchasing or Subscribing and/or Shared Libraries if you want to Disable those items.

The Ratings for box should default to your country or region, but if not, you can change it.

Under Restrict, Movies, and TV shows have drop-down boxes for you to pick the ratings you want.

Crossover between Music and TV

You may have noticed that a few items for Restrictions appear in both apps. These include Shared Libraries under Disable and Movies and TV under Restrict.

If you disable Shared Libraries in the Restrictions for one app, it will apply to the other.

If you restrict and set ratings for Movies and TV in one app, it will apply to the other.

This is convenient for those situations where you only want to limit those items.

In addition, once you set up restrictions in these apps, you’ll notice only movies and TV shows that apply to your settings will display in the TV app when you open it.

Related tips:

How To Up Your Facebook Marketing Game Using Facebook Groups

Facebook’s organic reach has declined.

By a lot.

The average organic reach versus page likes is a whopping 5.17%, meaning only about 5% of your fans are actually seeing the content you’re sharing on Facebook organically.

Facebook is still one of the top social media networks for brands to be on, though.

Regardless of what kind of brand, size, or service offerings, Facebook has become the Google of social networks and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

With Marketplace, Groups, Messenger, Pay, Instagram ownership, and so much more, the social media giant is a one-stop social media shop for a user to do almost anything on a single network.

This forces all brands to have a presence, a very established one, on the social network and remain active updating business information, sharing new content, and communicating with their fans.

By now though, most of us have come to realize in order to succeed on Facebook one must pay-to-play, especially with organic reach percentages so low.

But there is another workaround if you aren’t ready to fork out the big bucks for that extra post reach.

Cue drumroll….

Facebook Groups.

Brands can and should be using Facebook groups as a way to ensure their most important content is actually seen by their target demographic and as another way to communicate with potential and existing customers.

Let’s explore the many different ways brands can utilize Facebook groups for marketing.

Introduce New Products & Services in Your Branded Facebook Group

A branded Facebook group is simply a group that is created by a brand/company, has employees as the admins, and usually consists of core fans and newbies as group members.

It’s also the perfect place to gather your top customers and potential new ones, ultimately creating an intimate community around the brand.

You can do all of these tasks inside of your branded Facebook group by simply posting updates or by having a watch party of an upcoming product launch.

This gives the Facebook group users the first look at your newest product line.

This will give you plenty of feedback on what to expect when you share it with the public in a future marketing campaign.

Make sure to spread out a mix of your post types inside your group, just like you do on your Facebook Page.

For example, a good content mix for a branded Facebook group looks like this:

Monday: Weekly inspiration post.

Tuesday: Memes/fan engagement post.

Wednesday: News/company updates.

Thursday: Memes/fan engagement post + News follow up post.

Friday: Poll/fan engagement post.

Branded Facebook groups are a great place to collect feedback and perform audience research on a core group of fans.

Dive deep into audience research by hosting a social learning group.

This is similar to regular groups but allows admins more features like how posts are displayed and the way users engage with them – ultimately giving you more data.

As you collect information about your new products, content, or services, pay extra attention to who is leaving the feedback.

Are they your target demographic?

Are they existing customers from your database or new to your brand?

Check their Facebook profiles to – at the very least – identify their gender, age, and location.

When in doubt, simply ask the group members what kind of content, products, or services they want to see next from you.

And be on the lookout, because members of Facebook groups are not afraid to speak up.

Provide Customer Service Through Facebook Groups

Brands should always utilize groups to share new products and updates, but one of the biggest benefits for brands to use Facebook groups is to provide another layer of customer service.

We recently did a social ad campaign to help grow a Facebook group for an appliance parts company.

I think we can all agree appliance parts aren’t the most captivating thing on the internet these days, especially for a whole Facebook group.

Yet, the group became one of their top revenue sources from social media simply because it became a resource for customers and potential customers to ask the brand questions and communicate shared experiences of broken appliances with other customers.

This resulted in new purchases made because solutions were provided inside of this group, both by employees and fellow customers.

The parts company dedicated a whole new department of content just for inside of this group.

Providing how-to videos, installation tips, and guides so any member of the group received dedicated customer support and educational content.

Sure, a customer can always call that 1-800 number or fill out a contact form, but there is a different human component of going to a brand’s Facebook group and posting a question.

It’s a more neutral place to share experiences and get solutions from the real people behind a brand, the ones who are admins of the group, and fellow customers who have already worked with the brand.

With a branded Facebook group, a customer can come to your new group and share their questions and get real answers from real people.

This is a huge win as it gives you the opportunity to address the questions and have the responses seen by other members of the group, potentially addressing other people’s questions and providing even more solutions.

Which brings me to the next benefit of marketing with Facebook groups: user-generated content.

Collect User-Generated Content From Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are notorious for collecting reviews and testimonials, without looking like a 1-star rating on Google.

And after frequent activity in the group (regular posting from admins and conversations from both the admins and users), you’ll find group members doing this on their own.

This is the kind of real-life content that does so well when shared by a brand on other social networks like Instagram, blog posts, and email campaigns.

The second opportunity brands have is to find new brand ambassadors inside of Facebook groups.

The extra-bonus step here is to contact the person through messenger and offer them a 10% discount or free product as a way of saying thanks for spreading the word about your brand.

Join the Conversation & Monitor Brand Sentiment as a Business Owner

Now thinking outside of your branded Facebook group, you can join other Facebook groups as your Facebook Page or as a user.

When it comes to marketing on Facebook Groups though, you may want to consider joining as a user first.

According to Bambu, people are 16 times more likely to read a social post from a friend versus a brand.

This gives you the opportunity to speak up as an individual if anyone talks about your business or brand in one of these local groups from an employee or business owner perspective.

Be aware though, not everything people share in groups is positive, and to help keep track of your brand sentiment as a business you need to be aware of all conversations related to your brand.

“Karen, we’re so sorry to hear you experienced that. Please call our 1-800 so we can make it right.

– Mike, Home Depot Oregon”

Instead, provide more comfort with a human response from your own profile:

“Oh no! That is not at all what we are trying to represent at X Depot, Karen. I’m so sorry you had that experience. I’ve been the Store Manager there for the past 9 months and want to make things right with you. I’ve sent you a DM and we’ll figure out a better solution for you.

– Mike Reed”

Become the Talk of the Town (Or Industry) While Monitoring the Talk

When I moved to Oregon from California I quickly joined as many local Facebook groups as I could so I could get a feel for the new area and start collecting recommendations.

As we’ve remodeled our home, every contractor we’ve worked with we’ve found as a recommendation in a local Facebook group – not once heading to Google.

Facebook groups have such a huge impact on local businesses and have become a hub for local business recommendations from real customers.

Even if your brand isn’t limited to local-only services, you should join several local Facebook groups with your Facebook profile and sign up for notifications for the groups so you’re aware each time a new post is shared.

Especially the ones who need recommendations.

Non-local businesses can do this on a similar scale, joining groups related to their industry or product.

For example, that appliance parts client not only created their own branded Facebook group to offer a more casual form of customer service but it also joined several DIY home improvement groups.

Which in the end, isn’t it the goal of any marketing strategy to provide a solution to a customer’s problem utilizing your service or product?

Facebook groups work best when you utilize them as a place for two-way communication, both asking and listening to the group members.

Ready to go create your branded Facebook group?

Here’s how from Facebook.

Facebook Group Marketing: Key Takeaways

Ask for feedback on new services and products in your branded groups.

Create a Facebook Group as another way to provide customer service, having a dedicated member of your team as the admin.

Discover new brand ambassadors and influencers inside of Facebook groups.

Join other Facebook groups to keep track of brand sentiment.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by the author, November 2023

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