Using Facebook Groups for Business
Along with our other 2020 predictions, comes a separate prediction pertaining to Facebook Groups. Believe it or not, Facebook engagement is actually increasing!
Recent data from Sprout Social shows which trends consumers and marketers are prioritizing:
40% of marketers plan to make private community groups more important! Why do you think this is? Well, the reason is because with Facebook groups you aren’t confined to the platforms algorithm. Organic reach has continued to be something businesses have struggled with, but private community groups let you build up your own community without the need of having to cross your fingers in hopes of somebody seeing your post.
In this blog, you are going to learn the benefits of Facebook groups for your business, how to create your first Facebook group, and best practices to engage with your audience.
Why should I Use Facebook Group Marketing?
There are so many benefits that we are going to cover but here are just a few:
A lot of businesses have seen their Facebook engagement go down over the past few years. Do you know why this is happening? If not, Facebook stated that they are actually prioritizing content in groups that people actively engage with. That is just one reason, but it is huge. So if you’re consistently posting group content that your audience is reacting to, chances are, you’re going to see a spike in your engagement due to you “feeding” the algorithm exactly what it wants.
Groups are a Direct Line to Your Audience
Nearly half of consumers say they join private communities so they can engage with brands directly. If someone joins your group, that is someone who intentionally wants to hear what you have to say.
These groups allow you to create trusting, meaningful relationships with your customers. If they take the initial investment in joining your group, then continue to invest in them!
Pro Tip: Facebook groups require your posts to be from a personal account. Why is this good? Well, according to Bambu people are 16x more likely to read a post from a friend than from a brand themselves. This mandate let’s your audience interact with a person first, and a brand second.
Being an active member of the group (which you should be), will help establish your brand as an authoritative figure in your industry. It shows your audience you are up to date with what is going on, and are somebody they can trust. By establishing authority in your industry, you will no doubt get you more leads.
Keep reading for how to create your very own Facebook group along with best practices!
How do I create a Facebook Group for Business?
First, go to the groups tab at the left of your personal Facebook page.
Then, click on Create Group at the top left.
After that, a screen will pop up prompting you to give your group a name, add people, and set the group’s privacy level. Then click the create button. If you want to pin your group to your shortcuts then click the box to the bottom left labeled “Pin to Shortcuts.”
After that, your new group will be ready for you to load images, details, and settings preferences.These extra things should be done before inviting any more people. It will be especially important to add an eye catching banner for your Facebook group. Let your banner represent the focus of your group is about.
By clicking the “…” button, you will have the option to change the settings. This is where you can select the type of group that it is, which will help Facebook categorize your group for search results. Is it for customer support, is it for an event, is it for educational purposes, etc.? That is for you to decide.
After choosing the type of group complete the Description, Tags, Locations, and Web/Email Address settings. You’re so close!
Once you get this looking how you want, add about three to five posts so new members have something they can read. Make sure you make one of those posts a set of rules that members should keep in mind. Then pin that post to the top of your timeline.
Congratulations, now you are good to start inviting people to your awesome new Facebook group!
Pro Tip: Here are a few options to consider from Social Media Examiner regarding some creative ways to invite people to your group.
- Add an invitation for website visitors to join your group.
- Send your email subscribers an email introducing your new group and give them a link to the group’s page.
- Share the link to your new group on all of the social media platforms you’re active on.
- Add a social button on your website that takes people to your group’s Facebook page to join.
- Include an invitation to join your group on the thank-you page for your lead magnet.
With all of that being said let’s get into some best practices of Facebook groups.
Make Your Rules and Expectations Clear
Yes this is a big one. It is important to make your rules clear so everyone’s experience is a good one, and keeps your group focused.
Facebook allows for 10 public rules for any given group. Check out what Facebook suggests for group rules right here. Some of these include:
- Encouraging positive comments, feedback and conversations
- Taking a firm stance on bullying and hate speech
- Outlawing spam and irrelevant links
- Respecting the privacy of fellow members
Prioritize Discussion Regularly
The more active your followers are the better. So be sure to post things that encourages them to interact with your post! These interactions will hopefully encourage others to start conversations with each other, and make for really helpful pieces of content.
Now, it’s not going to be easy to stay on top of pushing out all that content. But, the more you do, the more frequently your posts will be seen in the feeds of your group members.
You don’t want to have a group and not contribute to it. It might become an empty wasteland if you don’t commit and nurture your community with insightful inspiring posts.
Pro Tip: Try to come up with a recurring theme that users can look forward to. Some examples might be “Flashback Friday” or “Customer Origin Story” where customers can post pictures with your service or product!
Let your Group Know You’re Listening
Keep an eye on your notifications and replies, especially if it is one of your posts. Be a regular contributor to others posts as well, but don’t overdo this. You want to make sure you give others the space and freedom to give their input as well! Your fellow group members will gladly carry on the conversation, but replying shows you care and are listening.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to reply to everyone’s post, and it is okay to give your members some breathing room to talk amongst themselves, unless there is a specific question that needs to be addressed.
Avoid Link Dropping And Direct Selling
Your group should be made for discussion and interaction, not spamming. Nobody joins a group to be spammed.
If you are promoting a blog post or product to your group, make sure you give context as to why it is relevant to your group.
Preferably, try to keep your promos to direct messages to keep things one-on-one with your customers that have shown interest in your group.
Experiment with Different Post Types
To find out what your audience wants to see the most, you are going to have to try different kinds of post types. Varying your posts is good for the algorithm and provides your audience with fresh types of content.
Some different posts type can be:
- Images (gifs, memes, infographics, etc.)
- User-generated content (ask members to post photos and video)
- Facebook video and Facebook Live Video
- Interactive Content (Polls, questions, etc.)
Keep reading for even more ideas!
Make Sure Your Admins Can Handle It
Whether you, another person, or a team of people are going to be running this Facebook group, you need to make sure you are up to the task. As with anything on social media, it is about consistency. Be sure you can commit to keep your group going for the long run.
Remember, Facebook groups are used to build long term relationships, and create a hub for your customers to interact with you and others with shared interests. It will be important to stay up to date with what is happening in your group. Having multiple admins keeps it from being your sole responsibility, and helps manage anything that may need attention. This may be a good idea to keep up with everything going on in the group in a timely manner so your members aren’t left hanging.
Pro Tip: Obviously, be sure that you trust the admins you choose as they represent your group, and have full privileges of an administrative role.
Search Your Group for Discussion Points
If you get a case of “content writer’s block,” just search your group for common issues/problems they are having or discussions that have been a theme. Look for what they might need help with, what they are worried about, or simply what they are discussing.
Keep watch for these trends as they can inspire content for more than your group. Take these topics and write blog posts, or maybe they’ll inspire a new product idea! Being able to crowdsource your audience is such a huge advantage of running your own Facebook Group.
Encourage members to engage
As if you couldn’t tell by now, keeping your group alive comes down to good content and discussion. Here are some great ideas from Social Media Examiner to engage customers in your groups.
- Challenges: Challenges have become a very popular activity inside groups. Do you provide a consulting service? Design a challenge and invite members to join it. At the end of the challenge, invite them to work with you one on one if they’re ready to take their learning to the next level.
- Tutorials: Tutorials are a great way to continue establishing your business as the leader in the industry. Each week post a tutorial video that seeks to help and support your members.
- Live Q&As: The live question and answer type activity has become popular in larger groups. As your group grows, you can offer a Q&A session once a week to continue to help and support your group members.
- Quizzes: Quizzes are fun for group members, and they’re also helpful to gather data from members of your group. Use quizzes to find out what your next product or service should be by asking members to take the quiz.
- Polls: Need new content ideas? Create a poll for your group to vote on. Create polls for your next blog title, logo, or type of content for the next month.
- Daily Theme Prompts: Daily prompts allow group members to post about a certain topic each day. Typically, there’s a promotional day when group members can share their latest blog post or product. Ask members to post photos of your place of business or product. These daily prompts can be a great way to set expectations for members and give them a chance to share about themselves.
Now Get Started!
Now, you have everything you need to get your Facebook group started. Take some time to think about what your group should be, how you will keep it going, and write down your goals/rules of the group. If you have any comments or questions let us know below and be sure to stay up to date with everything that’s on our radar by signing up below.