20 Oct Why a Facebook Group Is Right For Your Business
All small businesses are searching for that closer connection to our current and potential customers. It’s something we all crave to give us comfort that we know our business is safe because we have a close and supportive customer base that keep our income consistent.
The problem is, some Social Media channels are making it difficult to maintain that relationship and so we need to keep innovating and producing new ideas to stay in touch with our followers on Social Media.
We’re not here to worry about the limitations though, we want to help you focus on the future and find a solution.
One solution that could be right for your small business is to create a Facebook Group, dedicated to current and future customers of your business.
Facebook Groups have been a feature available for some time now and it fits the company’s strategy of building communities on the web.
It’s evident that with the recent release of programs such as the Facebook Marketplace that groups have certainly delivered on that strategy. So much so, that every day over 450 Million people visit buy & sell groups.
Facebook Groups can be so much more than buy & sell groups though. They can be used for so much more:
- Private memberships
- Local groups
- Buy/Sell amongst communities
- Likeminded interests
With a dedicated app for Facebook Groups, it makes it incredibly easy to maintain a connection with people that join your group.
When users first join a Facebook Group the default setting is to be notified each time there is a new post or a post that is relevant to them. Of course, users can switch this off but like many other privacy and notification settings on Facebook, they remain vastly untouched because it’s often too much hassle.
This is great news for Facebook Group admins who can revel in the fact their organic posts are now actually being seen by your groups members.Facebook Groups are a fantastic way to maintain engagement on Facebook..for free! Click To Tweet
HOW TO MAKE A FACEBOOK GROUP THAT ATTRACTS MEMBERS (AND WORKS FOR YOUR BUSINESS)
Before you set up your group, you need to decide WHY people would want to join your Facebook Group.
Sure, your business or organisation might be big enough and have a close enough community that using your business name will suffice.
Most of us though will need to find a common cause or topic to attract a member base that can deliver results for your business.
You could position yourself as an authority in your industry by creating a group that engaged people interested in that topic.
For example, if you own a business that sold golf equipment you could create a group called ‘Golf Advice and Discussion’ or make it more specific if you need to attract customers in your local area. ‘Melbourne Golf Advice and Discussion’
HOW TO MANAGE A FACEBOOK GROUP EFFECTIVELY
We won’t mince our words here, managing Facebook Groups can become another task you will need to factor in, but in our opinion the benefits outweigh the extra couple of minutes every day you might need to dedicate to it.
If you run a private Facebook group, members will need to request access. Depending on it’s purpose if you only want to accept a certain type of member or someone that is part of an existing member program (for example) then you will need to manually check and approve each of them individually.
To foster a relationship you need to treat a Facebook Group like you would any other social media platform. People aren’t there to be sold to consistently so you need to actively participate and generate discussion.
Finding content that your own business creates or from around your industry will help build trust with your group’s members.
Here are some sites you can use to find that content:
Nuzzel – Nuzzle is a great service that lets you tap in to your network on social media to see what they’re talking about and what stories are popular right now. You can sign up for free using your Twitter account and it sends you a daily automated email that gives you a rundown of what you’re network is talking about and what has been most popular in the last 24 hours.
BuzzSumo – Think of it like Google, but it uses Social Media for the rankings. It takes any topic and it ranks the most popular stories by the amount of shares they have received. It uses the power of users on the internet to determine what ranks where.
Tweetdeck – Tweetdeck is what we use to manage my Twitter presence but I also use it to streamline what we see on Twitter so I can see everything I want to see in a nice organised manner. Tweetdeck lets you set up search terms that save you from constantly having to go to Twitter to manually do the work. Use and relevant keywords or hashtags to see a constant stream of the latest news that uses those words.
Buffer Feeds – One of the great functions in Buffer is the ability to add a list of RSS feeds so you can always check and immediately schedule anything you find valuable. You can enter the RSS feed of any site that provides a consistent stream of relevant content and add it to Buffer. Once it starts to pull in the latest content you can post and schedule to your Facebook Group on the go using their very hand app!
Another great form of content is Facebook’s Live Video. Groups allow you to live stream directly just to members. It’s a fantastic way to show your personality, tell your story and get to know your member base. Here are some topics you could cover in regular live streams in your Facebook Groups:
- ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions where people submit their questions that relate to your industry and you try to answer them as you go.
- To promote an upcoming product or service and provide a behind the scenes look that only customers get.
- Talk about your latest piece of content such as your latest blog post and add a bonus download or go into extra detail just for your members.
- Make live streams part of your product. You could sell the access to the live group as part of an existing service, course or product and include access to YOU (as the authority) so it gives them the ‘personal touch’
Maintaining your consistency in publishing and your interactions will be key to your group’s success. It will also train the members so they know what to expect and when is best for them get involved in the discussion.
When you find content to publish to your group, the best way to cut down on the time it takes to promote it is to use an effective tool. We recommend Co-Schedule or Buffer that allow you to schedule ahead of time. Here is a handy blog post to get some tips on how to cut the time it takes to manage your social media in half.
HOW TO CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP
Firstly, you must know that when you post in your Facebook Group, the post appears from your personal profile so you need to be comfortable that YOU are the face of the organisation. You will need to make anything public on your personal profile that you don’t want your customers seeing if they happen to check out your Facebook profile.
To create a group, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/ on a desktop or download the dedicated Facebook Groups app. Hit the ‘Create a Group’ button to get started.
Here is a list of what you need before you hit publish. Keep in mind you can change most of these settings at any time down the track:
- Your Groups’s name
- What ‘Type’ of group it is. Here are Facebook’s default options
- The Privacy option you want for the group. Your options are:
- Public – anyone can join and post
- Closed – people can see the group and it’s members but need to request access to join
- Secret – people can’t find the group unless they have the link and need to request access to join
- Choose your membership approval option:
- Any member can add or approve members.
- Any member can add members, but an admin or a moderator must approve them.
- Create a custom name to be used for the web and email address. It needs to be less than 50 characters and be unique so it may need to be different to what you have used for the title of the group.
- A description that outlines why the group exists and what to expect. If you have any posting guidelines you want members to follow (eg no overly promotional or spam posts) then this is a good spot to include that.
- If you want to the group to be found by the general public, include some tags that will help appear in search results
- The posting permissions you allow for the group. Sometimes they might be unique so Facebook has two options:
- Members, moderators and admins can post to the group.
- Only admins can post to the group.
- You can also select whether you want to approve every post from a member to the group. Use this if you have certain guidelines you want them to follow.
- Lastly, you need an eye catching cover photo for the group. The ideal dimensions for a Facebook Group Cover Photo are 801×250