How Creating a Facebook Group Can Help Grow Your Small Business
One great, no-cost way to get in front of your target audience is by creating your own Facebook group. A Facebook group is basically a community built around common interests and/or goals, such as fitness, video games, movies, and pets. However, it's becoming more and more common for businesses to run Facebook groups as well, as a way to grow.
In this article, we'll go over how to set up a Facebook group, benefits, and strategies so you can use it to grow your business!
Benefits of Facebook Groups for Small Businesses
Before we get into how to create a Facebook group, let's go over the benefits you can get out of it. Facebook has over 10 million groups and 1.4 billion users that utilize these groups. Some benefits of creating a Facebook group for your small business include:
- It doesn't cost any money to set up and run a Facebook group, just some of your time.
- Facebook groups allow you to build trust with your audience by helping people solve their problems, answering their questions, and connecting with them in a more meaningful way. This is your opportunity to show people you're an authority in your industry.
- You can use your Facebook group to get new leads.
How to Set Up Your Facebook Group
1. Set up Your Facebook Page
First and foremost, if you don't already have one, you'll need to set up a Facebook page. A page is different from a group because it is visible to the public and your audience cannot share their own posts.
Having a Facebook page has many benefits, including:
- Allowing you to get reviews and recommendations from your customers.
- The ability to share public posts.
- The ability to run ad campaigns.
A Facebook group, on the other hand, is meant to give your followers a safe place to share experiences, suggestions, news, and more while also getting support. It is more community-focused.
2. Pick a Good Name
When you choose a name for your Facebook group, you'll want to make sure it's easy for people to find when using Facebook's search function. The name of the group should represent what the group is about and should make it easy for existing customers and new leads to find and follow you.
3. Choose the Group Type
There are different types of groups you can choose from during the setup process:
- Public Groups - These are groups where everyone can see all of the members who are part of the group and all the content that is posted.
- Closed Groups - These are groups where everyone can see the group and member names, but not the content posted within the group.
- Secret Groups - These are groups that are not visible to a person unless they are invited to be added to it.
4. Add a Clear Description
When writing the description for your Facebook group, make sure you add the following:
- The purpose of the group.
- What members can expect from the group.
- Benefits of joining the group.
- Links to your website and offers.
5. Filter New Members by Asking Questions
You can set up a questionnaire for people that request to join your group. This can help you assess whether they are a good fit for your group. An example of one great question you can ask is, "why do you want to join?" Don't just approve anyone and everyone who wants to join, as some of them might be spammers.
The most important question is to request their email address so that you can add these followers to your database. Once you've captured their email address, you can send them a welcome email and add them to your sales funnel.
6. Create Guidelines
You'll want to have a good set of rules in place for the members who join your group. Some rules could include:
- Respect the privacy of others.
- Be kind to others and create a welcoming environment.
- No bullying or hate speech allowed.
- No promotions or spam.
- Where customer support queries can be directed to.
7. Invite Your Facebook Page Followers
If you have a Facebook page that already has a lot of likes, you can invite your followers to your Facebook group.
- Make sure your Facebook Page is an admin of your Group.
- Go to your group and choose to interact as your Page.
- Choose "+ Invite."
- In the pop-up box, invite fans to your group. Facebook may recommend fans to invite, or you can start by just typing out names.
- Once you have 30-40 names in the box, click "Invite" to send the invitations out. Keep in mind that these people will be automatically accepted into the group if they accept the invitation.
Keep in Mind: You don't want to invite too many people at once; otherwise, Facebook will revoke your invitation privileges for a day or so. Instead, just chip away at your list each day and come back to it on a regular basis to invite new fans.
8. Create Awareness
Now that you have a Facebook group, you'll want to attract people, some of which may not be aware of your brand. Some great ways you can do this include blogging, Facebook ads, and networking. You can also create special deals for group members and strategic partnerships with the groups of other small businesses.
How to Grow
If you want a successful Facebook group, you'll need to create and follow a growth and promotion strategy. Here are some tips:
Figure out who you are creating this group for and why they would want to join your group.
If you want to scale your Facebook group, you need to understand your audience and create a plan. Accurate, original content will persuade members to check into the group more often to see what's new and share other relevant content they enjoy.
Here are some great tips for posting content in your Facebook group:
- Post at least once a day.
- Go live in your group regularly.
- You can use the Unit feature in your Facebook group to deliver key messages such as welcome info, videos, and educational courses.
- Set up keyword and engagement alerts, like when a post is getting a certain number of comments. You can do this under "Moderation Alerts."
- Review your insights regularly to learn when members are most active, and post during those times. Also, keep an eye on what posts are getting the most engagement to help you understand what content is working well and what isn't.
- Gain more insight into your audience by looking at their demographics.
- When you have an important post to share with your group members, pin it to the top of the page as an announcement.
Here are the different kinds of posts you should be aware of:
- Awareness Posts - These posts acknowledge your audience's problem and build trust.
- Authority Posts - These posts demonstrate your knowledge in your industry by providing helpful information and tips to your members.
- Engagement Posts - These posts start a conversation with your members. Engagement posts can include asking a question, using humor, quizzes, polls, and giveaways.
- Conversion Posts - These are the posts where you mention your services. As long as you have a good mixture of the above posts, conversion posts will seem less pushy and more informative because you've gained your audience's trust.
Now that you know what kind of content you'll want to post, you can create a content calendar, so you have a plan for each month. Now, just schedule your posts each week!
Once you have your purpose and content figured out, you can work on your engagement strategy, which is critical if you don't want your Facebook group to become a useless ghost town.
You'll want to create a focused environment where like-minded people can interact with one another and work towards a common goal. People are more likely to engage in a community they are passionate about and where they feel safe and supported.
As we mentioned before, you can engage with your audience using humor, personal questions, encouragement, and nostalgia.
Another great way to increase engagement is by adding a post that welcomes new members and asks them to introduce themselves. A fun picture or gif can grab their attention. This kind of post will foster an environment that is more personal and open, and will make your members feel like you care about them.
You can also engage with your members by commenting on their posts and responding to their questions in a timely manner.
The more engagement you have from your audience, the more likely your group will show up in someone else's newsfeed. More people will hear about your group and, ultimately, your business.
It's essential that your Facebook group community feels supported and that they are getting value out of the group. However, you can also let them know about your services without coming across as too pushy. Here are some tips for doing so:
- Explain your services in your cover photo.
- Include links to sales pages in pinned posts and your group description.
- Set up free training for members in your group for 3-5 days, and on the last day, announce your offer.
- Use Facebook live within your group to announce specials, new products, and more.
- Keep content on your page and group unique. Create special offers that are exclusive to group members.
- Reach out to people who show an interest in what you're offering and are commenting on your posts.
- Ask members what they need help with and consider creating offers to meet those needs.
People typically need to hear or see your message at least seven times before they take action and purchase from you, so be sure to post about your offers!
Creating and managing a Facebook group is a great way to bring together like-minded people to connect or generate business leads. If you keep in mind the points made in this post and dedicate time every day to your Facebook group, you're sure to see it grow.
If you need help with digital marketing, feel free to reach out to us!
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