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Marketing 360® Blog

Tips On Using Facebook Groups to Promote Your Business

Post By Scott Yoder | Social Media Management

We’ve commented on the 2018 changes to Facebook’s algorithm that’s making it a real challenge for business content to appear organically in people’s news feeds.  For the sake of user experience, Facebook now stacks the cards against branded, business oriented posts.

Businesses need a well-developed Facebook business page, but to gain any traction with visits, interactions, or leads, people will either have to look it up directly or come to it via a paid ad.  Targeted, paid ads on Facebook are a powerful marketing tactic not to be overlooked.

But we all like the organic thing, aka free traffic.  If there’s a hack to get it, we’re gonna try.

Enter Facebook Groups.  Unlike Pages, which are designed to be official profiles for brands, businesses or other entities, Groups are a place for Facebook users to share common interests and express opinions.

Facebook Groups are a way of segmenting audiences based on a topic or shared interest.  Groups can be started on virtually any topic, and they have several advantages in terms of exposure and reach.

The main marketing advantage to Groups is that Facebook favors the content for organic reach in news feeds because it’s an interest-based page instead of a business page.  In fact, updates also appear in notifications when there is new activity in the group.

It is, however, important to remember that is not an advertising platform.  It’s not a place to give your pitch.

Rather, it’s a content marketing tactic.  You connect people’s interests in a way that relates to your business offer.  For example, we recently created this Facebook Group called Busy Moms Beauty Tips.   This group shares tips, advice, and hacks that help moms, busy with everyday life, look their best.

The page is created and managed by Onea Outlaws, a client of ours that sells beauty products.

Groups have been around awhile, but it was not until fall of 2017 that it became possible to create a group from a business page (prior, a business page could not set up a Group page; it could only be done on personal accounts).

For pages like this one, then, it’s now possible to expose your brand and even have a call to action on the group page.

facebook groups call to action

As the group grows, you gain brand exposure, which is valid goal to set with your Facebook marketing.

As is the case with other types of content marketing like informational blogging or YouTube videos, usefulness of content is the priority.  If you’re not helping or entertaining people, your group won’t be successful.

But today, it’s not hard to connect helpful advice and interesting topics to a product or service.  When your effort is authentic and your content is high quality, it will help your brand.

 

How to Set-up a Facebook Group

  1. Open the Create a Group window
    1. Log into your brand’s Facebook Page and click the “more” icon at the far right of the menu bar under your cover photo, then choose Create group.
  2. Choose a name for your group
    1. Choose something that’s connected to your business and conveys what members will get from the group.
  3. Invite members
    1. Invite colleagues, employees, or friends to the group to get the ball rolling.
      1. Make sure to customize your invitation with a note that tells people why you are inviting them to the group, and how they can benefit from participating.
      2. Click the paper icon in the bottom right corner of the invite box to add your note.
    2. Reach out (direct message) to active followers, telling them you created a group you’d love them to be a part of.
  4. Select the privacy level for your group
    1. You have three privacy options: public (easiest to join & grow), closed (private, exclusive, safe, alluring), or secret (same as closed but doesn’t show up in searches).  For business marketing goals, you’ll probably create a public group.
  5. Personalize your group
    1. Add a cover photo: Choose something that highlights the unique purpose of this specific group & brand.
    2. Add a description: Create a catchy explanation of what the group is all about (remember, this is public).
    3. Add tags: These tags function as keywords that will help your group appear in search.
    4. Add locations: If your group is tied to a specific geographic area (or several), you can indicate so here.
  6. Start posting
    1. Get the discussion started with some posts of your own, and encourage your colleagues, employees, and friends to post as well.
    2. Pin a descriptive post to the top of the page (i.e., page rules for participation).

 

Facebook Group Tips for Businesses

The work behind Facebook Groups has to do with moderating the content.  For business marketing you’ll probably create a public group, so it’s up to you to ensure the posts are useful and fit the purpose of the group.

One of the most important participants – particularly early on – is you.  Post interesting, provocative ideas and images that get people’s attention and motivate reactions.  Ask open-ended questions to get people to leave comments.

Take polls, ask for feedback, and be the expert.  You’re the Oprah of this group.  Keep the conversation going.

Make all new members feel special and welcomed by posting a “Welcome to the group” weekly message using Facebook’s built-in welcome message feature that tags new members automatically.

Also, moderate posts and remove anything detrimental or inappropriate.  Remove members who aren’t following the group’s guidelines.

As you gain members, you’ll get more personal content that will stimulate the conversation.  After you reach 250 members, you can access Group Insights and get data on what type of content gets the most engagements as well as demographics on members (that you can apply to other campaigns).

Groups can grow fast.  The Busy Moms Beauty Tips posted a welcome message with the rules, invited staff and customers, then sent out a poll to get members engaged.

facebook group poll

In two days they had 1,184 members engaging in the group.  Trying getting that many people to like your business page in two days.

Facebook organic is not dead.  Facebook Live and Groups give you opportunities to engage in and lead a conversation that relates to your business.  Put the engagement first, and profitable brand exposure will follow.