Facebook groups are one of the most underutilized yet powerful features that Facebook has to offer marketers. Facebook group for business are often overlooked, and have the potential to completely revolutionize the way businesses engage with their audience and increase brand loyalty, conversion rates, and profits.
Unlike traditional forms of marketing, such as pages, groups offer a more intimate and personal way to communicate with existing followers and build trust, authority, loyalty, and rapport. They also provide unique marketing and business opportunities that aren’t available through other channels.
Not only can groups be used as a marketing tool, but they can also serve as an internal tool for managing an organization and fostering a stronger team dynamic among employees.
With over one billion people using groups every day and 100 million people considering them the most important part of the Facebook experience, it’s clear that creating a Facebook group can greatly benefit your business. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits of using Facebook groups and provide practical tips on how to put them to work for your business.
Why You Need a Facebook Group
On the surface, Facebook groups may appear similar to Facebook pages, however, there are key differences that set them apart. Posts shared within a group are only visible to members, unlike posts on a page which can be seen by non-followers when they are liked and shared. Additionally, Facebook groups do not use calls to action in the same way as pages and do not have the option for promoted posts.
We will delve further into the specific distinctions between Facebook groups and pages later on, but it is important to note that the primary purpose of a group is to facilitate communication and engagement with existing followers rather than bringing in new ones.
Facebook Group Posts Versus Facebook Page Posts
When posts are made within a group, they will appear on the home feeds of members, and are given more priority than posts from pages. This is because groups are primarily designed for social activities, such as parties or gatherings of individuals with shared interests. The assumption is that if someone joins a Facebook group, they intend to engage in discussions and participate in the community surrounding that topic.
This is distinct from a Facebook page which is geared more towards businesses and is more likely to contain promotional and marketing content that followers may not want to see frequently in their feeds.
“1000 True Fans” – Creating a Thriving Community Around Your Brand
The essay “1,000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly posits that for a brand or business to truly succeed, it needs 1,000 dedicated and passionate followers. These “true fans” consume all of your content, purchase all of your products, and act as ambassadors for your brand by sharing it with others and posting about it in forums. This small but dedicated fan base can provide a steady stream of income and also act as a catalyst for growth.
On the other hand, having a large following that is not engaged or invested in your brand is less valuable. It’s better to have a mailing list with 100 people who open your emails than 2 million who never do.
This is where many businesses miss the mark, focusing too heavily on numbers rather than fostering engagement and trust with their customers. By turning customers into fans who are passionate about your brand, you can achieve unprecedented success.
Facebook groups can help achieve this by creating a community for your followers and allowing them to communicate with you directly. This can foster a sense of belonging and investment in your brand. A Facebook group can act as an “insider’s club” and generate loyalty and enthusiasm for your brand. By becoming part of a community, customers feel a sense of ownership and connection to your brand, making them more invested in what you have to say. This is the difference between a company like Apple and a company like ASUS. Apple’s success is due not only to its products, but also to the emotional connection its fans have to the brand.
To sum up, the key takeaways from the “1,000 True Fans” concept are:
- A small, dedicated and passionate fan base can provide a steady stream of income and act as a catalyst for growth.
- Engagement and trust with customers is more important than numbers.
- Turning customers into fans who are passionate about your brand can lead to unprecedented success.
Facebook groups can help achieve these goals by creating a community for your followers and allowing them to communicate with you directly. This can foster a sense of belonging and investment in your brand.
In addition, Facebook groups offer the opportunity for more personal and intimate interactions with your customers, which can help build trust and authority. This is a key advantage of groups over traditional social media pages and other forms of online marketing.
Another benefit of groups is that they allow businesses to collect valuable insights and feedback from their customers, which can inform product development, marketing strategies and more.
Finally, Facebook groups can also help businesses to build a loyal and engaged customer base that is more likely to recommend products and services to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly powerful, and it is one of the reasons why Facebook groups are such a valuable tool for businesses looking to grow and succeed.
In conclusion, the true power of Facebook groups lies in their ability to help businesses create a passionate and engaged customer base that can drive growth and success. By leveraging the unique benefits of groups, businesses can build trust, authority, and loyalty with their customers and take their brand to the next level.
More Uses For a Facebook Group
Facebook groups are a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase engagement and profits. In the last chapter, we discussed the importance of having a Facebook group to connect with your followers and customers in a more direct and intimate manner. But that’s not all that sets Facebook groups apart as a valuable part of your digital marketing strategy. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most effective ways to make use of a Facebook group for your business.
Membership as a Reward
One way to think of a Facebook group is as a reward or an incentive. You can use it to encourage your most loyal fans to take certain actions and thank them for their loyalty. For example, you can offer access to a private Facebook group as a thank you for signing up to a mailing list. This group can discuss topics in more depth, offer privileged access to new products, and allow members to vote on the direction of the brand. This is a great incentive that will encourage many people to sign up.
Customer Feedback/Market Research
Many businesses forget that social media is a tool for communication. It’s not just a platform to shout about new products or services. By using a Facebook group, you can get customer feedback and conduct market research for free. This is invaluable when it comes to deciding the future of your business. It allows you to ensure that there are actually people who are willing and interested in paying for a product before investing time and money into it. Keep in mind that your most die-hard fans are not necessarily the most representative of your followers at large.
Competitions and Promotions
Facebook groups can be powerful incentives or “prizes” when running competitions and promotions. People who are engaged with your brand will love the idea of being invited to an “exclusive” VIP club if they sign up to your Facebook page or like a post. Additionally, you can use the Facebook group to run future promotions and competitions, reaching out to your audience in a more targeted and personal way.
Building a Community
One of the most powerful aspects of a Facebook group is its ability to create a sense of community among your followers. By creating a space where people can discuss shared interests, ask questions, and interact with one another, you can foster a sense of belonging and investment in your brand. This can lead to increased loyalty and enthusiasm for your brand.
Providing Customer Support
Facebook groups can also be used as a customer support tool. By allowing customers to ask questions and get help directly from you or other group members, you can provide a more personal and efficient support experience. This can help build trust and improve customer satisfaction.
Creating Exclusive Content
Facebook groups can also be used to create exclusive content for your most engaged followers. This can include behind-the-scenes content, sneak peeks of upcoming products, or special promotions. By providing exclusive content, you can further increase engagement and loyalty among your fan base.
In conclusion, Facebook groups offer a variety of ways for businesses to increase engagement and profits. By utilizing the power of groups, businesses can create incentives, conduct market research, and reach out to their audience in a more targeted and personal way. It’s important to remember that Facebook groups are not just a way to increase numbers, but a way to create a passionate and engaged customer base that can drive growth and success.
Creating Your Facebook Group, Step by Step
The good news is that creating a Facebook Group is a simple and straightforward process.
• From your homepage/feed on Facebook go to the Explore – Groups section on the left side menu and click on ‘Groups’.
• Click ‘Create Group’ as shown in the screenshot below
Enter the name of the group and add at least 1 friend to the group. If you don’t add at least one friend, you will get an error.
Set your privacy settings.
There are three of these:
o Public – Anyone can discover your group and can see what you have posted.
o Closed – Anyone can see the group and who created it. But only members will be able to see the content that gets posted.
o Secret – Only members will be able to discover the group at all.
When creating a Facebook group, it’s important to choose a profile picture and group name that accurately reflects your brand and appeals to your target audience. The profile picture is often the first thing new members will see and should make a positive and accurate impression.
The group name should also be specific and cater to a specific niche audience.
It’s important to also consider the privacy settings of your group, as it can impact the type of community you want to build and how easy it is for new members to join.
For example, a private group can act as an “insiders’ club” for your most loyal followers and customers, while a public group can be easily discovered by more people. It’s important to also consider your resources and marketing efforts when deciding on the privacy settings of your group.
When deciding on the topic of your group, it’s important to avoid choosing a broad subject that has already been covered by many other groups. Instead, focus on a specific niche and cater to that audience. This way, you can create a more engaged community of people who are truly interested in the topic.
Also, consider the group name and topic in relation to your business and mission statement. This will help you to better communicate to your audience and attract the right type of person who is most likely to be interested in what you have to say and buy your products or services.
It’s important to also think about the privacy settings of your group, as it can impact the type of community you want to build and how easy it is for new members to join. If your group is intended to act as a kind of “insiders’ club” for your very most loyal and engaged followers/customers, then setting the group to private could be the best strategy. This is especially true if you talk about the group on other platforms such as a blog.
On the other hand, if you have fewer resources and your aim is to invest your marketing efforts into one place, such as the Facebook group, then you will want it to be seen by as many people as possible and therefore you’ll benefit more from a public group.
When creating a Facebook group, it’s important to consider all these aspects in order to create a successful and engaged community that supports your business goals.
Once you have created your group, there are still a few more steps to complete in order to set it up. This includes adding a description, choosing a cover photo, and writing a welcome post.
Your description should clearly explain the purpose and goal of your group. It should be compelling and engaging, and should give an idea of what members can expect to gain from joining the group. The goal of your description is to entice new members to join and stay active in the group.
When writing your group’s description, make sure to highlight what sets your group and business apart from others and what makes it unique. This will help you attract the right audience and achieve your business goals.
Advanced Features, Tools, and Settings
At this point, you have only begun to explore the possibilities and potential of a Facebook group. There is much more to setting up and creating a group that can be done.
To edit your group at any time, simply click on the down arrow in the top right corner of the page and select “manage groups.” This will take you back to your group page. On the page, you’ll find three buttons along the top. The button labeled “More” will allow you to access settings and manage your group.
On this settings page, you’ll find a variety of tools and options that will allow you to customize and control the way your group functions. Take the time to explore these settings and adjust them to best suit your needs and goals for the group. Overall, Facebook groups can be a powerful tool for businesses and brands when used effectively, but it’s important to be aware of the options and settings to fully utilize it.
Facebook Group Settings
The group type describes the category of the group and defines the kinds of things that will likely be discussed. You can choose from four types of group:
• Buy and sell
• Social learning
For most business purposes, the most logical fit here is the “general” option. This will allow you to grow and manage the group using the general selection of features available to most groups.
Of course, buy and sell will be useful for those that are using their group specifically to sell products. That said, it is more usually intended for buying and trading used goods among members of the general public. This type of group will let you create sales listings and manage those.
The gaming group type will allow you to link your group to a particular game and then manage tournaments. It’s not hugely useful from a business perspective.
Finally, social learning is a group type that you can use to run courses online. You can organize your posts into units or series of units, and these will then act like lessons in a module. This can be a useful tool if you are selling a course or online learning aid as some kind of digital product or service, but it otherwise doesn’t have the most obvious application for business. So in most cases, the group type will be general.
If your business is location based, then setting a location can be a very good idea. You’ll want to create a location for high street stores for example, and this can also be useful for businesses like hair dressers, hotels, and more. These groups will be presented more prominently in search for local users, which will help them to discover businesses that are relevant to them.
If you have an app for your business, then you can link this to your group. This is a great way to create synergy with what is another very powerful marketing tool.
This will allow you to link a page to your group, which is something we’ll discuss more in an upcoming chapter.
Choose a color for UI elements of your group. This is great for strengthening your brand in particular.
This is not the address of your website, as you might understandably have assumed, but rather refers to the address you want for the group (i.e. the group URL). This will help you further strengthen your brand, and make it easier for people to find your group without necessarily going through the Facebook app. You should make this easy to remember and simple.
The good news is that you can change this at any time, until your group exceeds 5,000 members.
By default, anyone in your group will be able to invite new members and give them permission to join. However, you can change this setting if you so wish in order to make it so that only group admins can permit new members. This will of course make the growth of your group slower, but it will also mean that it is more exclusive, and therefore potentially more appealing to new users.
Chat Creation Permissions
Likewise, you can decide whether you will allow members to create their own chats within your groups, or whether this will be something that only you will be able to handle. In most cases, you want to encourage as much engagement and participation as possible, and allowing other members to create chats will mean that content generates itself and people spend more time engaged with your brand.
Manually approving every single member can take a long time if this is the route you choose to go down. For that reason, you might prefer instead to pre-approve certain members. That might mean allowing members of specific groups for example, or it might mean allowing certain email addresses. This can save time in the long run.
Once again, it is up to you to decide whether members of the group will be able to make new posts, or whether that is something that only you and other moderators will be able to do.
If you are torn and can’t decide whether other members should be allowed make posts, then a compromise solution is to let others post, but to require permission before the post goes live. This method will let you keep control over the content, while also saving you time by ensuring you don’t need to start every discussion yourself.
Story Posting Permissions and Approval
This is the same thing, but for stories.
Returning to the top of the page for a moment, you might notice that there is a small icon next to your group name. You can change this by selecting from the drop-down menu. Unfortunately, the selection is quite limited here, and in most cases, it will make more sense to stick with the default option.
How To Grow Your Facebook Group
Congratulations on setting up your Facebook group! The next step is to attract members to join and participate. Growing a Facebook group can be a unique challenge, particularly if your group is set to private or closed.
The question is, how do you generate interest and entice people to join a group they know nothing about? Even if your group is public, it can be difficult to build momentum for a community that has yet to establish a strong presence. In this section, we will explore strategies for promoting and growing your Facebook group, so you can attract the right members and create a thriving community.
Start Small and Extremely Targeted
While it may seem counterintuitive, having a small and exclusive group can actually be a major advantage when it comes to marketing. One great example of this is the strategy used by Facebook when it first launched.
When Facebook first started, it was a relatively unknown social network competing against the well-established MySpace. Other social networks had attempted to compete in the past but failed to gain traction. In order to succeed, Facebook realized that it needed to build a thriving community.
Instead of trying to take on MySpace head-on, Facebook focused on a specific, targeted audience: Harvard students. Even if students already had a MySpace account, there was no reason for them not to join Facebook as well. The platform offered a way for them to connect and socialize with other Harvard students, making it an integral part of the college experience.
From there, Facebook expanded its membership to include attendees at different universities, then to members of all universities, and eventually to businesses and other organizations. By the time it went global, Facebook had already built a large and active community, making it extremely appealing to new users.
If you want to replicate this strategy in your own Facebook group, focus on growing your community slowly and developing an active, engaged community before expanding outward. This is especially important if you have limited time and resources to devote to growing your group.
One effective strategy for using a Facebook group is to begin by inviting a small, select group of friends or business partners who share your interests. This allows you to create a sense of community and investment among your members.
For example, if you have a private group dedicated to martial arts, instead of immediately promoting it like a Facebook page or blog, start by inviting a few trusted individuals. This could include partners who work on a related blog or martial arts colleagues.
In this group, you can discuss topics of interest, share interesting videos and web content, and ask and answer questions about martial arts techniques. By creating a sense of community and excitement within your group, you’ll be more likely to attract outsiders who want to join in. This approach can be more effective than starting with an empty group and trying to market it to a wider audience right away.
The Next Step: Discussing Your Group
Once you have established your Facebook group and built a sense of community, it’s important to promote it across your other platforms. This could include mentioning it on your blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.
When promoting your group, it’s important to use language that makes it sound exclusive and desirable. Use terms like “VIP” and “exclusive” to create social incentives for people to join. The human desire to be part of exclusive groups is ingrained in our psychology, so highlighting that aspect of your group can be effective in attracting new members.
It’s also important to mention your group frequently and consistently. Mentioning it once or having a single page with a link isn’t enough. Incorporate it into your content marketing efforts by gradually dropping the link into conversations in an exciting and interesting way, giving people the opportunity to learn more and become interested in joining.
Spread the Word
Finally, in order to see true exponential growth for your group, you want the members to become brand ambassadors and start inviting more people. Once they are highly engaged, you can accomplish this by simply asking for their help, or by running competitions.
How To Combine a Facebook Page and Group
One effective way to promote your Facebook group is to link it to a Facebook page. A Facebook page is a common starting point for businesses looking to market themselves on the platform, acting as a storefront where you can showcase your products and encourage visitors to take action.
While the value of a Facebook group and a Facebook page may be different, they are not mutually exclusive. Instead of viewing them as separate entities, consider how you can use both together to enhance the success of both. By utilizing the unique strengths of a Facebook group and a Facebook page in tandem, you can create a comprehensive marketing strategy that reaches a wider audience and achieves better results.
Linking Your Facebook Page and Group
To connect your Facebook page and group, start by going to the settings of your group and selecting “Linked Pages.” Here, you can link any pages that you own.
Linking your page and group has several benefits. First, it allows your page moderators to also moderate the group and create posts. Secondly, it will make your Facebook group visible on your page, making it easier for people to find and join. You can also set your group to require pre-approval for new members if desired.
It’s worth noting that it is also possible to link multiple groups to a single page, allowing you to manage multiple communities from a central location.
Why Combine Both
As a business owner, it’s essential to understand the differences between Facebook pages and groups. While a Facebook page is primarily used to provide information about your business and allow customers to get in touch, a group is designed for more in-depth conversation and interaction around a specific topic.
One of the most powerful ways to utilize both a Facebook page and group is by incorporating the concept of a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a strategy that entices potential customers with free content, gradually increasing engagement and investment until they are ready to make a purchase.
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to sell their products “cold” without first building a relationship with their audience. But by providing valuable and free content, such as blog posts or videos, businesses can attract potential customers, who may then visit their website and join their mailing list. From there, businesses can gradually introduce paid products or services, such as an affordable ebook or a one-on-one consultation.
By linking a Facebook page to a group, businesses can also increase engagement and investment in their brand. Visitors who find a business’s Facebook page through a search or referral can then be directed to the group, where they can interact more closely with the brand and become more invested in its products and services.
Additionally, businesses can use a Facebook group to generate buzz for new products and services. For example, by sharing preview copies of an ebook with group members, businesses can gather feedback and improve their final product while also encouraging more people to join the group.
What to Post and How to Engage
So you have your Facebook group, and you’re successfully bringing people in from your Facebook page and website. What’s next?
The key is to start providing value that is tailored to your audience and designed to spark conversation. Here are some examples of the types of content that will perform well in your group.
It’s important to remember that a big part of the appeal of your group is that it’s private and exclusive. To take advantage of this, consider adding exclusive content that you create specifically for your group members. This can serve as a thank you for joining the group and being invested in your brand, and it can also help to increase engagement.
Interesting Finds from the Web Creating a lot of exclusive content can be time-consuming, so it’s also important to find other sources of valuable content. Look for things that you find fascinating and that your group members will also find interesting. This could be content that is likely to spark discussion, is trending in your niche, or that others may have missed.
For example, if you run a self-improvement blog and business, you might share posts about techniques to “massively enhance productivity” or the “dangers of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.” These types of posts will encourage engagement from your followers and provide real value.
To find this type of content, consider using tools like BuzzSumo (www.buzzsumo.com) which allow you to see the most shared content in a particular niche. You can also share posts from other pages and groups that cover similar topics. And don’t forget to invite your group members to share their own relevant content as well.
While sharing exclusive and thought-provoking content is a great way to increase engagement, it’s also important to use Facebook for what it’s primarily designed for: communication. Make sure you use your group as a way to communicate with your audience by:
- Asking for advice and ideas regarding content
- Asking for tips on good things to read
- Welcoming new members
- Running polls and questionnaires to get the group’s opinion
Facebook Stories work in the same way as Instagram Stories. You can upload a picture or video and add effects, stickers, drawings, etc. These types of posts are typically used for sharing personal experiences. For example, a music group might see its members share stories from live events or jamming sessions. As a brand owner, you can use this feature to make your audience feel more involved in your business and to give them a better sense of who you are. Facebook groups also allow you to create “Group Stories” where multiple members can contribute.
Creating New Posts
When creating a new post in your Facebook group, click the “Write Post” button at the top of the page. You’ll then be able to choose from different types of content, such as photos, videos, gifs, and polls. Video can be an effective way to grab your audience’s attention and increase engagement. Photos can also work well, but only if they facilitate conversation. Simply posting attractive images won’t be as effective as it can clog up the newsfeed. Live video is also a great option for Facebook groups, as it allows you to communicate directly with your audience in real-time.
How To Manage Your Facebook Group and Maintain Regular Content
Regular posting is crucial to the success of your Facebook group. To keep your group active and engaging, it’s recommended to post at least twice a day. This will keep your group visible on member’s newsfeeds without overwhelming them with too many posts. To make this process more manageable, utilize the ‘Schedule Post’ feature.
This option allows you to schedule your posts to go live at a specific time, making it easier to maintain a consistent flow of content for your group. Simply click on the clock icon next to the post button when creating a new post.
The best time of day to post to your group in terms of engagement is 6pm. More useful though, is being able to
Moderation and Letting a Group Run Itself
As a group administrator, it is important to ensure that the content shared within your group is in compliance with Facebook’s terms and conditions and does not incite or encourage negative behavior. This not only protects your group from potential penalties imposed by Facebook, but also ensures that your group remains a positive and engaging space for members.
One way to moderate your group is by setting clear guidelines for acceptable behavior and content, and actively enforcing these rules through removing posts or banning members who violate them.
Additionally, delegating moderation responsibilities to trusted members and encouraging open communication among group members can also help maintain a healthy community. Remember, a group that is argumentative and toxic will drive away potential members and risk damaging your brand. Stay vigilant and take a hands-on approach to keep your group thriving.
From the ‘Moderate Group’ tab found on the left, you will be able to select a number of different options to help you keep things civil. One option is to Create Rules, which will help you to set the tone for your group and create boundaries and guidelines for the interactions here.
Another good option is to give members of your group moderator status. This will allow you to ‘offload’ the work of banning and warning members, as well as of approving content.
This option shows you content that has been automatically flagged. You can also find another tab called ‘Group Quality’, which will show you information regarding breaches of Community Standards so that you can take action.
Familiarize yourself with the Community Standards by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/
At this point, you should have a good understanding of how to create and manage a Facebook group. While there are many technical aspects to setting up and managing the settings of your group, the key takeaway is that a successful group is one that has a clear purpose and encourages genuine, authentic conversations about a specific topic.
This approach can create a sense of community and belonging among group members who share a common interest, which in turn can increase engagement with your brand and even provide a direct monetization opportunity through sales.
A simple formula for success is:
- Establish a strong brand with a clear mission, vision, and target audience
- Create a Facebook page that acts as a storefront for your business or service
- Create a private group for your most engaged followers that focuses on a specific niche or subject
- Start by keeping the group private and inviting friends, active fans, and colleagues
- Share exclusive content from your own site and interesting finds from around the web
- Encourage thought-provoking conversations
- Promote the group on other platforms and incentivize people to join
- Gradually expand the reach of the group