Facebook recently announced a change to their platform that will now favor Groups and Events. As a business, if you don’t already have an established Facebook group for your customers, you may not have put too much thought into this change. BUT, we urge you to take another look at how a Facebook group could benefit your business.
With the new change to the platform, posts from groups will now be given priority in your news feed. If you personally are a member of other Facebook groups, you may have already noticed this! Posts from groups that you are involved in are popping up more and more in your feed. What does this mean for you and your business? By establishing a FB group community of customers or potential customers, you are able to offer a more personal interaction with your followers as well as gain priority status in their news feed. If you’re serious about building a relationship with customers in a personal way, and finding a new avenue to generate sales, Facebook groups are your go-to.
Page vs. Group
If you already have a presence on Facebook, you more than likely have a business page. Your Facebook Page is your official business account. Your page is visible to anyone, includes reviews, and links to your website and social pages. You are also able to take advantage of all of FB’s advanced advertising tools through your Facebook page!
A group is created through your personal Facebook profile and visible only to those you choose to allow as members. You can set up your group to either public or closed. Public groups are open to anyone, closed groups are searchable but only approved members can view the content within the group. Your organic reach is much greater through a group compared to a page. Groups are designed for users with common interests to gather and communicate, and now with their priority placement on the platform, they are the perfect place for you to communicate directly with your customers.
I would suggest having both a business FB page and a group! They both serve a different purpose and it’s good to be active on both.
How to Create a Facebook Group
- On the blue Facebook header, click ‘Create’, and then choose ‘Group’. You will do this while you’re active under your personal Facebook profile.
- Name your group! I would suggest sticking to your brand name and a descriptive that fits your brand.
- Add some people. You can add friends and family at this step if you would like. However, I would suggest waiting until you have everything set up before adding members.
- Select Privacy: Do you want a public or closed group? If you want to ask members to ‘share’ anything from within the group, the group needs to be public.
- Add a cover photo. Be sure to keep this updated!
- The description of your group is visible to both members and non-members of your group. Briefly outline what your group is about, what members can expect, links to your website and social pages, and any group rules or guidelines you want to mention.
- Mange your group ‘settings’ and make sure you have everything set up the way you want it!
After you have set up your group (or even if you have an established group), be sure to make a welcome post that shares a little bit about why you’ve set up a group and what they can expect by joining. You’ll want to PIN this post to the top of your group page so that everyone sees it!
Then, begin your strategy for sharing your group, adding new members, and letting them know what’s in it for them. Will you be sharing exclusive offers? First dibs on new products? Sneak peeks? Giveaways? Daily doses of inspiration? Sharing funny GIFs? Understanding your brand and your ideal audience is so important here. Use your group as the most personal extension of your brand to build relationships which leads to greater sales!
How to Add Members
- Share your group link on your Facebook Page and personal page!
- Manually add members that you are friends with by typing their name in the ‘Invite Members’ bar (located in the right sidebar of your group)
- Invite members by their email addresses in the ‘Invite Members’ bar
- Create an email about your new group and send it out to your subscribers with the link to join! You can also add a permanent link to your group in the footer of all your emails.
Content is important
Now that you have your group up and running and you’ve started to add new members, it’s time to think about what should you post? A Facebook Group is interactive – work on building a community of people, not just a sales page. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:
- Get to know you and your staff! Behind the scenes, a day in the life, videos at events, etc.
- Relationship building. Share stories, how-to’s, and quotes. These are great conversation starters to help boost engagement!
- Quality product photos. You have something to sell, so you don’t want to neglect this totally by never discussing your product within the group. But even with a product specific post, brainstorm ways you can interact with your customers on a personal level through the post. Why would someone benefit from owning this, why do they need it, how will it help improve their life?
- Promotions and/or Giveaways
A Facebook Group is an excellent place for you to engage with your customers and create a community of people with similar interests. I encourage you to get started on establishing your own business group today. Take advantage of the current favor to Groups on Facebook and begin building your community!