Facebook – love it or hate it (or a bit of both) if your clients hang out there, you should too. And if your clients do hang out there, bringing them together in a Facebook Group is a great way to nurture and support them, and a smart way to harness their insights for your business.
Let’s take a look at how to set up a Facebook group, and why this might be a good step in your marketing strategy.
Most Facebook users are members of several Facebook groups because they are a great way to connect and communicate with a smaller set of people. Whether that is neighbours, old school friends or a group dedicated to a specific interest or need that you have, groups work. They provide a space for conversation, guidance, mutual interest and support.
And best of all they are completely and utterly FREE to set up! However, a successful group does require some time and knowledge in order to engage its members, grow in size and cultivate interesting discussion. We’ll dig into the nitty-gritty of that further in this article. First, some facts:
- Data from early 2021 reported that 1.8 billion people (of the 2.41 billion that are on Facebook) use Facebook Groups.
- There are tens of millions of groups on Facebook.
- Since 2018, the Facebook algorithm promotes posts that spark conversations and meaningful discussion, and so group discussions will get seen more.
- Facebook is the third most-visited website on the internet (behind Google and YouTube) and the second most downloaded app.
- The largest Facebook group in the US is the Blackout Coalition which seeks to support Black-owned businesses. It has 1.8 million members!
Facebook Groups for your Business
There are several reasons to set up a Facebook group for your business:
You get to build a community of fans within your niche. By bringing your customers together in a community they can share their love of your offering, support each other, build friendships and develop loyalty to the group and to your brand. This also means that your business is top of their mind when they hear of someone seeking similar services.
You create a safe supportive space. By providing a safe space, you build trust and mutual respect. In this space, you also get to highlight your own expertise and knowledge, by discussing topics related to your business and nurturing your group with information around that.
You extend your business reach, organically. With a group, you have your ideal customer base right in front of you, and through this, you can ask them questions, hone your offerings to their needs and get their help to spread the word about your business.
You can also hold Facebook live discussions or classes to support and educate, and use the group as a place to share your upcoming events. However, marketing within the group can walk a fine line – if members feel like they are being sold to, they might disengage, so it is smart to nurture much more than market to keep the members engaged.
Offer Value. You also get to give back – offering value to community members by sharing information, tips and possibly free or discounted access to some of your services.
Managing your Facebook Group
Like all great business ideas, a Facebook group requires planning, time and attention to detail to succeed. Below are some things to think about; these are completely individual decisions for your business, and are worth exploring to make the right choice.
Private or Public? When you set up the group, first of all, think about whether you want it to be public, private and visible, or private and hidden. If it is public, anyone can join it. A private group requires permission to join which means you can ask some questions (such as asking them to agree to the group rules) when anyone requests to join.
Establish Group Rules. This might feel premature, before your group is even established or has members, but it is usually better to start off with an outline of expectations rather than implement rules later. Rules such as showing respect for other opinions and not sharing business or marketing posts to the group walls can be important. This is how you create a functional and supportive space, with posts that don’t get lost under a ton of spam.
Create a Welcome post. Having a welcome post once a week is a really good way to kick off engagement from new members, and show them you have noticed them. In this post, you might invite members to share something about themselves, so they are right away posting in the group (and working with the Facebook algorithms) and engaging with the other members.
Nurture the group. At first, you will need to start discussions, have some content to post and be ready to moderate and reply to any responses. By being available and present in the group, you create a nurturing environment that encourages more discussion and builds trust.
Schedule some content. There is now a scheduling tool in Facebook group posts so that you can plan out when you want posts to go on the wall. This is such a good tool for batching your content. The content should be engaging, interesting and most importantly provoke discussion – the more that a member interacts inside the group, the more regularly they will get notifications about what is happening in the group, so it is a self-fulfilling cycle.
Do you already have a successful Facebook group for your community? Let us know in the comments if you have any tips to share on running a successful group, or share a link so we can check it out!
OfferingTree has helped hundreds of wellness professionals shift from feeling overwhelmed to confident about their online presence. If you want to check out what our site includes, you can schedule a demo here.