Facebook Groups have been around for years, but it was only recently that using a Facebook Group to grow a business became a mainstream marketing trend.
What is a Facebook Group?
If you haven’t heard of or used Facebook Groups yet, here’s what you need to know.
According to Facebook, “Groups are a place to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything — your family reunion, your after-work sports team, or your book club.”
It’s about a place to gather to talk about a shared interest.
I belong to several Facebook groups including one for the parents in my son’s school district, a movie club designed to promote women’s work in the entertainment industry, and Intentionally Inspirational founder Jason Wright’s group Funnel Building for Profit.
If you’re looking to create a Facebook Group, Facebook has a tutorial on how to create a group here.
What is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group?
Make no mistake, a Facebook Group is different from a Facebook Page.
According to HootSuite, a Facebook Page is just like your own personal profile on Facebook. It’s there to share your opinion and your point of view.
Meanwhile, HootSuite describes a Facebook Group as “…a place for your fans/customers/readers to come bond around how much they love you. This is a place for discussion, weird memes, rallying around common causes, learning about your product, getting access to exclusive knowledge, or falling in love with someone else who loves a company as much as you do.”
It’s a place designed for discussion.
Why do people like Facebook Groups?
When done correctly, a Facebook Group will create a sense of community. People rally around a shared idea and they have found a space where they can connect with other people who also share that idea.
The parents’ page for my son’s school talks a lot about the difficulties that parents are facing during this time of distance learning. People will post about technology issues and distance learning frustrations and they find a community that is both supportive and looking to help. They find people who are all struggling with the same issues and have sympathy for other parents going through it.
It’s a support group and a brainstorming session all in one. That’s the beauty of a Facebook Group when it’s done correctly.
Why is a Facebook Group good for a business?
A Facebook Group is designed to help you build a long-lasting relationship with customers, which in turn, gives you a direct marketing line to your fans when you release a new product.
Facebook Groups also help increase your organic reach. As AdEspresso points out, “Groups give you the chance to showcase your expertise and dedication to your customers, especially since many will be asking questions that are extremely visible to other group members. By answering these questions, encouraging and requesting feedback, and generating networking opportunities, you can forge valuable personal connections with your customers that will keep them coming back.”
When you build that trust, you will reach a point where the people in your Facebook Group share the group with other friends, family, and business colleagues that may want to join.
Keys to Creating a Quality Facebook Group
When it comes to creating a quality Facebook Group around your business, there are a few keys.
Remember the Community
Since Facebook Groups centers so much around creating a community, you need to have that sense of community at the forefront of your mind every time you post. You need to contribute to that community without asking for anything back in return. You need to support the members of the community unselfishly. This is about building something, not selling something.
The sales will come, don’t worry.
Clear Code of Conduct
You want people to feel welcome in your Facebook Group. Laying out the rules ahead of time will help create that feeling of inclusiveness.
Create a list of conduct rules that you want people to follow. One of them should focus on maintaining civility within the group. No name-calling, insults, etc. Don’t allow one member of the group to bully others.
If you’re still stuck, check out Facebook’s suggested guidelines here. It’s a good jumping-off point.
Enforce the Rules
If you do run into a bully, don’t be afraid to enforce the rules. You want the community to be a safe space, so if someone is making others feel bad give him or her a warning. If the behavior continues, don’t be afraid to kick the person out for the benefit of the community.
Use a Questionnaire
Whether we like it or not, there are people and bots out there that want to destroy the sense of community that we have built. That’s why many people like creating a Facebook Group that is “private-and-visible” to prevent bots and trolls from joining.
“Private-and visible” Facebook Groups include a questionnaire that people must fill out if they want to join. The questionnaire isn’t designed to bar people from joining your group, it’s simply another hurdle for a bot or troll to jump over before they are admitted to the group.
Not only will the questionnaire help you make sure the group members are truly people who like or love your product, but it will also help you make sure that the group as a whole is a nice place to be.
Offer Exclusive Content
Being a member has its perks. Offering exclusive content, whether it’s free admission to a webinar or a sneak peek at a new offering, makes your group members feel special. Better yet, it makes them more likely to share the group with other people because membership has its benefits.
These are just a few places to start when you create a Facebook Group. If you don’t have one yet, consider creating one. There’s nothing wrong with giving diehard fans a space to connect with other diehard fans.
Good luck! If you want some tips on how to create a Facebook Event, check out this previous post.
Written by Erika Towne