Facebook is a such a powerful platform that it could be a country by itself. Home to over 2.07 billion active users, you can be sure a large chunk of your target audience is on this digital platform. If you operate a business, regardless of whether it is product or service-oriented, it is crucial that you, too, are on Facebook. Why? Because that’s simply where your audience is.
Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has become more than just a simple digital platform for users to connect and become “friends”. The platform has evolved to redefine human-digital interaction. From liking to commenting to sharing to following brands to sharing gifs, and watching videos, Facebook has indeed grown a great deal. As a service provider who offers solutions like home rebuilding, interior decor, HVAC system repair, there are many ways to leverage your brand on Facebook and eventually gain more sales. Using Facebook Groups is one of them.
What is a Facebook Group?
Facebook Group is an online community of people who have the same interests. It’s not to be mistaken for a Facebook page!
A Facebook Group allows users to take a step away from the daily interactions and their social feed, and digitally meet on a closed forum. Here they can interact and discuss specific topics.
A question you might have is – “Well, how different is this from a Facebook page?”
A Facebook page also allows people to like the page and have discussions. However, there is a key difference between a page and a Facebook group.
Image on the left is from the Official Doctor Who Page and image on the right is a Doctor WhoFan Facebook Group.
The key is who controls the communication. On a page, communication is completely controlled by the owner. Facebook users cannot post through the page profile. However, in a Facebook Group, the communication is generated by the community, while being monitored by the admin. Additionally, a Facebook Group is secretive and can reject your entry.
In fact, the Facebook Page vs Group debate may be a vital dilemma for you – because your business already has a Facebook. Right now, you just need to know what a Facebook Group is.
Join a Facebook Group
Chances are that there already exists many groups on Facebook that center around your industry. You need to identify the best groups to join.
Set up your Profile
First off, a Facebook Group is usually for individuals and not brands. Hence, you need to have an Individual Facebook profile ready. The profile needs to add credibility to your audience, so ensure you’re sharing a few posts relevant to your topic. And, list your business website in your about section.
Identify Facebook Groups
When your Facebook profile is ready, move on to identifying Facebook groups you want to join. Here are 4 parameters to think about:
Size: You do not want to join a group with only 4 members. To have a significant impact, make sure you join a group of over 100 members.
Location: If your business only operates in Edmonton, try and find a group that is Edmonton specific.
Friend’s Group: You might want to opt for a group which your friends are already on. This would help you pick a relevant group to you.
Public Group: Opt for a public group as a Closed Group prevents users from sharing content publicly.
Facebook Group names are quite direct, so it shouldn’t be difficult to identify groups that are interested in your services. For example, if you are an interior decorator in Canada, you could join: DIY Home Decorating & Interior Design. Some groups have a test before the admin allows you to join the group, so be prepared.
Depending on the groups’ rules, you might be able to introduce yourself. Why should you post an introduction of yourself on the group:
Get Noticed: A Facebook group can number over 1000 members and it can be difficult to get noticed. An introduction post is a simple way of telling users – “Hey, look out for me on this group.”
Create Brand Image: Right off the bat, you don’t want to be seen as another user on the community. Rather, you wish to be perceived as an expert on the specific service. Introducing yourself allows you to put those credentials across.
To get noticed and create a brand persona, you need to write a compelling introduction. Here are few tips:
Attach an image of your past project
Don’t keep it long
Apart from briefly mentioning your work background, draw focus to your passion for the subject
On a Facebook Group you are not selling your business, rather, you are selling your individual persona, and through that, you can grow your business.
Considering that you are an expert on the field, your biggest priority on the Facebook Group is to help others. Users are frequently going to be having queries and may be looking for help.
Can you offer appropriate advice to help them? It’s vital that you do so without selling your service. Only mention your business service when appropriate.
Being active on the Facebook Group is necessary if you want members to not only remember you, but also create an association that you’re an expert in the field. Regularly put up reviews on the products being used in your industry. The review should be short and to-the-point, so its valuable to the reader. Your reviews can generate interesting conversations on Facebook.
If your business regularly blogs or has a Facebook page, share that content on the Facebook Group. Additionally, you can also curate interesting content written by others and share the links on the Group. Doing so would enable you to stay relevant to members on the Facebook Group.
However, there are Facebook Groups that have certain restrictions on what you can post on the group, such as no self-promotion. If you want to stay on the group, stay in line with any set restrictions.
Joining a Facebook Group created by others means you have to sell your personal brand. Once users become interested in your content on the group, they may discover your brand through the business. However, when you launch your own Facebook Group, you can do more.
For example, if your brand name is JJ Simons Interior Decorators. Then, you can create a Facebook Group named – JJ Simons Interior Decor and invite people to join it. The advantage of creating your own Facebook group – apart from being the admin – is that you can really push your brand forward.
Here’s what you can post on your Facebook Group:
Post your Offerings: Have a special offering during the New Year Season? Share it on the group.
Share your content: If your website regularly publishes blogs on the product, then regularly share it on the Group.
Post Pictures of your Latest Project: You can frequently post pictures of your projects for the community to see.
Start Discussions: Considering that you are the admin of the Group, you should be one who shares a post which generates discussions. Having post that ask for opinions, suggestions or recommendations is a good idea.
A Facebook Group that you start is your way of allowing followers to connect more closely with your brand – by sharing exclusive content, giving industry insights and really showcasing your industry expertise.
Don’t be surprised if multiple members of your Facebook group use the platform to complain about your brand or services. This is an opportunity to showcase your business Customer Support to other members who are watching.
Ultimately, you will find that a Facebook Group is a fantastic method to connect with loyal customers. The Facebook Group will create a select group of followers who are separate from the crowd on your Facebook Page. You don’t just push your brand on them, but you also nurture your brand relationship with them.
Conduct Market Research
Planning to launch a new service to your audience? Or, want to learn more about your audience? Facebook Groups are treasure troves waiting to be unlocked. You learn about their likes, dislikes, problems, and information they are searching for. You can also conduct surveys and ask questions.
Market research can provide you information to offer better services and to market your business better.
Introduce a new Idea
Planning on launching a new service or a special offer? Doing so can be a costly affair, hence you want to make sure the cost is worth the revenue. A closed group of loyal community followers is the perfect test the new service or special offer. This would help you understand whether the new service or special offer appeals to the market or not. It’s a perfect way to assess if it is worth the time and effort for business.
This kind of testing is done quite regularly in tech circles. For example, when Inbox by Google was launched, it was launched to a select group and could be accessed by “invite only”. Google was able to assess whether the service worked and at the same time, the exclusivity of Inbox by Google generate a buzz.
So, the next time you’re planning on launching a new service or a special offer, run it by your Facebook Group.
Will joining a Facebook Group or starting your own immediately result in growing your business? The answer is no. The information in this article will help boost your persona brand and your business brand. Through this, you can slowly and subtly promote your services and offerings to those who are interested in your persona and business brand. And, eventually, all the interest generated and attention captured will result in sales.
At the heart of it, Facebook Groups must be thought of as a brand building tactic. It will help your service brand have more presence on social media and get noticed more.
Still wondering how Facebook Groups can help grow your business? It’s time for you to stop reading this article and start using Facebook Groups. That’s how you’ll unlock its potential for your business.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing – Canada’s fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500’s and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company’s customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they’re most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.