It’s no mystery now that Facebook’s algorithm change earlier this year is having a negative impact on organic reach for business pages. Unless your page followers comment or share your page’s posts, they won’t show up in feeds like they used to. The glory days may be gone for easy organic marketing via pages, however that does not mean that your business is done for. Enter Facebook groups.
Facebook groups are an excellent way to extend the reach of your Facebook page. They do an excellent job of fostering a sense of community, encourage discussion across members, and can help in promoting your brand to new users to spread your social influence. This post will cover the basis of creating a Facebook group as well as some best practices to help you start on the right foot.
Why Facebook Groups?
Facebook pages may not be the go-to that they used to be, but that does not mean marketing on Facebook is a lost cause. Groups are arguably a more engaging and interesting way to promote your brand and build an ecosystem for your prospects.
Groups encourage discussion by nature. Where pages are a sort of broadcast from the mountain tops, Facebook groups foster a collaborative atmosphere where the members, not the admin, create the content. What’s more, a group can be more centered on the space you occupy as opposed to your actual product. For example, for Blog Trackr we have a group tied to our page that is all about content marketing:
Through this group we aim to foster a community of marketers who want to talk shop or get advice on their next steps. While a page would be a great way to promote our brand, this group allows us to form meaningful relationships with our prospects as well as add value up front. It’s not about advertising our business, it’s about helping people find answers.
Setting up your Facebook group
Facebook groups are quite simple to set up, though let’s break down the essential steps. If you have a Facebook page for your business you’re halfway there. Simply click on the ellipses icon on the page to open up the menu, and select ‘Create Group’:
This creates a group tied to your page automatically.
From there the components of a group will be quite similar to those of a Facebook page:
We have the page name, Blog Trackr Group, to quickly identify with the Blog Trackr brand and a clean cover photo consistent with the rest of our social accounts. We also have a clear link back to the Facebook page so group members can ‘like’ us if they have not already. Lastly, for easy post categorization we have topics so we can tag our posts across different aspects of content marketing.
Start a discussion
Where pages are used to broadcast, groups are used to spark a discussion. Your group should not be your own personal sounding board. Instead it should be a place that members can pose questions, chat, network, and grow as a result. Where pages can add minimal value, Facebook groups add a great deal of value in providing an ecosystem for your prospects to work in.
Repeat after me: your group is not your page.
Pages are great ways to share updates and market to prospects. Groups are not. Don’t post advertisements in groups, whereas liking a page is low commitment joining a group takes more effort. You’ve already got your lead, don’t spam them into oblivion and make them regret joining.
Nothing gets people talking like asking them for their opinion. Instead of making grand announcements in your group, pose questions. Spark a discussion among group members to keep a broader conversation growing. The more your members converse the more value they get from the group, and from there the more the group will grow.
Make things easy for your members! Create topics for your group to easily categorize posts so that members can find posts most relevant to them. In our group, given content marketing can be so diverse, we have categories on social media, blogging, email marketing and more.
These tips are by no means exhaustive but they should get you started.
You’re well on your way to creating your own mini-ecosystem to market in. Facebook groups are an excellent way to promote your brand and foster meaningful relationships with your prospects. We hope that you will take these lessons to heart and grow your social presence with a group of your own. Interested in joining the discussion, or have a question?
Click the button below to join the Blog Trackr group – we’d love to hear from you!