2018 Guide to Using Facebook Groups for Small Business

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Have you been thinking about using Facebook Groups for your small business marketing?

Are you thinking about how you can promote your product or services through Facebook Groups?

The choice to create a Facebook group or simply join an established group that’s managed by another boils down to your use case and timelines to achieve your goals.

Facebook groups are excellent avenues to pursue in order to position yourself as an authority leader, find new customers, and a whole lot more.

The point of this article is to help you discover how you can use Facebook groups to support and market your small business.

Why Should You Join Facebook Groups for Small Business?

Facebook groups are designed to bring together like minded people with similar interests. When you join a group that’s made up of people who match your target audience, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate and improve brand awareness for you and your business by presenting yourself as a helpful resource to the group.

To find opportunities, open your web browser, head over to Facebook.com and type a keyword or topic into the search box located on the right-side menu within the group’s page.

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You’ll see that group members are asking a lot of questions inside groups. Your job will be find the questions that will let you demonstrate your expertise in the field. This can be accomplished by answering members questions, sharing relevant content, or even by mentioning your own products and services.

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This kind of marketing is very powerful because it’s highly targeted to those that have expressed interest by joining the group. People always need answers to their questions and if you can provide solutions on a regular basis, you and your small business will evolve into a trusted and helpful authority leader in the minds of groups members. Once this happens, people may even start to look to you for answers by tagging you in comments.

You can also use these searches to gather FAQs and create original content for your potential customers.

How Do You Find Groups on Facebook?

Think of Facebook Groups as mini-communities of like minded people. There’s a group on Facebook for just about anything and everything you can think of, and you can join up to 6,000 groups.

That said, here’s how you go about joining these various Facebook Groups, where your primary objective has to be focused on daily engagement with the other members.

Bring up your web browser from your desktop and log into your Facebook personal profile account and find Groups on the left-hand side of your Home page in the Explore section, as seen below.

Access Facebook Groups from the Explore section of your Facebook personal profile.

Access Facebook Groups from the Explore section of your Facebook personal profile.

Once you click on the Groups tab, you’ll automatically be redirected to the Discover Groups landing page. This is where Facebook provides suggestions of groups for you based on criteria such as pages you’ve liked, groups your friends are members of, and more. Facebook will also let you see which of your friends are members of the groups suggested to you.

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Browse the Discover Groups page to find groups that will likely include people matching your target customer.

As you scroll through the suggested Facebook Groups, you’ll see both public and closed groups.

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Hover over any group name to see whether it’s an open or closed group.

Click on any group to learn more about it by reading the description to understand the group’s mission. Be sure you’re a good fit for the group before you ask to join.

A lot of times, group owners will also post specific rules for engaging others inside the group. Rules are typically posted in the Description area or in a post that’s been pinned to the top of the groups timeline. It’s important to read the rules and understand them so you don’t get banned from the group. Anything that you’re not crystal clear on, ask one of the group moderators for clarity.

Here's an example of Facebook group rules.

Here’s an example of Facebook group rules.

Once you find a Facebook Group (or Groups) to join, just click the Join button. Take notice that some groups, like this one, will ask you to answer a few entry questions before sending your request  to the group owner.

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After answering any pre-qualifying questions and submitting, you’ll just have  to be patient and wait until you  get a message back letting you know that your request is pending and you’ll get a notification when your request to join has been approved.

You'll get a notification that your request to join a group has been received.

You’ll get a notification that your request to join a group has been received.

Once the group is opened to you, spend some time looking through the posts to get a feel for how the group and its members operate and interact with one another. Once you understand the tone of conversation, and the way other group members ask and answer questions or offer advice, you’ll be able to successfully interact the same way.

Why Should You Create Your Own Facebook Group?

While participating in Facebook groups managed by others can help you promote your business immediately, you have to do so by playing by their rules. Managing your own Facebook Group lets you control the entire group experience and use your group for a specific purpose.

Before you begin to build your group on Facebook, you need to decide why and how you’ll use the group.

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Here are three ways Facebook Groups are commonly used by small business owners

Create Community Around Products: Many groups are created by businesses as a bonus when somebody buys their product or service. Creating communities around the products and services you sell makes members feel exclusive and provides an area where they can get additional help and training from you.

Establish Authority: Create a group for email subscribers to further inspire and educate them with helpful posts and prompts. Share helpful articles, tips, tricks, and even tutorials in the group to help improve members’ lives and businesses.

Create a Topic-Focused Community: Rather than using your business name to identify your group, give it a name that reflects a specific topic on which you’re an expert; for example, Social Media for Health Care Providers. This will draw people who are interested in that topic.

Once you’ve decided how and why you’ll use your Facebook Group, you can start to build it.

Step 1: Create a Facebook Group for Business

Click on Create a Group on the main Group page we accessed from the left-hand side of your Facebook personal profile. You’ll then see a screen where you give your group a name, add people, and set the group’s privacy level.

You’ll need to add at least one person to your Facebook Group before you can create it.

Give your group a name, add people, and decide on the privacy setting.

You have the option to set your Facebook Group to public, closed, or secret, depending on your business goal.

Public Facebook Groups: Anyone on Facebook can join and everyone can see the group posts. Public groups can attract people who join simply to spam other members with their own content. If you decide to build your groups community around a certain topic or event, a public Facebook Group may be the best option.

Closed Groups: Any Facebook member can ask to join the group, but requests have to be accepted by a group administrator. If you’re not a member of a closed group, you won’t be able to see group posts as they”re kept private for the groups eyes only. This is helpful because you can educate your group members with tutorials without giving everyone the ability to see your training. The closed group is the most popular choice for most small businesses.

Secret Groups: Only group members will be able view group posts and the group can’t be found in search results. Secret groups are an excellent way to establish the authority of your brand. Secret groups are for very specific members and are often centralized around a service you provide like high-level coaching/mentoring. You can even have people pay a monthly subscription fee to join your secret group.

After you select your groups privacy settings, click Create and now your new Facebook Group will be ready for you to load images, details, and settings preferences.

Step 2: Facebook Group Customization

Be sure to add a cover photo that’s 828 x 315 pixels. When the image shows on the group’s timeline, click on it to create a thorough description and any rules you want  to establish for your group.

Now click on the ‘…’ button to complete the Settings options for your group.

Decide on the Group Type

The type of Facebook Group designation you choose will depend on the groups purpose. Are you going to educate members, provide customer support, or create a group around an event for your small business?

Choose the right Facebook group type to let Facebook know how to categorize your group for search results.

Choose a group type that reflects how you want to be categorized in search.

After choosing a group type, complete the Description, Tags, Locations, and Web and Email Address settings.

When your Facebook Group is setup the way you want it, it’s now time to add three to five posts so new members have something to read and not a blank timeline to stare at. Make sure one of those posts is a set of rules group members need to know, then pin that post to the top of your timeline. This will help you save time because the rules are clear and agreed upon and everyone that comes to the groups page will see them.

Step 3: Time to Invite People to Join Your Facebook Group

Now that your group is up and running with a few filler timeline posts, it’s time to invite people to the group.

Depending on the type of group you created, decide if your personal friends would be a good fit. Do you own a local small business? Invite your family and friends to the group to showcase new products or services, and so on.

For many small business owners, friends and family are typically not paying customers. While they would be happy to support you, you may want to keep them out of the group and focus on your core target audience. It’s best to focus on people your group serves and find out where they are.

Here’s options for your consideration:

  • Add an invitation for website visitors to join your group.
  • Send your email subscribers an email introducing your new group and give them a link to the group’s page.
  • Share the link to your new group on all of the social media platforms you’re active on.
  • Add a social button on your website that takes people to your group’s Facebook page to join.
  • Include an invitation to join your group on the thank-you page for your lead magnet.

 Step 4: Content Curation for Your Group

Before launching your Facebook Group, take some time to define a long-term content marketing strategy that supports the group’s goal. For example, is the goal of your group to sell to members? Or, do you want to create a support group for those who have already purchased from you?

You’ll also need to decide what type of content you’ll serve. Will you provide inspirational, educational, or entertaining content? Will you prompt group members to engage?

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Discovering Content for Your Group

If every post you publish brings value to the group, members will be more likely to engage with your content. Here are a few places to find trending or interesting content to share with your members.

  • Buzzsumo.com: Buzzsumo shows users what topics are trending in the moment. You can also search specific topics related to your group to find the most popular articles and which social media platform they were shared on. Here’s what Buzzsumo comes up with when I type in “social media marketing.” These are the top three articles in the past week. I can share this popular content inside my group to support and educate members.

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Use Buzzsumo to find relevant topics to share with your group.

  • Google News: The quickest way to find the most recent articles to share with your group members is to type your search query into Google and then select News to filter the most recent articles. Sharing relevant and recent content establishes you as the expert for the group.

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  • Industry awareness: Listen to podcast episodes about your group’s topic and continue to stay up to date with other types of content your group members might like.

Above all, read and comment on member questions and interactions with other members.

Step 5: Encourage Members to Engage

If you want to create a successful group for your business, make sure to post things that will spark interaction with your content or among group members. Use these six ideas to create and deliver custom content for your own group.

  • Challenges: Challenges have become a very popular activity inside groups. Do you provide a consulting service? Design a challenge and invite members to join it. At the end of the challenge, invite them to work with you one on one if they’re ready to take their learning to the next level.
  • Tutorials: Tutorials are a great way to continue establishing your business as the leader in the industry. Each week post a tutorial video that seeks to help and support your members.
  • Live Q&As: The live question and answer type activity has become popular in larger groups. As your group grows, you can offer a Q&A session once a week to continue to help and support your group members.
  • Quizzes: Quizzes are fun for group members, and they’re also helpful to gather data from members of your group. Use quizzes to find out what your next product or service should be by asking members to take the quiz.
  • Polls: Need new content ideas? Create a poll for your group to vote on. Create polls for your next blog title, logo, or type of content for the next month.
  • Daily Theme Prompts: Daily prompts allow group members to post about a certain topic each day. Typically, there’s a promotional day when group members can share their latest blog post or product. Ask members to post photos of your place of business or product. These daily prompts can be a great way to set expectations for members and give them a chance to share about themselves.

Conclusion

Facebook Groups can be a powerful way to establish your expertise; create an engaged community; and find new customers, peers, and partners.

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2018 Guide to Using Facebook Groups for Small Business
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2018 Guide to Using Facebook Groups for Small Business
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Facebook Groups can be a powerful way to establish your expertise; create an engaged community; and find new customers, peers, and partners. Facebook groups are excellent avenues to pursue in order to position yourself as an authority leader, find new customers, and a whole lot more.
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Marketing Media Wizard
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