How to get the most for your business using a Facebook Group

 

How to get the most for your business using a Facebook Group

Posted on June 7, 2016

 

Like many businesses, you’ve probably started a Facebook page to promote your service, but is it really the best use of Facebook for business? It certainly used to be, but it’s changed. In this month’s newsletter, we’ll tell you how to promote your Facebook page using a group, and a sneaky tip to promote that group in a way Facebook won’t tell you.

The organic reach of Facebook pages used to be really good. Whenever you posted something on your page, your page’s fans (as they were called back then then) would see it in their Facebook timelines and they could interact with it. Once they did interact with it, such as like, share or comment, their friends would see it. They too could interact with your post, and like your page.

The essence of social marketing! Increasing your page’s likes was very easy, and rapid.

Facebook didn’t like all this ‘free marketing’ businesses were getting however. It had nigh on a billion members and it thought it was high time it started making money from them. To do this it needed to reduce the impact businesses were getting from their Facebook pages in order to force them to pay for sponsored posts. Those pages that didn’t pay for sponsored posts found their page growth substantially slowed, and the interaction on their posts much reduced.

This left you with two options:

  1. Put your hand in your pocket and spend some money on Facebook
  2. Accept the reduced exposure for your brand and put up with it

However, there is a third option – Facebook groups.

Posts made in groups on Facebook receive more exposure than posts made on pages – considerably more. An active, well run group therefore can generate far more visits to your website (and thus business for you) than a similar-sized Facebook page. However, you need to be smart about your group. There’s no point setting up a group for your business, or to promote your products/services. Nobody would join. In fact, the group shouldn’t be branded with your company name at all.

You need to set up a group that appeals to the sorts of customers and clients you’re looking for. For example:

  • A garage or mechanic – a group for car enthusiasts
  • An accountant – a group offering business start-up advice and entrepreneurial tips
  • Engage Web – a group offering digital marketing advice and tips

You also need to be selective about the content you post, and what you allow. Nobody will join a group, and certainly not stay in one, when it receives spam posts offering cheap Ray-Ban sunglasses. Any spam posts made in your group needs to be deleted immediately, and the offending member banned. No exceptions.

You need rules on posting links, or adverts for services. There’s no harm in allowing it, but ensure members know how often they’re allowed to post adverts – such as once per week.

One good tip to promote your group is by using sponsored posts. Now, before you say it, we know you can’t actually promote a group using a sponsored post. If you look at Facebook’s help files, they’ll tell you the same thing. However, there is a way you can get round this.

Gather round, this is a good one…

Using your Facebook page you can post a link to your group, citing the benefits of the group (such as free help and advice, no spam, moderators, etc.). Then, using the Boost post feature, you can promote that post which, in turn, promotes your group. Facebook will even put a handy little ‘join’ button in the post so people can join your group direct from the sponsored post.

Told you it was a good one.

Once you have an active group, you’ll find it populates itself with content as members generate their own discussions. You may want to employ a full-time moderator, or you may find some of the group’s members are happy to do this for you, for free.

What you’re eventually left with is a powerful marketing tool you can use to promote your services whenever you need, in subtle ways, of course.

There are many other tips on using Facebook groups to promote your business, and we’ll be covering those this month on our blog and through social media on Facebook and Twitter. If, however, you can’t wait for that and want to know more about using Facebook groups for business drop is an email at info@engageweb.co.uk or call us on 0345 621 4321, and we’d be delighted to tell you all about it.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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