By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship
Facebook Groups are hot marketing tools these days. They’re online hubs for people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity; post photos; and share related content. For small businesses, Facebook Groups are opportunities to foster deeper customer relationships.
- In addition to being totally free, Facebook Groups typically have a higher level of engagement, and therefore, posts have significantly better organic reach than regular pages.
- A Facebook Group membership can satisfy some users’ social image needs. It provides a sense of exclusivity and intimacy. Therefore, the relationship you build with your audience through a group is much more personal and potentially long lasting.
- Facebook Groups allow for two-way, personal conversations. Customers find joy in being able to share their own content, and in turn, a company often can use this content for more real and practical marketing tactics outside the group.
- When customers join a Facebook Group, they tend to be more invested in the company and what it stands for. You may even be able to identify loyal customers who could serve as brand ambassadors in future marketing efforts.
- Facebook Groups have become a more prominent part of the Facebook experience, and businesses of any size can reap the advantages of using groups.
Types of Groups
Private Facebook Groups allow admission only by invitation and acceptance and are great options if you’re providing support or VIP-worthy content. For example, a free tech support group would be open only to verified customers. Public Facebook Groups are open to anyone and are an opportunity to gain exposure and build an audience. For example, if you knew your target customers enjoy reading, you might start a book club group open to anyone.
Whether private or public, Facebook Groups are not for promoting your business but rather for creating a community based on a common thread, such as shared interests like moms, small business crafts or fitness; passions or causes like books, pet rescue or upcycling; or products or categories like product support or fashion styling. A private group also could essentially function as a loyalty program, in which invited members receive special deals and offers.
Tips for Running a Successful Facebook Group
- Group posts aren’t all about original content. Curate and repurpose posts, articles and information from around the web that will be of interest to your community.
- Don’t promote your business inside the group unless you’re offering a special deal. You are building a community based on a common interest under the umbrella of your brand. That alone is creating goodwill and awareness.
- Establish guidelines in your group. It’s important to give your group direction on what types of conversation are encouraged or discouraged in order to maintain a thriving community. It allows members to take ownership of how they can influence and encourage great community behavior.
- Moderate your group. Set member posts so they must be approved by you, the administrator, before going public in the group. Look for inappropriate posts and delete. Respond to comments and questions from members in real time.
- Invite neighboring businesses and experts to contribute. For example, if you have a group centered around moms, bring in your neighboring dry cleaner to discuss getting out stains or a nutritionist to discuss easy, nutritious lunches for school-age children
- Nurture your group membership, and you will end up with a community that is bonded by common attitudes, interests and goals instead of an aimless, eclectic group with a variety of motivations and reasons for joining.