By Alisha Shibli
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook has emerged as one of the most vital tools in any marketer’s arsenal. It provides an opportunity for brands to flaunt their personality and connect with their customers in a way that is much more intimate than traditional advertising could ever achieve.
If Facebook allows brands to forge meaningful bonds with their customers, Facebook groups provide the means to cement those bonds to form a community.
If you’re new to the world of Facebook groups, think of them as an exclusive club. By virtue of being brought together by similar interests, the group you create gives you a direct line to your customers.
If people voluntarily join your group, it means that they are interested in you. In fact, everyone who is interested in your brand gathered in one place is any business owner’s dream. So, if you’re wondering how to use Facebook groups, whether it is to strengthen relationships with existing customers or to find new ones, here are five ways to do so.
1. Define your target members
If you want to use your Facebook group to generate business leads, you must first identify the type of members you want to attract. Knowing who your group is for will help you in finding the right name for it, defining its purpose, and posting relevant content.
When you know the purpose of your group, you can better communicate its value to potential members and make sure that the right people are joining instead of those who have nothing to do with your business. For instance, if you are an expert on vegan products, your group could be for vegans who are also passionate about cooking and happen to be your target customers.
Moreover, when your group audience consists of like-minded people with shared interests, you’re able to start more meaningful and engaging conversations and foster stronger bonds, all of which are necessary to build your business’ brand on social media.
2. Provide meaningful group information
The information you provide in your group’s description works like SEO for your group’s visibility on Facebook. When people search for groups, they will use keywords related to their interests, and when your page description comprises those keywords, you have a better chance of attracting the right members.
When writing your page’s description, craft a few sentences that clearly communicate what your group is about and what people who are interested in joining can expect. For instance, the description for your vegan food group can be something like: A place for sharing healthy and delicious vegan recipes and tips on finding the best ingredients for everyone who is interested in embracing the vegan lifestyle.
Another important section for your group is the tags. You can choose up to 5 tags that define the interests of people you wish to add to your group. Think of your tags as the actual keywords that people will be using to find your group.
Finally, you must choose an alluring cover image for your group. Try to customize it by adding your group’s name to it. You can do so by using photo editing apps such as Canva, which also has free stock images.
3. Focus on member issues
Group members often post questions about issues they are facing. As a marketer and business owner, these questions are highly valuable for you. Not only might you find something specific to your products and services but also those related to the genuine pain points of your target customers. Utilize this opportunity for:
Instead of redirecting people to call a number or send an email, equip your social media team to provide customer support on the group. If it is a general question that other members may benefit from, you can offer solutions in comments or ask members to DM you.
Showcasing your expertise
When people seek solutions, step in with your expertise. When they see that you know what you’re talking about, they will begin to trust your business too and will keep you in mind when they are looking to make a purchase. You can even join other groups that are related to your industry and answer questions there. However, ensure that you’re not being too promotional. Instead of saying that your product is the solution, provide solutions straightaway and, at the most, follow up with a link to your blog post.
The conversations on Facebook groups can provide valuable suggestions on what your target customers are looking for and how you can improve your products and your marketing to better meet their needs. For instance, if you’re the admin or a member of a photography group and you see that several people are having trouble understanding a particular camera feature, you’ll know where your product needs improvement. Such questions can also provide ideas for your company blog and your FAQs page.
4. Engage your members
Once you have created your Facebook group, you should become more of a facilitator than a conversation leader. You can provide talking points to members but then let them take control. The more involved they are, the closer they will feel to you and eventually to your business.
In order to encourage members to share more content, you can create a weekly theme calendar and ask people to share blog posts, articles, videos, images, and other content related to that theme. As a smart marketer, you can pick themes that coincide with your marketing goals.
For instance, if a new product launch is coming up, you can tie that in with your weekly theme without directly mentioning that product. The more activity is generated in your group, the more interest you’ll be able to create for your new product.
Make them admins
If your group has been around for a while and you have identified a few regular members who are passionate, knowledgeable and responsible, you can get them more invested in your business by making them co-admins of the group. By getting outsiders involved, you’re letting members know that your group isn’t just a marketing asset. Do make sure, though, that they are up for the job, which will involve monitoring posts and requests to join.
Encourage them to invite others
If members are happy with the content and the general vibe of the group, they might just be willing to help out and invite others to join. Let them know how much their support means to you and how, in order to make this the best Facebook group, you need their help. You can also encourage members by running contests, where the person who brings in the most number of newcomers wins a prize.
5. Offer value and variety
Your group’s membership may mostly comprise of your target customers, but they are sure to have wide-ranging preferences when it comes to content. Experimenting with different subject matters and formats will not only give you valuable insights into what your members like but also keep your timeline fresh and vibrant. Here are a few ideas for your posts:
Your Facebook group is the perfect place to drive traffic to your blog because you know that your members are already interested in that kind of content. Create a domain name such as www.yourname.online or www.yourname.space that you share on the group. Domain names on new domain extensions are unique and simple which makes them memorable. This way, whenever your users want to check out your content, they’ll know where to go.
Use Facebook live to broadcast interviews with experts, product demonstrations, workshops or Q&As with your customers.
Polls, question posts and quizzes are easy to create content formats that encourage participation and interaction among group members, increasing the activity level of your group.
User-generated content is like a vote of confidence and makes your group truly for the members, by the members. While you initiate conversations, encourage others to share images, videos and write-ups on topics related to the group as well as reviews and tips on using your products.
When used wisely, Facebook groups can be a great way to improve your business’ organic reach, not just through your own content but also with a little (or a lot of) help from your customers-turned-brand ambassadors.