If you're one of the two billion people on Facebook, it's likely you're part of at least a few groups relevant to your interests. Facebook groups are a great way for businesses to reach and interact with their target audience in a fun, more connected way. They offer exclusivity and a sense of community that's difficult to foster on a brand's website or regular social media channels.
When your brand has an optimized group on Facebook with active members, it positions you as a leader in your niche and encourages users to invest in it further. If you take the time to get to know your audience, which is significantly easier to do via groups than on your website, it helps your growth strategy.
Here is how your brand can use Facebook groups to boost its marketing strategy and grow exponentially.
Set your goals.
Prior to setting up your group, you'll want to lay out the goals you're trying to achieve with it and what you hope to get out of it. Just like any business venture, setting goals is a way to keep track of your brand's success and a way to measure if you've reached your objectives within a certain time period. It helps keeps you accountable so you can meet those criteria.
Spend time figuring out what you hope to achieve with your Facebook group. Are you trying to send more traffic back to your website? Do you want to improve engagement, and get users to actively discuss your brand and its products and services? Do you want to get to know your audience on a deeper, more meaningful level? Based on what your objective is, you'll be able to create a group that's surrounded by that goal so you see the right results.
In a case study by Smart Insights, the brand was able to garner more than 2,500 new members in just a few short weeks by first researching its customer base and creating a group based on their needs and interests.
Optimize the group profile.
Just like with any social media account, it's essential to optimize your Facebook group in every area you can so that it can not only be found by your target audience but also be enticing for them enough to join. If visitors come across an empty or half filled out profile, they're not going to care to invest in your brand or want to know more. You have to encourage and convince them that your business is worth their time and worth joining.
To optimize your group, you need to fill out all the information you can. This includes the profile picture, header, bio, about section and rules, to name a few. Spend extra time explaining who you are as a brand and emphasize the value it brings to its customers. Users want to know why they should choose to join your group over someone else's. Additionally, in order to convince them, you need to explicitly give them reasons why it's beneficial to them.
Instead of simply stating, for example, that you're a catering business that prepares food, you could go into detail about how your service has helped customers and made it easy for them to cater from you so they didn't have to stress over the dirty work. By going into detail about how you offer value to your clients, people will be more willing to join and stay.
Foster a sense of community.
Sometimes there can be a disconnect between a brand and its audience, which can lead to people feeling left out or confused. Part of what's cool about Facebook groups is that you can help to foster a sense of community by encouraging your audience to engage with your content and have discussions surrounding it.
It’s more difficult to build a community through your website and regular social media, which is why groups are so valuable. Facebook's algorithm prioritizes connections between communities, friends and family, which is why it's important to encourage your audience to post to the group. You want them sharing their thoughts, experiences, and questions about your brand. You'll find that others will pitch in to add their own experience and this will start a domino effect of communication.
Depending on how rapidly your group grows, you can build a sense of community within it by welcoming each individual member who joins by making a shoutout post. Other members can comment welcoming them to the group as well, which will help them feel like they belong and make them feel comfortable enough to post content of their own.
If you join a group on Facebook only to find that content is posted sporadically or hardly at all, would you want to stay connected to it? For most people, the answer is no. There's no value in joining and staying in a group that's stagnant and has nothing going on in it. Users will see this and leave, never to return.
To avoid this, make sure you post content regularly to your business group. Even a simple post updating your audience on what's new with your brand or asking them what they think about a specific product is enough to boost engagement and get people talking. So things stay interesting and don’t go stale, you should set up a schedule in which you post weekly prompts for users to respond to.
Take advantage of marketing automation tools that help you post consistently so you don't miss out on conversions to your group and continue to grow it even if you aren't actively on it all the time.
Engage with your audience.
There's nothing worse than being in a Facebook group, asking a question for the admin or business owner and hearing crickets. If you aren't active or engaged in your group, you can't expect your members to be. They'll lose interest quickly once they realize you're nowhere to be found. They will feel like you don't care about their interaction if you’re never active.
Be sure to engage with your audience on a regular basis. Running a business takes a lot of work, but you should carve out time specifically for your group to answer customers' questions, let them know what's new with your brand and respond to their comments. This shows them you care about what they have to say and are present.
Facebook gives you the option to set your group to public or private. If private, when someone joins, it's up to you as the admin to approve their acceptance into the group. By doing so, you create a sense of exclusivity that isn't found on social media or your website. It makes users feel special and is also a great way to keep them interested.
Leverage this exclusive element by offering your group members value they can't get anywhere else. Make it known that because they're part of your group, they'll get offers and content that's just for them. Use Facebook's live streaming feature to create content just for them and share thoughtful insights. Make it feels like it's a reward to be a member; if you do, they'll be more enthused to stay right where they are, engage with your posts, and answer questions you put out there.
Facebook groups are a great way to get in touch with your target market, get to know them better and help build a sense of community they can't find elsewhere. It's important to post consistently, engage with your members, and give them exclusive offers they don't want to miss out on. By taking the time to set your goals and optimize your group page, your audience will be able to find you quicker and easier than ever before.