There are literally millions of active business groups on Facebook. Some of them work really well offering good conversations, useful information and a support network and others just don’t benefit members at all. Why? Because some group owners make it about them rather than building a community environment for potential and existing customers.
Facebook groups for business can be hugely positive. Not only can they help position you to capture the market, they can also allow you access to new networks, give you a forum to actively seek feedback and help you build long lasting relationships with your members.
Want to know how to use Facebook groups to market your business? Here are 5 clever things to do:
# 1: Open and maintain two way conversations
The whole point of social media is to be just that – social. It’s really important to remember that when managing your Facebook group. Ask questions, respond to member comments and share updates in your industry. Do everything you can to instigate conversation and encourage interaction from your members – both with you and each other – that is how you’ll successfully create relationships within your group.
# 2: Share your content (but not in an overly sales way)
It’s your group so you should of course share your own content – after all, that’s how you’ll genuinely add value to your members. The only thing I would say is don’t do it with a hard sell as this will put people off being part of your group and can sometimes make you look really desperate. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use your Facebook group as an opportunity to sell your products and services, I’m just saying there are ways to actively promote your business without the hard sell. My advice to you is to follow the 80 / 20 rule – offer content 80% of the time, sell 20% of the time, but add value 100% of the time. Find your rhythm and move forward with it in a way that attracts new group members and keeps existing ones engaged.
# 3: Make rules for your group
In other words – make it a spam free zone. We all know that spam is really annoying and if you allow this in your group, you’ll soon lose members and it could have a negative impact on your reputation. To avoid this, create a rules section in your group or add a file so everyone is clear what is allowed and what’s not.
# 4: Leverage current events
Do you ever piggyback off news? This is when you use a current news topic to make a point about your industry. For example, if a well-known brand has a crisis that gets picked up by the national press or social media which results in them being heavily criticised, I could talk about that in my group from a reputation perspective. You can do this to for your industry. It’s a great way to promote your business, demonstrate your expertise, share your opinions on best practice and start conversations.
# 5: Focus on building community
The most important element of your Facebook group are the members in it. It’s not a place that’s all about you and your business – it’s about the group. You need to provide a place where members feel comfortable to ask for advice, share tips, get involved in conversations and learn from each other. This will help create a relationship with you and other members based on trust, which will benefit your wider reputation and potentially result in sales.
If Facebook is your primary social channel for promoting your business then why not ask your audience if they would like to be part of your group? Do a poll on your Facebook page and set up a group if the answer is yes. Following that, attach the group to your page so everyone who visits is aware of it and start attracting members by adding value.
I would love to meet you on Facebook. Like Kathryn Dishman-Baird at KD Communications to see my updates and feel free to share this post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. You can also join my Facebook group The PR and Digital Forum.
Do you need help using Facebook for business? Get in touch with me for help. Call 0191 236 1010, 07941694702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org