Facebook is now more focused on building communities. Facebook groups are the obvious tools to help fuel that evolution. Over one billion users are members of groups. You probably belong to several groups. But have you thought of using Facebook groups to grow your business?
I love Facebook groups. In fact, I built my network and writing business off the connections I’ve made through these groups. I even found my mentor in a group. Using FB groups as funnels for your business is a very economical and highly efficient marketing tool.
Figure Out What Groups You Should Belong To
Firstly, you need to figure out what groups you should belong to. If your goal is to generate leads for your business, you want to join groups where your ideal clients hang out. If your ideal clients are teachers, you don’t want to join groups for firefighters. Have a specific target in mind.
Groups Have More Organic Reach
According to Facebook, it prioritizes content from groups that users frequently engage with. So if you’re consistently posting in groups and the members are engaging, you’re giving the algorithm what it wants. According to Sprout Social, nearly half of consumers join private Facebook groups to engage with brands directly.
Don’t be a group surfer. Remember, you’re in these groups to grow your business. Don’t just lurk around soaking up free info. BE THE PERSON GIVING AWAY INFO. Be engaging. Post valuable information in groups. Don’t solicit business or promote your business, but post information that’s relevant to the services you offer.
For example, I’m a writer. I would write posts on generating a good blog post. When people comment, I go into further detail. If they decided they need more detail, then I send them to my website or ask for an email address. If the group doesn’t allow link posting, say something like, “This group doesn’t allow me to post links, but feel free to send me a message here on Facebook.”
Build relationships with the people whom you engage with outside of the group. They may not become a client, but they could be a referral source.
Find questions that will let you show off your expertise. You can answer the questions directly or share a helpful resource–such as a blog post or article. This kind of marketing is compelling because it’s highly targeted. People need answers to their questions. If you can provide solutions regularly, you’ll start to become top of mind for the members of the group.
Find Your Voice
It’s not easy going into someone else’s group and establishing authority. A lot of nurse entrepreneurs have imposter syndrome. Overcoming that will help you to find your voice and establish authority and credibility. One trick to use is answering questions that have already been answered. When someone asks a question that you know the answer to, answer it. When you comment on a post in a group it moves that post to the top of the group. So, you might have responded to a question from 2010, and now it’s at the top of the newsfeed!
Start Your Own Facebook Group
While actively participating in other’s Facebook groups can help you promote your brand and business, you have to play by their rules. Having your own Facebook group lets you control the group experience and use your group for your business.
- Perks. If you’re a coach or consultant with paid memberships or courses, leveraging FB groups as a bonus for membership is an excellent way to establish authority with your clients. Setting your group as secret and only allowing specific people to obtain membership creates exclusivity. Don’t promote your business, but the value and benefits that are available exclusively to the group members.
- Residual income. Creating VIP memberships, where members pay a fee and get access to promoting or going live in your group, is an excellent way to create an additional income stream.
- Establish authority. Don’t just use your Facebook group to promote your product or service. Use it to build a loyal community and to add value to your customers and prospects. Create a group to discuss anything related to your niche and share your expertise. If you solve problems and add value, members will repay you with loyalty and engagement.
- Test new content and product or service ideas. Your group is perfect for beta testing. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money! Since your group is comprised of your target market, use it to test new ideas before they reach a wider audience. If your new concept gets negative or little feedback, you can rethink the idea, and you haven’t lost a ton of money on beta testing.
- New content ideas. Your Facebook group is full of content ideas. Use the members’ questions and comments to create new social media and blog posts. Keep your eye on what sort of content generates the most interactions in the group, and use this to create content.
- Navigate business to your Facebook business page. You can link your Facebook business page to your group and even post and comment as your page. If you comment as your page and people interact, you can invite them to like the page. Note that you can also join other groups from your page, and this could be ideal for you to grow your FB business page.
Actively engage daily with your group. It may be helpful to allow a moderator to help control the tempo of the group and to help with engagement. Your moderator should be someone who is actively engaged in the group. Coming up with themed discussions you can use weekly, is a good way to stay consistent with posting (Motivation Monday, Tip Tuesday). Consider using a content calendar.
Similar rules that apply to engagement on Facebook Pages apply to your Facebook groups. Does your group’s info include relevant keywords? Does the description include benefits and a call-to-action? Is your cover photo relevant and eye-catching?
Portia Wofford is a nurse, content strategist, healthcare writer and consultant. Chosen as a brand ambassador or collaborative partner for various organizations offering nurses resources for development – while helping healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs create binge-worth content. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest.