Facebook recently announced that it will prioritize posts from family, friends, and groups over posts by brands. What this means in social media marketing terms is that when customers who have already liked your business page log in to Facebook, they may never see your latest updates. All the work you've put into marketing your business on Facebook may go to waste, buried under status updates from friends and the endless cat memes that most Facebook users find in their feeds.
Does this mean that Facebook is no longer viable for marketing? No. It means that you must re-think your social media marketing strategy when it comes to Facebook. You can no longer rely on your business page alone, but you can ensure that your message gets seen by utilizing Facebook groups.
Creating Your Own Facebook Groups
Why bother setting up your own Facebook groups when there are already so many out there? And once you've set them up, how do you use them? First we will go over how to set up a Facebook group and then we'll talk about ways to use them for marketing.
What's the Difference Between My Business Facebook Page and My Facebook Groups?
Facebook groups act as additions to your business page. The two can complement each other, but they should be separate. Even if you have multiple Facebook groups that you're using for marketing, you still need a main business page as the public "face" of your company. Everything you share on your business page is public, whereas what you share in a group is visible only to group members.
How to Set Up a Facebook Group
To create a Facebook group:
From your Facebook home page go to the Groups section on the left side menu & find "Add Group".
Fill in your group name, who you want to add to your group and then choose the privacy setting for your group
After you create your group, upload a cover photo that is similar in color/design to your business page, and then add a group description.
Once you have set up both a Facebook business page and one or more group pages, make sure that they work together. Promote your groups to the Facebook users who have liked your business page, if they're eligible to join.
How to Use Your Facebook Groups
Now that you know how to set up a group, how do you use them? To be truly effective, Facebook groups need to have focus. They need a reason for existing. Below are 4 ideas for types of Facebook groups, each with its own marketing benefit.
1. Customer Reward Group
Create a group as a special perk for customers. They will feel special if they're invited to join a special group that's open only to those who have purchased your product. You can notify them in newsletters or even on your sales page. BONUS: You can use the group to learn more about what your customers like and dislike about your product and what kinds of other products they're looking for.
2. Industry-Specific Group
A group focused on current events in your industry is a great way to network, keep up with the latest trends in your field, and even find potential customers. It also positions you as a thought leader in your niche.
3. Customer Feedback Group
You can use a Facebook group as a sort of brain trust when you're developing a new product or service. Make this kind of Facebook group secret, invite some existing customers, and engage in an open back-and-forth conversation about your new ideas. The information you get from existing customers will be different, and possibly more valuable, than the feedback you get within your organization. A marketing bonus you'll get from this kind of group is the strengthening of the relationships you already have with the customers in the group. In short, a brainstorming Facebook group is a great way to build relationships AND get valuable insight into new products or services.
4. Education Group
The golden rule of social media marketing is that you have to give to get. A hard-sell approach will almost always fail within a Facebook group. But in a group that's aimed at educating consumers about a process or product, members are organically exposed to your content. For example, if you're a social media marketing consultant and you have designed a platform for scheduling social media posts, you might start a Facebook group for small businesses who are looking for ways to market on social media. Within the group, you share tips and insights, as well as information about your platform. You don't sell the platform, but you can certainly provide information and answer basic questions about it and, when appropriate, steer group members to blog posts on your website.
Groups are the most effective ways of marketing on Facebook. If set up, managed, and used correctly, they are powerful tools for selling, branding, networking, and even market research. If you're unsure of how to get started using Facebook groups for marketing, feel free to contact me for help.
Or, since you're already on Facebook, visit my page for more social media, branding, and marketing insights.