Boost Your Authority with Facebook Groups
Facebook is the top social media platform in the world. It is also one of the 5 most visited websites in the world. With more than 2 billion active users, many of them spending 45 minutes per day on the site, Facebook gives you the potential to reach out to a huge global audience in order to market your business.
But with 2 billion users, how can you ever stand out in the crowd? More importantly, how can you connect with the people most likely to be interested in your products and services? And to establish your brand as one worth paying attention to? A Facebook Group might be just the solution you are looking for.
What is a Facebook Group?
As the name suggests, groups have been allowed by Facebook in order to gather people together who are interested in the same topic, niche or industry. From cooking to cocker spaniels, there is a large number of groups on Facebook you can join so you can connect with like-minded people.
You can certainly join any existing group you wish and market yourself subtly there whenever there is an opportunity. However, starting and running your own Facebook group gives you an online space to broadcast your message and interact with your market on a more personal and targeted level. It gives you almost complete control over the messaging and activities in the group. As the administrator, you can decide who has access to your group. You can also appoint moderators who can help you manage the group and ensure it is not taken over by spammers.
There are many features in groups that can help you build a really impressive and authoritative presence on Facebook. You can share photos, documents, and files with group members. You can create polls, quizzes, and events. You can allow them to share content with the group on a moderated basis, that is, with your reviewing it to make sure it is acceptable. And you can block anyone who is not following the rules.
Facebook groups can be an invaluable marketing tool, and best of all, they are free to use and simple to set up. They are ideal for establishing relationships with your target audience, and for lead generation, that is, traffic and getting people onto your email marketing list. Through the content you will be publishing on a regular basis, you can position yourself as an authority figure in your niche or industry and build your brand. All the content created is mobile-friendly, thanks to the Facebook interface.
You can get likes, shares, and comments, with these forms of engagement signaling to Facebook that your content is worth paying attention to. You can also automate your publishing through Facebook’s calendar, or a third-party tool like Hootsuite, so you and/or your moderators don’t need to be glued to Facebook 24 hours a day to market your business well. You can administer your group efficiently in around 30 minutes a day once you get organized.
Best of all, Facebook will market your group for you. Whenever anyone searches for certain keywords in the search box, they will get a list of results. One of them could be your group.
Let’s start by looking at how to create a group.
Planning a Facebook Group
There are a number of steps involved in planning and setting up what you hope will be a successful Facebook group.
First, consider your goals and audience size. There are actually 3 different types of Facebook groups:
- Public – Any Facebook member can join. All members can invite and add anyone.
- Closed – Facebook users can ask to join and must be approved. Members can add or invite any Facebook users.
- Secret – Members must be invited and approved. No one can see any information shared in a secret group except other group members.
The public will help you gain the widest exposure, but it can also garner you unwanted attention from spammers and people who behave badly online due to the relative anonymity of the Internet. A closed group will be more manageable and prevent the group from being taken over by people who love to express their own opinions and attack others.
The type of Facebook group you create will depend on your type of business. You should also consider your marketing goals. For example, a Facebook group can actually be a valuable add-on to a product you are selling if the group is secret and exclusive, and you promise access to yourself for anyone who signs up and participates. You would just need a proof of purchase to approve them or send them an invitation to join.
Whatever marketing approach you take, remember that Facebook is a social community. This means interacting with real people, not trying to sell all the time.
Most businesses prefer to create a closed Facebook group in order to have more control over what is going on in the group. A closed group also gives you an air of authority and exclusivity that a public group might not. Those in your niche will appreciate your expertise and be willing to tell others about it. A closed group can help build brand loyalty, which in turn can mean more subscribers and sales.
Note that you can always change your settings if you need to, provided that you are under 250 members. Once you are over that number, you can only make the privacy settings more restricted, not less so. This means you could not turn a closed or secret group to an open one.
In general, closed will be your best option for marketing your business on Facebook.
Planning the content for your group
Take the time to look at any existing Facebook groups related to your niche or industry. How many members do they have? How recently has fresh content been posted?
Join a couple of the best groups. Observe the amount of engagement, number of members, and so on. Gradually start to interact with others, answering questions to the best of your ability.
Are they selling products in the group? What frustrations and problems do group members worry about? Do you have solutions to offer them?