Beginners Guide to Growing a Facebook Group
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Announcement: Facebook marketing is dead.
No, not really!
It can seem that way though, and with Facebook’s continued efforts to remove business pages from users’ timelines and feeds, how on earth can you market on Facebook without spending a fortune on advertising?
The answer is, in groups. Keep reading to find out how to make a Facebook group successful.
The Secret Sauce
Facebook groups have taken a bit of a hit over the years. At first, they were a fun ironic community with names such as “People Who Like Hot Sauce”. People would join, and very quickly, the community would die out.
After a few years, groups seemed to be dying, then that very famous algorithm update of 2018 hit, and suddenly pages traffic took a nosedive, much to the dismay of many small businesses.
Now what? In 2020 and beyond, groups have seen a bit of a resurgence, and that’s because Facebook has taken group privacy and spam control seriously (finally!).
Users will happily join all kinds of groups to suit their interests — whether it’s Bushcrafting in Idaho or the British Manchester Terrier Fan Club, Tent Camping in The US, or the Handmaids Tale Spoilers Group — there are groups for literally every activity and interest you can imagine!
Why Should Businesses Use Facebook Groups?
So, why are groups important to business and how is it possible to create a successful Facebook group? Facebook groups have a unique appeal to businesses: you will ALWAYS have a target market to sell to.
Think about it: if you love canning food, you’re likely to join a few food canning groups, preserving groups, homesteading groups, etc. This way you can find out all about canning food from the group members, get a few recipes, tips, as well as share in the success of your food canning efforts and other people’s food canning efforts.
This is great because it builds a sense of community and it means that people can share freely on a topic that interests them without bombarding the rest of their friends with content that wouldn’t be of interest. So, if you’re wondering how to have a successful Facebook group, creating a community can go a long way.
For businesses, this presents a unique opportunity to market to a really interested, ready-to-convert niche audience of leads. So, why don’t all businesses have a Facebook group and sell to them?
The answer is that it’s not that easy, and more importantly, your audience doesn’t want you selling to them all the time. Your core goal may be to swell your group of food canners all the jars, lids, papers, stickers, and recipe books you can, but if that’s all your group is doing, then it will fail.
In short: you need to build a community for your users.
How To Build a Facebook Group
Running a successful Facebook group is about more than just posting content. We’ve seen a few groups set up by businesses that post once a day religiously but without any engagement at all, and this isn’t helping anyone.
The main thing to remember is that successful Facebook groups are not set up to sell! This seems counter intuitive but think about your sales funnel: Awareness -> Interest -> Decision -> Action. Your Facebook group should aim to help your user with awareness and interest and naturally promote decision and action.
Let’s take Food Photography as an example.
Your business page, ‘Incredible Ingestion Food Photography’, sets up a group called “Incredible Ingestion: Food Photography Lovers”. This appeals to many people because it’s a group about food photography. You can promote it as somewhere to learn, somewhere to improve your food photography, and somewhere to share your success with other like-minded people. Being more generic and learning based in your group name is the best way to attract members to your Facebook group.
That doesn’t sound much like selling, does it?
Here’s the kicker: You have a second group: Incredible Ingestion Food Photography Academy. This is an invite-only group where you will sell your online course, your in-person workshop, coaching, and all other things that you do relating to teaching food photography.
How To Advertise Your Facebook Group
At this point, you may be wondering can you promote Facebook groups? O, can Facebook groups run ads? The answer is yes. Advertising your Facebook group can be done in a number of ways. You may choose to run Facebook ads to grow your group, you may decide to mention it on your own business page and run ads from there, or you may use other methods both online and in person.
Need a quick answer for ‘how to get people to join your Facebook group’? The points below may help.
- Promote your Facebook group via Facebook Ads
- Promote the group on your own Facebook page
- Promote the group on Twitter
- Promote the group on YouTube — this is a REALLY good way to do it
- Use advocates such as admins and moderators
- Advertise it at Point of Sale
- Advertise it on your website
- Advertise it in person (workshops, events, etc.)
Growing a Facebook group for your business can be a great way to promote your products and services, but only if you do it in the right way.
If you’re curious about how to attract members to your Facebook group, you should look at your group as a community of like-minded people, who may be receptive to selling, but right now want to see helpful and useful content.
Consider things like competitions (even if the prize is just the cover photo for a month), giveaways, weekly questions, weekly tips, etc. Be active in your community answering questions and not always selling; for example, if someone asks, “does anyone recommend a good light for under $50?”, you may want to respond with, “I can teach you how to use light better in my course…”. If that’s not helpful, a better response may be, “I like the Falconeyes lights, and some people on my course have really enjoyed using them”. That response gives a bit of detail with a subtle selling edge.
Groups are a great place to build a community organically and if you link it to your business page, you’re more likely to grow your business page, too. It’s a win/win situation!
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