“There’s a Facebook group for everyone,” Facebook advertises, but should your business have one?
Facebook has been buying adverts on traditional platforms such as billboards and TV to promote its groups feature – so if Mr Zuckerberg himself is investing money in groups, it’s a good bet that it would be worth investing your time in that area.
At the end of the day, Facebook’s main goal is to keep people on its platforms… and if users are engaging in groups on Facebook, as opposed to leaving the website to discuss topics they are interested in on online forums, it’s a win for the social media company.
I’m sure you already have a Facebook page set up for your business, so why would you need a group as well?
Think about your Facebook page as your shop window and your Facebook group as the inside of your premises, where people can take a seat on your virtual couch and have a conversation.
Your group is a place where your customers can ask questions, speak to others , and be part of your community.
So what are the main benefits of having a Facebook group?
Build a community
With a Facebook group, there is more of a back-and-forth between you and your audience. Your Facebook page is typically a series of posts where you speak directly to people who like your page, without much feedback.
Whereas, with a group, members can also share their photos, thoughts, videos etc into the group, and you can engage with them directly in real-time, or your members can network with other like-minded individuals.
And because you can change the privacy settings on the group so that only members can see the content, it can feel a lot more intimate and people are more likely to ask questions and be vulnerable, as the post won’t be visible to the wider public.
Build better relationships
Because you can be more conversational in a group, it gives you the opportunity to get to know your members on a deeper level.
You/they can share funny or emotive stories, photographs, or videos.
On a Facebook page, companies tend to be more professional, but within a group, it opens the door to have a laugh and a bit of banter.
Think of your group in the same way you would with an email list. Your members have either asked to join or have accepted your invitation to join your group.
So we can assume they are at least a little bit interested in what you are doing – or they are just a really good friend!
Because of this, the chances of them buying your product or service is a lot higher than someone who isn’t in your group/doesn’t know what you do.
Test without risk
Looking for feedback on a new idea, but don’t want to make it public?
Are you having a dilemma about which products to stock?
You can do some quick market research within your group by getting feedback in realtime from your members.
You can create a quick poll, post a photo, or ask more open-ended questions, to find out what would work, and what wouldn’t, quickly.
This also allows your members to be part of the process, which can only be a good thing.
Educate your members
By changing the settings of your group to ‘Social Learning’ Facebook allows you to create units within your group that members can see and work through – just like an online course.
This adds an extra layer to the benefits of being in your group to go alongside the community aspect.
If you are looking to join a community of business owners and people invested in enhancing their digital marketing, you can join the free Digital Minded support group.