As Facebook increases its emphasis on community, now is a good time to explore groups for your business.
Small businesses can use groups to support their goals as community members turn to groups for information. Plus, groups can be used for specialty events, courses, selling and any number of things. It’s win-win.
How to set up your Facebook group for business
When you create a group for your business, do so with purpose.
- Decide on the mission of your group: Is it to provide supplemental education related to your business or inform about your product? Is it a safe haven for people with a shared interest, related to your business?
- Determine your group’s privacy levels: Is it public or private?
- Create a content plan: Even if your group is to provide customer support, come up with a posting schedule that’s a mix of information and conversation starters. The more value your group provides, the more often people will visit… or bookmark your group.
Example: Stellar Media Marketing educates and trains people on Facebook Messenger marketing, and boasts a more than 90% active engagement rate in their Facebook group. Founder, Kelly Noble Mirabella, branded herself as the ‘80s-inspired high-energy Messenger marketing teacher. Members come to the group to watch the weekly training videos, win prizes, ask questions, and get support on how they can better serve and support their clients. Stellar Media Marketing has generated significant revenue as a direct result of uniting their community and providing value.
How to Use Facebook groups for Business
There are as many ways to use groups as you can conjure. Think outside the box. Or put your own spin on someone else’s model.
Customer Support. Many businesses use Facebook groups to deliver prompt customer support. A dedicated team of knowledgeable moderators respond to member questions. And, often, peers will jump in with answers as well. Facebook offers features such as Units and Topic Tags for ease of sorting content. (Note: not all groups have the Topic Tabs feature yet.)
Users Groups. Companies such as Ecamm, Wave.video Community, ManyChat and others have created environments where group members share the best ways to use the company’s products while interacting with fellow users.
Live Show Companion Group. Does your business host a Facebook Live show or podcast on your page? Definitely consider creating a companion group for starting conversations. Get additional engagement from your group members by hosting a Watch Party of your Facebook Live show after the fact.
One of the best examples of the Page with a show + group combination is the Facebook-produced Red Table Talk, with 6.5 million followers. And the companion group has almost 600k members. Although these numbers may seem large and unattainable to many small business owners, there’s still much we can learn from the format.
Supplementary Education. If you are in the business of educating others - a class or hobby - create a Facebook group to supplement your offerings. Community involvement and expert interaction will bump up the value, turning your customers into loyal, raving fans.
Pop-ups. Facebook groups are not always for long-term involvement. Create specific groups for special events and activities in order to share time-sensitive content and facilitate member interaction. Once the time period is over, you simply archive the group.
For instance, if you are planning a 7-day or 30-day challenge or contest, create a pop-up group for it. Additionally, you can create a group to support a specific event. Social Media Marketing World creates pop-up groups for their attendees, speakers, and paying Society members for each year’s conference.
A Group Case Study: Stages of the Sales Funnel
Facebook groups can be helpful to any business as a part of the sales funnel.
- Your group can be positioned as part of the “catch all” aspect of the business, where you try to get everyone into the group and then segment them out.
- Your group can be at the middle of the funnel, where you invite people who are qualified and familiar with the brand.
- Or use your group at the end of the funnel. In these instances, users receive membership in your group as part of their product/service purchase. This includes special access, extra value content, or as part of a monthly membership product.
Bella Vasta created three related groups for her pet sitting and dog walking consulting agency.
- ToFu (top-of-funnel): Vasta has a general group she uses for her cold audience. This is for anyone who has a pet business around the world.
- MoFu (middle-of-funnel): Next is a smaller group just for pet businesses with staff. Here, she does pop-up programs and can test her community on launches and ideas her company might have coming down the pipeline.
- BoFu (bottom-of-funnel): Last is her paid monthly group. In this group, members get access to Vasta’s expertise, monthly trainings, a human resources expert, accountability partners, goal tracking, and more.
Vasta, who generates more than six figures in revenue by operating these groups, says business owners contemplating using Facebook groups should not wait too long.
“Facebook groups are the new hot thing now,” she says, “and if there is one thing I do know about social media is that in the next few years, something else will emerge. Understand that this is a moment in time and if you want to see the best results, Facebook groups (plus Facebook Messenger) is what is really working these days.”
Facebook groups are a wonderful value-add for your business. And now is the perfect time to start!
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About Mari Smith
Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.
Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.
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