Is a Facebook Group Right for My Business?
Facebook is a great way to connect with your customers. And in the technological society we live in, having a Facebook page for your business isn't really optional anymore. Your customers are talking about you online, and you need to be part of that conversation. It’s also a great way to build a reputation for being the best at what you do with engaging content.
But often times, the content you post on your Facebook Page can be one-directional, meaning you’re often sharing with followers and not the other way around. So many businesses are left wondering, how can they engage with customers and build real brand loyalty and interaction.
One option for building more engagement with customers is by creating a Facebook group. But before you start rolling your eyes and saying, “Oh, here we go. Another Facebook group invite.” Just hear us out. Groups present a unique opportunity to build community among your customers, give exclusive perks and rewards that create loyalty, and connect on a more personal level with your top tier customers who want to know what’s happening in your business.
Here are the three main advantages of starting a Facebook group:
Better results - Whatever you post in the group will be prioritized on their normal Facebook feed, and may even send a notification depending on that person’s preferences and group settings.
Interesting and unique content – A group is a great platform to give insider information, first looks at new products, behind the scenes video clips of what happens day to day (even the silly stuff), and maybe even to post some clearance inventory items for a “last chance” sale. When customers feel like they know you and your team on a more personal level, they’re going to have more loyalty and be more frequent visitors of your business. They’ll also be more likely to refer you to their friends and family.
Real time feedback - A Facebook group can function like a market research group. You can pose questions about what people like best to help you gauge what to stock or what hours to have or whether to participate in an upcoming community event. This is arguably the most valuable part of adding a Facebook group to your marketing strategy.
So how do I know if a Facebook Group is right for my business? First and foremost, a group is not a place to blast out “advertisements” or products. A group is a place to provide engaging content that will be interesting or helpful to your customers. It’s also a great place to reward loyal customers with insider information, special discounts, first dibs on new products, etc. If the group member benefits from being included, it will make it “worth it” for them to see the extra notifications and traffic in their news feed.
There are certain types of businesses who definitely should consider using Facebook groups. These include retail stores, restaurants and coffee shops, art galleries, community service organizations such as Recreation Commissions, nonprofit organizations who fundraise, etc. But even beyond that, almost any type of business can benefit from operating a Facebook group if they’re willing to put the time and effort into doing it well.
Here are some best practices for operating a Facebook group.
Public vs. Private groups. Public Facebook groups are what they would seem, open to anyone in the public. There is no requirement or administrator that has to approve someone adding themselves to the group. However, that could mean spammers (and the like) could add themselves to your group. Private groups have two options, Visible and Hidden. Visible groups would be searchable for Facebook users, but would also have an administrator who would allow customers into the group. Similarly, a Hidden Group has an administrator and customers must be given an invite link/url to find and join the group. In general, we recommend Private groups that are visible so that customers can easily search for the group and request to join.
Don’t blow people up. We recommend posting once per week, maybe slightly more but not too much. If you’re posting too often, people will turn off their notifications for your group. Posting about once per week is the right frequency. So be sure to build this into your social media calendar to make sure you’re not neglecting your group.
Treat your group members like VIP’s. Be sure to incorporate special offers for members of your group to keep them interested in participating. This could be a special discount, a gift with purchase, or an invite to an exclusive event. But make sure your Facebook group members get special perks so they don’t get tired of seeing your content.
Be sure to listen as much as you tell. It’s definitely okay to share content in the group, but be sure to pose questions and engage with your group members as well. Make sure they know that they are “special” customers and remind them of that often. Maybe even come up with a fun nickname for your group members. (Example: A coffee shop called Elevate Coffee might call their group members their Elevate Elites.)
Hopefully these ideas and guidelines will be helpful to your team as you decide whether a Facebook group is the right fit for your business. As always, feel free to reach out to us at Marketing Maven if you need any help deciding how to move forward, or getting your group set up the right way! We’re here to help.