Thinking about creating a Facebook Group to promote your business? You are in the right place! Read on to find out how we did it!
We decided to share a case study about how we grew our group and why you should do it too!
Join us for a 10 minutes read where we share the little-known details and the challenges we faced while growing our Facebook group.
After using the methods, our Facebook group had a 400% increase in the number of members, but most importantly, our engagement increased with 350%.
Still, when it comes to communities, it’s not all about the numbers. It’s about people and feelings. When people with the same values come together and help each other, that’s when miracles actually happen. And that’s when we are reminded why we love our work, and get the motivation we need.
With our Facebook group, we wanted to get to know our clients better, offer them special advantages and share the good vibes! We also wanted to create a community where we could share our work and receive feedback: talk about new releases, offer early access to beta launches, offer exclusive inside news and ideas for your designs.
We got more than that: we got a great community that inspired us in this beautiful world of Design and Advertising.
Why Create a Facebook Group for Business
Before showing you how to grow your own active Facebook group, let’s see how a Facebook group can help your business and why you should do it.
In the last few years, Facebook made a shift towards supporting meaningful interactions and communities. 2018 statistics show that over one billion people are members of Facebook groups. 10% of them belong to meaningful communities, which are becoming the most important part of someone’s experience on Facebook.
Since 2017, business pages can create Facebook groups, for “fan clubs and groups centered around your super-fans”.
There are more ways of using a Facebook group for business, so the first thing you need to do is decide what you want to obtain with it. It all depends on your type of business and how your community engages. You can choose to use a Facebook group for marketing purposes, or you can go one step ahead and use it for customer service or improve your business overall.
Here at Bannersnack, we provide an online tool specialized in creating visuals for marketing, advertising, and social media.
For example, it is really easy to create your Facebook group cover with our tool. Just choose the size, the background and the elements to use.
As of May 2018, the Facebook group cover size is 820 x 428 px. Here’s a tip: try to include your community in the Facebook group cover, this way members will be assured they matter to you.
1. Using a Facebook group for marketing
Even though it’s been around for some years, Facebook is still the most popular and efficient social media platform out there with 79% of Americans using it.
In the last couple of years, groups have had better engagement rates and higher organic reach, so it makes sense to consider them as a marketing tool.
Since the decline of the organic reach on Facebook pages, many marketers turned their attention towards Facebook groups. Here, the engagement and the reach is high compared to those of a Facebook page, so it makes sense to wonder whether to use a group for marketing purposes.
Users get a notification everytime someone posts on the group, so if you have important updates such as events or new releases, you can get them out there with groups, and you can make sure your community gets them.
“But there’s a catch, if you only talk about yourself, users will get bored and leave the group.”
Here are some alternative ways to use Facebook groups to add value to both your business and your customers.
2. Using a Facebook group for Customer Service
If you have a business that needs a Customer Service department, and users turn to you for advice about troubleshooting or asking how features work, a Facebook group may be ideal for you.
It’s not meant to replace your customer service department though. However, there are times when the user may get answers to questions from a group member. This way, in time, your Facebook Group might ease the work of your customer service department, as users will start helping each other, getting more relevant answers faster.
For example, Facebook’s help community works on the same principle.
People can type their questions and get answers from other users that face the same problem.
3. Receive feedback
Sometimes you need feedback from your audience about your products or other aspects of your business. Groups are great ways to see the impact of some of the features you want to release or to test them on a smaller scale before releasing them.
By doing this, you can get an idea of how your audience is going to perceive the new product or feature and decide whether to launch or not, but more importantly, what you can improve.
4. Build a community of brand ambassadors
With Facebook groups, you have the amazing chance to cultivate your relationship with potential brand ambassadors. The more people learn about your brand, product or service, the more they can recommend it.
You can also conduct interviews, showcase your products or create user stories that are actually relevant to your community.
5. Get inspiration for your content strategy
When you’re out of ideas, you will find that Facebook groups are great places to brainstorm and get ideas for your content strategy.
Listening to free discussions from the users or analyzing the results you got from polls will get you the fresh perspective you need to come up with useful content.
Facebook Page vs. Facebook Group
As Facebook defines it, “Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook.”
Groups, on the other hand, “allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos, and share related content.”
If we look at the numbers and analyze them, Facebook groups are outperforming Facebook Pages by 60%.
As opposed to a page, a Facebook group is not your traditional marketing channel where the brand says something and the users listen. Facebook groups are about interactivity and empowering the community. So if you have a great tool or product that you feel confident about, encouraging users to write about it can be the easiest way to turn your customers into brand advocates; but if you don’t, it can just as easily turn against you. It’s always best to take an honest look at your business and evaluate the all risks before deciding to make a Facebook group.
After deciding on the reasons why you should create a Facebook group, you can build your strategy accordingly.
How to grow your own active Facebook group
We don’t have a magic recipe for growing a Facebook group, but we can share our experience. It might be easy to grow a Facebook group if you just look at the numbers, but it’s a bit harder to attract the users you want in your Facebook group. Here’s how we decided to grow our own active Facebook group, in 7 easy steps.
1. Grow your Facebook group with Intercom
After creating our Facebook Group, sending a message to our users with Intercom was the first step we took towards reaching our goal. We wanted to create an exclusive group, dedicated only to our users and to their needs.
We wanted to dedicate our group to those who actually may benefit from it, so we sent in-app messages in Intercom to our premium users, asking them to join our group.
2. Send Newsletters
We also addressed our clients through e-mail marketing, sending a newsletter to our clients invite them to join our Facebook group.
Despite appearances, email marketing continues to be one of the top performing tactics, and even in 2018, email marketing continues to improve and evolve. 51% of marketers consider email list segmentation to be the most effective personalization tactic for effective email marketing.
3. Outreach on Facebook Messenger
We wanted to reach out to users that already showed their desire to reach out to us, so we turned towards Facebook messaging, where we selected a few of the users that contacted us via Messenger.
They were very excited to join us!
Next, let’s talk about how to keep them engaged and active.
4. Interact with users, tag them & keep in touch
After increasing the number of users in our Facebook group, the next challenge was keeping them active. It’s one of those things that might be easier said than done. Since it’s all about interaction, the key thing is that you shouldn’t make it all about you.
Rather than always focusing on what you would like to obtain from a Facebook group, try to shift on how to bring value to your community. Ask questions, find out what they need and try to be useful and helpful.
Also, try not to intimidate users; always take it slow, step by step. It all depends on your niche and the type of people you address, but some of them might be more introverted than others. With some target audiences, it might be harder to make them interact at first and create the meaningful interactions you are searching for, but believe me, you’ll get there.
Sooner than you think, your group can slowly become the number 1 place they go to when they open their social media platforms.
5. Add educational content
If you pay attention and are a good listener, you can have the right answers and bring value to your community. Educational content is always a great way to engage with your users.
How To videos are an easy way to add value to your community. Help them save time by showing them tips and tricks on how to use certain features.
See an example below on how we presented a new feature that saves a lot of time for our users and shared the video with our group.
6. Encourage your co-workers to join
If you are lucky enough to have a fantastic team that is willing to help at any time (like the one we have), why not use this to your advantage? We asked our co-workers to join the conversation and bring their expertise, and it was a great experience for all of us.
Our clients now have a direct way to keep in touch with the ones that actually build the software, and our coworkers got a chance to know who our clients are and find out what they can improve and how they can do their job better.
7. Make them feel like an exclusive community
It’s easier to get people to join your group and stay active if you offer some exclusive advantages; and in time this brings value to your business, too. Make your group members feel special and give them the opportunity to be helpful at the same time.
Consider doing this by sharing new features and exclusive inside news, testing beta functions, and making them feel their opinion is important, and most of all, valuable to your business.
And, since we’re here, we’ll share some Facebook Group best practices on how to handle your group efficiently, while giving it a human touch as well.
- Don’t make it about you
- Ask questions (and be prepared to use the answers to make your business better)
- Ensure you’re there to help
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself (use your personal Facebook account)
- Don’t set too many rules (they ruin the fun)
- Don’t overthink it, let the conversations flow naturally
- Be patient and smile
Bottom line, Facebook groups are worth your time and effort, and with a little bit of dedication, they can grow to be the fresh perspective you need to make your business better.
Figuring out what you want from your Facebook is the first step towards creating a robust social media strategy with long-term results. Don’t just go for the numbers, target your users to have the audience you want, and then, step by step, transform your group members into brand ambassadors.
Think outside the box, be creative and curious, and you’ll find a way to make your Facebook group the leader in your niche.
This guest post is contributed by Robert. If you would like to submit something original, you can read our submission guidelines.
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