With more than 2 billion active users a day, Facebook is the king of the social media jungle. However, the value of Facebook has evolved beyond simple business pages. Now, its true worth lies in Facebook Live videos, advertising, and Facebook groups.
In fact, groups have become the unsung marketing hero. They can be a crucial tool for startup companies and solo entrepreneurs – offering community, support and a valuable referral network. But, it’s all about the long game. In order to fully benefit from Facebook groups for business, you have to nurture your involvement over time. Here are my top tips for getting you started:
Focus on Quality not Quantity
The first step to Facebook group success is to identify your business goals. Are you looking to build up business-to-business partnerships? Do you want more consumer referrals? This will determine what type of group you will want to join. For example, if you are a local plumber looking to increase business, then joining a local community group will be your best bet.
Once you have established what type of group(s) will be of most value to you, you must then ensure you have the time and energy in your busy work schedule to participate in them. Joining and participating in one or two groups will be more effective than joining a dozen you don’t have time for. Prioritise quality over quantity and you will be off to a great start.
Give Before You Get
Facebook groups are all about reciprocity. Start by adding value to the group by introducing yourself, asking questions, giving advice, and commenting and liking on other people’s posts. Engage with other members on a daily basis, and share your knowledge and expertise. Become a resource for others, and they will soon become a resource for you.
Like all social media interactions, authenticity and transparency are key. Utilise your Facebook groups to reveal the personality behind your brand. Being yourself will help to build an emotional connection between your business and consumers. Truth builds trust, and trust builds sales.
Many business-to-business Facebook groups have monthly meet-ups and networking events. Attend offline events associated with your Facebook group and invest time in putting faces to names in order to build your business presence. Offline always beats online when you need to deepen relationships.
Respect the Rules
Most well run Facebook groups have specific rules around promoting your business. For example, promotions may only be allowed at the weekends, or no promotions are allowed at all. Respect the rules and understand that this is not a platform to broadcast your business. Self-promotion comes in many disguises. Your ultimate goal is to nurture recommendations from others. Be opportunistic when appropriate (go ahead and promote that sale on Promo Fridays!) but also know when to hold back.
Peer-to-Peer Recommendations Reign Supreme
Facebook groups are the ultimate platform for peer-to-peer marketing. 82% of consumers actively seek recommendations from their peers before making a purchase. After some time, you will see that members automatically recommend your product or services to others because they’ve gotten to know you and trust you. It only takes one client or customer in your Facebook group to get the referral ball rolling. Voila!
Success with Facebook groups for business does not happen overnight. Invest time and energy in nurturing a community and you will build a referral network that you can rely on for years to come.
Do you need help and guidance with your social media strategy? Contact Jem today for a chat.