Facebook Groups for business – A new idea?
Many business owners still think that it’s a matter of Facebook Groups vs. Facebook Pages. But that really is not the case. We should be thinking: Facebook Groups AND Facebook Pages.
Facebook Groups can be your Facebook Page’s most friendly companion!
By the end of this article, you should understand how you can use Facebook Groups:
- As an additional marketing tool.
- To fuel your other marketing efforts.
- To empower others to rally around your business in a real, human way.
Facebook Pages AND Facebook Groups For Business
How many big brands do you know of that are not on Facebook? Not very many, right? Today, most businesses have a Facebook Page – Even small, local businesses with very small staff teams.
Here is where the small business owner relates: The small business Facebook Page has a hard time getting seen in the Facebook news feed. Right?
Big brands do not have that same concern. Mainly because they pay for Facebook Advertising to trigger response. But many have also been using all the tools available in ways you may not expect to hear about…
Brands have been using Facebook Groups for quite awhile.
- For core employee teams
- For brand ambassadors
- For exchanging ideas
And more reasons.
The Facebook Page is the brand face on Facebook. The Facebook Groups allow businesses to engage with people in a more intimate setting, and many times, with more personal interaction.
Facebook Groups For Business – Nuts And Bolts
Facebook Groups are communities, and your business can customize the experience with a good set of available tools.
Facebook Groups Privacy
- Secret – Can only be seen by group members.
- Closed – Can be seen by the public, but only members see posts, and members must be approved.
- Public – Can be seen by the public, and anyone can join.
Choose which setting most fits your Facebook Group’s purpose.
Facebook Groups Branding
The banner at the top can reflect your business brand, or you can opt to feature members’ Facebook Profile image. This can change as often as the Facebook Group Admins wish.
Here’s an example of a banner for one of my Facebook Groups for business:
Facebook Groups Search
Unlike Facebook Pages, you can search Facebook Groups’ content. So, for instance, if you know the group talked about a popular event, and you want to re-call the conversation, you can do a search for the name of the event. Results will surface similarly to a Google search with the words you are searching for highlighted. This is very helpful with active Facebook Groups!
The search function is found at the upper right corner of the group, just under the banner.
Other tools found in Facebook Groups:
- Notifications (to see the Facebook Group’s activity)
For Files, you can upload or create them.
The tools in Facebook Groups are nice, but there are even better reasons for your business…
Top Ten Reasons To Use Facebook Groups For Business
1. Gather people of like interest
We do like to be with people who are interested in the things we like, right?
Lets say your business offers several different products or services. These products or services might spark conversations among people. For example: Starbucks – They offer several different espresso beverages. They encourage conversations around the individual beverages.
You might gather people with like “pain points” together in your group. Here you can ask them questions and let them ask you questions about possible solutions.
The real win: As conversations evolve, members may want to invite others to the Facebook Group. That translates to additional potential customers or brand ambassadors to tell your story.
2. Nurture Relationships with brand ambassadors
Do you have good customers that love to refer you to others? These are your “super fans” or brand ambassadors. Empowering them to tell your story is a smart move.
Back and forth dialogue within a community group always leads to insight for your business. However, in Facebook Groups, you can get to know your super fans even better.
The real win: You can give your brand ambassadors the tools to help you tell your brand story. Even better, you can also help them tell theirs, if that applies!
3. Test ideas with stakeholders
Lets say you are a non-profit organization in your community – like Main Street. Main Street reaches out to their stakeholders each year for input, and also donations. It is important to have the blessing of your organization’s stakeholders so they continue supporting your causes.
A smart leader might create a Facebook Group to rally ideas and gain maximum support for projects. These ideas could be as simple as deciding to put flowers at every doorway within the Main Street district to formulating plans for a future new fundraiser.
The real win: Organization leaders can leverage the relationships nurtured in Facebook Groups to cultivate future key board and committee members.
4. Exchange ideas with core team members
Maybe your business or organization is working on a large, nationwide project or event. You might have a small group of team members working on several parts of the project. Exchanging many, many emails could get cumbersome.
Facebook Groups, with appropriate privacy settings, allow for exchange of ideas, file exchange, and sharing to Facebook profiles and pages, when ready.
The real win: The bridge between business to personal in a comfortable and controlled way with 24/7 capability.
5. Conversation for membership programs
Membership Programs are more and more popular with self employed professionals and consultants. If you are just beginning, hosting a community on your website may be more than you can manage.
Facebook Groups allow for conversation and exchange of ideas as well as file storage. Additionally, it is located where people are already hanging out online: Facebook.
The drawback: It’s rented real estate – You would not own the community on your website.
The real win: It’s a great place to start, and you can start and end a group’s existence at your discretion.
6. Collaborate with and train multi-location businesses
There are some great online meeting options with plush features. However, if your business is young, and maybe just beginning to add franchise locations, your priorities might be to invest in other things than online meeting options.
Facebook Groups allows for gathering team leaders together in one space where direct communication is conveniently 24/7, and also logged for future search-ability.
So, if your business wants to work on Facebook marketing, and some of your franchise owners are less savvy, you could invite them to a Facebook Group, and discuss key points with Q&A for each where they can refer to the answer later.
Do you need to exchange photos for a project too? Your Facebook Group offers the option to exchange them there, and they would be available for future use, if necessary.
The real win: Your group members can also learn from each other. More savvy members may share insight with less experienced members. You may also find that ideas result from conversation that you never thought of in the beginning.
7. Easier to be seen in the Facebook news feed
This is pretty simple.
Because people would tend to be more personally connected to a conversation in Facebook Groups, more so than Facebook Pages, group members are more likely to see your updates. Especially if you have helped them to understand that they can click to assure they receive notifications (note the blue check on the banner above).
The real win: More fluid communication.
8. Members more likely to exchange personal contact information
One main goal of Facebook Groups is to nurture more personal relationships. Trying to build your email list? A Facebook Group may be one vehicle to do that, over time, in a natural, comfortable way.
You might hold events or activities with Facebook Group members that may require them to sign up via email to receive reminders. Or, you may decide to bring a favorite few members into a project where email communication is preferred.
Over time, you may find that group members feel comfortable sharing contact information with each other.
The real win: Comfort in connectivity. This level of willingness to connect and communicate will serve as great fuel to future endeavors!
9. Share posts from Facebook Pages as messages into Facebook Groups
Lets give Facebook a pat on the back, shall we? We all want to reinforce our brand message…
Activity in Facebook Groups will be different than on Facebook Pages. However, occasionally they are the same or similar. Optimally, our Facebook Page is the same as our business name.
Sharing a status update from your Facebook Page to any of the Facebook Groups you own or participate in, carries the Facebook Page name over into the Group. So, brand reinforcement. See the example below:
Note how the Facebook Page name follows my name as a member and admin of the Facebook Group. This is also true when sharing any post from any Facebook Page into a Facebook Group.
The real win: You can also share posts from Group member Facebook Pages into your group as a way to give them some Facebook love and show them appreciation.
10. Conversations can become more engaging
This is along the same lines of greater communication and connectivity. But lets follow this further.
We join groups and organizations to expand our networks. We network for the benefit of our business. If you follow this train of thought, you might develop great relationships within groups, as a member. In turn, this may result in joint ventures or collaborative projects that add to your brand recognition and even your bottom line.
The real win: Facebook Groups are what you make them.
Facebook Groups Bonus
Earlier this year, Facebook released the “Save” function for link posts on the Facebook Home Page, or the news feed. By clicking the upper right hand corner of a post, users can opt to “save” a post for future.
The “Save” function works for Facebook Groups content.
This gives you and your Facebook Groups members the luxury of reading or responding to something when they have more time. In turn, this further reinforces your Facebook Group brand. Here’s an example of such a Facebook post:
Above, you can see the save option under the “delete” option when clicking the arrow at the upper right of the post. After you click to save, the post and linked material will be waiting in your “Saved” section in your left side bar on the Facebook Home Page.
Okay, so that’s 11 reasons to use Facebook Groups for business.
A Group Of Questions For You
Facebook Groups can be a powerful Facebook Marketing tool if used to compliment your other online marketing efforts. They allow for increased brand awareness among members and more personal interactions that hopefully carries over to their personal contact circles.
These things of great value to any business, and far too often under-utilized.
Are you already a member or an Admin of any Facebook Groups?
If not, will you join one or create your own Facebook Group?
How have you used Facebook Groups for your business?
Did this post spark any new ideas you plan to try?
Please let me know your thoughts and curiosities in the comments box below! :)
If you liked this post and would like to learn more about using Facebook Groups for business, please feel free to request membership at this Facebook Group where we discuss social media tips and techniques, including Facebook Groups.