Are you experiencing less engagement than you would like on your Facebook business account? Or maybe you want to opt for a social media experience that focuses more on community and relationships. Whether it is the former or the latter, a Facebook group may be the solution you are looking for.
A Facebook group is basically a private room within the Facebook platform. It is a place where people can come together and rally for a common cause, activity or issue. Here they can organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.
Facebook has over a billion users and many of those users consider their Facebook groups to be the most important part of their experience on the platform. Though Facebook groups have their benefits, there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of.
Here are some things to consider about starting a Facebook group for your business:
Create content that is targeted and relevant
Facebook offers three types of groups:
- Public: Anyone can join and non-members can view content
- Private: Listed and known to the public but require administrator approval to join
- Secret: Unlisted and require an invitation
Private and secret groups allow you to specifically target the types of people who are connecting, collaborating and engaging. When someone applies for membership to the group, you can require them to answer specific questions that will help determine eligibility. For example, if you want to limit your group membership to those who are customers, you may ask them if they have ever purchased a product or service.
Build intimate and personal relationships with your customers
As more and more businesses begin to create Facebook business pages, likes, comments, conversations and overall engagement have decreased. Facebook groups are a great way to build that community you may be missing from your business page because your members will have the opportunity to engage in topics that they actively sought out.
Many people may not want to join in on a conversation started by a business page. However, they will be much more likely to do so in a group setting where the barrier is removed and they feel connected to the person behind your brand. You can facilitate conversations about the benefits of the products or methods you use. Previous customers may also be more likely to share photos of their renovations and upgrades in a private group rather than on your very public business page.
Give your content a boost
Businesses are using groups now more than ever to promote brand-related content. If you post content on your business page, it is a lot more difficult to keep this information fresh in the minds of your audience unless you are consistently posting at all hours of the day.
Facebook groups, however, are constantly displayed on top of users’ news feeds or in the sidebar. Not to mention that members of your group will be notified whenever someone makes a post. So not only do you know you are reaching people who are interested in your brand, you also know that they will be able to easily find you online.
Have a tendency to be disorganized
Though groups are great for collaborative discussion and providing support between customers, it is not the best platform for business-to-customer support. Group timelines are constantly changing order to display the most relevant posts at the time. This leaves a lot of room for error when responding to customer questions and concerns if you do not have an established method for keeping track of everything.
The conversations in your group are essentially a stream of consciousness. This means that your customers may be commenting on a wide variety of topics that are disjointed and make it difficult to gain any beneficial business insights.
Management can be time-consuming
Managing your group membership can be very complicated depending on the subject and target audience of your group. For instance, if your group is meant only for paying customers, it may be difficult to define and will require you to constantly add and remove people.
On top of managing group membership, you will also have to set expectations for the members of your group to follow. It may take an extensive amount of time to set expectations and rules for the community, establish what is appropriate for posting, and construct a general policy the group. For example, if you have a Facebook group strictly for paying customers, you may find it inappropriate for a member to post advertisements or promotional content for a competing brand.
Features are limited
If you already have a Facebook business account, you may have become comfortable with certain applications that help your marketing efforts such as WhatsApp, Adobe Spark, Shortstack or Twitter integrations. However, you will not have access to these benefits in a Facebook group. Understand that certain actions will be a lot less streamlined and will require extra manual work to do things that are usually automated on Facebook pages.
Facebook groups invite users back to an era when social media was more intimate and community based—long before social media became a prominent avenue for promoting brands and making money. If you are seeking a way to build an active community based around your business, its offerings and its solutions, a Facebook group could be the way to go. Consider the advantages and drawbacks to make the most-informed decision for your business.
Facebook is an essential social media site for your business. With the large number of users, your presence there will help potential customers find you, become exited about your work and hire you. At trades.org we know that social media can be confusing and overwhelming. We can help you craft a profile that attracts your ideal customer and shows your skills. Let our team work for your team on social sites so you can spend your time doing what you do best.