Today, more than 500 million people use Facebook Groups monthly, with thousands of groups being created every day. Did you know that a single Facebook user can join up to 6000 groups?
However, while managing a Facebook Page has become as essential as air for most of the businesses, not many brands understand and use the wealth of marketing opportunities provided by another powerful Facebook tool…groups.
Facebook Group vs. Facebook Page
Groups are communities. They can nicely compliment your Facebook Page, however, they will never substitute it. A Facebook Page is like presenting your business card to the customers while a Facebook Group is more like having a coffee with them. Groups work like discussion forums, they allow members to actively generate group content – ask questions, post about events, follow conversations, share photos, links and much more. Group membership can satisfy some users’ social image needs (for example if you represent a given industry you are expected to be seen in certain groups), they provide a sense of exclusivity and intimacy, hence, the relation you build with your audience through a group is much more personal and potentially long-lasting.
Here are 6 clever ways:
1. Establish Authority
Facebook Group is not to promote your content but to build a community and add value to your customers and prospects. People don’t join groups to be sold to, but to participate in interesting and relevant (for them!) discussions. Create a group to discuss anything related to your industry or niche, invite influencers, share expertise, solve problems, add value and people will pay back with lots of love and…engagement. Change a perspective here, see the group offer through your target customer’s eyes. Don’t promote your business or brand name but the value and benefits that are available exclusively to the group members.
For example, Teachable, a course-creation platform, has a private Facebook community where customers can ask questions, get inspiration, and share stories. The group name clarifies that the group is for Teachable’s users. The cover photo depicts what the users do (create courses with the Teachable service) and includes the company’s tagline.
For a Facebook group, choose a name and cover photo that reflects the community you want to build.
2. Test Content
You know that saying when in doubt, test it out? While the primary purpose of your group is to generate discussion among your target market, you can use its potential to test new content ideas before they reach a wider playing field. If your new concept gets a little feedback and brings low interaction you are still on a winning side as your Page reach ends up unscratched.
Additionally, you can find new ideas for your blog content and social media posts from other members’ conversations and comments. Keep an eye on what sort of content generates the most interactions in the group, and use this insight to your Page
3. Get Real Customer Insight
How can you successfully create a product or service that satisfies your customer’s needs without knowing what their needs really are? Ask, don’t guess. Your competitors don’t. Facebook Groups provide a direct line of communication with a specific set of people and if your “set” includes mostly your customers, then you are sorted. Here an excellent example of the TEDx organizers asking for feedback and getting a real customer insight with their question posted in the Group:
4. Provide A Superior Customer Service
80% of U.S. consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience. Now, THIS is how important a good customer service is. There are plenty of ways to deliver outstanding customer service on Facebook but creating a dedicated group for customer inquiries is definitely the one to consider. Why? First, because chances are your competitors still haven’t done it and, secondly, it can help you to provide incredibly responsive customer care.
5. Build Community Around An Event
If you promote or organize lots of events, creating a thriving community around them might be a way to go. Participants can then ask questions and get assistance before the happening and share their photos and comments after the “show”. Here an example of the Facebook Group that builds the community around TechSaturdays, a monthly startup event held on every first Saturday of each month and designed to bring together Tech industry entrepreneurs and experts who share their know-how with the audience.
6. Appreciate Your Customers
Get closer to your customers and brand ambassadors by creating a dedicated group for them! Make them feel special and appreciated by allowing them to cherish the spirit of community and togetherness. Here is an example of a clothing brand, Golden Tote, that created a Facebook Group exclusively for people who have purchased their products:
Last but not Least
How to measure if your Facebook Group marketing efforts pay off? Expect of direct effects such as sales increase or a higher customer rotation rate you can check the level of buzz created on the web around your brand with an Internet monitoring tool. Are people more eager to spread the word about your product or service? Are they positive or negative about it? Any action taken without controlling its effect is like no action was taken.