There are countless ways to advertise these days, and countless marketing tools clamoring for your dollars. It’s hard to know where to spend your money. Here’s a novel idea – don’t spend it. There are plenty of free ways to grow your business, including Facebook groups. We’re not talking about Facebook pages – we’ll cover those in another post. Groups are more personal and are your chance to really show off just how well you know your business and your industry. Here’s how you can master Facebook groups for your own business.
Content is King, Queen, and the Whole Court
The first step to creating a Facebook group is NOT to add new members. If there’s nothing for the members to do once added, they’ll leave and never come back. Start by filling the group with content with which your members can interact. Try to go beyond motivational quotes written in pretty script on a stock photo background – those don’t really add value. Share some of your blog posts, offer tips and tricks, and share some industry insights that wouldn’t be obvious to the casual observer. You don’t have to give away your entire secret sauce, but make sure you’re setting your group up as a place where members can come to learn, engage, and connect before you invite a single one.
Be (a Little) Selective
You’ll be tempted to invite everyone you know to the group – and to then encourage them to do the same. This is actually counterproductive. You want your group to be full of active and engaged members, not people who joined under duress or because they’re your family members. Your public Facebook page is the place for company updates, news, and photos – feel free to invite everyone you know to like it. Your group, however, needs to be a place for people who are genuinely interested in learning and engaging with topics and issues surrounding your brand. Some people are joiners – they’ll accept every invitation thrown at them. As a result, they’re a member of hundreds of groups and active in none of them – there just isn’t time. Keeping the group a little bit exclusive promotes high-quality contributions and engagements and elevates the success of the group overall.
Conversation is a Two-Way Street
In the beginning, you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time in the group posting things, writing comments, and interacting with the content your members contribute. Eventually you can step back a bit, but don’t mistake “free” for “easy” when it comes to Facebook groups. There’s significant effort involved in making your group successful and valuable for your members. If a member asks a question, answer it and do so quickly. If they write something that disagrees with one of your posts, leave a respectful and informative reply. Your members will notice all the work you’re putting in and that you’re providing useful, insightful information. They’ll reward you with their shopping dollars.
You Can Do This, We Promise
If starting your own Facebook group sounds daunting, don’t panic. You can totally do this. The secret is just to be the authentic, engaged, and knowledgeable entrepreneur that you are. This is your chance to have one-on-one conversations with your customers without leaving the comfort of your chair. It’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up.
PS – Here’s everything you need to know about cash discounting.
PPS – Is an open office plan right for your business? Find out.