How to use Facebook Groups to grow your business
Facebook has long been considered one of the best social media platforms for marketing and advertising. For many businesses, it’s their go-to place to promote their products and interact with customers.
Despite the gripes from millennials and gen Z, this shouldn’t be too surprising. It’s the largest platform in the world, with more than 2.8 billion active users according to Statista.
With so many users your business needs to have a presence on Facebook. For most, that means creating a Facebook page and posting promotions. While that’s certainly necessary, there are other methods of marketing your business that you should consider.
Perhaps the least utilized of those methods is Facebook groups. Facebook groups are a unique way to drive engagement for your business and interact with customers.
This article will explore how to use Facebook groups to grow your business, and how to create your first group.
The difference between Facebook pages and groups
Why create a Facebook group when you already have a Facebook page for your business? Facebook pages are meant to give your company an official presence on the social media platform. It’s a way for your audience to find your business, learn more, find helpful links, and see what’s new.
While your audience can leave reviews, message you, and engage with your posts, that’s about it. Pages are like a public bulletin board for your company.
Groups, on the other hand, are more interactive. Everyone in the group can post, and others can engage with those posts. Conversations are more free-flowing and can take on a range of topics. Best of all, many groups are member-led.
If your Facebook page is a bulletin board, groups are forums.
So, how can Facebook groups help your business?
How Facebook groups can help your business
There are many ways Facebook groups can benefit your business. From boosting engagement to forging new relationships, establishing a group is a powerful way to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Facebook groups generate engagement
Groups are a great way to create engagement for your business. Not everyone who follows your page will engage with your posts. This is because posts from a business page tend to promote products or services without a reason for others to engage.
With groups, anyone can post. Customers can ask questions or get feedback, and other users can chime in with their answers. Members can also chat amongst themselves about your brand or your related industry. In a group for a clothing brand, members might chat about fashion trends, hair, makeup, or accessories.
All of this engagement keeps members coming back. When you engage with them, it builds your brand’s reputation and trust.
Facebook promotes posts made in groups more than those from pages. That’s because engagement is so high in many groups.
Put a face behind the brand
Groups are a great way to interact with your customers as yourself, not your business. Because you can create a group as either an individual or a page, you have the choice to interact as yourself.
This allows customers to get to know you, the person behind the brand. While you are still representing your business, you can interact with others on a more personal level to forge new relationships and create loyal brand ambassadors.
Customers and other potential customers who made their way into the group will develop a sense of trust with you, making them more likely to purchase from your business again in the future.
Get feedback and reviews from your customers
One of the best ways to use groups is to gather feedback and ideas from your customers. Customers will naturally share their thoughts about your product or service in these groups, giving you a chance to see what others are saying.
You can also ask for feedback on certain products or other platforms like your website. Customers will be happy to share their thoughts with you.
Conducting polls is another great way to collect feedback from your group. They require less effort from your customers than having to write their feedback, but you’ll still get a general idea about how your customers feel.
Additionally, if you ever need new ideas for products or services, you can always ask the group for their thoughts.
Shows you care about your customers
Interacting with your customers in groups on a regular basis shows that you care about your customers and their wants and needs. It shows that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to connect with them instead of just scheduling posts for social media pages.
Customers can learn from each other
Another great feature of groups is the ability for customers to answer questions. If someone asks a question to the group, any member can answer it. These can be questions related to your brand or product, or something else entirely (as long as it fits within your group rules).
Customers can act as ambassadors for your brand and help others. Using the example of a jacket, say someone wants to know how a jacket that you’re selling fits. Customers who own the jacket can share photos and what size they wear.
This strengthens the community and carries more weight than if someone had contacted you directly or visited an FAQs page. Because other customers are helping, they must love your product or service, and people will be more likely to purchase your products.
These are just a few of the many benefits Facebook groups can provide to your business.
How to create a Facebook group
Now that we’ve shown you the benefits of using a Facebook group for your business, it’s time to create your own. If you’ve never created a Facebook group before, don’t worry. It’s easier than ever in the latest Facebook update.
Creating a Facebook group from desktop
When using a desktop or laptop computer, you can easily make your own Facebook group for business. Login to your Facebook account and select the blue Facebook logo in the upper left corner. In the drop down menu that appears, select Groups.
Under Groups, you’ll see any groups that you’re in and a feed of recent activity. On the sidebar to the left you’ll find a button that says “Create a group.” Select that, and you’ll be taken to the Create Group page.
Creating a Facebook group on mobile
Creating a group on a mobile device is similar to creating one on a desktop. Instead of selecting the blue Facebook icon, choose the menu at the bottom of the app (three lines that resemble a hamburger). Here you’ll find Groups. Tap on that.
At the top of the page, select the plus icon, then Create a Group.
Setting up your Facebook group
Here, you can give your new group a name. Choose something that relates to your business and doesn’t mislead others. This might be your business name, or something else that tells users the page has to do with your business and industry.
Below that you’ll see a drop down list of privacy options.
Public means that anyone on Facebook can see who’s in the group. Anyone can see the posts made in the group, and can join at any time.
A Private group on the other hand keeps group posts and members private. These are only visible to other group members. If you select Private, you’ll have the option to either hide the group completely or to have it remain visible. This allows you to decide whether members can only be invited or if they can request to join.
Choose whichever setting is better for you. However, keep in mind that public groups are often more difficult to moderate and keep spam-free.
Once you’ve chosen a privacy setting, you can also invite friends to join. Then, select Create Group.
In our example, we created a new group called SilverFox HQ Community, a private, hidden group with no other members.
That’s it! That’s all you need to create a Facebook group for your business.
How to personalize your new Facebook group
Creating your Facebook group is only the first step. To create a successful community, you’ll need to build a strong foundation.
As soon as you create a group, Facebook will automatically recommend steps to set up your group. This includes inviting friends, adding a cover photo, writing a description, and creating your first post.
First, navigate to your group’s Settings.
Under Set Up Group you can change the group name, write a description, change privacy settings, and add a location. Write your group’s description and be sure to include information about your business and the purpose of the group. Entice your audience to join. Why does it benefit them?
In the next section, titled Customize Group, you can choose a custom URL to more easily share the group with others. You can also assign a group color, add or remove badge types for members, and assign a group affiliation. If you assign your Facebook page to be an admin of the group, you’ll be able to show that you’re affiliated with that page.
Facebook groups include six default badges. These are Admin, Moderator, New Member, Rising Star, Visual Storyteller, and Conversation Starter.
Under the Add Extra Features section, you can change the group type (default is general) to accommodate buying and selling, learning, or other features. You can also add mentors or create Guides.
In the Manage Membership section you can change who is allowed to join the group, who can approve member requests, and who is already approved to join should they request to.
Other settings on the page allow you to change who can post, approve posts, link pages, link apps, and other features.
In the sidebar, you can also find pages for requests and approvals, and setting Group Rules. Creating group rules are essential to managing your new group. Set rules for what kind of content and behavior isn’t allowed. This will give you grounds to kick troublemakers and spammers.
You can also create post topics tags. This allows you to assign posts to a topic. From the menu, you’ll be able to quickly see every post that has been assigned to a topic.
Your group’s admin tools sidebar also allows you to set Membership Questions. These are questions pending members will have to answer when they request to join the group. This helps cut down on spam and bots, while also making sure your community stays vibrant.
With your group all set up, it’s time to add members.
How to promote your Facebook group
Now that your Facebook group is ready, you’ll want to promote it. Unlike Facebook pages, you can’t directly promote a group. However, there are many ways to entice your customers to join.
Start by asking your biggest supporters personally if they’d like to join. Chances are, you’ve had contact with some of your best customers. Maybe you even chat with them in person when they visit your business or online. See if they’re interested in joining the group.
Share that you created the group on your business page along with a link to join. That way your followers can see that the group exists. You may want to share the group on your personal timeline as well.
Another great way to promote your group is to link to it somewhere on your website. Write a blog about the group or link to it from your About page or somewhere else.
You can also send out an email campaign letting customers know about this new community where they can interact with others and your business.
Do something fun with the group. Maybe all members get access to sales before the general public. Maybe the group gets flash exclusive sales. Perhaps you’ll share exclusive tips and secrets. Find ways to entice others to join the group. This gives them a reason to join.
Don’t forget to mention the group on other social media platforms as well. You might have followers on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other places who want to join in.
Foster a welcoming environment
For your group to be successful, your audience needs to feel welcomed and valued. Otherwise, why join the group instead of just following your business page?
Consider weekly or monthly posts where you welcome new members and mention them by name. Ask them to introduce themselves if they haven’t already.
Let the community drive the discussions. See what they are interested in and what to talk about. Don’t just post sales and promotions. Really try to connect with your customers on a personal level, not just a B2C relationship.
Additionally, you should avoid cross posting from your main business page. Add a unique spin on these posts or do something special for the group members. Providing more value or insight will encourage members to engage and follow the group closely, ultimately resulting in a stronger bond between your business and your customers.
Alright, we covered a lot in this article. Let’s recap what we’ve discussed (If you skipped to the end just to read the summary, we’ve got you covered).
Facebook groups are an exciting and unique way to boost your business and develop personal relationships with your customers. They allow you to reach your most loyal customers, put a face behind the brand, receive feedback from customers, and answer questions. Groups are a great way to create brand ambassadors and lasting relationships with your audience.
With good promotion, the right incentives, and unique discussions, you’ll be able to create a vibrant community surrounding your brand.
We hope this article shed some light on the benefits of Facebook groups and how they can grow your business.
Are you in any Facebook groups run by or associated with a business? What are they like? Let us know in the comments.
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