What are Facebook Groups

What are Facebook Groups

In January, Facebook announced that they were going to prioritize your friends and family and groups you follow in your news feed over business pages.  This made huge waves throughout the social media marketing universe as it made big changes to how businesses used Facebook to build their business.  You can check out more about that in our post of about Facebook marketing in  2018.  Many businesses are now asking themselves, “What are Facebook groups,” and “Do I need one for my business?”  Let us help you break it down!

Last year, Facebook allowed businesses the ability to link Facebook groups from the business pages.  Previously, you had to create them from your personal page.  This is great because it allowed you to separate your personal and business activities online as well as give more visibility to your business in the group.

 

On the bottom left of the group header image, you see the business the group is linked to and can easily navigate to that business page by clicking on it.

So what are the benefits of having a group for your business?

  1. People usually feel more comfortable interacting with a group vs on a standard page. Because the visibility of the posts, comments, etc are limited to the people in the group, it does not feel quite as scary to make a comment.
  2. Notifications go out to the entire group when posts published.  Settings around this are changing some so that people don’t get bombarded, but if you continue to publish meaningful information that people interact with then your posts will still be seen.
  3. There may be people in your company that are not involved with managing your social media campaigns but might have meaningful insight for your company.  Think about the owner, sales manager or other specialists.  They can be admins in the group and also comment, post and interact with the groups’ followers.  Imagine if you were in a group that was for your favorite brand and the CEO of the company wrote directly to you!  Wouldn’t that make you feel special?

How do you set up a Facebook Group?

Go to your Facebook Business page and scroll down until you see the “Community” section on the right side.  Then click the “creating and linking a group” button.  That will take you to the groups page for your business.  If you already have a group created then there should be a groups button the left side of your page.  You can always go there directly to add additional groups if you need to.

Once there You can click “Create Group” and follow the step-by-step instructions to set it up.  One important note, you will have to add at least one person to the group.  We do not recommend going through your friends list and adding folks to the group.  It automatically adds them to the group without them having to accept and is a quick way to frustrate and annoy people.

What privacy setting should I use?

This really depends on the purpose of your group.  We recommend using the Public or Closed group options though.  Public is great if you do not care who joins, the more the merrier right?  This is great for building awareness, community and education people.  For example, if your business is about sustainable farming, you could create a group where people can share their tips and tricks about their farms.  Anyone can join in and have a conversation and it’s up to you to create content to put your brand in front of them in a meaningful way.

Most groups you create will be closed.  Our Simple SEO and Simple Social Media groups are closed and are a benefit of a paid membership they are a part of.  By publishing content in a closed Facebook group we provide easy access to materials and they can’t be shared from inside the group to the general public.  This could also be used as a way to reward VIP members of your organization.  Maybe they get access to new products before the general public and you announce it there.

The biggest difference between a Closed and Secret group is that closed groups are still visible in search.  You can’t see the posts but you can see that the group exists.  Secret groups are only found if someone in that group invites you to it.

Now that it’s set up what’s next?

One of the tricky things can be figuring out what content to post to the group.  You do not want to post the same thing on your Business page that you put in your group.  Remember, your group is supposed to bring people closer to your brand and build that know, like and trust.  It’s also great for creating evangelists for your brand and keeping them coming back for more.  Having a distinct strategy for what you want your group to accomplish will help you with generating content for your users.  And as always, pay attention to the analytics.  What types of content are people interacting with more?  What types of questions are they asking you and asking each other?  What types of feedback are you getting when they are responding to each other?

Promoting your group is also going to be important.  While you can’t advertise to people in groups (yet), you can advertise on Facebook ABOUT your group.  If you have an email newsletter that’s a great place to let people know it exists.  Just remember to be patient.  It takes time to get a group going and engaged.  Don’t give up if after a few weeks you aren’t getting the engagement you were hoping for.  People need to feel safe commenting and expressing themselves.  Continue to develop that safe space and you will see results.

Conclusion

The beauty of Facebook groups is that you are only limited by your creativity.  Groups work with all different types of industries and audiences.  Think about how you like to interact with your favorite brands and bring that into your strategy.  Join other groups and see how they use it and get ideas – just don’t be a copycat!  We’d love to hear about your success and ideas so share this post and let us know what kind of groups your business utilizes.

 

Why We Use WordPress

Why We Use WordPress

New survey data from Netcraft shows that WordPress is now being used on nearly 30% of all websites out there. Can you believe that!  At H & E Marketing Solutions we build all our websites on WordPress.  When meeting with potential clients or when teaching classes we often get asked, “Why?”  Many people find the platform to be difficult to use or clunky – and it can be.  We want to share our top 8 reasons why we like WordPress and why we use it for all our clients.

Now before we move into why we over to why we love WordPress, we should clarify.  There are two different versions of WordPress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  With WordPress.org you own the website and the handle the hosting yourself.  With WordPress.com they manage the hosting for you and you have less flexibility with your customization.  We use WodPress.org for our clients and websites.

 

1. WordPress has longevity

So many companies come and go.  There are new tech companies started every day and many won’t be successful in the long term.  WordPress has been around since 2003 and has been downloaded more than 55 million times!  It is also an open source software, which means that anyone can update the source code and work on the software.  WordPress isn’t held by any one company so its chances of sticking around are much greater.  This also allows companies to create plugins and customize the site in new ways all the time.

 

2. It’s Free

To download WordPress basic themes on your website is free.  WordPress comes out with a new standard theme each year that you can utilize on your website.  If you need something more specific or sophisticated there are hundreds of thousands of themes that you can pay for to give you more options.  We personally love the Divi theme from Elegant Themes, and it is what we have used on this website.

 

3. Fully Customizable

According to the WordPress website, there are more than 45,000 plugins available to customize your website.  Now before you get overwhelmed, there are some standard plugins that you’ll use.  We’ll be writing a blog post on that shortly!  You can do anything you need to do with your website with plugins and it doesn’t require any coding.

Here is a great example!  The Waldorf School of Bend needed to have more menu items accessible to their visitors.  However, we didn’t want to make the main menu bar to messy with lots of drop downs.  The hamburger menu sits on the top right corner of the website and allows them to keep the most important things on this additional menu bar. The options are endless. You can create login pages for information only a few people should see, embed video easily, change your fonts and colors, and so much more!

4. Google Friendly

There are easy plugins you can use to allow Google to crawl your site nicely and manage your SEO, and they’re FREE!  Yoast is our favorite and one we use regularly.  It helps you manage your SEO keywords on each page and even gives you tips on what you can do to improve that page.  It also gives you easy access to your sitemap that you can upload to Google Search Console to ensure that you are getting the best results.  WordPress is also search engine friendly as a platform.

 

5. It is great for eCommerce

With so many integrations you can create a beautiful WordPress site that supports your eCommerce store.  If you sell digital downloads, memberships or physical products there are great options.  We use WooCommerce to power our website but other great options are Shopify and MemberPress depending on your offering.  With your shopping cart, you can also link to several different merchant service accounts to keep you processing the same if you have brick and mortar also.

 

6. It’s great for Membership Sites

If your product is selling memberships and providing digital information to them then this is a great option for you as well.  You can create areas where members need to log in in order to see certain pages and content.  Combining it with WooCommerce subscriptions allows you to take recurring payments to keep your business humming.  With your eCommerce and Membership sites, you can also link to your email client and collect emails for your automated email campaigns.

 

7. Themes are Responsive

No more worrying about if your website is mobile friendly.  The standard themes on WordPress are responsive, meaning designed to change size based on the device you are on.  Most premium themes you purchase these days are also responsive.  Divi gives us the option to toggle between tablet and phone versions on desktop to make sure the design elements we are using translate well on all devices.  It also lets us make some elements disabled and not show on mobile if they aren’t user-friendly on that device.

 

8. Easy to Use

Now its worth mentioning that setting up your website from scratch if you’re not a designer or tech-savvy isn’t completely easy on any platform.  However, with some basic skills, you can create a beautiful website with the standard themes that come with your WordPress site.  At H & E Marketing Solutions we provide training to all our clients on how to update their websites and where all their elements live.  Be sure to ask your developer to do the same for you if you’re using one.

 

In Conclusion

We love the functionality, ease of use and ability to customize WordPress and have built sites for several different types of business.  If you have any questions about if WordPress could work for you please let us know!  We’d love to answer them for you.  Get to desining and showcasing your amazing business.

Ready to Get to Work?

We would be happy to get you a quote for your project.  Whether you are starting from scratch or  just needing a refresh, we can help.  

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