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.

 

Download our 7 Great Strategies for SEO Today!

How you show up in search engines can be a puzzle.  But you know that showing up in search is important to growing your business.  Download our 7 simple tips to get you started and on your way to showing up on the first page.

Check your email for your download.

Pin It on Pinterest