Everyone from your parents to your dentist to your favorite local restaurant is on Facebook. The social media giant impacts everyone’s lives and is continuously evolving in regards to how users make use of it. Ready to revamp the Facebook marketing strategy for your brand? Consider using a Facebook group to expand your current approach.
Facebook groups are nothing new to the social media platform. However, the way that companies and brands are using them can be seen as innovative. Ready to make sure you’re all set? Let’s cover the basics first.
Getting started with Facebook groups
Creating a Facebook group is simple as the platform has simplified the process for you. When creating your group, sit down and identify the purpose behind the group.
Will it be to promote a community around your brand? Perhaps you’ll use it to create a topic-focused group that has a relation to your industry. Whatever it is, figure it out before creating the group so you won’t have to go back later and adjust the group’s purpose.
Some important things to keep in mind when creating your group are the following:
- Choose a memorable name. When choosing your Facebook group name, you’ll want to pick something unique but also give your audience a good idea about the group’s purpose. Make sure the name is short enough that it’s searchable!
- Set the right privacy settings. Choosing a privacy option that is right for your group isn’t the easiest decision. However, it’s important to select the right option in the beginning since changes to privacy settings are extremely limited once a group hits 5,000 members. Keeping groups private can help you maintain control over your group.
- Fill in all the information. Filling out all the information in your group’s setting can ensure that members are aware of the purpose of the group and have access to all related information. Make sure to have a relevant cover photo and about section for your potential members.
- Create rules. No one wants to be a rule-enforcer, but having rules set in a pinned post in your group can ensure that all members are expected to abide by them. Additionally, if you have to remove someone for a violation, there should be no uproar.
5 Tips for running your Facebook group effectively
You’ll want to make sure that you’re using your Facebook group in a way that provides value for your members and also for your brand. Here are a few tips for running your group effectively.
1. Use an event to drive participation
Creating a Facebook group is simple; the hard part is getting people to join it and ensuring that these people are going to bring value to your group. An easy way to drive registration for your group is to kick off the group with an event. Use a giveaway or an exclusive deal to incentivize joining. Here are some great social media contest and giveaway ideas.
Once people have joined, make sure they see a reason to stay after the event is over. Don’t stop using events once you’ve created your group. Use weekly events to drive conversations within the community. Prompts such as “News Recap Friday” give members something to look forward to and prepare for during the week.
2. Get the word out
Events are a great way to drive joiners, but it may not attract everyone you want to see in the group. Therefore, use your current online presence to get the word out about your new group. Use an email blast to encourage people to join with a quick button and consider giving them a sneak peek of what’s already happening in the group. Use Facebook to blast the news about your new group.
Reach out to some of your biggest fans and contributors and encourage them to join the group or even offer them an admin position. Having dedicated admins takes some of the group management responsibilities off your plate and gives members a hand in what’s happening. These members should feel more inclined to contribute to conversations and should already be fans of your brand.
3. Let the group talk
Nothing stifles conversation more than feeling like someone is standing over your back and always has a response. A great way to encourage the community of your group is to take a step back and not insert yourself in every conversation.
Obviously, still contribute to the discussion during your recurring weekly events, but your voice should not be heard in each post. If incoming posts are slow, you can liven the group through your posts. However, your posts should not be the only thing that your members see.
4. Don’t focus just on you
Although your brand may be the owner behind the Facebook group, members should not feel as if they are in a constant sales pitch for your brand. You can announce new products or features or even source beta testers, but you should not constantly push upgrades upon your group.
A great way to ensure that you’re varying what is shared is to share other companies’ content (and don’t discourage your members from doing so as well). Discussing what other brands are doing well helps to strengthen the community’s bonds and gives inspiration for where your brand can improve as well.
5. Exclusivity is key
If your audience can find the same information from your Facebook group elsewhere online, they have no incentive to stay in the group. To encourage engagement and retain members, use member exclusive content.
This content can take the form of a group-only discount, a Facebook live session interviewing another thought leader or deep dives into a related topic. Survey members ever so often to ensure that they enjoy what you’re putting out. Be creative with your group, but make sure that your members see the value of being there.
Facebook groups provide great value to your brand by enhancing a sense of community around your company. They encourage engagement and can help establish that strong brand connection that many companies strive for. Remember to encourage engagement between members and provide them value, and you should see your group thrive.
Anastasia Masters is a Content Marketing Associate at G2. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in history. In her spare time, Anastasia enjoys eating her way through Chicago’s different neighborhoods, planning her next trip, and binging a new show on Netflix.