Using Facebook Groups to Grow Your
Brand, Business and Loyalty
So, you have a Facebook page and have been told how wonderful and powerful Facebook is, but all you hear is crickets.
“I created a Facebook page, how to I get followers?”
“I am on Facebook now, how do I get more business from Facebook?”
“I have been told groups are important, why?”
“How can I use Facebook groups to grow my business on Facebook?”
All good questions, and ones which we hear a lot. Let’s dig into this.
HOW TO GET “SOCIAL” TO GROW
Facebook is a social media platform.
In order for you to make Facebook work, you will need to be social on it. That is to say, you will need to spend time engaging with others, talking to people, answering questions, sharing your own experiences, beliefs or passions. A Facebook Group is a great way to do this.
FACEBOOK ALGORITHMS AND HOW THEY WORK
Facebook algorithms do not favor business pages.
Over the last several years, there have been many changes made on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg stated that users wanted to see more from their family, friends and groups.
So, Mark had a change made to the platform. The changes limited the reach for business pages. (I am sure Facebook wanting your business to give them your money also had something to do with it). For this reason, family, friends and groups are given a higher priority in the Facebook algorithm – meaning their content gets shown more. However, Facebook also “rewards” those who get good engagement by showing their posts more.
For this reason, businesses have to be creative and find more ways to really get in touch with their audiences.
WHAT KIND OF POST IS MOST ENGAGING?
A key factor in making Facebook work for you, is that your content needs to be of value. In other words, other people need to like it. Telling people to buy your product does not in itself provide value to most people.
What is engaging on Facebook? Here are some items we have found:
- Tips about using something in a certain niche are often valuable.
- Funny items provide entertainment which has value.
- Showing or sharing activities you are doing to support a charity or community has value as it shows users that you are someone that should be supported.
- Good news that relates to a community or niche is valuable (as opposed to good news that is only about your business).
For more ideas on what to post to Facebook, check out this article.
HOW TO USE FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR BUSINESSES
Ah, remember what I said above about how good ol’ Mark-e-Mark stated GROUPS was one of those things people wanted to see?
Facebook Groups is where like-minded individuals, or individuals with common interests come together and engage with one another. You could find Target deal and coupon groups on Facebook (where I am assuming users are sharing secret coupons… perhaps I should join just to be sure 😉 ). No doubt people are posting pictures with barcodes that can be scanned from mobile devices, perhaps sharing that certain items have been marked down, sharing that Target typically drops prices on their clearance items on Thursdays, etc.
Facebook Groups can be an enormously powerful tool. It is actually quite impressive when you take a step back. Facebook groups and their members have done some amazing things – locating wanted criminals (by sharing information from police), rescuing children from abusive situations, raising money for families in need, etc.
If it can do all that, Facebook groups can definitely help you out in your business endeavors.
THE TWO WAYS TO USE FACEBOOK GROUPS
There are two ways to harness the power of Facebook Groups. One is to create a group yourself or on behalf of your company, and the other is to join groups.
CREATING YOUR OWN FACEBOOK GROUP
You, as a business owner, can create your own Facebook group. This can be a very powerful tool for you. As an example, the video creation program, Animoto, has created a Facebook Group where it’s users can collaborate, ask questions and get quick answers from the community and look for inspiration. Sometimes you need help and another person who has been using the program for a while is rapidly and happily able to help. Animoto has 4 members that help manage or moderate the group, so you will often also get communication back from an Animoto representative.
Groups are a great way to showcase your expertise and get a community going that will be loyal. Let’s say you have started a small alternative medical practice where you are trying to help people over 50 feel younger and avoid the seemingly unending trap of medical drugs. You could create a group like “Living Younger When You’re Older”. The purpose of the group could be to share tips and strategies to help each other feel younger and healthier. So, members can share diets that work for them, their favorite supplements, drugs to avoid, etc… People will post questions and that is where you or your practice would step in and answer the question or give good sound advice. When members all see the value and knowledge you have, they will start reaching out to your practice for their health needs.
Another great thing about groups is that they can grow super crazy fast. A friend of mine created a group about two months ago which has grown to over 130,000 members in California alone. Once people join your group and have an agreement or liking for it, they will invite others to join. And since everyone has a common agreement or goal, the posts within the group tend to get super crazy engagement.
Take the example below. Crockpot Page with 2.3 million followers vs. Crockpot Group with 145,000 group members.
JOIN EXISTING FACEBOOK GROUPS
Another way to build yourself up as an expert is by joining applicable Facebook groups. Then, when someone posts a question or is looking for advice, you comment with your expertise for all to see, or share posts with great advice for all to see. People appreciate it and start to look to you as an opinion leader.
I will give you two examples from personal experience:
The first example is from a Facebook mom group. We get all sorts of posts from “does my baby’s poop look normal?” to “how do you keep your house clean” and even “does anyone have a family dentist they recommend in Las Vegas”. The subject of health, nutrition and medical situations often come up. After being in this group for about a year, a couple of specific moms stood out. On a post such as “my kid has just finished a round of antibiotics and has been super upset since” the mom offered great educated information about how antibiotics deplete certain nutrients from the body and their recommendation for how to help restore those and get baby back to being happy.
This mom shared super useful posts – her own investigations into different brands of vitamins and their ingredients, how to help a child detox after metal poisoning, remedies for colds, supplements to help kids sleep better etc. She became such an authority that other moms along with myself were now referring people to her website and blog and regimens. If someone posted a question and I had seen the earlier answer from this mom, I could tell the person to “search” the group to find where it was previously discussed.
As another example, when the pandemic started, I did what many others did. Learned how to plant things and not have them die within a week. I joined a “Sacramento Gardening Group”. This is where members share which plants do well in the area, how to revive a dying plant, what to do with all the extra tomatoes, best flowers for all day sun, etc.
One member of this group constantly shared pictures of his drool-worthy vegetable garden, his jealousy-creating green lawn and his gorgeous flowered landscape. He would share great tips and information. Hundreds of members of this Facebook group held him up as the example and asked for his advice. If he were to start selling plants or his compost, no doubt people would buy him out as anyone could see he knew what he was talking about and any product would be good quality. He could perhaps create a blog and make money off affiliate links or some such.
When it was discovered he was no longer in the Sacramento area, he was sadly “kicked out”. However, members of this gardening group created a new group – revolving around this now exiled member. Hundreds wanted to continue to see his pictures and get his advice (and in some cases approval). There is an example of how much of an expert he was considered and the loyalty his participation in the group had created.
As a small business owner, no doubt you could find a group to join and generate business for yourself.
Own a salon? Join a beauty group, comment on posts about what hair style will look best on that person, what product will help out the girl with the frizzy hair or the best method to curl your hair. Share your before and after shots from clients (with their permission). Join the mom Facebook groups too! They will often post the same questions.
Are you a business consultant? Join a small business group, a business owner group as well as your local community groups.
These days there are groups for just about everything you can imagine on Facebook. Join groups and communicate in them. It is a great way to get your name known as an opinion leader in your field.
Remember, building up your following and business on Facebook is never an overnight success. It takes time and work to get there. Stick with it and make it fun.