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You’ve surely noticed how increasingly difficult it has become to have your content seen on Facebook. With the social media platform’s algorithm in constant flux to improve the user experience, brands’ status updates aren’t getting the exposure they once did organically. Facebook business page posts are now seen only by a small percentage (some report as low as 2 percent) of page followers.

So small businesses must find creative ways to cut through the noise and engage users. Many companies have found that paying to promote posts and run Facebook ads can help, but entrepreneurs have overlooked the power of Facebook groups.

How Can Facebook Groups Boost Your Business?

Facebook groups bring together people with similar interests, issues or mindsets. They give you a way to demonstrate your expertise to potential customers and strengthen relationships with existing customers. Group members get notifications (unless they change their settings) when a new post is published, so updates on a group page are less likely to go unnoticed.

Consider these two tactics for harnessing the potential of Facebook groups:

  1. Create your own Facebook group.
  2. Participate in other Facebook groups that cater to your industry.

1. Create Your Own Facebook Group

Creating a group for your business gives you a forum where you can establish trust and humanize your brand. It enables you to communicate with people who:

  • Need your products or services now
  • Will need your products or services in the future
  • Know other people who need or will need your products or services
  • Have questions about using your products or services
  • Love your company and want to stay in the know about new developments

Your Facebook group is where you can receive and respond to questions and overcome buyer resistance—which could mean the difference between a customer choosing to do business with your company or a competitor.

Also, it’s an ideal place to gather customer feedback and valuable insight about how to expand or improve upon your business’s offerings.

How To Start a Facebook Group?

Starting a group is technologically simple; follow Facebook’s directions to set it up.

After you’ve created your group, invite your existing customers (and Facebook friends in your target market) to join. For your group to be a win-win for you and its members, you need to build a community of participants who are interested in what your company can do for them and the expertise you—and other members—can provide.

Realize that it may take some time for your group to assemble a body of members that actively gets involved in group discussions. However, with a continual effort to share quality content and be responsive to questions, you can break through that barrier.

Tips For Maintaining a Facebook Group People Will Value

To attract new members to your group and keep existing members interested in what’s happening there, prepare to pay attention to it.

  • Consider using promoted posts and Facebook ads to help you draw new members.
  • Post regularly and keep a pulse on industry trends and issues that your members want or need to know about.
  • Mix things up, so your group doesn't become boring. For example, use Facebook Live to allow members to present how-to sessions and get to know you and your staff better. Also, ask members questions or run polls to facilitate conversations within your group.
  • In addition to your own content, share articles, videos, infographics, etc. from other credible sources within your industry.
  • Respond to comments and questions promptly to demonstrate that you care about your group members.

2. Join Other Facebook Groups That Cater to Your Industry

Also, consider joining and participating in Facebook groups that focus on developments and challenges within your industry. This opens the door to increasing awareness of your expertise through offering your insight when group members have issues or questions you can address.

Some real-world examples include:

  • The Lancaster Marketing Group Facebook group that serves as a hub for marketing professionals in South Central Pennsylvania to network with and support each other.
  • The Business Startup Experts group that I set up through CorpNet for accountants, attorneys, tax professionals and business consultants to exchange information and learn from one another. 
  • The Divi Web Designers Facebook group that provides a forum for Divi and Wordpress designers to collaborate.

Joining groups related to your industry can bring more opportunities to make yourself known and demonstrate your knowledge to people you otherwise may not have reached through your own channels. When becoming a member of a group, make sure you abide by the group guidelines (many prohibit blatant self-promotion) so that you stay in good standing with the administrators and don’t make a bad first impression.

“Face” the Challenge of Getting Noticed on Social Media

The struggle is real to reach customers on social media as platforms tweak their algorithms. Facebook groups offer a means for overcoming that challenge. As with any marketing tactic, managing a group requires some time and effort to gain momentum. But with consistency, persistence and a genuine desire to serve your target audience’s needs, you can rise above the noise online and build a memorable brand.

About the Author(s)

Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp is a serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, speaker and author. Nellie has been named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer by Small Business Trends the last five years and CorpNet.com has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in America in 2015 and 2016. 

CEO, CorpNet
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