A client of mine recently asked:
“Hi Michael, we have cultivated a Facebook group. It’s a lot of time, we do a weekly Facebook Live and we’re not sure if it’s worth it. Do you have a way to gauge the traffic, or can we make it something that’s going to drive students to our school? Or are ads and other things better?”
This client wants to increase registrations for her online school. Let’s discuss the amount of time necessary to build an engaged community and how to grow your business with Facebook groups.
ARE FACEBOOK GROUPS WORTH THE EFFORT?
According to Forbes, “Mark Zuckerberg has said he’d like to see 1 billion users in meaningful Groups within five years.” When discussing what groups are, Facebook says “these are groups that quickly become the most important part of someone’s experience on Facebook. Today we’re setting a goal to help 1 billion people join meaningful communities like these.” They set that goal on June 22, 2017. Social Media Today reports that “research from Facebook shows that groups are seeing a lot more engagement than pages. This is because Facebook groups enable members to start conversations more seamlessly than a Facebook page does, while it’s also part of the broader shift away from public sharing to discussions in more enclosed, private space.”
HOW TO SAVE TIME
MANAGING FACEBOOK GROUPS
Often, Facebook groups require that you perform the following tasks regarding time spent per week:
• Adding and announcing new members (20 minutes).
• Responding to comments and questions (30 minutes).
• Preparing for your weekly live video (30 minutes).
• Performing your weekly live video (30 minutes).
You can have another moderator add and announce new members to the group. Copy and paste a template of what you’d like the moderator to say whenever you have new members join your group and inform that person to check for new members at a specific day and time once per week.
Regarding responding to comments and questions, often your group members respond to other members’ questions and comments. If someone does not receive a response from other members, you can have your moderator respond to that person saying:
“Great question [insert the person’s first name], we’re going to cover that on our weekly Facebook Live presentation this [day and time of live video]. Hope to see you there!”
The moderator can send you those questions so you can address them during the live video. All you have to do is prepare for and perform the Facebook Live video in your group.
HOW YOU CAN PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS
AND SERVICES WITH FACEBOOK GROUPS
You can see the traffic sources of your website in Google Analytics. Check to see how many people are coming from Facebook and compare it to other channels. To promote your products and services in your group, mention them during your weekly Facebook Live presentations.
HOW YOU CAN ENGAGE YOUR MEMBERS
You can perform group-only giveaways where you ask members to invite three friends to your group, ‘Like’ a post in the Facebook group and leave a comment explaining their favorite part about your group or takeaways from your Facebook Live video. Those positive comments can become testimonials for your group that you can use in marketing messages to demonstrate the value of your supportive community. Additionally, you can give away a copy of your book, access to an online training course that you’ve already created or a product you’re looking to move out of inventory. Next, you can create a poll in your group, which can serve as a survey to identify the topics that your members are interested in and ideas to build future offerings around. You can get excellent market research from this tactic.
WHERE FACEBOOK GROUPS FIT INTO
YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
Facebook ads, groups, pages, emails, Messenger broadcasts and other forms of communication all work together. You can get email subscribers from an ad campaign, warm them up with a Facebook group and market to them via email. Facebook, Instagram and Messenger ads are targeted, scalable, measurable ways to grow your subscribers. Facebook groups are an engaging way to build a community of individuals around a shared interest.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
In most cases, Facebook groups can help you reach more people organically than Facebook pages. Build a community of individuals interested in hearing from you through this medium. You can remarket to them with Facebook ads since you know they use the platform and gather positive comments as testimonials for your brand. Go use Facebook groups to grow your business.
Michael Guberti is the founder of Michael Guberti’s Digital Marketing Services, a full-service digital marketing agency. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.