Unleash the full marketing potential of Facebook Groups with our...Read More
Written by Digital Media Zone
What would you say if I told you that you are probably ignoring one of the most powerful features that Facebook has to offer marketers?
Facebook groups – that’s right groups, not pages – have huge potential for marketers that all too often gets completely overlooked.
A group has the power to completely transform the way you engage with your audience, massively increasing brand loyalty, conversion rates, and profits.
The power of the Facebook group lies in its more intimate nature. This isn’t a case of bringing lots of followers to your channel.
Rather it is about communicating with those existing followers in order to build trust, authority, loyalty, and rapport. Facebook groups provide among the most powerful and effective ways to achieve this. And this is what makes ALL the difference when it comes to business success.
Groups meanwhile create marketing and business opportunities that simply don’t exist with other forms of marketing. They can even be used as an internal tool for managing your organization and creating more of a strong team dynamic among your employees.
We’ll get to all that later on. But even just on the face of it, in terms of pure numbers, there is every reason to create a Facebook group. After all, over one billion people use groups every day, which is just under 1/7th of the entire population of the planet. More than 100 million people describe groups as being the most important part of the Facebook experience.
This is a strategy that can completely transform your business fortunes in other words. And in this article, you’re going to learn precisely how to put groups to work for you.
As we have already discussed in the introduction, the true power of the Facebook group lies in its ability to engage directly with your followers, fans, and customers.
Facebook groups on the surface operate very much like a Facebook page, but whereas posts you share to your page will be seen by non-followers in other networks when they get liked and shared, posts inside your group will only be visible to members.
Likewise, a Facebook group won’t use calls to action in the same way as a Facebook page and won’t allow you to make promoted posts
We’ll get more into the nitty gritty of what sets a Facebook group apart from a page in a moment.
Posts will appear on members’ home feeds and will be given more importance than posts from pages.
That’s because a group is primarily intended for social activities like parties, or groups of people with common interests
The assumption is that if someone has joined a Facebook group, it’s because they want to discuss that topic with people in the community.
This is subtly different from a Facebook page which is a much more business-oriented tool that is more likely to contain promotions and marketing that the followers DON’T want to see all over their feeds.
The essay entitled “1,000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly, explains that in order for a brand or business to truly thrive and sustain itself, it needs 1,000 “true fans”. What is meant by that?
Essentially, what is meant is that as long as you have that many genuinely passionate followers, your brand will go from strength to strength. While this might not seem like a huge number in the grand scheme of things, the reason for this is that TRUE fans are those that consume every piece of content you put out (and buy into it), buy every product, and also act as your ambassadors.
These are followers who will tell their friends about your products and will post to forums to share your latest video.
When you build this kind of following, you have a guaranteed customer base, but also the seed and momentum that can grow into something absolutely huge. Those thousand fans WILL bring in more fans, and those fans will bring in more as well!
The other way this is often described, is that it is far better to have a mailing list with 100 people on it that read your emails, than it is to have a mailing list with 2 million people on it who never open them.
If you have enough engagement and trust with your brand, then you can earn a living with only a very small following.
And this is where so many businesses go wrong. It’s what so many businesses miss. That’s because a huge proportion of businesses are focused only on numbers, and they therefore don’t spend time on ‘aftercare’ or looking after those members.
Turn your customers into fans who love your brand, and you will be able to enjoy unprecedented success.
How does a group help with all this? Firstly, by letting your customers and followers become part of a community – which has a profound psychological impact – and secondly by allowing them to communicate with you directly, thereby creating a huge amount of trust.
A Facebook group in many cases will act as a kind of “insider’s club”, which in turn can gain you a lot of loyalty and enthusiasm.
No longer is yours a faceless organization. No longer do you seem distant and unknowable. And no longer is yours just a bland logo on a useful product they buy.
Instead, the customer has become part of a tribe. They have chosen to get behind your message and to take part in the very direction of your brand.
In so doing they feel a kind of ownership of that, and they become far more invested in what you have to say. Your brand becomes a part of their identity even
This might sound extreme, but it is essentially the difference between a company like Apple, and a company like ASUS. ASUS does well because it makes good products and has a strong marketing budget.
But Apple is one of the biggest brands in the world because people get excited every time a new Apple product comes out.
In the last chapter, we discussed at length the importance of having a Facebook group. Here, we saw that it would allow you to contact your followers and customers in a more direct and intimate manner, which could in turn be highly effective in creating a stronger relationship and more engagement with those users.
But that’s just one thing that sets Facebook groups apart as being such useful part of your digital marketing strategy. There are actually a number of different ways that you can utilize Facebook groups in order to mobilize your fan base and potentially increase your engagement and profits. Read on for some of the most effective.
One way to think of a Facebook group is as a reward or an incentive. In other words, you can use this as a way to encourage your most loyal fans to take certain actions, and to thank them for their loyalty.
Imagine that you regularly follow a particular blog or vlog and you are a huge fan of the content they put out. You find it exciting and interesting, and you love the community that often enjoys lively discussion each time a new piece of content goes live.
You consider yourself a fan, but you haven’t quite taken the leap when it comes to signing up to the mailing list or joining the Facebook group.
Then you hear that as a thank you for joining up to the list, users will be given access to a private Facebook group that will discuss the topics tackled on the site in much more depth, that will be given privileged access to new products before anyone else, and that will be able to vote on the direction of the brand.
You can likewise use this as a way to encourage people to join your Patreon, to buy particular products during a promotion, or to share your link and encourage more people to sign up!
What many businesses forget, is that social media is first and foremost a tool for communication. Many companies think of it purely as a platform or a pedestal from which they can shout about new products or services. They think of this as a one-way means of communication in other words.
But that is to miss out on perhaps the most valuable and important aspect of social media. Being able to not only speak with your audience, but also have them respond is immensely valuable, as it will allow you to get customer feedback, to conduct market research etc.
And this is invaluable when it comes to deciding the future of your business. Investing lots of money or time into a new business venture such as a product or a service is always going to involve a large element of risk. But if you first speak with your audience, you can ensure that there are actually people out there who are willing and interested in paying for said product. In many ways, this is one of the closest things to a truly ‘flawless’ business plan: you ask what people want, then you create it!
Likewise, this is an amazing way to get more ideas for content, to get ideas for promoting your site, and to find out more about the people you are selling to. Many companies pay thousands of dollars for market research; with a Facebook group, you can conduct it entirely for free. Just keep in mind that your most die- hard fans are not necessarily the most representative when it comes to reflecting the interests of your followers at-large.
We’ve seen that Facebook groups can be powerful incentives or “prizes” when running competitions and promotions. People who are engaged with your brand will love the idea of being invited to an “exclusive” VIP club only if they should sign up to your Facebook page or like a post etc.
But at the same time, you can also use the Facebook group in order to run future promotions and competitions. This is a great way to reach out to your most proactive followers, which in turn means you can motivate them to take action by spreading the word.
Many people use Facebook groups privately to run events. This is a perfect tool for creating stag parties and hens, or just organizing trips with friends. Not only does this put everyone involved in one place (making it easier for you to see everyone in one spot and
communicate the plan) but it also creates a forum where everyone can contribute ideas.
This is something you can equally benefit from as a business. In fact, running events as a business or brand is another of the most effective and under-utilized strategies for increasing engagement and even just making direct profit!
It’s one thing to run a fitness blog or a make money blog. But if you run an event, this gives people a chance to see you in person and to really feel involved.
If you are cutting the price of one of your products or services, if you are running a two-for-one deal, or if you are introducing any other kind of special offer, then having a Facebook group will provide you with an ideal way to communicate this and to get more people to act on it.
You have to be careful with this, however. After all, Facebook groups are not ‘for’ promoting your products, and there is always the danger that people will find this off-putting and be moved to leave your group entirely. Groups have ‘special access; to the home feed as compared with pages, and you need to treat this with respect.
BUT there is a way to do this, and that is to make the special offers part of the appeal of your group in the first place. In other words, make it clear when promoting and marketing your group that you will be using it to present special offers and deals.
You can do this by saying things like ‘sign up to the Facebook group for exclusive offers and deals. If you get this right, it can work extremely well: if people are truly engaged with your brand and they love your products, then getting to hear more about them might genuinely be seen as a powerful incentive and source of excitement.
Perhaps the most powerful way to use a group and the one that this book has been promoting so far, is to build a private, members-only area for your most dedicated followers. While this can work wonders, another extremely powerful marketing option works completely differently.
That is to create a group about a topic that ostensibly has no particular connection to your brand. For example, if you sell law courses, then you could create a group for legal students. Let anyone create new posts and make the group public. When you notice some of your members are highly involved, promote them to admin status.
This group will now run itself and you can pretty much forget about it and leave it to its own devices.
But come back in a year and there’s a chance it will have grown. It might be extremely large and active at this point. And that in turn means that you can then use it for gently marketing your courses
Speaking of which, you can also monetize your Facebook groups directly by using this direct access to promote other products and other offers from different brands. In other words, once you have built a large and engaged audience, you can then sell access to that audience.
Advertising is a good way to make some quick money, and it can even be a long term revenue stream. But again, it’s important that you go about this the correct way – which means ensuring that your audience knows they’re going to be receiving these offers before you begin, and which means being highly selective and not taking every offer that comes along.
Communicate to your audience that they will be receiving only hand-picked, exclusive, and special offers that are likely to appeal to them.
Finally, keep in mind that a business can use a Facebook group internally. This can be a useful way to arrange an event, to keep track of your staff, and to generally manage portions of your business. Many companies will use internal portals to achieve the same thing, but using a Facebook group is free and highly flexible.
So far we have discussed how to unlock the untapped marketing potential of Facebook Groups. You are now equipped with powerful strategies to boost your engagement, expand your reach, and achieve remarkable results.
In the upcoming second post, we will dive into Chapter 3: “Creating Your Facebook Group, Step by Step,” where you’ll learn the essential techniques for building a successful Facebook Group.
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