Facebook has an active user base of 2.27 Billion+ users (June’18 Data), more than the human population of many countries. With such a staggering audience base the priority of Facebook shifted to increasing the revenue from Facebook ads rather than user-generated engagement from profiles. This downfall of organic reach by Facebook led to the rise of Facebook groups, which became a very important part of any Facebook Marketing campaign or Facebook community building by businesses to leverage the full potential.
Before going to the reasons why should you use Facebook group, let’s have a quick introduction about Facebook group and its features at a glance.
- A Facebook group can be created by any user who has an active Facebook profile.
- There are 3 types of privacy options available for a Facebook group, Public, Closed & Secret.
- Public– Anyone can join, post, invite new members & see posts on group wall without joining.
- Closed– Actions are limited as selected by Facebook group admin and non-members cannot see posts on Facebook group wall.
- Secret– Not available in Search results in Facebook and only the admin can add new members.
- A Facebook business page, as well as other Facebook groups with a lot of similarity, can be linked with your Facebook group.
- Other than the linked Facebook page, postings can only be made from Facebook profiles and other Facebook pages cannot share their content directly using their by-line. However, an active Facebook profile can share content of a FB page on the wall of a Facebook group.
- At the moment there is no option of paid ads within a Facebook group however, a Facebook Business page can promote the linked Facebook group by sharing the link with a description in the post and boost it.
- All types of posts (FB Live Video, Videos, Images, Links, Status etc) can be shared on the wall of any Facebook group.
- Role assign feature is also available similar to that of a Facebook business page. Admin of the group can assign different roles to profiles based on the requirement.
- Facebook group Invite option is also available for embed through which group owners can promote their Facebook group in their websites and add members outside of Facebook.
- Group Admins can control the addition of new members and new posts.
- After the latest update, group admins can now check the performance of their group through group insights option, which is available once you have 250+ members or a good engagement rate defined by Facebook.
And many more to come and work in progress by Facebook. Although a specific Facebook group app (Android & iOs) has now been taken down, but according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, they still love it and give more importance to engagements driven through groups.
Now let’s get back to the main point of discussion Why you should be using a Facebook group to boost your Business?
Facebook was incorporated with the idea of staying connected your near & dear ones & like minded people. The idea of staying connected with like minded people has been the main aim behind creating Facebook groups while being connected with near & dear ones is taken care by the algorithm.
There is a higher chance of getting a more relevant engagement & impression for a post shared in a Facebook group rather than directly sharing through the post update of a business page. This is because, after the algorithm update of Facebook, level of personalization & customization of content in news feed has become negligible. This is the main reason brands are putting all their energy & resources in building up groups or engaging with groups of like minded interest.
For Example: 1) Users interested in Travel & Tourism topic would be highly interested to be a part of a travel & tourism Facebook group rather than a group talking about blockchain technology or economics. In such scenarios brands like MakemyTrip or goibibo should choose to promote its product & service in the 1st group to get more engagements and conversions rather than the 2nd group where the audience would treat it as meagre spam.
In a normal case just a post update from business page of MakemyTrip or goibibo does not guarantee a majority of impressions from the target group but in case of update or information sharing in a Facebook group it’s close to 90% precise targeting.
2) House rental startups like Nestaway & housing.com have made the best use of Facebook groups for lead generation & sales. Rather than depending on inbound marketing, the startups engage their sales representatives in Facebook groups meant for accommodation search. This not only saves time but they are also adding up value and building up a customer base at no extra cost. 90% of leads generated fall in hot leads category, i.e they have a higher chance of conversion.
How it helps?
Well, marketers would surely understand how precise targeting always saves time & money and results in better conversions. In Facebook you end up getting varied and quality leads & website traffic when engaged through a Facebook group thus increasing your ROI and making your Facebook marketing campaign cost effective.
Better Engagement & Organic Reach
Digital Marketers around the world have been complaining about the dying organic reach & engagement in Facebook. But the best Digital Marketers have found a way to tackle it and make the best use of the 2.30 Billion+ active user base of Facebook and the answer lies in Facebook group.
They came up with ways & hacks to make the best use of groups to increase visibility and engagement of their posts on Facebook. According to Facebook there is a higher chance that a user would see a post shared in a group rather than a normal post update as the group post falls in the area of interest of the user. This also increases the chances of a better engagement as a post gets a real time impression from a large number of users.
Newly added watch party feature for Facebook videos increases the video related engagements in a Facebook group by 3x times. In a watch party, all the members of the group get notified to watch a video together in a community and share their reviews, unlike a normal update where only people subscribed to notifications would get notified. This increases the concurrent views on a video, an important video engagement metrics in Facebook to increase the organic reach of the video in news feed furthermore.
Build an Audience
Businesses can build their own audience/community through Facebook groups. Link your group to your Facebook business page and slowly start building a community to ensure your Facebook marketing campaign is not hampered by algorithm changes.
Make the group as the 1st hand source of any sort of product related information and reward customers who share reviews in your group. This would slowly help in building a strong & precise target group for your product/service or future product launch. This also adds up as a word of mouth marketing for your brand through the reviews shared by your customers.
For Community Building Strategy, check out Nas Daily Global Facebook group.
Become an Influencer/Entrepreneur
The more audience and traffic you have under your belt the easier it gets to drive engagement and traffic in any social media. Based on this principle, many self-made influencers and entrepreneurs have been very successful in India.
Getting information is very easy in this age of information and technology. But leveraging the same information and re-sharing it to monetize for your own benefit is a talent limited to very few people. This is what makes them influencers and normal people just active Facebook users.
For Example: At the moment the trend is about Digital Marketing and every Tom, Dick & Harry calls himself/herself an expert in this field. Take any street in a metropolitan city in India and you will find a Digital Marketing institute in every corner of the locality. Even though a handful of them do have some serious knowledge and experience in the field but very few have been able to monetize it.
One such guy who went on to become the biggest name in Digital Marketing in India is Digital Deepak (Deepak Kanakaraju). There may be many other reasons for his success but one important point to be noted is that he is the owner of a Facebook group (Name: Learn Digital Marketing) related to Digital Marketing with the highest number of members (1Lakh+) discussing 24*7*365 days on topics related to Digital Marketing. This gives him an immense advantage over other institutes and experts in the field while promoting & selling courses related to his area of expertise.
Run Contests & Giveaways & Promote Events
We have already mentioned in the above points how a Facebook group helps in Precise targeting and getting better organic reach and engagements. In order to ensure audience stay connected & have a brand recall about their product/service companies nowadays run various giveaway contests and organize events. Contests & events always help brands in branding and in creating a new customer base and enter new markets. With a precise targeting TG and better organic reach & engagement in groups, it’s better to start your contest and event promotions from here rather than just a normal post update.
Connect with Super Fans
Super Fans or Loyal customers are very important for any brand/companies growth in the long run. In Facebook, a loyal customer can be defined as someone who always engages or shares any content shared in Facebook business page or group in his timeline. At times Super Fans can also run pseudo-Facebook pages or groups also called as Fan pages/groups to boost the community around the brand. This ensures there is always a social media visibility & attention about the brand on Facebook. Indirectly they run a 3rd party promotion for your product/service without incurring a significant expense in your marketing budget.
Do a Market Research from Polls
Facebook polls are a great way of connecting with your audience for any sort of market research. As a group comes with a better organic reach, engagement & precise target audience conducting a Facebook poll in a group is more feasible than any other social media platform. There is a higher chance of getting accurate results from a market research when done from a sample size with like-minded interest.
For any business, a support forum/platform is very important to ensure customer retention. However many companies fail to have a robust support forum or support center due to high on boarding cost. A hack that many SMEs have made the best use of is using a Facebook group as an exclusive support platform. This strategy not only helps in cutting support related expenses but also ensures a community building by addition of new members and new discussion threads.
Word of Mouth Marketing/Review Forum
Reviews play a very important role in the decision-making process of a customer while making the purchase. More the reviews lesser the time is taken for a sale. As social media platforms like Facebook have a huge active user base, real-time reviews and feedbacks from customers not only act as marketing communication but also helps a lot in word of mouth marketing. Based on research by a leading market research company, the decision making process of a customer is highly influenced by reviews of an existing customer rather than any marketing campaign initiated by the brand.
Engage multiple review threads in Facebook groups related to your brand’s category that would ensure a 365 days visibility of your brand’s product & service in an Online medium.
Best Practices while using Facebook groups for Business Promotion
- Give a group name that has good searches in a search engine. Facebook un-officially is the 2nd largest search engine after Google. There is a higher chance of getting a good rank in the search results if the name has a keyword with good search volume.
- Do not engage in Aggressive Promotion. Members join a group for information, new updates, and knowledge sharing. Too much of promotion related posts can be an instant turn off people would start leaving group.
- Be respectful while adding new members. Many high profile influencers may not like the idea of being in a public group, so while adding them do have a formal approach. Send a message through messenger and if required have a collaboration with them so that they also get benefitted for using their influence.
- Change notification settings immediately. Continuous notifications on every update in the group can be disturbing for members & this would eventually lead to mass opt out.
- Monitor posts to remove spam content. Set group rules or guidelines related to kind of posts that will be approved by the moderators and admins. Ensure any unwanted or hatred updates or threads are not initiated that would harm or hurt any community or sentiments of the members.
- Divide Workload. Once the group expands, the workload would also increase. Assign different roles to active members to monitor posts, members activity, and discussions. Any sort of negative thread would severely affect the reputation of the group and would also affect the brand image in case any company is associated with it.
- Engage Regularly. This is a very important point in order to ensure the growth of a Facebook group. Posts in a Facebook group other than docs expire after a certain period due to inactivity. Based on a research, Facebook groups with more active posts have a higher chance of getting a good rank and showing up in suggestions than groups with less active posts. Use all types of post options available and encourage activity and posts from members also. Create an engaging environment and reward members with the highest number of posts.
- Make the best use of Facebook Group Insights. Track the performance of your group on a regular basis (Weekly or Monthly) to understand the best time to engage and scope for more improvement.
So what are you waiting for? Stop complaining about Facebook algorithm and start building your Facebook group & community.
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