You may have noticed our coverage of a new update to Facebook from a couple of weeks ago. With all the changes with Facebook, businesses have to get even more personal with how they create and post their content, which brings about an opportunity for a new kind of engagement: Facebook groups.
In limiting “business” content, Facebook is assisting rankings of groups and events in their algorithm to promote interactivity and more conversation to occur within the general public. In a way, it’s like bringing the software back to the good ol’ days of Facebook where you would see more status updates and photo albums of loved ones than advertisements. With this, businesses have the chance to make a new group as an offset to their page to be used as a new level of interaction.
Here are our top 5 reasons why using Facebook Groups can help grow your business:
Facebook groups are sort of like the new kind of online forum. Facebook groups have great features like polls, and large-format status updates to encourage group members to interact with your content. Starting discussions about industry topics or getting ideas is now as easy as logging on and posing a question. Not only can you post to the group as your business, but others can also begin discussions which can encourage more activity within the platform. Plus, if you do have a customer that wasn’t as pleased with your product or service, you have the opportunity to repair the relationship without them hiding behind an anonymous screen name or lowering your ratings on popular review sites like Yelp.
The discussion in a Facebook group is not only fun, but it also allows you to create authentic relationships with those in the group. You get to know them better and what they want, while still staying focused on key topics.
Groups are an open forum to exchange ideas and celebrate success, but they are also a great place to ask for help every once in a while. Your customers are the people that see and interact with your brand on a regular basis, so they will have good insight to help make important decisions. Using a Facebook group is a great way to get opinions on decisions. Plus, it comes without obligation, meaning more people will be motivated to post.
Now we’re not saying put your whole business plan up for people to comment on, but putting an option up for a new logo or asking whether people would be more inclined to buy your product in different colors is a great way to show your customer base that you value their opinions.
Discussions are great to get conversations going, but when it comes to metrics, polls are great for pulling out the cold hard facts. They are also a feature that is not available on a regular business page. Using polls can help you gauge interest in a product or service or help to formulate a new buyer persona for your average customer. With Facebook groups, you can choose who is in your group and then run polls to ask your group what kinds of things they are interested in to get a better idea of the needs of your average customer.
Once you get all the data together, you can start to put together a snapshot of your customer’s wants and needs. This snapshot will allow you to begin coming up with ideas and content they can engage with. You can also use this content on your Facebook group, plus can also tie it into your overall marketing strategies like Facebook Pages, blog articles, and more.
While polls can be great for analytical data, they can also be really fun. Don’t be afraid to create amusing polls, too, that you know your customers will respond to so you can portray more of your company culture and get to know your customers even better.
4. Market Segmentation: Creating Open or Closed groups
Another great feature of groups that differentiates them from pages is the opportunity to create closed groups, which makes for a great chance to create a more specific audience to ask questions to. By choosing who you invite to take part, you can better target customers you think are most likely to invest in your product or service.
So how do you find out which people are more interested and who to choose? Your email marketing campaigns can be a good place to check for these kinds of statistics. Take a look at past email marketing campaigns and make a list of prospects who have a higher open rate and maybe even clicked around on your email a bit. These people can be a great jumping-off point to add to your group because they already have your brand recognition and have shown interest.
5. Sheer entertainment value
At Squishy Peanut, we have recently invested time in our Facebook group, the Squishy Peanut Storytellers. We want our group to be a safe place for people to, share exciting news about their business growth or social media success, or even express frustrations they might be having with running their social media. We hope our members will feel free and open to sharing tips and tricks on tactics and strategies that are working for them to create an interactive community environment.
More than anything, though, it’s a place for us to share additional, free content, for our followers that we encourage them to interact with. And it’s really, really fun. We have loved seeing how people engage with the business and with each other.
Do you have a Facebook group? How does it work for you? Have you found value in it and do you prefer the group or your Facebook Page? Let us know in the comments.
Need help making your Facebook group? We’re happy to assist.