Facebook groups are an increasingly powerful marketing tool for brands and businesses; after all, who doesn’t want to attract new customers and engage current customers with exclusive content, community and support?
But like all good things, there are a few ‘rules’ to play by to ensure that Facebook Groups are a success, both commercially and for your customers.
First off, why do Facebook Groups exist?
If you spend time on Facebook, you will know that it has become very crowded indeed. Although, content is largely personalised to the user with prioritised content relevant to their relationships and interests, it has grown so quickly that the News Feed can, at times, feel unmanageable.
The result of this has led users to wish for smaller communities that provide a more communal experience – and Facebook jumped in. Groups provide both customised and group benefits as they allow users to sign up for the things they want to talk about with people who share their interests. In turn, this leads to much more interaction and conversation and a truly social centred arena.
So it is no surprise then that Facebook Groups are becoming a marketing tactic for brands and businesses looking to boost advocacy and grow engaged communities.
What can Facebook Groups do for your brand or business?
Groups are a place where brands and businesses can become active participants versus spectators. Unlike regular Facebook pages, conversations are instigated by the users, making the engagement more credible and valuable. The more helpful and insightful a user’s interactions are in this space, the more likely they are to continue their engagement. And as a business, it’s a big tick for you when you are supplying the virtual location for these conversations to happen with your ultimate reward being engagement, brand loyalty and conversion.
Plus with Facebook Group Insights, Admins have access to the names of members, how many posts they’ve contributed and how many times they’ve commented in the group along with a whole host of other metrics. This data reveals your brand’s most dedicated advocates, which can be mined for brand experiences, product feedback and potential influencer opportunities in the future.
Sounds great! But are there any watch-outs for a brand on Facebook Groups?
There are definitely some considerations a brand or business needs to review before jumping in and setting up a Facebook Group.
Conversations can’t be controlled…
Don’t forget the number one reason people are on Facebook is to connect with friends, family and like-minded users in a SOCIAL setting. Brands need to ensure they can participate and add to the conversation versus broadcasting and being pushy (avoid the hard sell please). Actively listening to the community, even if they start talking about other brands, interests, and related topics, without shutting them down, is crucial. Allow your Group to organically drive the conversations, the topics and what’s discussed. Sometimes you will post conversation starters, but many other times you simply watch and engage with conversations that others have started. It can be hard for brands to make this switch, but it is crucial that you do for the success of the Group.
The role of the moderator…
So all of the above means you don’t have to do too much right? Wrong! Be prepared to moderate frequently (the size of the Group will dictate how often); all Groups should have official community guidelines and a member of the brand team or their agency should moderate conversations to ensure these are not violated.
You also need to consider if your Group is Public or Private, visible or hidden. This is determined by who your audience are, what the shared purpose of the Group is as well as what is likely to be discussed.
Creating then maintaining a Facebook Group also requires substantial resources and time to be successful. But implemented correctly, the payback is worth it!
Ok sounds good, what do I need to do from a business point of view?
Once your Group is set up, you need to add value regularly. Consider the following:
- Give people a reason to join, and then a reason to stay. Share content that provides value vs just replicating the brand’s main Facebook page. This can be anything from exclusive content to new perspectives on a specific theme or even something fun like a challenge. As a guide, follower posts should make up 70-80% of all discussion within Groups; the brand’s role is to lightly provoke conversation when organic conversation dies down.
- When a customer is looking for support and help, you can hop in and address the problem; not only do you support the original customer, you also announce the answer to the rest of the community in the process who then see your role as helpful.
- Not only can you use social listening to figure out what matters most to your audience, you’ve got a built-in focus group here. Want to know how customers feel about a new or upcoming product feature? Make them feel valued and ask them.
How we can help
If you still aren’t sure whether you should set up a brand Facebook Group, or you need some additional consideration of content or resource to get going, then drop us a line.