Could a Facebook group help you reach more customers?
If your Facebook business page is not reaching your customers, maybe the answer is building a community of like-minded brand advocates in a Facebook group.
It’s no secret that Facebook is constantly squeezing the reach of Facebook business pages in order to limit the branded content people see in their timelines. Instead of offering free advertising, they want companies to dig deep to reach their followers. As a business model, it makes sense for Facebook but can be frustrating for SMEs who don’t have big budgets to help their posts cut through to customers.
We’ve talked before about the decline in organic reach for Facebook business pages. This is now as low as 1%, which begs the question: is Facebook still a good social media platform for businesses? We would argue, yes.
However, now is not the time to keep plugging away with the same Facebook strategy as when you set up your business page. In fact, you may want to consider creating a Facebook group to help you reach more customers.
How can businesses use Facebook groups?
Facebook groups are interest groups – places where people ask questions, share knowledge and collaborate as a community with a common goal. Their primary purpose is not for self-promotion or advertising. So how can businesses use Facebook groups for their benefit?
The key is to create a community of people interested in your kind of services, products or industry. For example, if you sell trainers you might set up a group about running.
A Facebook group is a place where you can share:
- Tips about using your products.
- Things you’ve seen in the news that might be of interest to customers.
- Blog posts from your website.
- And, exclusive offers for group members.
You can also ask questions for market research purposes, and answer queries that come up in the group. If successful, it could become an extension of your customer service function. Plus customers can help to answer product questions from their own experience, acting as advocates for your brand.
As well as establishing a community of people interested in the same things as your business, it gives you a free platform to engage more customers on Facebook. Groups have a much better reach than Facebook business pages and have the potential to improve your relationship with your audience.
How to set up a Facebook group
Setting up a Facebook group is quick and easy to do. First, choose a name that says exactly what people can expect from the group. You may want to look at similar groups to see what’s already used and what topics are popular.
Your group can have three different visibility settings:
- Secret – the group and its posts are only visible to members.
- Closed – the group can be found in searches on Facebook but only members of the group can see its posts and comment on them.
- Public – anyone can see the group and the posts in it, but only members can comment.
While you are setting up your group you may want to keep it secret. You can change this setting when you are ready to promote it and add members. A closed group will work if you want to keep your Facebook group community small and focused. A public group will give you a wider reach.
Once you have set-up your group, invite customers to join by sharing a link to it on your Facebook business page and other marketing channels. When people request to join the group you have the option to ask them a set of standard questions before they are added, which could be useful for market research.
If you are interested in how to run a Facebook group for your business or other ways you can update your Facebook strategy, then Southampton PR and content marketing agency Amplify PR offers social media services and training. Get in touch to find out more.