For those of you who caught the 2020 Super Bowl advert (if not catch it here), and likely for a while before that, you’ll know that Facebook is strongly advocating Facebook Groups. There is an estimated 600+ million Facebook Groups currently, but the minimal emphasis has been put on the feature by Facebook themselves until recently.
What Are Facebook Groups?
Launched in 2010, Facebook Groups are a feature within Facebook for likeminded individuals to engage with each other. Facebook Groups can either be a public or private forum and are a space to encourage open conversations.
Facebook Group Types
There are three different privacy options for Facebook Groups: Public, Private and Visible or Private and Hidden.
Public Facebook Groups are as you would expect, open to anyone and everyone to see who the members and admins are, what they post and available for all to join.
If you are setting up a Facebook Group for your business the pro for a Public Group would be not having to vet and admit every new request manually, and it’s super easy for users to find you. However, it’s essential to remember that your business will be associated with this Group, and therefore you need to keep an eye on the sort of content being shared.
Private and Visible Groups will appear in searches but all requests to join need to be manually accepted by an admin. Only members will be able to see the content and other members within the Group.
Private and Visible will likely be the best option for a business. Although there is some manual work involved, there is a safe balance between easily found in search results and limited membership and, therefore, control over what is shared.
Private and Hidden will mean the Group doesn’t show in searches and is on an invite-only basis. This may feel like an exclusive club, but it does limit a business’s potential exposure.
How Do I Find Facebook Groups?
In one of the more recent updates, Facebook has made it easier than ever to access Facebook Groups by adding an icon to the menu bar at the bottom of your screen on mobile or top of your Page on desktop.
Here you will find a dedicated newsfeed of all the latest posts from within the Groups you are already a member of. You will also see a ‘Discover’ button where Facebook collates a list of Groups recommended to you based on your recent activity, Groups your friends are in and Groups in your local area. You can also ‘Search Groups’ using keywords to find ones relevant to you.
Facebook Groups For Businesses
There are two ways a business could utilise Facebook Groups. The first is creating a Facebook Group for business purposes. The second is posting in relevant Facebook Groups run by others as the business Page.
We’re not suggesting you choose a Facebook Group over a Facebook Page as they can both be utilised for different marketing methods. For instance, you’re more likely to attract potential customers with a Facebook Page but maintain and build existing customer relationships within a Group.
With this in mind, Facebook Groups are somewhat more advantageous to businesses in an industry where repeat customers are expected. Before setting up a Facebook Group for your business, it’s worth conducting some competitor research to see what’s already out there.
If you’re looking to posts as a business into another user’s Facebook Group, you will need to request access as the Page. If the admin accepts, you will be able to post as the Page, not just as a Facebook User. Be careful not to overdo it when posting as the Page otherwise admins may remove you. It’s essential only to share relevant and engaging content.
So, is it worth a business investing the time required to run and maintain a Facebook Group on top of running other Social Media accounts?
Yes, and here’s why.
Build Rapport With Customers
As above, a Facebook Group is designed to be more of a discussion platform than Facebook Pages and therefore, a place your customers will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This insight into their wants, needs and behaviours will help businesses tailor their products and services to meet actual people’s needs and build loyal, repeat customers.
Be sure to initiate interesting, engaging conversations and listen to feedback to maximise the opportunity. Customers are more likely to be loyal to brands that treat them well.
Increase Potential Exposure
The more places your brand is featured, the higher chance you have of being seen. If you have a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page, that’s already two opportunities across the platform to be discovered.
What’s more, Facebook’s algorithm will prioritise content from Facebook Groups with high engagement levels, which will mean an increase in your organic reach. The more exciting your content, the more your followers will interact.
The combination of marketing and selling products on Social Media is a delicate balance, and your Facebook Group should be 99% made up of interesting, interactive content. However, that sneaky 1% now and then won’t hurt, epically if it’s early bird access or a loyalty reward for being a member of the Group.