Facebook groups are an extremely powerful way to reach and interact with your audience. If you run them correctly, you can convert more prospects to paying customers with groups than you can with email marketing. You might balk at this statement, but if you use them correctly, you can build genuine rapport, ask your customers what they want from your company, and deliver what they desire.
Unlike Facebook pages, which are virtual storefronts for brands, Facebook groups are online discussions that revolve around the needs of a specific interest group. This is critical to understand because a highly engaged group starts with the definition of its members’ motivations for joining.
Group Member Motivation
People join Facebook groups to get something. It can be inspiration or support, information or education, a means to promote themselves, answers to questions or problems, or entertainment and camaraderie. You can be certain, however, that your members did not join your group to be advertised to.
They want to talk about their interests, which is the theme of your group, and they want to talk about how it pertains to them. Success stories are great but an endless monologue about you and your company will effectively shut down all communication and will create a frustrating (and possibly expensive) exercise in futility for you and your marketing team.
It’s also important to understand that groups are not the place for comprehensive solutions. (Funnel your members into webinars or online courses for that.) Facebook is not designed as a learning management system (LMS), and if you try to use it that way, again, you will be frustrated.
Groups are the place to offer easy wins.
Make Your Facebook Group Closed
This is a finer point that many group owners fail to grasp. Groups are exclusive; that is one of the appealing things about them. Group members may or may not explicitly realize this, but the act of applying to be a member of a group creates a dynamic of trust and security.
Furthermore, it helps you as a moderator control the environment. This control increases in importance as your membership grows. Also consider that the application process and the challenge questions provide you with the opportunity to ask new members to download a document or visit a webpage. You know what that means: lead capture. Double rainbow!
Your Group’s Niche
Your Facebook group has a niche. Hopefully, it’s one you planned carefully. If your group changes themes on you, you’ve lost control. For example, a group that offers tips on marketing self-published books might slowly become a promotion platform to sell books. This is a common occurrence with larger groups that lack proper moderation.
Effective management of your group involves shepherding the discussion, enforcing the group rules and keeping members on topic.
People like predictability and surprises, so give them both. Schedule weekly post around a topic like goals, motivation, welcoming new members, and networking. Also, surprise your members with pop-up live videos, quizzes, or giveaways. In between, engage with open-ended questions, member profiles, polls, blogs, quality curated content, and tips and tricks. Be consistent; if you say videos are on Tuesday, then upload videos on Tuesday. Under promise and over deliver.
As a group leader, your job is to find the right mix, then step back and let others mingle among themselves. Allow your members to share their experiences, both triumphs and setbacks, and help each other out.
Turning group members into customers and brand advocates can be nuanced and tricky. Automation through social media scheduling and professional moderation can help make the best use of your Facebook groups. The social media management team at Sliice can help you with all aspects of group management, social media branding, and member conversion.