Beyond Garage Sales – The Secret Power of Facebook Groups

By on May 2, 2014
Facebook Groups

We all know that Facebook Business Pages can be powerful marketing tools that help us connect with customers and build our brands. However, fewer people know about the power of Facebook Groups to generate leads, sales and even jobs.

Not long ago, a friend of mine told me that he was a member of more than 100 Facebook Groups, all of them about marketing.  At the time I thought he was nuts, so I discounted the idea as completely overwhelming and a waste of time.  Who has time to interact with 100 Facebook Groups?  A few months later, when he landed a six month contract for SEO services valued at $100,000, I quickly took notice and started researching Facebook Groups.

Turns out those groups can be very powerful business tools.  Groups bring together people with common interests and allow greater engagement and connection.  Business pages are a great way to broadcast updates and new content, but groups allow more in-depth discussion and relationship building.  They are a “safer” place to drive discussions and dig deeper into the needs and challenges that people have in their lives.  This translates to an environment that builds trust and relationships.

Often groups experience a more active user base and they create opportunities to creatively connect with your ideal clients.  In many ways Facebook Groups are similar to the older, more familiar forums and chatrooms that were incredibly popular 10 years ago.  They fill a specific need that isn’t met by personal profiles or pages.  Think of groups as the bridge between profiles and pages.

How do you use groups to build influence, and generate leads and sales?

Here are two powerful tactics for using groups to help you meet your business objectives:

1. Networking:

This strategy lets you take advantage of groups that other people have started. When used properly, you will build relationships and extend your personal influence beyond the traditional personal profile or business page.  There’s an old saying that “Your net worth is equal to the size of your network.”  Use Facebook groups to help you extend the size of your network.

Secret Power of Facebook Groups

Action Steps:

  1. Use Facebook graph search to find groups that are relevant to your niche.
  2. Join as many targeted groups as is reasonable.  Be sure that the groups you join are where your customers are hanging out.  A group full of your competition is unlikely to generate new business.
  3. Calendar 15 – 30 minutes daily to check in with the groups.
  4. Answer questions. Be of value.  Become known as the expert in the group.
  5. Like all things social media, be real.  Your honesty will translate to trust.
  6. Where appropriate, extend the relationship outside the group by becoming friends through your personal profile.

Over time, you’ll discover that you’ll have relationships built all over the world.  You may even be offered a job as admin of a group or two.

2. Create Your Own Group:

A group can help your business stay top of mind while creating organic exposure for your brand.  Creating your own group immediately establishes you as the authority in the niche.  Once created, it’s your job to build the relationships and to keep that authority role going.  Here’s how to get started:

Action Steps:

Secret Power of Facebook Groups

  1. Define your topic and objectives for the group (What are you trying to achieve?)
  2. Create the group.
  3. Start the conversation.  Ideas for group content are to offer trainings, group only discounts, mastermind sessions or simply a place where like-minded people can ask questions and get them answered.
  4. Be active in the group as much as possible in the beginning.  As it grows, hire an admin to help you run and monitor the group activity.

Here are some suggestions for promoting group membership:

  1. Offer exclusive access to the group to your email list.
  2. Include group membership as a bonus when people purchase a product.
  3. A powerful tactic is to give access to a “private” group in exchange for an email address.  Promote the membership offer via Facebook ads.
  4. Consider creating an offer where access to the private group is the product.  In this scenario you are creating low cost access to your expertise and building community at the same time.

If you provide good, quality advice and encourage engagement,  a good group can give you a level of credibility that is completely unmatched by anything that a page alone can offer.

Your turn, what suggestions do you have for using Facebook groups?

About Kate Bourland

Based in Redding, CA., Kate Bourland is a No Hype Digital Marketing Consultant as well as a speaker and trainer. She teaches small businesses and entrepreneurs how to build effective online footprints to help increase traffic, leads and sales. Visit her website at http://katebourland.com and Follow her on Twitter @katebourland
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