I simply had to write about this as I honestly feel most people have absolutely no idea how to use Facebook groups for business.
When you join a Facebook group and read the ‘rules’, you will find that they might allow you to advertise as much as you want, no advertising at all or only advertise on certain days of the week or only under certain threads. Whatever the rule is, most people in there will not be using the groups properly to promote their business. In my experience, when a group allows for as much advertising as possible, it’s either a business networking group or a group that has basically been abandoned. When a group does not allow any advertising, it will be a community group or an interest group whose goal is to share information that might help people of a certain community or with common interests. A group that allows for a mixture of both might be, for example a group for a certain geographical area and its goal is to both inform the community of events/news but also help with business networking.
Let’s see the first example, a group that allows as much advertising as you want.
Imagine this group is a real life room full of other businesses looking for connections. Would you go in holding a gigantic business card advertising your business and not explain a bit more about what you do? Would you be proud to show off a badly designed business card? What if everyone else was doing that too? Do you think it would work? Would this be an effective strategy?
Of course not! So, stop doing that on Facebook! Same thing!
So, first rule for you is, when you post a picture that advertises your business in some way (which you should be doing) please, for the love of God, write a caption to go with it, speak to people, say something! I would even go as far as to say, it’s rude not to!
Now, hold your horses there a moment… So you should always say something when you hand out your business card, but would you enter the room and start handing out business cards straight away? No, you wouldn’t. You would start interacting, engaging with people and then talk about your business as well as listening about theirs. Facebook? Same thing! Please, please try to show some interest in other people’s posts, try to help if you can, show you care! Ask for help too! It will make a big difference for when you hand out that business card. People will actually remember you, they will have started to trust you and recommend you to potential clients when they come across them. Boom! Success!
Now let’s take a look at the second example, a group that does not allow any advertising at all.
OK so they don’t allow to you to advertise your business and please don’t try to, you will just get yourself removed from the group. Just because you can’t advertise, it doesn’t mean you can’t get business from there. In fact, in my opinion, you have more chances of generating business in these groups. I’ll explain why.
Let me give you an example of how I include these groups into my marketing strategy:
My niche is wellness, health and lifestyle and therefore my first step is to join groups where my potential clients might hang about so I join these sort of groups, it is a pleasure for me anyway. My second step is to be active in the group, to participate, to contribute. As a consequence, when I get someone’s attention, they will most likely hover over my name and find out what I do as I have a link to my Facebook page in my personal profile. If they need my help or if they come across someone that does…Bang! That’a lead right there! All I had to do was participate in conversations I enjoy having anyway! My third step is to monitor conversations, I use ITFFF to do this. This is probably the most strategic step: every time someone posts a question or a problem they are having with their social media, I will jump in and help. I am, therefore, positioning myself as an expert in my field and again drawing attention and potentially creating more leads. Happy days!
I use these groups to ask for help too and I participate in conversations that interest me as I am very much into these themes of health and wellness. I get referrals from these groups and so will you if you use them right. So, start searching for the right groups and become as active as you can! Start with only one and then add more if you have time.
The third example, a group that mixes a bit of advertising with a bit (or a lot) of other content.
This should really be a no-brainer for you. All you have to do is keep in mind what I told you for the two previous examples and start implementing accordingly. Easy, peasy!
I have one more word of advice for you before I finish though. There’s a reason why marketers use the 80/20 advertising rule which means that 80% of the time they post valuable, interesting content and only 20% of the time they publish self promoting content. My personal approach is actually 95/5 as my current goal is to create awareness rather than make a sale. So, please bear this in mind and plan your marketing strategy according to what your current goals are. Need help? Just give me a shout!