- What’s the difference between a Facebook page and a Facebook group?
Facebook pages are your public-facing profiles that broadcast messages to your existing fans but can also reach new audiences. On pages, you are more likely to share key marketing messages; things like promotional videos and adverts. A unique feature only offered in pages is ‘Insights’ so you can fully report on the success of your campaigns.
On the other hand, groups are a place for your fans and customers to have discussions, share their own content, learn about your products in a more soft-sell approach, and feel part of a community. A successful group should have on-going discussions, even when you’re not there to post; everyone should feel invested and engaged – it’s a GROUP! It’s worth noting, groups don’t have insights, you can only see how many members have seen each post but there’s no reporting tool, as such. This is because it’s about community, not your standard business KPIs, like clicks to website, etc.
- Starting a group isn’t right for every business
Managing a successful group takes a lot of time and energy. If you can’t commit to checking and discussing within the group EVERY day, then it’s probably best you don’t start one. That’s not to say you can’t use other people’s groups and participate but you shouldn’t START your own unless you’re committed.
So now we understand what a group is, how do we use them to sell?
Firstly, we need to create a community.
People spend a lot of time on Facebook so there are plenty of opportunities to get them involved and excited about your group. You HAVE to make sure your group is filled with like-minded people and great resources; without those elements, it’ll never take off. Ask your community to invite their friends, if they enjoy your group, their friends might like it too and who best to ask them to join but their bestie?
You’ll build long-lasting relationships with customers if you support them properly, make sure to moderate your group, set clear rules, and remove anyone that doesn’t stick to them. One toxic person can ruin an entire group.
To make sure you’re reaching even more people, create a group name and description using keywords specific to your industry or products. Facebook is a search engine, make sure your group is easily recognisable to someone that might be looking to join.
For example, if you provide coaching, advice, and tools for those working at home, then get into the shoes of your customers… they may be looking for groups that share advice, tools, and tips for starting productive and connected. They’d probably search ‘working from home’ within Facebook. So, your group name should be something like ‘Making The Most Of Working From Home Group’.
Next, be an expert & a resource.
Build trust by providing value. Your group isn’t for posting offers and ‘buy nows’ every day. It’s a place for discussion and sharing. It’s key that you help start conversations, share useful materials, insights, and exclusive tips to your community – give them a reason to stay. Maybe you have tutorials or templates you can share with them?
For example, if you own a boutique clothing shop, obviously you need to sell your clothes to make a living, but you also know so much about style, colour, fabrics, etc. – share this with your group! Dress a mannequin and explain what works, what doesn’t, why, and fashion faux pas. Maybe teach the group how to stitch and upcycle other items of clothing? The opportunities to add value and build trust are endless!
You can also ask your community for feedback via polls. This could be market research or how you could improve the group. Make your group feel part of every process, where possible.
You can also join other related groups and communities. Obviously don’t find competing groups and try to ‘steal’ people – this won’t end well. But go to similar groups and offer your expertise, content, and collaborate within those groups.
Finally – Create quality promotions
Again, your community members will have spent quality time in your group and deserve to be treated with respect. If you come in guns blazing, trying to sell anything and everything, they’re going to leave – and so they should. However, if you have special offers and quality promotions, these are totally appropriate to share with your group. In fact, give them exclusive offers – give them a reward for their time and commitment to your brand! You can also use your group to promote events, webinars, demos, etc. or to build your email lists for upcoming campaigns.
The key thing to selling in groups is don’t start selling until you’ve earned the right to!