Using Facebook Groups for Business

Remember the greeting Norm got whenever he entered the TV-bar Cheers? It was a place where a small group of friends could get together and just talk. Imagine what would happen if your customers felt that way about your establishment. That’s the idea behind using Facebook groups for business, create a small online community where people can talk. Learn how to use this Facebook tool and build a place where everybody knows your business’s name.

How to Create a Facebook Group

Adding a group to your business Facebook page is quick and easy. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Find “Create” on your Facebook home page – It’s located in the left menu at the bottom. You’ll find it along with other options like create an “event” or a “page.”
  2. Click “Group” – That will open up a box where you can name your group. Choose a name that lets members know what they’ll find there. For example, a cycle shop might have a group dedicated to local bike trails, called “Bison Trail Bikers.” That helps make it searchable so people can find it.
  3. Add members – Enter the names or email addresses of the people you want to invite. You can start with a subset of your current followers. There’s also an option for you to create a note that will be sent with your invitation to join the group.
  4. Select your “Privacy” setting – This lets you choose who can join and what content they can see. There are three choices:
    • Public Group – Anyone can see/join the group, its members and their posts. This might be good if you want to build a community around a single topic or event.
    • Closed Group – Anyone can find the group but you must be approved to join and only members can see the posts. This might be helpful if you only want members from a certain area to join.
    • Secret Group – Only members can find the group and see posts and membership is by invitation only. This might be helpful if you only want your A-list customers to join.
  5. Click “Create” – Your group is ready to go. You’ll also want to personalize it. Start by completing the “About” section where you describe the group and establish any rules (Example: Must live in the metro area.). You also have the opportunity to add an image or display photos of your members.

Ways to Use the Group

Now that you’ve created your group, how can you use it? Here are some ideas of how businesses can use their Facebook group to engage their followers:

  • Special offers – Create offers or discounts available only to members of the group. This might include advance notice of an upcoming special or new product/service before it’s available to the general public.
  • Supplier updates – Create a group just for suppliers. It’s a place for updates. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce your mission and vision so everyone is working toward the same goal.
  • Market research – Use your group to gather information or validate an idea you have for a new product/service. One way to do that is to pose a question or poll the group to gauge their interest. For example, a music store might ask whether they’d be interested in lessons offered during a weekday evening.
  • News they can use – Push specific content out to your group. For example, a realtor might offer a tutorial on how to stage your home.
  • Make it a game – Offer daily challenges or quiz questions asking members of the group to respond. For example, a bookstore might list three characters in a novel and ask the group to identify the book title.
  • Real-life use – Feature one of the products you offer and ask the group to share an experience with it (photos too). For example, a small appliance shop might feature a crock-pot and ask the group to describe the last thing they cooked in it.

Facebook groups for business can be a great way to get more engagement from your Facebook followers. By targeting specific groups, you can create a small-community experience with members cheering on your business as the host of the gathering.

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