Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash
Aug 3, 2017
In March of 2017, there were more than 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users — which is an 18 percent increase year over year!
Then on June 27, Mark Zuckerberg announced that there are now two billion monthly active Facebook users.
Facebook is not going anywhere and, most likely, your ideal clients are hanging out on Facebook.
However, Facebook has recently made getting your Facebook business page in the news feed of these potential clients harder and harder. Facebook is giving priority to live videos, paid ads, popular content (posts that get a lot of engagement right out of the gate), and very specific content that pertains to each reader.
So, I’d suggest spending less time on your business page and more in Facebook Groups!
Facebook Groups are a GREAT way to connect and interact with your ideal clients — and they are FREE! Groups are also more visible because members of the group can get notifications about new posts (although they can turn these notifications off if they choose).
But where should you start? Here are my top tips to help you understand and use Facebook Groups to your business’s advantage:
There is a group for everything on Facebook — at the last count you could join up to 6,000 groups! But that doesn’t seem like the most effective approach — so focus on joining groups that will have the MOST impact on your business.
To search for relevant groups, use the “Search” field in the top left corner of Facebook. You can search by topic (ex: yoga), your location, or even type in something like “Groups joined by people who like (your page name)” or “groups of friends by people who like (your page name).”
If you are in the health and wellness business and you know many of your ideal clients have used or tried Weight Watchers, you could even type in “Groups joined by people who like Weight Watchers.”
You can also go into the “Groups” section of Facebook, click “Discover”, and Facebook will suggest groups that your friends belong to, local groups, and other relevant groups you may like.
Read the description of the group and determine if it is a good fit for you. Most groups are closed so you have to join to actually see the posts. You want to find groups where people are engaged and helpful. Groups where people just share their own content all the time become promotional and spammy.
Facebook groups are a great place to make connections, ask questions, give and receive advice, and offer your expertise. While you may join 10–20 (or more) Facebook groups, it would be unrealistic to be consistency active in so many. However, it is still beneficial for you to keep your eye on them if your ideal client hangs out there and listen to what people are talking about.
Choose a few Facebook Groups where your fans and ideal clients are and post or comment at least once a week in them.
People take notice when they see the same name popping up over and over again, and they might just want to get to know you better!
Remember earlier when you searched for “Groups joined by people who like (your page) ?” If your Facebook fan(s) are in a particular group, it’s likely the other people in that group are interested in similar things and you have the opportunity to connect with potential fans and clients.
Provide valuable information in the group and become a resource. Offer your expertise and ask for nothing in return. You are just getting your name out there and providing great content. People will eventually start to remember your name, ask you questions, and seek you out.
Creating your own group allows you to really establish yourself as an authority and build trust. You are creating an online community that knows you, appreciates you, and will spread the word about you.
Your own group also allows you to gain valuable insights about your ideal audience. Get to know your ideal client. Understanding what your audience wants and needs versus just guessing allows you to grow your email list, create and market your programs, and gain new clients!
This may sound obvious, but the most important thing to do in your group is show up! Have a list of topic ideas (you could have daily themes), ask questions that elicit responses from your group, and provide lots of great value and resources.
A challenge is also a fun way to kick off a group.
For example, if you had a group for moms who want to lose weight, you could put together a free ebook or something to help them prepare quick and healthy meals in the kitchen. Ask daily questions and provide check-ins in the group to get people talking and connecting.
You also want to start collecting email addresses from the members of your group. Put together a great freebie (ex: freebie mentioned above) that provides extra value and include it in the pinned post.
The next thing you want to do is watch and listen to what group members are talking about and the questions they are asking. One of the best ways I have found to gain this valuable insight is to welcome all new group member every week and ask them to introduce themselves and share one thing they are struggling with when it comes to xxx. Then, make a list of all the pain points and create a poll within the group.
One of the most powerful tools of a Facebook group is the ability to poll your members and find out exactly what they want and need. You can poll your group on everything from names to free content topics to product or service ideas.
Be sure to balance the free and paid content you provide. If you are constantly just saying, “hey, come buy this!” people will see that and leave your group. The goal is to get people to know you, give them great free content so they trust you and want more, and then subtly sell yourself.
Investigate similar groups or Facebook pages and watch which posts are getting likes, comments, and discussions. Then create similar posts in your own group.
Be genuine. Talk to your group members and not AT them.
A few great ways to get engagement and excitement in your group is through Facebook Lives, open ended questions, celebrating successes, and doing giveaways.
Be sure to share your group everywhere!
If you are interested in learning more about HOW to start a successful Facebook group from scratch, you may find this article helpful: How to start a successful Facebook Group to grow your business
Facebook is changing the way of marketing. Unlike years ago when we had to pay for any kind of advertising (newspaper ads, radio commercials, billboards, mailings, etc), Facebook allows us to get in front of hundreds of potential clients and promote our services for free!
If you are not currently using Facebook for your business, I encourage you to start small (join a few relevant Facebook groups) and start looking for and listening to what your ideal clients are talking about.
Sarah is a personal trainer, Fitness Director at a private club, mother, and blogger behind The Fit Niche. She helps fitness and wellness entrepreneurs work smarter (not longer!) and grow their businesses. She also runs a free Facebook Group called Fitness Biz + Blog Mastermind Community. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.