If you are an entrepreneur that would like to build a tribe of potential buyers, then Facebook groups needs to be on your radar. Especially if you are looking for ways to increase profits, create a passive income stream and do it all on the cheap. Got your interest yet?
If not, what if I told you that Facebook groups are one of the BEST ways to:
- Build a tribe of potential customers
- Build relationships and true community
- Be the “go to” expert
- Get more traffic to your blog
- Grow your email list
- Launch new products/services
- Host training’s
- Find potential new team members
- SELL YOUR PRODUCTS/SERVICES
What if I ALSO told you there are now at least 1 BILLION people who regularly use Facebook groups?
Would any of these facts make you want to start your own Facebook group? I hope so!
If I’ve piqued your interest at all, keep reading. This post will show you exactly how to start your own Facebook group and get it working for your business.
Before you start, decide what your group will be used for.
Before you start setting up your group, it’s vital that you decide WHY you’re creating it in the first place.
Some business owners make the mistake of creating a group that’s all about their business. They think it will be a place for people to find basic info like hours of operation and contact details. This isn’t what a group should be used for (that’s what your Facebook page is for).
Generally speaking, your Facebook group should be a place where your target market can come to discuss common issues, problems or concerns related to your industry or niche.
Here are some examples of how business owners in different niches can utilize groups:
- A plumbing company: A DIY plumbing group where members can ask questions about their plumbing projects
- An author: A book club where members can discuss their favorite books
- A business coach: A group where entrepreneurs can discuss the challenges of building their business
- A PR company: A group where business owners can talk about how to get press mentions for their business
- A product-based company: A group where users can come to ask questions, get tutorials or get help with using your product
Remember, your goal isn’t simply to promote your business within your group. Your goal is to provide a forum for your target market to connect and discuss, and to come to see you as an expert in your field.
You’ll be able to share links to your blog posts, promote your opt-in offers, and share your own insights, all of which will naturally lead to sales. More on this in a bit.
What type of Facebook group should I start?
It’s super simple to set up a Facebook group. However, you’ll need to decide right off the bat what type of group you want. Facebook offers three main types of groups: public, private and secret.
Here’s a brief overview of each, and why you may pick one over the others.
Anyone can find your public group via Facebook Search, and anyone can see who is in your group. All posts and comments are public, meaning they’ll show up in people’s feeds and in Facebook Search. People must join the group if they want to post or comment within the group.
A public group may be an option if you anticipate discussions that are not of a private nature, and if your main focus is on getting exposure. The main advantage to public groups is your your posts will show up in Search and in your members’ feeds, meaning your group is likely to grow much more quickly. However, be aware that large public groups are more often targeted by spammers, and can therefore be a lot of work to maintain.
Example of a public group. Anyone can view the posts, however only members can post or comment.
Anyone can find your group via Facebook Search, and anyone can see who is in your group. However, only members can view, post or comment within the group.
While I can’t find any official stats, my guess is that the majority of groups on Facebook are closed. They give you the advantage of being found in Facebook Search, but all discussions are kept private within the group. This is usually the best option for business owners who want to create a safe place for customers or clients to ask questions or get support.
Our Boom! Social Igniter Inner Circle group is a closed group.
Secret groups won’t show up in Facebook Search, and no one will be able to see who is in it. In fact, you can’t even send a link to people who aren’t in the group…they’re THAT secret! In order to grow your group, you’ll need to add members yourself.
This may be a good option if you want to maintain a high level of privacy for your members (e.g., if the topic of your group is highly-sensitive), or if you don’t want people requesting to join your group (e.g., if you want to have a membership group where you add current clients).
Still confused as to what type of group to start? Facebook has created this great chart that outlines the major differences between group types:
How to create a Facebook group
As already mentioned above, the best choice for most business owners is a closed group. This will give you the privacy your members likely want, while also allowing you to get found in Facebook Search.
Whichever group type you choose, the steps for setting it up are the same.
In the left sidebar of your Facebook, you should see a box like this:
Clicking on the Create Group button will take you a screen where you can start setting up your group.
This page is simple enough. It asks you to name your group, add your first members and choose your group type.
When naming your group, be sure to choose a name that’s descriptive, and that uses words people would search for if they were looking for your group.
For instance, if the purpose of your group is to help business owners with marketing, you might choose keywords like marketing, business, SEO, social media and entrepreneur. While you don’t want to just cram those keywords in your name, make sure you’re using one or two key terms in a natural way.
Once you’re done with this screen, click next and then choose an icon to go with your group. This is simply the little image that will be next to your group in your members’ sidebars.
That’s it! Your group is now live. But you still have a ways to go until you should start adding members. Some basics* you should take care of include:
- Adding tags to your group: These are more keywords that will help people find your group in Facebook Search
- Adding a cover photo to the top of your group (You can create one for free using Canva)
- Deciding on a group type. This is different than the group types we discussed above. You can choose from Buy & Sell, Support, Travel, Club, Custom or many others.
- Adding a group description: Succinctly describe your group’s purpose and who would find the group useful. Remember to use some keywords in your description as well.
*These can all be accessed by clicking on the three dots next to Share at the top of your group, then Edit Group Settings.
Once the group looks the way you want it to, the fun can begin!
How to get members to join your Facebook group
Obviously, having a group means nothing if you don’t have members to enjoy it. Attracting members and eliciting engagement will be your biggest job from here on out.
This section will give you practical tips for finding new members and creating a group environment that will organically attract new members.
1. Add some content BEFORE you add members.
When you add new members, you want to make sure there’s already a solid base of content there for them to enjoy.
Some suggestions for your initial content can include:
- A welcome post explaining what the group is about, and asking new members to introduce themselves
- A group post offering tips or insights into a common problem your members are likely to face
- A link to a blog post on your site
You may also want to entice a few friends to help you get some discussion started. Encourage them to ask some questions in the group that you can answer.
2. Promote your group to your Facebook fans and other social media followers.
If you already have a Facebook page, start by promoting your group to your fans. They’re the ones who are most likely to want to join, as they’ve already expressed an interest in connecting with you on Facebook.
Next, promote your group to your other social media followers. Let them know why they might want to join, and what they can expect from the group.
3. Link your Facebook page to your new group*.
Just in the past few weeks, Facebook has started giving page owners the option to link their Facebook page to their group(s).
If this option is available to you, you should see a Groups link in your left sidebar. Click on it and then click on the Link Your Group button. This will connect your page to your group, and allow you to participate as your page within your group (you can also participate using your personal profile if you choose).
*Facebook appears to currently be testing this feature in a limited number of groups.
4. Promote your group on your website and to your email list.
Where appropriate, link to your Facebook group within your blog posts and email newsletters. You may also want to promote your group via a new blog post, or in your blog’s sidebar.
Be sure to tell people what the purpose of the group is, and why they may want to join.
5. Continue to add helpful content and to facilitate discussion
I have found this to be the key to growing a Facebook group. Promoting your group is important, but creating a safe, supportive and helpful community will help your group grow organically.
When members find your group useful, they’ll naturally want to add their friends, family or colleagues. And as this happens more and more, your group will naturally move up in the search results for keywords related to your group.
You may also find that Facebook does some promotion for you – as your group becomes more popular, Facebook may refer your group to Facebook users as part of their “group recommendations”. This can be a GREAT way to get a flood of people joining your group!
How to make money from your Facebook group
This is what it’s all about right? When it comes down to it, everything you do online – your blog, your email newsletter, and of course your Facebook group – need to be contributing to your bottom line.
This final section will explore ways you can directly and indirectly earn money from your Facebook group.
1. Share links to your blog posts
Your blog posts all include a call to action (CTA), right? An enticement to take further action – like join your email list, request a quote or buy a product?
When your blog posts include a CTA, every time you promote those posts you increase your chances of growing your email list or making a sale. (Please link “growing your email list” to How To Get 1000 Blog Subscribers In 30 Days)
2. Promote your lead magnets
One of the best ways to get people to opt in to your email list is to create amazing, free lead magnets. Regularly promote these offers in your group as a way of helping your members with common problems, while also building your list.
Here’s my lead magnet that will help you create your own lead magnet <grin>!
3. Become a trusted expert
The more you share information, answer questions and help members with problems, the more they’ll come to trust and respect you.
Then, when it comes time for them to buy something or book a service, who will come to their mind first? YOU!
4. Create a paid membership group
Paid membership groups or continuity programs can be a great way to offer one-on-one support to your customers or clients.
Whether your Facebook group is a part of a package (e.g., a bonus support system for current clients) or a standalone product (i.e., personalized support for a monthly fee), Facebook groups are an easy and effective way to provide this support.
5. Sell ad space in your group
This one must be done very carefully, but can be effective in certain instances. As your group grows, you may find other business owners are eager to reach your audience.
Typically, this can done by hosting giveaways within your group, promoting blog posts or lead magnets, or allowing “guest experts” to answer questions within your group.
I hope this post has opened your eyes to the value of Facebook groups for your business. When done right, they can be an extremely powerful tool for growing your business, gaining leads and making sales.
I’d like to know: Are you using Facebook groups for your business? If so, how? Share below!