With so many social media strategies you could choose from, you might be asking:
Why Start a Facebook Group?
Why Would I Prioritize a Facebook Group Over, Say, Using Twitter, or Instagram, or EVEN My Facebook Page?
These are GREAT questions, and ones you SHOULD be asking!
You only have so much time, energy and money to invest in social media, so you need to be smart about how and where you invest your resources.
In this post, we’ll look at 9 reasons why I believe you should start a Facebook Group, and make it a priority in 2019 and beyond!
1. Groups are a Major Focus for Facebook Going Forward.
At Facebook’s recent F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced their plan to really focus on supporting and promoting groups going forward.
In his keynote speech, Zuckerberg said, “[W]e’re rolling out a fresh new design for Facebook that’s simpler and puts your communities at the center. We’re also introducing new tools that will help make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests”.
As a business owner, this means more visibility for your group (especially in the FB app), new, improved tools for managing your community, and the promise of even more exciting things to come!
2. Over 200 Million People are Now Part of Meaningful Groups on Facebook.
Facebook groups are hotter than ever, especially for business owners who want to connect with their online audience in a more personal way.
Over 200 million people are now part of meaningful groups on Facebook. Facebook defines these “meaningful groups” as “communities that, upon joining…become the most important part of your Facebook experience and a big part of your real-world social infrastructure”.
In other words, if you want to be one of the most important reasons your customers or clients are on Facebook, starting a supportive, informative group should definitely be on your to-do list!
3. Get Super-Cool Features (that you’d normally have to pay for).
An example of group mentorship
This alone is enough reason to start a Facebook group for your business!
Over the past year, Facebook has added some seriously cool features to groups…features that you’d normally need a paid tool for.
Two examples are:
Social learning groups: Want to create an online course, right within your Facebook group? Facebook now lets you create a social learning group which lets you organize your content into learning “units” or modules.
Mentorship: Want your group members to be able to get and give one-on-one support? Setting up mentorship within your group lets you do just that. Mentors are paired up with mentees for a period of up to 10 weeks, allowing your members to get one-on-one support…all without ever leaving your group!
4. Facebook Prioritizes Group Content in Newsfeed.
You’ve likely noticed how few of your Facebook fans see and engage with your Facebook Page posts.
Organic (meaning not paid) reach for posts has been steadily declining over the past 5 or so years…and according to Hootsuite, average reach for a post is now around 6.4% of a Page’s likes. This means that if you have 1,000 fans, only around 64 people are actually seeing each post.
Facebook GROUP posts are, thankfully, a different story!
While we don’t have stats on the reach of these posts, Facebook has been explicit in their desire to prioritize meaningful content in people’s feeds.
In a 2018 blog post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that their algorithm would “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”.
And group posts are a GREAT way to spark meaningful discussions with your audience!
5. You Can Create Your Own Paid Group.
This would fit under #2, but deserves its own section!
Ever thought about creating your own membership site or discussion board? Or adding a live support hub to an existing membership site or online course?
Introducing Facebook subscription groups!
While it’s always been possible to charge for access to a Facebook group, in the past you had to manage all the payment/backend stuff outside of Facebook.
However, Facebook is now testing subscription groups that let you charge between $4.99 and $29.99/month through iOS or Android…and you can do it all from within your group.
6. Few Groups Allow Business Promotion.
I’m a huge fan of joining other people’s group (OPG’s) and offering tons of value…problem is, very few groups allow you to explicitly promote yourself or your services.
But with your own group, you have flexibility to do anything you want: hold regular Facebook Lives, promote your lead magnet(s), offer advice or support, share your blog posts, etc.
Why risk breaking the rules in someone else’s group when you can easily and legitimately provide value to members in your own group?
7. They’re an Easy, Low-cost Way to Provide Stellar Customer Service.
Facebook groups are a great way to provide support to existing customers or clients…without having to pay for expensive software or live chat tools.
Simply include a link to the group in your emails with your clients, and then regularly monitor the group for new questions or comments.
Not only can this provide more timely customer service, but it may address questions or concerns other have too…meaning you don’t have to answer the same questions again and again!
8. Use it to Build Your Email List.
Not enough business owners are taking advantage of groups to EXPLODE their lists!
There are a few strategies you can use to move people from your group to your email list (and marketing funnel). Most of these strategies will start by having an amazing lead magnet you give people in order to get them onto your email list.
- Regularly promote your lead magnet via group posts. Create an amazing freebie – like a workbook, guide, template, etc. – and then post about it in your group. Make this post an announcement (which means it “sticks” to the top of the group for increased visibility).
- Promote your lead magnet or email newsletter in your group questions. I wrote about how to set up three questions for pending members in my post, How to Start and Grow a Profitable Facebook Group. Simply ask new members if they’d like your freebie…and if so, to type in their email address.
- Promote your lead magnet in a welcome post. Facebook gives you the option to write a welcome post that automatically tags all new members. When welcoming them, be sure to include a link to the opt-in page for your freebie!
- Promote your blog posts in the group. Just make sure you promote your freebie in an obvious location on your blog (like in your sidebar or within your content), so your visitors see it and are enticed to sign up.
9. Increase the “Know, Like & Trust” Factor.
Facebook Lives are a great way to boost your “likeability”!
People buy from people they know, like and trust. And Facebook groups are a FANTASTIC way to help prospective customers or clients get to know, like and trust you!
Some ways to really increase your credibility and likeability in your group include:
- Doing regular Facebook Lives on popular topics
- Doing written Q&A’s within the group
- Responding to members’ questions
- Being an engaged, visible presence in the group (e.g., doing welcome posts)
- Promoting free webinars in the group
Rather than asking, “Why start a Facebook group?”, you should be asking, “Why NOT start a Facebook group!”.
When you consider that Facebook groups are free, easy to set up, and such a powerful tool for marketing your business, starting one is pretty much a no-brainer!
Ready to start your own Facebook group? Check back for these upcoming posts:
How to Start and Grow a Profitable Facebook Group
10 Quick and Easy Ways to Get More People into Your Facebook Group
Let us know what YOU’RE most excited about when it comes to starting a Facebook group! Post in the comments below