With Facebook currently favouring Facebook Groups over Facebook Business Pages, it’s no surprise that many business owners are now considering making them part of their digital marketing strategy. But there’s more to running a Facebook Group than meets the eye.
I invited Paula Cohen, owner of Taylory Ltd, to my Monday Livestream, she runs her own very successful group and can provide some proven Facebook Group tips.
A bit about Paula
Paula is a Business Growth Coach and has been supporting business owners achieve their goals for 12 years. She works with them to gain clarity on their aspirations, their pricing, who their ideal customer is, what the future holds for their business and more.
In addition to Paula’s business expertise and knowledge, her clients also benefit from her sports background. The mindset that needs to be developed to be successful in sport is key to being successful in business too.
To learn more about Paula and how she can help you, feel free to head to her website or join her Facebook Group. I’ve popped the details on how to connect with Paula at the end of this blog.
What are Facebook Groups 2021?
Facebook groups are social media communities for people with similar interests to discuss and share their top tips, advice, stories, challenges and whatever else they fancy as long as its relevant to the group.
This year you’ll find that Facebook groups are doing really well as the social media giant Facebook loves them for adding so much value to their users. But, saying that, Facebook has, and does, change its mind frequently.
Why Paula chose to run a Facebook Group
Like many business owners, Paula ummed and ahhed over whether to run a group for a while – six months in fact! That’s OK. It’s good to explore your Facebook marketing strategy first and not just dive in at the deep end.
The ‘Paula at Taylory’ Facebook Group has been up and running for nearly two years already and Paula admits that she’s made some changes to it along the way.
She launched the group believing that she’d get better interaction there than on her Facebook business page.
It gave Paula a wonderful opportunity to build a community which is one of her strong values. Plus, it made sense to put her hints and tips in the group too to encourage others to do the same. The group has proven to be a valuable networking tool for business owners and to prevent them from feeling isolated.
Paula has nurtured the group to become a safe environment for like-minded people to support each other and share their own challenges in a safe environment.
Advice for Facebook Groups
Never worry about numbers! With a Facebook Group think about quality over quantity. You want members to engage and interact – this makes it genuinely supportive and safe. A small Facebook group can often be much more interactive than a group with thousands of members.
Encourage members to add posts. But be prepared to put in a lot of effort at the very beginning! At the start, your community will be watching out for what kinds of posts are appearing, what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, etc. Get the momentum going by posting the type of content you want to have in your group and watch it develop.
Establish consistent posting. The key to posting in a group is to be consistent – your followers will soon get to know when to expect to see your content and will be looking out for it. This routine could be anything from three times a day to once a week. Identify what is realistic for you, it’s also a good idea to ask your Facebook group members how much content they’d like to see.
Encourage interaction. Paula posts twice a day. In the morning she’ll ask a very easy question based on business – something like, ‘how many emails are sat in your inbox?’ What a great way to get your community to show off their skills or amuse with a rant – in a safe place this can be great fun. In the afternoon Paula’s post provokes more deep thinking. This second post doesn’t necessarily attract open comments like the earlier one, but it will prompt her community to get in touch with her direct.
Consider what will add value to the group. To do this successfully you need to have clarity on why you run a Facebook Group – ask yourself, ‘what is its purpose?’ and ‘why would people want to hang out there?’ Make sure that the purpose of the group fits in with your long term business goal.
It’s not about you! Facebook Groups aren’t about selling your service. They are spaces for you to add value to your community. Your members will learn about you and your services from the content you put out and from the way you openly support others. When the time is right for them to reach out to you to become a paying customer they will.
Have fun with it! Try going live to achieve some wonderful interaction and visibility. Facebook is a big fan of groups going live.
Tips on being a great member of a Facebook Group
To run a successful group, it pays to understand what a superstar member looks and acts like. These are the behaviours you want to encourage.
- Know that a human created the page. It’s not a faceless group! Paula’s group is called ‘Paula at Taylory’ so there’s no mistake.
- If the page allows you to join as a page rather than a personal profile, always sign off with your name to make your post or comment more personal. People find it hard responding to a business.
- Interact and engage often. This means that when you do post about a promotion, the community will be more receptive and be genuinely interested.
- Don’t ignore the group and only interact when you want to sell something. This is just spammy and not good business practice.
- Share tips, advice, stories and even blogs. This is such an untapped area and you’ll be loved by the Facebook Group owner. This is a clever way of getting on people’s radar in the right way and attract business while adding real value.
Facebook Group vs Page
A business Facebook Page is a bit like your website; you have complete control over it and its content. With a Facebook Group, your community can post comments to spark conversations or share anything they like (as long as it relates to the group’s subject).
Paula has a great way of viewing this. Imagine you are a networking event. Your page is your 60 second introduction. Your group is the socialising and networking part when you chat openly and really get to know people on a personal level.
Things to consider when creating a Facebook Group
Rules. Consider whether you need rules for your group. Paula’s rules are simple – be considerate to others and don’t post spam.
Your competition joining your group. If you’ve set the group up well, your community will naturally support you and if your competition is there just to ‘sell their wares’, it’s not going to do them any favours and they’re not likely to get much engagement. But, the decision is yours whether you let them join in the first place.
Do a welcome video. This is a great way to set the scene and welcome the new member. Tell them what the group is about and a little bit about you.
Ask questions before allowing new members in. This is purely up to you. Do you want to know a little bit about who is in your community? If you do, then ask a couple of simple to answer questions.
Are there any marketing opportunities? Paula asks a couple of questions to a business owner wanting to join – one of them is to ask if they want a free download. In turn Paula receives their email address. What a great way to boost your mailing list.
Allow business pages to join or personal accounts only. Again, the decision is yours. From experience people find it difficult to interact with posts or comments from a business page. Plus, keep an eye out for businesses just wanting to sell their products or services.
Public or Private: how to create a Facebook Group?
You have three options when setting up a group – it can be public, private or unlisted. A public group can be seen by anyone. A private group is one where members have to request to join and when they are accepted into the group, only then can they see the content. An unlisted group won’t show up in the Facebook searches, only people you invite will be able to find it.
Paula initially started her group as public, but when she started receiving feedback that some people felt uncomfortable about sharing information or asking for help knowing that their customers may see it, she changed it to private.
Connect with Paula
What’s coming up?
Bye for now