Using Facebook for business purposes is a can be an incredible way to attract new customers and develop a link with existing ones when done right but many businesses still struggle to do this successfully. While most businesses use Facebook business pages as the base of their efforts on the network, you can also take advantage of Facebook groups, which offers a new dimension that most have yet to explore.
1. An Environment That Thrives On Engagement
Groups allow for a more engaged and focused environment from your audience. While business pages allow companies a place to broadcast their updates and new content, groups allow the audience more freedom in beginning, continuing and even driving discussions.
This translates to an environment that can offer better customer feedback, a more active user base within your specific niche and many other opportunities to creatively network yourself with your ideal clients while providing them value.
2. More Organic Exposure
Business pages on Facebook are at the mercy of an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what messages should be listed in the Top Stories section of the News Feed. Groups allow a different form of ranking that is more organic. Every time somebody likes or comments on a post, it is brought back up to the top of the page.
This allows you to see what your most passionate customers find appealing and engaging. Rather than rely on an algorithm, groups give you a chance to use Facebook for business in a way that measures your customer base’s passion and interests in real time.
3. Facebook Secret Groups
Yes, you can create secret Facebook groups that are available only to members! This is excellent if your business has an exclusive audience but can also be used to give an added bonus to loyal customers.
Creating a secret group gives you the chance to have a private feedback loop where your most loyal and engaged customers can discuss your products and services. Anyone using Facebook for business can use this not only to gain useful customer information but also to give an incentive to other customers to qualify for the secret group.
4. Topic Discussions Keep Your Business Top of Mind
While a business page allows a company to promote a product or service, groups allow your customers to choose topics rather than products that they find interesting. For example, if you are marketing a fitness company, the ideal Facebook group would focus on exercise routines, fitness tips, and other information relevant to their interests rather than discussing your products.
This means that your customers are reaching beyond what you sell and focusing more on their personal interests. It also means that others looking for similar topics will be attracted to your page, increasing your appeal. This is a great way to use Facebook for business and pleasure as well.
5. Become Recognized as an Authority in your Field
Because groups allow your customers to discuss topics rather than businesses, you will attract a high number of individuals who are knowledgeable or interested in that area – a magnet for prospects.
The beauty of these discussions (and your own contribution to the discussions) in your group is that people begin to associate you with the topic, to the point where your name becomes synonymous with your industry. I’ve recently started a new Facebook group called Social Media Marketing Strategies. The discussions we have are candid, unfiltered and specifically meant to help others within the group. I’ve found this to be a great way to build real relationships with people in a way Facebook has previously made rather difficult.
If people are getting good, quality advice from your group, they will know where to ask when tidbits of advice in a Facebook post become inadequate for their needs. When you are using Facebook for business, a good group can give you a level of credibility that is completely unmatched by anything that a page alone can offer.
Groups are beginning to make a comeback on Facebook, and for good reason. Companies are beginning to realize how these groups can help them use Facebook for business in many successful ways. Now is the time to take advantage of these opportunities and begin a group of your own.