Facebook Groups have historically been a forgotten online channel for larger brands and organisations. However many smaller businesses and individuals can testify to the power of groups and how well they convert.
Facebook have also figured this out. In a recent appearance by Mark Zuckerberg addressing 300 group power users in Chicago he announced the future plans for groups. The most important information from the appearance is that Facebook will focus on community, “bringing people closer together”
One of the new features will be insights and analytics for group admins, Zuckerberg announced. The feature will display when the group is most active, demographics and interests of the members etc. For larger brands this could mean that advertising within groups is not that far off, if there are insights there is usually advertising opportunities.
When it comes to the current Facebook Groups there is of course value. Remember that you are acting as an individual in a Facebook Group, so for larger brands and organisations I recommend threading carefully in groups. There is no current ability to comment as a brand page in a group.
Larger brands should start with listening in on relevant groups to get a feel for the market and what their customers really say. Engaging as a large brand today in Facebook Groups can potentially be damaging, and there are better ways to use Facebook as a brand. Wait until Facebook launches advertising features connected to groups or enable brand pages to comment in Facebook Groups.
For smaller businesses or an individual influencers Facebook Groups are a solid opportunity to engage with your audience and generate leads. Before starting your own group (which does take time and effort) do some searches and identify the groups within your area, join them.
This is a proven process on how to add value and engage in Facebook Groups:
- Listen in, is this a group to be associated with? What is the tonality? What are the interests in the group? Who are the main influencers?
- Genuinely help people in the group. Start out with commenting on some posts that are relevant, sharing insights and good content on the subject (not necessarily your on content).
- Provide valuable content to the group by posting on your own. Remember that groups is not primarily a marketing channel, group members will not take lightly on you starting to share links and promotions. Most groups also have anti-promotion policies.
- Reply and engage with the group members.
- Go back to point 1, repeat.