by Dina Arsenault | Featured Contributor
Bing, you get a notification on your phone from your Facebook notifications, you click on it to see what it is and low and behold you have been added to another Group! Are you excited or angered?
Let’s be honest, Groups have about the same popularity as Game Requests on Facebook and tend not to be high on anyone’s popularity list. Unfortunately, many marketers and business owners have ineffectively used them as a means to spam individuals to like their pages or buy their products or services which goes against the very nature of why groups were created – To build and create those all to important relationships online with your target audience.
Effective social media marketing today is a medium which puts building an authentic relationship with one’s followers at the forefront. This is achieved through authenticity speaking ‘TO’ your target audience and not ‘AT’ them. Groups when used properly can achieve just that.
Groups generally are an under utilized strategy that business owners need to be using effectively for their online marketing strategy. I will discuss three ways they can achieve this below.
Here we go…
Coaching or Mentoring
Having either a private or public group centered around you mentoring or coaching its members is an excellent way to position yourself as a expert in your field. This is also a great way for people to connect and inspire each other either in business or in life. Real Relationships can be formed, which then can be taken offline either in sales or in business connections. It is a wonderful atmosphere to share ideas, work on joint projects and create an overall positive community around your brand.
This one probably seems the most logical and generally is one of the most popular uses for groups we see. This is where you need to be selective with which the ones you choose to belong to. This generally is where you will see individuals spamming the newsfeed with sales pitches or promotions. You really need to be cognizant of the group posting and participation rules. When done correctly, networking groups can be a valuable space for sharing with other business owners and entrepreneurs, finding new clients, getting ideas and or providing advice or inspiration to others.
Online Marketing Strategy
It is no secret that the continuous changes to the Facebook Algorithms has made getting effective reach and engagement on our biz pages that much more difficult to obtain. An effective strategy that can work to boost this, is to spend the time engaging, supporting and building those all too important relationships online within the confines of Facebook Groups. If you follow the number one rule of providing value first, true connections will organically occur over time. What you will find is that others will happily return the support back to you by liking, commenting, sharing and checking out your own biz page in the process. Unlike your own pages, groups don’t have algorithms to deal with, so the added bonus is that every group member will get notified when you post or share within the group, so you have even more of a chance of the right people seeing your content than merely on your biz page alone. Groups are paramount for your content getting seen by the right people. Once you know who your target audience is, I suggest that you find a group that ‘they’ likely would be a part of. Share content from your own biz page that you think your target audience would find value in, and ALWAYS follow the groups posting guidelines, never spamming or just ‘selling’ you or your business.
So as you can see, when used effectively, Facebook Groups are an untapped ‘gold mine’ of opportunity and connection for both you and your business. Now, with Facebook beginning the staggered roll out of business pages having the opportunity to share from their business pages as their business page, it has become an even more important strategy to utilize.
If you have any questions about how you can utilize Facebook Groups for you and your business, please feel free to contact me, I would be more than happy to help!
Until next time, Happy Grouping!
Dina Arsenault Digital Media Strategist and the undisputed reigning Madame of creativity, community and connection for the Ontario Chapter of http://acueconsulting.com/.
A celebrated and sought after speaker and writer, Dina is a caffeine fueled and food delighted ( locally sourced of course) Community Builder, Relationship Nurturer and all around Small Business Supporter. Dina’s online expertise is driven by her desire to promote your business online while connecting and elevating others in the process to foster community and the all around ‘good feels’. If you want to be visible, connected and engaged with your community (and exposed to great food and fun) Dina is your gal!