by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
Facebook is ever-changing, as is how people engage and utilize the social media platform. From simply keeping up with family and friends, to making connections and getting thousands of followers, it is not always clear what someone’s intentions are. Facebook groups have greatly expanded as a way to make connections, get more information, and spread awareness. It seems there is a Facebook group for everything under the sun. Thus, there are a number of ways to use Facebook groups to grow your business and make your group stand out among the crowd.
Review Your Profile
First, it is always a good idea to review your own profile before trying to grow your business through groups. If you are seeking to make connections, spread information on your skills or a product you have to offer, you must realize you are representing that brand or product. Facebook allows us to show as much, or as little, as we want with privacy settings.
Before seeking groups or creating one, review your profile and figure out how you want to represent yourself. You can even employ an objection friend to review it for anything that may be offensive or prevent your success. This may require additional privacy settings, removing photos or tags that may deter a potential client or consumer if they don’t know your intentions.
On the flip side, you also don’t want to have your profile where people can’t see anything about you or present yourself as uninvolved on Facebook. If you count yourself an expert in something, you may want to strategically share informative articles or videos to your friends and followers.
Finding Groups to Join
Growing your business with Facebook groups can be fairly simple when you explore the public groups that relate to your business, and are open to join. Public Facebook groups are a great way to add to a conversation or thread, or create one yourself. It is important to review the page and especially the rules. Most groups have guidelines or expectations, and it is frowned upon to solicit business or spam the group. Be selective and intentional in what you post.
Additionally, reviewing the page and recent comments will prevent you from posting the same questions or ideas that someone else may have already shared. One item to be aware of in larger groups, is there may be an onslaught of people with similar skills or products, and it may not be as profitable to get lost of the shuffle.
On the flip side, smaller or closed groups may offer the clientele or sharing platform that you are looking to reach. With private groups, it is also important to follow the guidelines and expectations. Closed Facebook groups are private, and have requirements set by the administrator for joining. It is important to meet the criteria to be authentic and trustworthy.
For instance, they may have a group for a certain geographical location. Even if you are trying to branch out, you should be up front if you don’t meet their criteria. In the end, you could leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth if you are dishonest to get into an exclusive Facebook group.
Engage the Right Way
Regardless of the type of Facebook group you join, you want to engage with people the right way. Try to be warm and friendly, engaging with others in an authentic way in the group. Do not send unwanted messages or spam the group with products or unwanted information.
The best way to grow your business is to share useful information and build on the knowledge, skills, or products you can provide. Set yourself apart, and even invite connections to join a group you’ve started to learn more and gain more insight.
Start Your Own Facebook Group
After you’ve made connections and seen what other groups have to offer, you can look to start your own Facebook group to grow your business. This way to grow your business needs to be the most thought out and intentional use of a Facebook group. Starting your own group should come after some time spent in other groups, adding to the conversations and also seeing how you can set your group apart.
Depending on your goal and product, decide what you like and don’t like about other groups you’re involved in. This should be the template for how you want your group to be structured, and will determine if you start a public or closed group. You don’t want to start a group that is going to flop or have no one interested, so take the time to plan out the content and what your group has to offer. This can be the best way to use Facebook groups to grow your business.
What do you look for in a Facebook group? Do you have your own business-related Facebook group? Please share how starting your own Facebook group has grown your business in the comments below.
Donna Amos is passionate about helping Solopreneurs grow their business using everything digital and publishing. She has 30 years experience in sales and marketing for small business. She believes the best gift you can give another is a word of encouragement.