27 Jun How to Use Facebook Groups for Your Brand
For personal use, Facebook can be a helpful tool for connecting with friends, family, and others with similar interests. As a business, you’re trying to build a community of people who share a similar passion for your brand or the products/services you provide. While Facebook Groups have been known more commonly for personal use, new brand opportunities are arising on the platform which give businesses the ability to use groups as a more constructive tool. While creating a group for your brand may be intimidating, below are some parameters you can follow to generate a sense of community and maximize engagement.
Are you currently part of any groups on Facebook? If the answer is yes, what are they about? What do they discuss? Currently, I am part of nine groups (I just doublechecked). These groups are a place I visit to find information on topics I’m passionate about, ask questions, join in local events, and converse with others who share similar interests. It should be noted that two of these Facebook Groups I’m part of are brand related.
While the brands don’t generate all the conversation in those groups, I know off the top of my head that they are the ones that created the groups themselves. I also know that because they created this sense of community and a center for information, without being forceful about selling something, that I feel more connected to them as a brand. When creating your brand’s Facebook Group, keep these details in mind. Just because you’re XYZ Company doesn’t mean the group needs to be XYZ Company’s fans. If XYZ Company sells a family-focused food product, the Facebook Group could simply be titled Family & Kid-Friendly Weeknight Recipes. You can title the group with a relevant and related topic and then incorporate a subtle product/service push in branding, comments by the brand with suggestions, and inviting top fans of your page to join the group.
More than pages, groups encourage their members to generate conversations on their own. Rather than posting a comment as a fan on a brand’s post or in the “visitor” section of the page, groups give the community an option to generate conversation themselves buy publishing their posts directly to the group. This creates a shift away from brand-driven conversation and puts more responsibility on the community to discuss topics they find interesting. In turn, this can also provide a more approachable environment without fans worrying about being “sold” something.
Giving the community a platform to converse allows them to freely ask and answer questions. Hearing a recommendation or suggestion from the member of the community can hold more weight to some individuals who may be afraid that a brand is trying to push a product or service rather than answer their questions. It allows them to gain answers from others with firsthand experience in a natural environment. In addition, some of the more popular conversations and topics can also serve as a source of content inspiration for future content.
Member Privacy & Exclusivity
There are several levels of privacy available when creating Facebook Groups: Public, Closed, and Secret. You can read more about the group types here, but one thing to call out is that the Closed and Secret groups both leave any posts or comments that the group members make visible only to others members of that group. Having that privacy in place and ensuring your fans that their posts to your Facebook Group won’t be blasted across their Facebook friend’s newsfeed can give them the feelings of freedom to share more openly on whatever topic they may be discussing.
In addition to providing an added level of freedom to their speech, these closed or private groups can also add a sense of exclusivity for people you’ve allowed in. A main difference between closed and secret groups is that closed groups can be found in search, while secret groups cannot. Having your group marked as closed or secret allows you to share content only with members without it being displayed to those outside the group. This can be a great way to share exclusive deals, events, and beta test with an engaged audience.
While above I’ve shared several ways that Facebook Groups can be beneficial to a brand, there are plenty of other benefits as well that are dependent on your type of business and what you aim to gain from creating a Facebook Group. For more information on how to implement Facebook Groups, see how we can help!