Facebook has become such an important way for businesses to market their products and services. But with recent changes to the Facebook algorithm, many businesses are struggling to get the same exposure they used to get on Facebook.
As this graph illustrates, the distribution and engagement of a typical post have gone way down over time, and the trend continues to this day.
The Solution: Facebook Groups
Groups get way more engagement than posts. Why is that?
The data suggests that people are more inclined to engage in smaller groups, as opposed to broadcasting their opinions and personal experiences more publicly. This seems to be supported by the data showing the massive growth in the use of messaging apps that facilitate private conversations versus the public social media apps.
Even the social networks themselves have acknowledged this, and have announced major design changes to help bring more people together in groups.
"Groups are now at the heart of the experience just as much as your friends and family are," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the company's F8 developer conference on Tuesday.
"Overall, this is the biggest change we've made to the Facebook app in five years," Zuckerberg said.
How to Capitalize at Your Business
There is a lot of business opportunity in Facebook Groups! There are five big reasons that we think every business should find a way to use Groups to get closer to their customers and grow their revenue.
- Create a community: Bring people together in a Group, you can create a community that you are the leader of - a very valuable position.
- Provide additional, exclusive value: Use your Group to deliver additional valuable content and offers exclusively to your members to make them feel special.
- Get feedback: Groups are a great place to introduce new product or service ideas in advance to get feedback, giving you the opportunity to pre-sell what’s coming and reduce your risk that a new offer will flop.
- Generate sales: Groups tend to be made up of your most engaged prospects and customers, which means it’s a great place to sell. Make exclusive offers to your group members - discounts, bonuses, early access, etc. - and you’ll find that a Group can be one of your best sales channels!
How to Use Facebook Groups
Your Facebook business page can now have linked groups, which allows “artists, businesses, brands, or newspapers” to “create fan clubs and groups centered around their superfans.”
The Washington Post is doing a great job at creating a variety of groups to segment their audience, create more community, and get more engagement.
But using Groups to get closer to your customers and create more opportunities isn’t limited to the Washington Post’s of the world - this is something you should do to!
And you don’t need a large base of customers or fans to create a Group that can still have a massive benefit for your business.
Here three types of Facebook Groups that every business can create:
Create a group about the city, county, or state that you live in. Groups like this can be an excellent place to market services like Real Estate agency, Insurance, Legal, homebuilding, and others that can easily be offered to the general public.
Create a group that brings people together around their interests related to your products and services, but NOT directly about YOUR products and services (which would make the group seem much more self-serving).
Sell camping equipment? Create a group for people that love camping. Sell travel-related services? Create a group for people that love to travel.
People love to find other people that self-identify in a similar way that they do. You can use this to create groups with themes like ‘Coffee Lovers’ or ‘I Love Knitting’, or even create temporary groups around events they are planning on attending like ‘I’m Going to the Super Bowl’.
By bringing people together, you put yourself at the center of the community and create influence.
Grow Your Group!
It’s your turn! Head over to Facebook and get started building a Facebook Group that will build community, give you more influence, and create more opportunities to engage with and sell to your audience.