Most of the people I talk to about business already have a Facebook page. It makes
sense as it is the largest social network worldwide and I bet most of us can find our customers there.  But very few businesses are doing something special with their presence on Facebook – I am sure you find the same thing with the pages you follow. Everyone seems to be doing the same thing, or saying the same thing. Over and over.

One way that you can stand out with your business on Facebook and enrich your engagement with customers and fans is to create a group in conjunction with your page.

Why have a group?

1. exclusivity

With the ability to make a group private or secret, you can create exclusivity to what you offer and the people you want to connect with.

Try this: Create a VIP group for your most valued customers and offer them special bonuses, one-of-a-kind items, first dibs on a new product or service, members only market nights, exclusive content, or access to your expertise, or more!

2. add value

You can use a group to offer additional content/expertise/assistance to people who have made a purchase. This not only adds value to the purchase, but also makes it feel safer to buy if customers know you will be there to help them afterwards.

Try this: Offer free group membership to anyone who purchases your product/service and use that forum to help them implement the product, share ideas, ask further questions etc.

3. extend the conversation

While you are already (hopefully!) using your page to engage with your fans, you are really relying on showing up in newsfeeds. A group is a way you can extend that engagement – if your group is compelling enough, your customers will likely check in there more often than your page, and group members get notified of any posts that are made (so groups stay on the radar more than pages do.) Groups also have a chat option that allows you to chat with everyone online in real time – a feature that pages do not have.

Try this: Create a clubhouse, hangout, or coffee chat style experience for your customers. Use a group to hold a weekly chat or to host Q/A sessions with relevant people in your niche.

4. accountability

We all have busy lives and to do lists a mile long, so I bet there are things that your customers are meaning to do and just not getting to. Having a group where you are all accountable to one another can be a huge motivator in accomplishing a task.

Try this: Set a monthly goal or challenge that is important to your customers, relevant to your niche, or related to a product/service you sell; and invite your customers to join you in reaching that goal.

5. education

There are some tasks that are just easier to learn when you are in a group, and some people that learn better when they interact with others. A group allows you to ask and answer questions, get constructive feedback, have peer reviews or critiques, and so much more.

Try this: Use a group to teach a skill or share your specific expertise in an area so that your customers can learn something new or tackle a problem.

6. support network

No matter what your business offers I would bet your customers would love to be part of a group of people that would help them feel like they are not alone. A group format can create that atmosphere, and in offering that support I bet you would find out new ways to help your target audience.

Try this: Look for a common thread in what your customers seem to experiencing in their lives and set up a group to chat about that some more.

7. connect with other businesses

Your page is likely a place where you want to connect with your customers. But all over Facebook there are people with businesses that complement yours, have a similar target audience to you, or are looking for other businesses to build relationships with. A group can be a great place to extend the kinds of connections you are making on Facebook.

Try this: start a group for business owner who are local, have a similar driving passion or brand promise, are offering a similar service but in different locations, offer complementary products or services to yours. Work together to expand your audience & multiply your marketing efforts.

A few more notes about Facebook groups:

There are 3 kinds of groups that you can set up – open, closed, or secret – so pick one that is right for your purpose and members.

Once you have set up the group, you can add a 250x800px banner image to the top – use it to remind visitors of your mission, purpose or goal.

Other group features:

  • group email address – members can use it to post content or photos to the group
  • group chat – find the chat box in the bottom right corner
  • files – these are docs that can be edited by anyone in the group, very handing for sharing information and resources
  • events – you can set up an event page in conjunction with your group.

Have fun with your group, use it to help your business stand out, to offer something of value to your customers, and to build a community of true fans.

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