Who knew, ten years ago, the social media giant that Facebook would turn into? It’s hard to believe that it started as a harebrained scheme to compare the beauty of women who attended Harvard University. For those unfamiliar, we recommend watching The Social Network – an interesting movie that describes this adventure. Fast forward ten years, and Facebook’s applications are numerous. Looking to connect with an old university flame? Facebook has you covered. Wanting to broadcast to the world that you just got your dream job? Not a problem. Even Facebook live has added an interesting dynamic that is being leveraged for conversations across different industries.
But there’s one aspect of Facebook that we’d like to discuss today, and that’s groups. They’ve been around for a while and their importance is growing as a Web marketing tool.
What are they and how can you find them?
The purposes of groups run the gamut. You can join up to 6000 of them, according to Facebook rules. It doesn’t matter how niche your business or interest is, chances are good that you’ll be able to find a like-minded community. The vast majority are open to the public and easy to access by clicking on “groups” in your menu. Type in keywords that are important to both your business and your consumer, really focusing on the latter. After all, the entire point here is to connect with your consumer. Facebook will also begin to analyse your preferences, helping to drive specific recommended groups to your home page.
What should your approach be?
Once you type in your search terms, you’ll be able to join these groups and analyse the conversation. Focus specifically on questions that the group members have. Does your product or brand have the answers to these questions? If so, this is a perfect place to connect with your consumer and solve their problem in one fell swoop.
Make sure that you’re not too business-driven right off of the bat; be authentic in the way that you engage with consumers. In fact, this can be to your detriment as a brand if your posts come off like a sales pitch. It’s just as easy for other members of groups to comment on your posts and to call you out if they think that you’re not abiding by the rules of the group.
Thinking of creating your own Facebook group?
There is also an opportunity here to create your own Facebook group, focused on your brand and product. If you go down this path, you’ll want to make sure that you have a team dedicated towards its content and engagement. You don’t want to leave group members hanging if they post questions. You’ll also notice significant drop off if you’re not regularly updating content (at least once a week). Facebook users are an increasingly impatient breed and if they’re not entertained, they’re gone.
There are tutorials on Facebook to create these groups as well as numerous case studies and best practices. Explore these here.
Patrick O’Doherty is founder and Managing Director at Yarra Web, a digital agency who has proudly been supporting digital and bricks and mortar businesses since 2008.