Facebook Groups are a very under-used resource that small businesses can take advantage of.
Groups have recently been upgraded by Facebook, and they offer a lot that businesses may be interested in, including better attention of members and better engagement rates.
What is a Group?
Groups are private places within Facebook where you can share with small communities of people. You can share whatever you like and can post updates, polls, documents or just have a chat with everyone in the group.
Why A Group?
Groups can be a very powerful way to build a community. You could also use it as a precursor to moving a community from Facebook to an outside forum.
One Very Powerful Reason
When someone signs up to a group they will get a notification each and every time you or someone else posts something. That means, unlike on a page, you know they are aware of messages posted and will be more likely to read them.
With Facebook pages only a very small percentage of people see your posts. So you may have 1200 Likes but more than likely only around 100 of those people will see your posts. With a group you know that everyone in that group will get notified that there is a post waiting for them to read.
Some Business Uses for Groups
- Make a group about something your business is associated with. For example, if you owned a bakery, you could create a cup-cake appreciation group in your local area
- Use one as a focus group. Get some regular customers together and let them talk about your brand, what they want from your business, any issues they have, and so on. Remember to be open-minded and non-critical when running this sort of group
- You could easily set up an exclusive club to offer some of your more important customers deals and the opportunity to discuss future incentives or offers.
Facebook Group vs. Facebook Page
So, what’s the difference?
Any post or comment you make on a page is generally public, while those you post to a secret or closed group are private and can only be viewed by other group members.
Anyone can Like a page, while you need to be invited to join a group by one of the group’s admins. You can ask to join a group but you may not be granted access.
Members of a group can participate in chats, upload photos and documents and invite members to group events. While on pages, fans can generally only comment, write posts and upload photos.
With pages you can add applications to make your pages more functional or to add more information. This is limited in groups.
You can only add your friends (via your personal profile) to a group, but anyone can ask to become a member of a group.
So if you have people that you are not friends with and want them to join the group you will have to direct them to the group on Facebook and asked them to request becoming a member.
What are your thoughts on Facebook Groups? Do you think you could use them in your business?