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
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
inspiration for future content.
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.
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!