How to Build Your Business Using Facebook Groups
This is a guest post by writer, business owner, and digital multi-hyphenate Emma Flood.
My first foray into Facebook groups was a number of years ago, a group called ‘Beautytalks’. The group had thousands of members from all over the world, sharing the recommendations, tips and techniques, and creating a community around their passion for beauty. At that time I was getting started with Ryot GRL and the group gave me so many ideas around what people wanted from a beauty brand and the questions they wanted answers to. I realised that this group was not only a direct line to my target customer, but also an invaluable source for business and content planning.
I have grown to love Facebook groups and they have provided opportunities I never would have come by otherwise. So, here I share my top tips for taking full advantage of everything Facebook groups have to offer.
1. Identify groups that can help you
First things first, building a business takes help. Whilst you may have envisioned yourself flying solo and bossing it, you will know from experience that at least 15 things can go wrong before breakfast. That is where your support system comes in. I am part of a number of Facebook groups, each of which help me in a different way.
The Fellow Business Owners Groups
Best for: help, advice, mentorship
The Local Groups
Best for: local information, finding customers, promotions (if you are a local business), borrowing things, EMERGENCIES (think power cuts, floods, deliveries not turning up and every other crazy scenario that comes with running a business.)
The Industry Insight Groups
Best for: finding out more about your target customers, marketing to customers, building your brand.
The number one tip I can give you on utilising Facebook groups is...don’t be shy. Comment on as many posts as possible, offer advice, support and collaborations. One you get to know some of the members in the group virtually, see if this relationship can make it in the real world. Perhaps there is a meet up you could all go to, or even better - arrange one yourself.
In all three of the groups mentioned above, you should easily find a person or business you can collaborate with. Perhaps you can host a pop-up together, create a limited edition product, or even run a special offer. For digital businesses, guest posting or live webinar hosting can be a great way to create content your customers love, show your expertise and expand your audience. There are so many benefits to collaborating not just with businesses like yours, but those with a completely different offering too. Beauty + plants? I’m here for it. Crafts + cake night? Count me in. Collaborations are an excellent opportunity to broaden your customer base and online audience, as both brand will be sharing the collab on their social media channels.
4. Post and share
This is one of the greatest benefits of being part of a big group where your customers/audience are - you can share content or market to them directly. However, some groups do have strict rules around what and when you can post. Abiding by these is important, as you want to stay part of the group and have a positive relationship with the group admins. Try not to post too often or be too salesly either, you want to market as if you were selling to your group of friends. You could even run a special offer or promotion just for the group.
5. Create your own group
Creating your own group is a lovely way to communicate with your audience. They are there for you and your business. Bringing people together in a group can give you excellent insight into what your customers or audience want from you, and they can play a vital part in how you shape your business. Building a community builds a sense of loyalty and keeps your brand front-of-mind for those in the group. Even starting with a handful of members is useful as these individuals will become your brand ambassadors.
I hope these tips are useful to you, and if I happen to be in the same group don’t be shy!
Emma offers digital strategy and marketing advice to small businesses to help them meet and achieve their business goals. She also writes regularly on digital trends, social justice issues,the law, and millennial lifestyle. You can follow on Instagram here, or drop her an email for business enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org