Everyone knows Facebook is a great way to grow your business, especially if you’re in a B2C industry. Figuring out how to make the most of it, however, can be easier said than done.
After all, companies’ organic reach – their ability to get seen without using ads – has been dwindling for years. Plus, more businesses join Facebook every single day.
Looking at the platform for the first time, it can seem like a tough place to get started.
However, Facebook has a number of great advantages:
- People come to the platform to have fun and explore, so they’re willing to engage;
- Facebook users are easy to make an impression on by being authentic and genuine;
- It doesn’t take too much effort to get a Facebook page started or run it day-to-day.
Even a half-hearted effort on Facebook can produce some worthwhile results. But: You don’t want to do things halfway, do you? No, you want to go all-in – and that’s where you’ll find the best outcomes.
Inbound marketing provides great insights for getting started on Facebook.
Start with these tips:
1. Decide What Kind of Group You Want
Just about every company on Facebook has a Page. A Group is a little bit different: It’s just for building a community and holding a discussion. So, you want to be sure you have a plan for your Group and what separates it from the customer service and brand discussions on your Page.
Groups can add plenty of value for people at every stage of your sales funnel.
For example, you could have groups for:
- New prospects who have questions about a product before they make their decision;
- Current customers who are trying to get the most out of the solution they purchased;
- Long-time brand evangelists in an “elite” community just for loyal, repeat customers;
- General interest topics you intend to use to funnel Facebook users into your website.
There’s really nothing at all stopping you from having one or all of these Groups, or launching ones that will have different functions. To get true ROI, though, you have to start with a purpose.
2. Name Your Group Well
When people join Facebook Groups, they want to make a statement about themselves. That’s why a good Group name focuses on who the members are or what’s special about them rather than your brand – particularly if you’re starting a general interest Group.
For general topics, think of identity categories and characteristics.
Good names might include:
- West Coast Wellness Group: Diet, Exercise, Meditation and More
- Drones & Robotics: Tools, Tips, and Products for Flying Fun
- Norwegian Travel Group: Visit Oslo and Hike the Fjords
Notice that, just like on your website, keywords help make your Group more visible. Specifying a geographic area for your users – like West Coast – can help you get more engagement but will reduce the total number of people who feel like the topic is “for them.”
What about Groups that are explicitly tied into your company and brand?
In these cases, your new Group name should prominently feature your brand name and give visitors a hint as to what they’ll get if they join. You can change the name and even the URL, but you should try to make good choices at the very beginning: This way, you’ll enjoy longevity and visibility, so you’re more likely to be successful in getting customers to join.
Good name examples include:
- OurGreatCRM Power Users Group: Get More from Customer Relationship Management
- OurAwesomeCompany New Customers: Ask Us Anything Straight from the Developers
- ThatTerrificBook: Put Our Advice into Practice, Talk to Users and Hear from the Author
Notice a few things here. It’s not really necessary to specify a geographic area for Groups that zero in on your customers: Instead, you want to be sure that the topic of conversation is the first thing they see. Plus, each of these names is an enticing peek at the value members stand to get.
3. Optimize Your Group
No matter if you’re building a Page, a Group, or even a personal account, Facebook is pretty consistent in the kinds of things you need to do to make them look great. The more visually appealing your work is, the more likely people are to get engaged with it.
For a successful Group, have all the following pieces in place:
- A logo that will serve as your Facebook profile picture when posting as the Group;
- A header image that welcomes users to the Group and highlights value or offers;
- A description of the Group, who it is for, and what people can expect from it.
Your Group description is one of the most important aspects of making sure things run smoothly. You should explain who you are, what the Group does, and who it’s intended for – as well as any important rules and weekly events you plan to hold.
People on Facebook can get rowdy, and they’re more likely to push the boundaries if there’s no clear rules. As soon as you have a public Group, be sure someone is checking in regularly to keep the peace. A Group that gets chaotic can be a poor reflection on your brand.
4. Start Recruiting – Email
If you are already using an email list, then this is the first place you should start advertising your Group. You might even consider offering an extra, time-limited incentive on top of whatever you plan to give to members who join through Facebook. This turns your Group launch into another extra “bonus” that your loyal email list subscribers get to enjoy before anyone else.
5. Keep Recruiting – Facebook
Depending on the nature of your Group, you can simply comment directly on news items, Pages, and other Groups to get people to join. This will work best for Groups that are focused around a general interest or affinity. It won’t work as well for Groups focused around your products or services, but it’s still worth spending some time on – you could recruit dozens or even hundreds of new members this way, if you’re willing to engage in many different conversations every day.
The Secret to Facebook Success: Keep Adding Value and Your Group Will Keep Jumping
Gone are the days when Facebook users would plaster their walls with thousands of automated updates, driving their friends and families to games or other fun distractions. Still, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that recommendations from friends create tons of Facebook traffic.
Keep building and expanding your Group and before you know it, it’ll have its own momentum.