How to Use Facebook Groups to Network and Grow Your Business

by Isaac Oswalt on February 16, 2017

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A Facebook group is a Facebook page that is created to gather people around a specific purpose. They could be fan groups, hobbyists, charities, causes, casual discussions, and much more. It's simply people gathered together under a common interest...which brings us to our point: How can these groups help a business if you decide to create or join one? What can a group do that your business profile page can't? Let's find some answers! Here are several ideas.

Customer Rewards

Creating a Facebook group (LinkedIn groups can work for many of these examples as well) for customer rewards may sound weird, but there are several arguments for it. First, customer reward groups can be a little nebulous – buyers aren't sure how big they are, and don't get a sense of community from them. Binding reward groups together in a Facebook group is a way to install this sense of size and community. Second, rewards, discounts and other benefits can be easily lost when they only come through one channel (emails in particular can be ignored or filtered out). But you can repost reward notifications and discount news on the Facebook group to encourage discussion, answer questions, and make sure that everyone knows what's going on.

In-Depth Questions

If your products or services are a little complicated and their value lies within the details, consider creating a Facebook group to answer deeper questions and provide valuable how-to information. This is a great way to carry over blog guides and tips into a different format where comments and shares can yield more engagement. Plus, many buyers like forums where they can comment and discuss issues with other buyers of similar products, even if you don't join in. If there's no actual online forum for them to do so, a Facebook group is an easy and effective substitute (as long, we want to note, as a majority of your buyers are active on Facebook – always an important factor).

Content Sharing

You may also want to think about creating a group for specific kinds of content sharing. Obviously, your own Facebook business profile is the place to share your original and guest content, but a group can facilitate a different sort of content. For example, consider creating a group that discusses and shares important industry news as it happens.

Sure, this group may not be all about your posts, but there are still advantages: You are positioning yourself as an authority in the industry, you are providing a value platform for discussions that aren't happening elsewhere (just make sure other groups like this don't already exist), and you have a chance to occasionally recommend your own brand or products. In addition to industry news, you can also consider content groups focused on particular projects (landscaping), classifications of products (drywall), regulations (new building codes) and – well, you get the idea.

Join Other Groups for Synergy (with personal profiles)

For a number of ad-related reasons, Facebook business pages cannot join and comment on Facebook groups. But that doesn't mean you are entirely restricted from joining other groups – you just need to do it carefully. Do not create a personal profile for your business: That's against the rules, and Facebook will delete you for it, which helps no one. Instead, find someone on your team who has or can create a professional user profile that can join Facebook groups – a profile that's designed to interact professionally with others on behalf of the company but is still a real, individual person, like a rep living on Facebook. Use them to connect with related groups to introduce the company, build synergy and find out what's going on.

Ongoing Events

Let's say you have an event – maybe a monthly trade show, or a bi-weekly gathering of local businesses, or even a charity activity you do several times a year. You could create a campaign every time this event comes around (and sometimes you should), but it's a good idea to consider making a Facebook group for it. That gives people a place to join and see the latest updates for the next event, what's changing, and what they need to know.

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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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