Since its beginnings in 2004 in a Harvard dorm room, Facebook has achieved, and consistently surpassed, multiple levels of success. As we approach nearly two decades of Facebook iterations and evolutions, and with an average of 1.56 billion daily active users, the impact the social media giant can have on consumer reach is fairly astounding.
In 2018, Facebook turned marketing on its head by introducing a new algorithm that would greatly minimize the number of times a business or brand was represented on Facebook’s news feed. Hubspot’s social and campaign marketing associate, Henry Franco, has lent his voice to speak out on this change by stating, “Brands should take this opportunity to listen to their audiences.”
Before creating your group, the more detailed you get about your brand, the better. What’s the reason for creating your group? What’s its purpose within the umbrella of your business? Are you looking to speak to/with brand ambassadors? Specific product owners? Devoted members?
Not sure who you’re aiming the conversation towards? Try asking yourself these questions, first, to jumpstart the thought process and get your vision narrowed down.
- Do you have a niche?
- Are you looking for feedback on a specific product?
- Do you need help answering questions about a service or offering? If so, what are those questions?
- What does your brand value the most from its customers? What might these customers need in the future?
Once you’ve discovered your target, you can then begin optimizing your group name with keywords and a more detailed description of your company’s values and objectives for the group.
Close the Door
Make your group exclusive and safe by closing the door (whether or not you want to lock it by making it private is completely up to you.) At first sight, this might seem a little counter-intuitive but hear me out. Although the thought of keeping your doors open seems like the path to more eyes on your brand, and thus more revenue, that’s not necessarily the case. If your group remains open, the number of spam bots that can infiltrate your group culture remains high. With a closed group, you can easily moderate the members coming in to ensure your niche group, as discovered above, stays that way.
Stand Your Ground
Differences in opinions are a natural and healthy part of communication. The greater majority of us, however, know the effects of an all too courageous individual, trolling behind a screen, with no consequences to reconcile. With a well-thought-out set of rules and guidelines clearly pinned or posted on your group page, you set the tone of your culture from the start. A few rules to help jumpstart your group can be:
- No bullying or hate speech
- No promotions or spam
- Respect the privacy of all group members
Remember. Group rules don’t have to be a laundry list of “do not do’s.” They can be just as effective when providing a foundation of what can be done within the group, as well.
We already know how effective simple methods of personalization are in providing value to our customers, and the same rules apply to a Facebook group. By introducing and welcoming new members by name, you’re promoting positive interactions amongst group members, through an incredibly simple prompt. A couple of other ways to stay active within your Facebook group are:
- Communicate well and communicate often. Try cross-posting content that is relevant to your specific group, but make sure not to get spammy. Once you’ve crossed that invisible line it’s hard to earn your way back into the group’s good graces. One way to avoid being “that guy” is to only post when it’s relevant and not try to adhere to a schedule...just because.
- Ask for feedback. You can gain invaluable information on how to improve upon your brand by asking directly for feedback on a specific product or offer. Not only does this almost always guarantee an uptick in group value, but it also snowballs your sense of community and brand culture by emphasizing the importance you place on the opinions within your group.
While the “Crunchy Leaf” groups seem to be few and far between nowadays, the resounding effect of a finely-tuned Facebook group remains powerful. With over 60 million businesses still finding their way to Facebook as a source of low-barrier marketing, it’s becoming increasingly important to both recognize AND optimize other functions within the Facebook toolbelt such as groups.