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A great way to generate leads for your business is to create a Facebook group that offers exclusive support, information, and a sense of community to your customers and prospects. There are a set of things you can do to ensure you build a successful Facebook group from 0 to 10k without spending a single dollar! Facebook groups are nothing new, but a recent Facebook algorithm update that de-prioritizes brand content changed things, and ever since then, having a Business Facebook Group has become even more essential for connecting with a brand’s followers.

Facebook groups for business, gives brands an opportunity to build fan communities in a way that wasn’t possible before the age of social media. Facebook gives you access to 2.41 billion active users and major brands have enjoyed significant success from creating and growing their own groups, which give you a direct line to your customers. 

Facebook Group versus Facebook Page: 

A Facebook group is a place where friends, acquaintances, or people can come together to engage in a shared interest, whether that’s a cause, an issue, or an activity. Groups provide a place for organic discussion about your products or services and present the opportunity to cultivate brand awareness. Unlike groups, pages were designed to be the official public Facebook presence for any entity such as brands, businesses, or public figures. Pages and Groups are both effective for connecting with an audience, but they function differently. Give our other blog post a read if you want to learn more about Quick Growth for your Business Facebook Page

3 Types of Groups and Their Benefits

Public

The upside:

  • Anyone can see what members post or share and if they have a Facebook account, they can also see a list of members, admins and moderators. 
  • The group is visible to all potential group members and customers and there’s no barrier to joining the club. 
  • No need to manually admit every single new addition to the group. 

The downside: 

  • Public groups are hard to moderate, and the information being shared can quickly spiral out of control or send the wrong messages to your audience. This can cause your users to lose interest, or become annoyed. 
  • You will need to be very vigilant and make sure the content is moderated appropriately.  

Private and Visible

The upside: 

  • Potential members need to be manually accepted by the administrators, and the group shows up in searches. 
  • Chances are prospective customers will find your group when searching for your social media presence and be curious to join.  
  • Only current members can see who belongs to the group, and what they’re posting and sharing but anyone can see who the administrators and moderators are. 
  • Can generate a sense of community, and exclusivity, which is what you want for your members. 

The downside: 

  • This is our recommended model, and there really aren’t any downsides if you make sure to screen members when they join, and remember to not accept fake accounts or spam bots into your group. 

Private and Hidden

The upside: 

  • Private-and-hidden groups have the same privacy settings as private-and-visible groups, but they’re hidden to the general public. 
  • You must receive a personal invitation in order to join, which makes it the easiest option to manage users, and sometimes the secrecy marketed the right way and with the right content, could make your group a sought after members-only club. 

The downside: 

  • Requires a strong hands on approach, and although it takes more work to build, grow, and maintain your memberships with manual invitations, it may be worth it if your group is a source of top secret industry information. 

Growing from 0 to 10,000 Members

Growing any type of business venture with no budget might seem impossible, but all it takes is a little time, patience and effort, and maybe a little help. Here are five steps to ensure growth for your Facebook Group without spending a penny:

  • Give your Group a compelling theme – a topic people want to discuss and you can offer genuine expert advice on. 
  • A valid reason to join. Have exclusive content and giveaways that have value to your members.
  • Get early adopters of your Group to bring in new members! Nothing works better than word of mouth. 
  • Let your existing audience or customers know the Group exists and encourage them to join. This can be followers from your blog posts, Facebook Page, podcast listeners, people that follow your video content, and even existing customers. .\ 
  • Reach a new audience by guest blogging, interviews, podcasts, and influencer outreach. 

S.M.A.R.T.

Using “SMART” methodology you can set actionable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure your performance. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART KPIs are measurable metrics used to assess employee and company performance, and in this case, your Facebook Group.

Specific: Be clear and concise in what your Facebook Group KPI relates to, and is trying to achieve. Here’s an example of a specific goal, increase Facebook Group growth by 10% monthly. 

Measurable: The goal is measurable because you can use Facebook’s own tool, Group Insights, to measure engagement. 

Attainable: Is it realistic? Whatever the goal you are setting, whether it be to increase the Group membership by 10%, or to convert 5% new Group members into new sales, or increase clicks to our website by 10% from our Facebook Group – make sure it is realistic. It’d be nice to increase the Group members from 0 to 1 million users in a month, but unless you have an attainable executable plan, that’s unlikely and you’d be setting yourself up for nothing but failure and disappointment. 

Relevant: Does your plan align with your broader objectives? Will growing your Facebook Group help you attain KPIs and sales goals you have set for your company or business? Make sure all your smaller achievements lead to the overall success of  larger long-term goals.

Time-Bound: Set a period of time to measure your performance, and meet the goals you are looking to achieve. This creates deadlines, and promotes reassessing goals or strategies when deadlines aren’t being met, which will ultimately help to meet future ones. 

Growing Your Facebook Group

Once you’ve finished the planning stage, it is time to execute. At this point you should know exactly what you want to achieve, have prepared the necessary resources to make it happen, and established a clear set of guidelines. Now, you are ready to launch!

Here are the quick Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Groups: 

Do:

  • Create strong thematic elements to the content you post.
  • Offer your members valuable content and targeted offers. 
  • Set clear rules so your members know what to expect – and stick to them.
  • Interact with your members and ask questions.
  • Ask your most dedicated fans for help growing the Group.
  • Send links to the Group to other Facebook users you think would join.

Don’t:

  • Spam. Never Spam. Not even constant discount codes. 
  • Drive members to turn off Group notifications by posting dozens of times a day.
  • Handle the administration yourself. Set up a team. 
  • Allow rules to be broken consistently and spoil the group for everyone else. 
  • Veer off topic into irrelevant trends.
  • Add people to a Group they know nothing about. 

By now you should have all the basics figured out, and be in a great position to start increasing your membership. You should be successfully able to grow your Group to thousands of members without spending a single penny. 

Give People a Compelling Reason to Join

  • Make sure the About section outlines the Group’s purpose, what content you will post, and the kind of experience members can expect.
  • Give users a Join incentive, it doesn’t have to be a discount code or sign up giveaway, but it should be an incentive to stick around for weekly giveaways or competitions, and other recurring promotions. 
  • Make sure your group has an engaging theme, a sense of community, something the members will value as shareable in a like minded community. 

After that, it’s easy. You can do these three things to attain even more growth:

Let your existing audience know your Facebook Group exists:

  • Mention the Group as part of your email marketing campaigns. 
  • Provide a link to the Group on your website.
  • Include call-to-actions in your blog posts – be the first to know about our latest marketing tips by joining our Facebook Group.
  • Drive users toward your Group through exit pop-ups on your webpage. 

Free ways to reach new audiences:

  • Reach out to the owner of a popular blog, offer to write about topics that interest their readers, and ask to link to your Group in return. 
  • Ask to be interviewed about your business on a blog, or podcast. Make sure you have something interesting to say and make sure to mention your Facebook Group. 
  • Webinars are a great way to create valuable content for your Group members. Promote the webinars outside the Group, in your personal profiles or your newsletters. Get others to do the same. 
  • Reach out to influencers, make sure your content is high-quality and unique. Consider offering complimentary services or products in lieu of payment. 
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