Are Facebook Groups the Next Marketing Frontier?

In case you missed it, marketers have been freaking out ever since Facebook announced an algorithm change that will all but eliminate business pages’ organic (free) reach in January. It’s an issue on which I’m torn, on the one hand, I’m a Facebook user and I’d prefer to see more content from people that I know vs another article Real Simple shared on their page. But, on the other hand, as a marketer, I think people follow pages and brands because they might just be interested in their content!

Can’t we find some middle ground here?

While we wait for that compromise to emerge down the line, let’s talk about what marketers who have put their time and resources into the Facebook platform (and hopefully not solely because that’s a big social media no-no we can get into another day) can do. Obviously, there’s paying for more ads and sponsored posts, which can be powerful if you have some budget to work with. But what about Facebook Groups?

Facebook Groups are similar in concept to LinkedIn Groups—communities of people who can collaborate or engage around a particular topic. Facebook Groups come in three forms:

  • public group, where the group’s members and the posts can be seen by anyone;
  • closed group, where people outside the group can see the group’s members, but cannot see the posts; and  
  • secret group, where no one can see the members or the posts.

Some marketers, like Beautycounter’s independent sales reps, use groups to share tips and product offers to their customers or prospects. Overall though, using groups to market products and services hasn’t exploded. Maybe it’s time.

In a recent Inc article Larry Kim said, “While getting involved in existing groups or creating new ones might not be one-stop shopping for all of your marketing needs, Facebook Groups can be incredibly powerful unicorns brimming with opportunity.”

And I think he’s right. If you’re serious about building community and stretching engagement with your brand, here are some creative ways to add Facebook Groups to your marketing mix:

  • Potential event attendees can directly engage with event organizers by asking questions of speakers, discussing/debating hot industry topics that will be in focus at the event or voting on operational aspects of the event (who wouldn’t be more likely to attend an event they had a hand in planning?).
  • Current customers can discuss topics and get tips related to using your product. See this Instant Pot group, for example.
  • Current and potential customers can keep up on company news, receive notices about and RSVP to customer events and/or webinars and be the first to know about new product launches.

Think outside the box. A Facebook group doesn’t have to be one size fits all. Think about creating different groups around your different types of customers. Peloton did just this. It realized mom riders are unique to dads, singles and others using their product and created a group that focuses content on their interests that differs from their broader rider group

If you’ve created a Facebook Group, leave a comment and share with us how you’re using it!

 

Photo by Niketh Vellanki on Unsplash

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