Facebook groups are online communities that give Facebook users a platform to connect over a shared interest. Businesses can use groups to generate awareness, stay top-of-mind, and increase brand loyalty by building a community of engaged users. Facebook groups are best for businesses whose target audience centers around a certain interest, topic, or cause.
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How Facebook Business Groups Work
Facebook groups give businesses a way to connect with their target audience while giving that audience a way to connect with one another. This serves to increase brand awareness and generate loyalty. To set up a Facebook group, log in to Facebook, navigate to the left-hand Menu and click “Groups.” Then select “+ Create Group” and follow the steps to build your group. Once your group is created, post content to your group and promote to gain members.
After creating your new Facebook business group, there are a number of settings to update and information to input. To do this, go to your Group page and click the “More” button below your cover photo and select “Edit Group Settings.” From here, add your location, website, customize your group web address, add apps, add/remove sections, and update membership settings.
With a Facebook group established, it’s time to post in your group and promote it to attract and gain group members. This is the fun part where you, as the group admin, help incite and lead conversations and interaction among your community. Remember that groups help build awareness and foster relationships through community, but they are not to be used as a sales channel, so keep the focus on the group, not on your business.
Who Facebook Business Groups are Best For
Facebook groups are best for those that have an active social media audience and whose business centers around a certain topic or special interest. This could be nearly any type of business such as a nonprofit, a clothing brand that wants to use groups to discuss style and trends, an immigration law firm that wants to serve as a community forum, or a study abroad company that creates groups to connect students studying in the same program together.
Facebook groups are best for businesses whose target audience shares one of the following:
- Life event: Groups that center around life events are those such as wedding planning, parenting, training for an upcoming marathon, those undergoing the same medical procedure or treatment, or attending an educational program.
- Special interests: Special interest groups are more niche and can include social causes and fan clubs such as caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, vintage drag car restoration, emotional support animal trainers, or restaurant owners.
- Common interests: Common interests are those that may be relevant to a wide range of people such as interior design, craft beer brewing, fitness, or photography.
Before you decide to create a Facebook group for business, consider how your offerings and target audience fit in terms of social interaction. A Facebook group ultimately connects people by topic or interest. While some businesses may not have a clear audience for groups, many can be a good fit if done correctly. For example, an accounting software business could use Facebook groups to connect small business owners looking to run their business better.
Types of Facebook Groups
There are three types of Facebook groups: public, closed and secret. Public groups are open and visible to every Facebook user, whether they are a member of the group or not. Closed groups can be found on Facebook, but it requires membership to view group content. Secret groups cannot be found on Facebook and an invitation is required to join.
Here is more information about these three types of Facebook groups:
- Public: Public groups are visible to all Facebook users. They do not require membership to view group content, such as posts and member comments. They are the least secure and lease exclusive type of group, and therefore they are best for very basic, and common interests, such as big brands (e.g., a Volkswagen owners group) general interest (e.g., rock climbing), or for general fan clubs (e.g., Seinfeld fans group).
- Closed: Closed groups are similar to public groups in that the group itself is visible and discoverable on Facebook, though the group’s content is only visible to group members. They’re best for groups that want to be able to be found on Facebook, but with added exclusivity and privacy. This could be groups such as political groups or weight loss groups that want to be available to everyone, but want to uphold member safety.
- Secret: Secret groups aren’t searchable on Facebook. Instead, Facebook users must be invited to the group by a group member. Once a member has joined, then they will be able to find the group and view its content. Secret groups tend to be used by the most meaningful groups such as social causes as well as groups that want to be kept hidden from the public’s eye.
The type of group you choose for your Facebook business group will depend on the type of community you wish to build, what level of privacy or exclusivity that community desires, and how you plan to promote your group. For example, a business may choose a closed group because they want people to be able to find them organically through Facebook, but want to keep their group secure as it wants to be sensitive to members who share personal stories.
Benefits of Using Facebook Groups for Business
There are a number of benefits of using Facebook groups for business. The main benefits include: building awareness through active and engaged social communities, fostering relationships to build loyalty, staying top of mind, getting useful feedback, and announcing exclusive offers.
Here are the five main benefits of using Facebook groups for business:
- Build a community: By using a Facebook group to build a community, businesses can increase brand awareness and unite a target audience.
- Brand loyalty: Facebook groups give businesses a way to foster relationships, which helps to build brand loyalty.
- Stay top of mind: Groups serve as another touchpoint for businesses and by fostering an active community, businesses are able to stay top of mind. This helps increase sales as consumers are more likely to purchase from brands and businesses they’re familiar with when faced with a buying decision.
- Get insightful feedback: One major underlying benefit of Facebook business groups is that they can be an effective place to solicit insightful feedback. Businesses can collect data and feedback a number of ways including group polls, moderating content, and using Facebook Group Insights to learn more about how members engage and interact with your group.
- Announce offers: Facebook groups give businesses a platform to reward their best customers by giving them first access to first dibs on limited offers or giving them exclusive offers. This can help cast a wider net and reach more people.
With so many different benefits to using Facebook groups for business, it’s likely like a business will reap a combination of these. Still, it’s worth considering your marketing goals and whether Facebook groups are a way to help achieve those goals when deciding if Facebook business groups are right for you.
How to Use Facebook Groups for Business in 6 Steps
Start using Facebook groups for business in these six steps. First, log in to the Facebook account that houses your Facebook business page and go to “Groups.” From the Groups page, navigate to the upper left-hand corner of the page and click the “+ Create Group” button. Next, input your group’s name and select group visibility and privacy settings. Then, add a cover photo, add group info and update settings. Finally, post content and promote your group.
Here’s how to set up and use Facebook groups for business in six steps:
1. Log in to Facebook Business & Go to Groups
The first step to creating a group is to log in to your Facebook account that is linked to your Facebook business page. From the homepage, or your news feed, navigate to the left-hand vertical menu and select “Groups” from the list.
2. Create a New Group
From the Facebook groups homepage, navigate to the left-hand menu, find and click the “+ Create Group” button below “Discover.” Next, input your desired group name. If you want your group to be discoverable, use a name that is easily identifiable and specific such as “Miami Marathon Runners Over 50.” Then, add people by email (optional), select whether you want your group to be public or private, and choose whether you want the group visible or hidden.
3. Add a Cover Photo
Next, you will be directed to your new group page where you can begin customizing it. Start by adding a cover photo. To do this, click the “Upload Photo” or select “Choose Photo” if you already have a cover photo uploaded to your Facebook account. If you do not already have a cover photo available, a good way to easily design one is by using Canva, which has pre-built Facebook cover photo templates that are fully customizable or hire a pro on Fiverr.
4. Configure Group Settings
After adding your cover photo, personalize your group by configuring your group settings. To do this, navigate to the “More” button from your Facebook group page and select “Edit Group Settings.” From there you will be able to update basic group settings such as its name, type, and visibility, as well as linking your group to your Facebook business page, adding your location, and more advanced settings such as customizing your URL and member restrictions.
On the following page, you will have all Facebook group configuration and settings options. There are a lot of settings to update including basic group info such as group name, type, description and location, as well as the ability to customize your group’s web address, link your business page, add tags and apps, and change group privacy and membership settings.
Here the 10 Facebook group settings to configure when creating a new group:
- Group name and type: By now you will have already created a group name and type, though it’s possible to change these at any time through these settings.
- Description: Add a short description to inform those who might be interested in your group on what it’s about. It helps to include information about who the group is for and what the purpose of the group is.
- Location (optional): Groups that are location-based, such as a kickball league or a book club that meets in-person, should add their location to make it easier to be discovered by the right audience.
- Tags: Tags give users a way of finding the group and quickly understanding what the group is about, whether that’s health and fitness or education. It’s possible to add up to five tags, which helps users discover the group through the Facebook group search function.
- Apps (optional): Group admins may choose to add apps, which can do everything from enabling shopping to utilizing chatbots.
- Link your business page: Businesses using groups should link their business page to their group. To do this, navigate to “Linked Pages” under settings and select “Link Page.” From there you can select your Facebook business page.
- Customize your web address: Your web address is the URL used to access your Facebook group. While it may not seem important, it is a good idea to customize your web address so users can easily identify and find your group.
- Update group privacy and visibility: Your group privacy and visibility settings have already been configured in the new group creation process, though you can update these at any time through group settings. For example, a group admin may choose to change privacy settings as a group grows and no longer needs the visibility.
- Add sections: There are several page sections that you can add, including social learning units and instant games. Social learning units help groups be used as an educational tool by adding features such as the ability to order posts into units and add an “I’m done” button. Instant games allow members to share and play single person and multi-person games from a group.
- Configure membership settings: Admins can control whether new members require approval to join and whether to allow pages to join your group. You also have the ability to determine who is allowed to post on your group and whether or not posts from members require approval before displaying within the group.
5. Create & Post Content
Groups are meant to be interactive, so create and post content that engages with your members by asking questions, looking for recommendations, or using polls. Decide how often you want to post and what topics to cover, and consider building a content calendar to map out future posts. Even though a new group may not have a large number of members, it’s good to post content to show prospective members that it’s an active group.
There are a lot of different ways businesses can go about creating, posting, and scheduling content on Facebook. Businesses should consider creating a Facebook content strategy which will help them develop content that effectively serves their community and their goals of using a Facebook groups for business.
6. Promote Your Facebook Group
Once you have started to post content on your Facebook group, promote your group in order to build your membership. There are a number of ways to promote your group from inviting your Facebook friends and business page fans, asking customers to join via email marketing, posting a link to your group on your small business website, joining and participating in other relevant Facebook groups, and using Facebook Ads.
Here are seven ways to promote your Facebook group:
- Leverage your Facebook friends: A good way to initially gain members is by inviting your personal Facebook friends. While not every friend will be a match to your group and its purpose, it’s likely that many will. Also, ask your friends to share your post that promotes your group. This gives friends who may not be interested in joining your group the opportunity to support your efforts and help increase membership numbers.
- Invite fans of your Facebook business page: Invite others to join your Facebook group by email, or post on your Facebook business to announce your new group and to invite those that follow your business page to become a member of your group.
- Invite your contact list via email: While some of your customers will be fans of your Facebook business page, it’s unlikely that they all follow you on social. Businesses with a contact list of existing customers can gain exposure and increase group membership by reaching out via email to invite customers to join. It’s a good opportunity to thank existing customers and to foster those relationships.
- Add a link to your website: It’s a standard practice for businesses to add a link to their Facebook business page to their website, but those with a group may want to link to their group instead. This helps increase visibility of your group and gives site visitors a more engaging way to connect with your business over social.
- Join relevant groups: Generate awareness for your group by joining other, relevant groups. For example, a furniture company may join a Facebook group for those interested in interior design, or even a group for sustainable US businesses. Ideally find groups that consist of members who are within your target audience, but are not essentially the same group as the one you’ve created.
- Motivate members to share your group: For every group member you have, each person has hundreds of Facebook friends—many of which are likely to share the same interest as your members. Leverage your members’ friends by motivating members to share your group. A common and effective way to do this is by creating a giveaway where an eligibility requirement is for members to share the giveaway post.
- Use Facebook Ads: For a fast way to reach a large number of Facebook users, try Facebook advertising. It’s generally considered an affordable and cost-effective pay-per-click advertising platform, which gives businesses a good way of reaching a highly targeted audience that is likely to be interested in your group.
When choosing ways to promote your Facebook business group, consider where your target audience is and what will best reach them. Promote your group a number of ways to gain as much awareness as possible and increase your group membership. No matter which ways you choose to promote your group, lead with messaging that tells people what the benefits are to them joining.
Facebook Business Page vs Facebook Business Group
Facebook business pages and groups are different types of Facebook pages. Business pages act as profiles for companies, whereas groups act as a community forum for users with a shared interest. While businesses can use both, the main difference is their purpose, in that business pages put businesses center stage, and groups put people center stage.
Facebook Business Page
A Facebook business page is much like a personal profile page, but for businesses. It gives businesses a way to promote their business and connect with customers (or prospective customers). It contains basic information such as a short description, location, hours, reviews, services, menu, or products for sale. While it’s a way to reach users on Facebook, its purpose is to provide information about your business.
Facebook groups serve as a community where Facebook users can come together in one place. Facebook groups put people center stage by focusing on the community and the topic or shared interest of the group. While businesses can create Facebook groups, the purpose is not to use groups to directly promote a business, but to give people a place to connect with one another over a shared interest or commonality.
7 Tips for Marketing with Facebook Groups for Business
There is a lot to learn about marketing with Facebook groups. While every business has a different target audience and will therefore take a unique approach to Facebook groups, there are certain things every business should keep in mind when marketing with Facebook groups. These include ways to grow your group and create an active and engaged group.
Here are seven tips for Facebook business groups from the pros:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should my Facebook group be public or private?
Whether or not your Facebook group should be public or private will depend on how much privacy you want for your group members. Generally, businesses will create a group that is visible, but private. This makes it so the group can be discovered on Facebook, but non-members cannot view group content. Groups covering highly sensitive and personal topics or issues may want to create a secret group to further protect members and foster a safe space.
How do I set up a Facebook Group?
To set up a Facebook group, first log in to Facebook. From your news feed, navigate to the left-hand menu and select “Groups.” On the groups page, click the “+New Group” button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Follow the prompts to create your group, such as naming your group, selecting your group type, privacy settings, adding a cover photo, and updating group settings.
How can businesses market on Facebook?
Facebook offers a number of marketing opportunities for businesses from organic social using business pages and groups to paid social with Facebook advertising and boosted posts. With over a billion active Facebook users worldwide, Facebook is a great opportunity for businesses to gain awareness, connect with target audiences, and build loyalty in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
Should I create Facebook group rules?
Yes, it’s a good idea to create Facebook group rules, which serve as community guidelines. Rules should revolve around creating a safe environment for all members. In other words, group rules are not meant to restrict members, but rather help foster security and to avoid conflict within your community.
Bottom Line – Facebook Groups for Business
Facebook groups provide a way for businesses to build communities and connect to people over a common interest. Groups are not a platform to sell to your audience, but instead, to connect with your target audience by generating awareness and foster relationships. Groups are best for businesses that over products and services related to certain interests, topics, or causes.
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