6 Easy Steps to Get Started with Facebook Groups for Your Business

How to Convert Your Social Media Followers into Paying Customers

Most of us, when we think of Facebook groups, vaguely recall one that we were added to a while ago. Some of these groups are very active, while some have been long forgotten in the progression of our social media usage. Whether or not you personally enjoy Facebook groups, you might want to consider creating a Facebook group for your business.

Why, you might ask? Groups can be a great way to form a personal connection with your customers and potential customers. Humanizing your brand is an excellent way to promote it and with so many brands showing themselves as very available and personable on social media, you need to keep your brand on the cutting edge as well.

So, if you’re thinking of creating a Facebook group for your brand, here are 6 simple ways to make it work:

Create the Right Group

To begin with, you need to have clear idea on what exactly the group is for. Is it a place for customers to ask questions and get them answered; for customers to speak to other customers, discussion-style, or are you starting the group to receive feedback on your brand and services?

Once you’ve decided on that you can pick a name for the Facebook group and decide on your target audience. You can and should make sure your privacy settings are in line with the interaction you want going on in the group. A public group can be seen by anyone and, generally, anyone can join. Closed groups give you more options to keep it exclusive and selective. Creating a secret group means that no one will be able to find it or join it without an invitation.

Encourage Members to Join

There are a few ways to go about this. You can advertise your group on your personal profile or on another existing page that you are already the admin of. You can send out a promotional email to everyone on your mailing list. You can ask your friends to post it on their pages to reach more people, or invite their friends to join it. Just make sure that everyone invited meets the requirements of your target audience to avoid spamming and other problems later on.

It shouldn’t be just a one-time promotion, either. Continue to promote it on a regular basis, although not too frequently or people will grow tired of the constant advertising.

Create Clear Group Rules

Establishing rules for interaction and posting is important. Comment sections can get quite intense, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced and so you want to make sure you keep issues like that to a minimum.

Will you allow group members to post promotions of their own businesses? Will you moderate posts by approving them before they can be posted in the group or will members be allowed to post whenever they like?

When establishing rules, think about what bothers you about other groups you are or have been a member of. You can then keep the possibility of those issues arising to a minimum by choosing the right privacy settings and boundaries. For example: spam, irrelevant posts and constant self-promotion, among other things, are factors that can cause members to not only leave the group, but advise others not to join it either and you don’t want that.

Create Content Specifically for the Group

Maintaining a successful group will require work and commitment in order to regularly provide value to your members. Create a posting schedule so that you are neither posting too often, frustrating members with constant flow of content, nor are you posting so rarely that members may not even remember they are part of the group.

Ideally, you should share content on the group that you aren’t sharing anywhere else on social media. This will keep members in the group longer than they would stay if they were seeing the same posts everywhere.

Spend Time in Your Group Daily

Apart from scheduling your posts, you should devote time each day to the monitoring and upkeep of your group. Ideally you want your group members liking, commenting and interacting on your posts; so be interactive.  Ask questions, create polls and encourage discussion whenever you can. People like to share their opinions and feel like they are being heard. Reply to comments, like and comment on other members’ posts and keep up a steady flow of interaction with your members for the best results. If you aren’t able to devote time to the monitoring and upkeep, you should hire a Social Media Manager to do it for you, as this interaction is very important.

Check Your Insights

Facebook Group Insights provides you with a fantastic bird’s eye view of all the important information: which posts are getting the most engagement, what your predominant demographic is, who engages with your posts the most and so on. Having a handle on these details can help you post much more effectively and use the right kind of content. You can tailor content to your primary demographic or increase your interaction with your most regular contributors.

Facebook’s recent increased focus on groups means that the opportunities for growing your business through it are increasing as well. If you haven’t made one yet, it may well be time to do so.

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Have You Met These Secret Six Yet?

6 secret Facebook features

We all know that Facebook has a lot of features that a lot of us use quite often. Now there are a few other features that even seasoned marketers fail to notice. So here is Sprout Social throwing some light on those few features who pretty much function like silent helpers.

Whether you’re too comfortable with the classic line-up or unsure of where to start, here are few overlooked Facebook features we think you’ll love:

1. Like Pages as a Brand

Easily one of the most overlooked Facebook features is the ability to Like other Pages as your brand. When you’re focused on building out your Facebook presence, Liking other Pages isn’t usually top of mind. But it’s a great way to support partners and sister brands, as well as other businesses.

Your Likes are always displayed on the left-hand column of your Page. However, if you want to throw a little extra love someone’s way, you can choose which Pages are featured. Up to five Pages are shown at a time, but you can specify which Pages appear by selecting them as featured.

Aveeno Lululemon Facebook Likes

For example, Aveeno chose to highlight Pages relevant to its brand, while Lululemon features some of its subsidiaries. You can rotate featured Likes as often as you want, or you can keep the same three to five displayed.

To Like a Page as your brand:

    1. Visit the Page you want to Like and click the icon with the three dots in the lower right corner of their cover photo.
Like Facebook Page
    1. Select Like As Your Page from the drop-down menu.
    2. Find your Page in the second drop-down menu that appears.
Select Page to Like As
  1. Click Save.

2. Pages to Watch

If your Facebook Page has more than 100 Likes, then you have access to a powerful Insights tool: Pages to Watch. This feature gives you the ability to quickly compare the activity, engagement and audience growth of up to 100 different brand Pages.

Facebook Pages to Watch

Facebook Insights offers dozens of helpful features for analyzing Page performance, but one of our favorites focuses on what others are doing instead. Pages to Watch can be used to track a number of performers in your industry including competitors, influencers, collaborators, partners and peers.

By staying abreast of what your competitors and industry peers are posting, you can use that information to inspire a new or strengthen yourexisting content strategy. This is why it’s important to track Pages that are relevant to your brand, and not just Pages you’re personally interested in. While it’s intriguing, that data will do little to move your strategy forward.

If you’re using this for competitive intelligence, be aware that the people who manage the Page will receive a notification that it has been added to a watch list. The notification won’t include your name or the name of your Page, however.

How to Access Pages to Watch

To start building your own Pages to Watch list, take the following steps:

  1. From your Page, click on Insights.
  2. By default you’ll be taken to the Overview tab.
  3. Scroll down and underneath the “5 Most Recent Posts” section, you’ll find Pages to Watch.
  4. Click on Add Pages to get started.
  5. After searching for a Page you want, click + Watch Page.
  6. When you’re finished building your list click Done.

Once Pages have been added to your watch list, Facebook will begin providing a detailed view of every one of their posts from the current week. If you decide to stop watching a Page, just hover over the Page you want to remove and click the “x.”

  • Remember: If your Page doesn’t have 100 Likes, you won’t see this feature on your Overview tab in Insights.

3. Save for Later

If you’ve been Liking Pages as your brand, your News Feed should be full of interesting content. But marketers and social media managers don’t always have time to click through and read articles or watch videos. That’s where Facebook’s Save feature comes in handy.

More than 250 million people use Facebook’s Save feature, which lets you save content so you can come back to it later. All of your saves can be accessed at any time by going to your saved items in the “More” tab on mobile or by clicking the “Saved” link under Favorites on the left-hand side of Facebook on desktop.

And don’t worry, this isn’t where content goes to die. Facebook will occasionally show you reminders of your saved items in News Feed.

4. People & Other Pages

Another useful yet possibly underutilized feature is People and Other Pages, which is found under your Page’s settings.

People and Other Pages

It may seem silly to include this since you receive notifications about Page Likes, but for brands with hundreds, thousands or even millions of Likes, it can be hard to keep track of every notification.

This feature gives you a comprehensive list of every person and Page that has Liked your Page—as long as they’ve done so publicly. It can be filtered by people, Pages and banned individuals. One of the major benefits is utility since you can quickly assign someone a new role, remove them from people who Like the Page or ban them.

Additionally, the list provides you with the date on which each person or Page Liked yours. This small detail could be useful for tracking follower growth during campaigns or contests. And by keeping an eye on which Pages are fans, you’re better able to build relationships that could lead to new content partnership opportunities.

This certainly isn’t something you need to track every day, but it’s good to be aware of for regular check-ins.

5. Saved Replies

Last year Facebook began testing a new feature called Saved Replies, which allow businesses to write, save and re-use messages when responding to customers on the social network. It’s similar to Sprout’s Suggested Replies feature for Twitter. It’s a particularly useful feature if you’re using Facebook for customer service, but can also be helpful when answering frequently asked questions.

While certainly a time-saver, Saved Replies isn’t a pass for lazy communication. Although your response to the same question over and over won’t vary much in content, it should be personalized to the individual. For example, make sure you use their name in your response and thank them for taking the time to reach out.

How to Create a Saved Reply

To created a Saved Reply for your Page, follow these steps:

  1. Click Messages at the top of your Page.
  2. Click on the Messages icon at the bottom and select Manage Replies.
  3. Choose Create Reply.
  4. Add your reply title and message.
  5. Click Save reply.

To use your Saved Reply, click on any conversation you want to reply to on the Messages tab, followed by the Messages icon and choose the reply you want to use. We recommend editing your message to personalize it a bit before sending.

6. Response Assistant

Facebook is one of the top destinations for social customer service. According to a 2014 study, 44% of consumers expect to hear back from a brand on Facebook. Of course not every business can afford to have an around-the-clock support staff. If that’s the case, Facebook’s Response Assistant might come in handy.

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