Promoting your business on Facebook is hard work. The cost-per-click is constantly growing. Organic reach is dramatically decreasing since Facebook has prioritized ‘posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions.’ Considering this, what should a business do?

Facebook can be a powerful and cost-effective channel to promote your business by investing nothing in advertising. The answer is in the runoff: it’s time to create and grow your own Facebook group.

Almost every business owner has already tried to benefit from a Facebook page. And it has turned out that having a business page on Facebook doesn’t necessarily end up with engagement, referral traffic, and closed deals without an advertising budget. Why? First, most businesses don’t know how to engage their prospective clients. Second, a business page on Facebook is often viewed as an advertisement. Rather than manage a business page, switch your focus to building a Facebook group for your business.

Building a Facebook group for your business is a viable way to build a fan community, bring people together, and build a great marketing platform at the same time. Facebook groups allow you to be helpful and relatable to your prospective clients as well as understand their goals and partner with them to overcome challenges.

Learn more about your target audience

Use your Facebook group as a focus group for your target audience. While members are expecting to get useful information from the community, you can also collect valuable insights from them. For instance, built-in Facebook functionality called Facebook Insights provides details about your community members and their activity.

Also, your Facebook community members’ discussions, comments, and feedback will help you discover what your community needs from you. It’s a handy and easy-to-adopt way to validate your business ideas.

At Chanty, our fans help us shape our product map. We let our group know about ideas for features or product updates and gather their feedback. Here’s one of regular polls we conduct in the Chanty community on Facebook:

Engage with prospects on a personal level

A Facebook group will humanize your company with the help of social connections, nonbusiness interactions, and friendly communication. Your brand will get an opportunity to show its human side, not just a company logo.

Facebook groups allow you to build rich and human relationships with prospecting clients. Customers don’t want to engage with brands and join the conversation provoked by a business. Facebook groups remove this barrier and gives you the opportunity to be more personal, which builds connection and trust with your company.

Here are a few tips on how to start engaging your Facebook community:

  • Be present in the group on a daily basis
  • Post useful and relevant links (not promotional ones)
  • Ask group members to contribute or give feedback
  • Organize contests and promotions
  • Offer incentives for activity

Receive organic testimonials

Testimonials are a part of a wider concept called social proof, which is a way to show your prospects that others have already found your products or services to be of high value. Testimonials prove that your business is trustworthy, featuring those who have purchased from you and had a positive experience.

There are a few ways you can benefit from testimonials:

  • Testimonials build trust around your business
  • Testimonials impact sales
  • Testimonials increase website traffic
  • Testimonials ensure a higher conversion rate on your website (sign-ups, downloads, etc.)

How can you use your Facebook community to gather and feature testimonials? If your fans aren’t already posting their own testimonials, gently ask some of your customers to post a positive experience in the group. Or when you’re promoting an offer, reach out to existing clients and ask them to write positive feedback about your offer.

build trust around your company by providing value

Without credibility, your Facebook group won’t be highly engaged; you won’t drive attention to your offers and your polls won’t receive feedback. There’s a simple rule: to build trust, you must provide value and serve your followers.

Share first-hand experience, hold question-and-answer sessions, create exclusive content for your group, and provide the community with valuable and entertaining information. Your Facebook community is not an advertising platform. Instead, it’s a place for you to explain, motivate, inspire, and teach.

Gain hot leads with one post

When the group members are warmed up with valuable content and meaningful interactions, pin a post to the top or roll out an announcement. Your Facebook group will give you a highly targeted audience to which you can present your offer. However, try not to be overly spammy and make sure that your proposal provides value to your group members. Here’s an example of regular offers in one private Facebook group. As you can see, this post has brought a few hot leads to the group owners.

Generate networking opportunities

Your Facebook group will unite your potential clients, existing clients, fan base, and even potential business partners. Your Facebook group can turn into a platform where you and your potential business partners can solidify relationships that otherwise may not have occurred.

As seen here, this Facebook group devoted to SaaS marketing allows a group member to find almost 30 business opportunities in the blink of an eye. That means anyone can simply click the green JOIN GROUP button and dive deeply in the world of valuable collaboration and partnership.

Get in front of your prospects and clients every day

An increasing number of people are searching on Facebook to find products and services to solve their challenges. 1.73 billion users are visiting the social networking site on a daily basis. As a result, Facebook makes it easy for prospects to find you and join your Facebook community.

What can you do to appear in your fans’ feeds more often and get even more exposure? Here’s a list of tested-and-tried activities:

  • If you host a webinar, list your events, and invite people in your group.
  • Share your company’s blog posts in your group if the content is highly relevant and valuable..
  • Ask your group members to share your content IF it is highly relevant and valuable.
  • Stream live video with Facebook Live. The intimacy of live video creates the sense for the group members that they are getting a behind-the-scenes peek and creates emotional bonds between you and your fans.
  • Avoid link-dropping and direct advertising. Make sure to provide context to any sales message.

Offer an excellent service hub to your clients

In your Facebook group, support clients when they complain about your business. Be transparent and share updates when you’re working through issues. Answer quickly and candidly to questions, so that your customers know that you are there for them.

Overall, Facebook business pages are hard to grow organically, but you have the opportunity to grow a Facebook group by focusing on engagement and communication, not on direct advertising. While a Facebook community is not a small task take lots of your time and energy too. But in the long run, Facebook groups enhance your relationships with the target audience and expand your business growth.

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