Facebook groups are a great way to make connections, promote your blog or website, and make people aware of your products or services. As with all your social media activity, though, there’s a right way to use Facebook groups, and doing it wrong will potentially do some serious damage.
Set up your Facebook right
You’re NOT going to be dropping links to your blog or sales pages all over these groups, so it’s vital that anyone who wants to find out more about you can do so easily.
Make sure your public personal profile includes a link to your site, blog, or Facebook page, and a way to contact you. Fill in your work information with your business or blog details if appropriate. Consider a public bio that says who you are and who you serve.
Join the right groups
Search groups for interests that you would expect your customers to have. If you sell organic beauty products, search for groups using keywords like natural beauty, organic living, etc. If you offer services for other business owners, join groups for entrepreneurs or freelancers.
You’ll find plenty of groups that are relevant to your business, but you don’t have to join them all just because they’re there. Pick a manageable number that seem fairly active.
Read the group rules
Some Facebook groups allow blatant self-promotion. Many don’t. Lots have a particular day or thread when you can post links to your blog or advertise a special offer. Stick to the rules. Don’t spam. Don’t post links to your blog or site randomly within the group. If there is a promo day, make a note of it and stop by on that day to share your blog, business or a relevant promotion.
Become an active member of the groups
This is why you don’t want to pick too many. Quality, relevance and activity is more important than quantity. Post relevant comments and questions. Comment on others’ posts, especially if you can answer a question or solve a problem. Be honest if you offer your own product or service as a solution, or post a link to your own blog or site.
If the group does allow self-promotion, use it right
Post relevant, fun and interesting stuff about your business that will appeal to the membership. Remember to stick to a specific day or thread if that’s what’s specified. If a promo thread asks you to say something about the link you’re posting, do that. Don’t just throw your link in the comments with no introduction. Write a sentence or two that will encourage others to click on it.
Use images in your posts
Images get far more interest and response than simple text posts. When appropriate, use a relevant image to draw the attention of the sub-group of people you’re trying to reach.
Create some posts for the group that provide value
Provide some entertainment or information. Share some useful links (to other people’s information). You want to build a relationship with the group members so they’re more inclined to like and trust you and your business.
If appropriate, address problems that your product or service will solve
This shouldn’t be a blatant cry for business. But sometimes it’s appropriate to encourage people to think about the problem and create awareness that you can help. Again, be honest. Self-disclose when recommending your own product or something you have a financial interest in. Ask questions that get people thinking. For example, it’s OK to ask something like: ‘I’m a VA developing my services. What VA services are you most in need of in your business right now?’
Support other group members
If there’s the opportunity to advertise or self-promote within the group, don’t forget to support other group members. Like their posts and pages, especially if they offer a complimentary or related product or service. Facebook groups can be a great place to find people to cross-promote or run joint ventures with.
On self-promo days, don’t just drop a link and run. Stick around. Click, comment, like and share other member’s posts.
In all of your efforts, remember that relationships are key. Your success is dependent on building a relationship with the individuals in the group. Gear every post you make towards making connections, building trust and creating awareness of what you do and who you are.
Ready to ramp up your Facebook strategy and really learn how to use this platform to your advantage? Check out these great resources that will help you plan out your strategy and actually make sales on Facebook. (As a bonus, this planner comes with resale rights, so you can sell it on to your own readers and clients – and the blog posts that come with it can be used to promote it. Get the details here.)
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