Earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing what users will see on their News Feed. The goal, he says, is “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter.” As part of this initiative, Facebook will show users fewer organic posts from business pages, and more from friends and groups. It’s that last item that shows great promise for marketers. Of course, Facebook Groups are nothing new – they’ve been around since the beginning. But with this renewed emphasis, marketing with Facebook Groups could become the next big thing in social media marketing.
Pages vs. Groups
You may be wondering why you can’t just continue using your Facebook business page to generate leads and engage your prospects and customers. The answer is, you can. But that’s really not the primary purpose of business pages. Here’s what Facebook Pages are, according to Facebook itself:
Like a friend’s profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organisations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages.
In other words, business pages are really supposed to be more about the businesses than their prospects and customers. They’ve evolved as a marketing tool because forward-thinking marketers saw their potential. Facebook Groups are different. Again from Facebook:
Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organise, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.
So, unlike your business page, you can control who participates in your group; and, despite the above reference to “small group” in the above definition, there’s virtually no limit to group sizes – some groups actually have hundreds of thousands of members. This element of control also means you can tie group membership to some sort of hook like a free report or e-book, further qualifying your prospects.
Also, because Facebook will show their users fewer organic posts from business pages and more from friends and groups, your group pages will gain more exposure than your business page.
We all know that lead generation is the lifeblood of every business, and inbound marketing on social media is a productive and cost-effective way to generate qualified leads. By creating a Facebook Group from your Facebook Business Page you can invite your page followers to also join your group, which further qualifies them. You can also invite your blog and website visitors as well as people on your email list to join your group, further qualifying them.
The Multiplication Factor
Another benefit of Facebook Groups is the ability to create multiple groups from a single business page. So, for example, if you’re a coach who offers both personal and business coaching programs, you could create a separate group for each for greater focus.
Facebook Groups can be a powerful way to build credibility, create an engaged community, and attract new customers. The only limit to their usefulness as a marketing tool is your own creativity. Have any ideas come to mind as you read this post? If so, write them down, and take action on them. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about Facebook Groups and other social media marketing tools. We also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.