Utilizing Facebook Groups to Build Community
Back in the early days of the Internet, message boards were key. Social media was still a vague concept not fully implemented, so these forums were the best place to engage with ideas with like-minded individuals. In 2017, that idea still persists today. Message boards still exist, but there’s another medium that’s taken off for community building: Facebook groups.
As Facebook continues to expand beyond what anyone could’ve ever guessed, people are building their own smaller communities through Facebook groups. Facebook groups offer up some great opportunities for marketers to connect with their audience in an organic way. Let’s look at a few ways they do that and why you should consider utilizing them in your social media strategy.
Actually Engaging With Your Audience
When we talk about social media, usually it’s framed as an opportunity to engage with your audience. It’s the sought after ideal that every business has when they start their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts – the allure of having your customers comment and communicate with you directly and building relationships. And while you certainly still can get this from your pages, some businesses find themselves a little let down by the lack of response they get from their audience. However, the format of a Facebook group can provide you with that elusive engagement you’ve been looking for.
The beauty of Facebook groups is that they are designed to for the exchanging of ideas. When someone opts into a group, they’re signing up to be a part of community around a topic or industry. Groups take away the formalities of a Facebook page and let you personally interact with your customers. And it’s not just you reaching out, either. Any group member can start a conversation. Whether they have a question, comment, or just want to share what’s on their mind, you’re more likely to get real responses and conversations in a Facebook group than virtually anywhere else on social platforms.
Better Than A Focus Group
Facebook groups are excellent for getting feedback from your customers. If they’re signed on to be in the group, they have some care about your product or industry. When you’re rolling out a new service or an update to a preexisting product, going to your Facebook group is an excellent way to hear from your users on what they think about it. It takes away the unknown of email and makes sure you don’t get lost in the inbox.
Start a discussion yourself and see what type of responses you get. Even better yet, you might find that your customers are starting discussions themselves. Even when the feedback isn’t positive, you have the opportunity to respond and engage with them right away. Seeing a business owner or representative actively addressing their concerns or needs is great optics for your company. Plus, you can use this information to improve on your products or services. No need to hire a focus group – with a big enough active group, you can get all the feedback you need just by logging into your Facebook account.
User Generated Content at Your Fingertips
User generated content is the holy grails for businesses and marketers. Getting pieces you can share from your customers carries weight. People may trust your business, but chances are they’ll trust the opinion of a fellow customer even more. It’s the same reason people will take the word of Yelp reviews before they’ll trust the big scene in the shop window that says “Best Coffee in the World!” Facebook groups, with their immediate access to the people who use your business, are a great way to get pieces like these without having to go through the painful process of asking people for it.
If you see a post in a group that makes a great point about your product or is a glowing review of some new feature that you just rolled out, you can easily send that person a private message and ask if you use can share it on your website or social platforms. Sure, there’s a chance they’ll say no, but more often than not people are willing to say yes. If they’re engaged enough to share warm fuzzy feeling about your business, there’s a good chance they’ll be happy that you want to share it out further. Groups are also great for hosting contests – asking people for pictures using your products or any other creative concept you can come up with. Adding in the stipulation that you can use these images for your marketing makes it all the easier to get great, shareable content from your base customers.
Engagement is the key to social media and Facebook groups are excelling at it. Think you want to start connecting with your audience via groups but not sure where to start? N2Q’s expert social media team can help with everything from building groups to helping you reply to posts within groups. Reach out to us today and we’ll discuss with you ways Facebook groups can help your business.