You can reach loads of potential customers on Facebook but you need to avoid making fundamental mistakes.

I wanted to share with you what works (and what doesn’t) when you start marketing your business in groups.

Facebook Groups are an excellent tool for making large numbers of people aware of your business, your products or services, and your message but you have to do it right to get results.

Here are some top tips for promoting your business in Facebook groups:

  1. Search groups for interests that you would expect your customers to have. For example, if you sell ladies jewellery, search for groups using keywords like jewellery, accessories, or fashion. You will find loads of groups relevant to your business so request to join them. Browse www.facebook.com/groups to see what groups your friends are in and to search for groups. If you can’t find one, create your own! You have to add at least one of your friends to your group to get it started, so choose someone who won’t mind and ALWAYS ask permission before adding your friends to your group; some people get very uppity about being added to groups with no prior consent.
  2. Public, closed or secret? If you join a public group, anyone can see what you are posting in the group, including all your Facebook friends. With closed groups, anyone can search for the group and its members, but only members of the group can see the content/posts. Secret groups can’t be found via Facebook search and you have to be invited by a group member; only then can you see the other members and posts. Personally I always go for closed groups – find out more about group privacy here: www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465#What-are-the-privacy-options-for-groups
  3. Before you do ANYTHING, please, please, please check the rules or guidelines that the group admin has set. There may be particular days set aside for promotional posts, in which case you’ll need to be sharing useful information (with no links) on the other days.
  4. Post to those groups frequently. Posting more than once a day is a good rule of thumb. More posts increase the likelihood that any individual member of the group will see your post. Since you may be joining dozens of groups, unique posts for each group would be impractical, so create a bank of posts that can be used across the whole range of groups you have joined. Don’t post the same thing in all the groups – vary your posts accordingly and don’t just spam with sales messages.
  5. Use images in your posts. Images get far more interest and response than simple text posts.
  6. Include links to your website or a call to action with images (see #3 first). You need to tell people what you want them to do, so be really clear about how they find out more or get to your site. Your first goal is to build exposure, and a large fan base is evidence of that growing exposure. You want the group members to go to your site/page, where they will find more information about you, your company and your products.
  7. Build your email list. Whether in posts to the group or on your Facebook page, you should have a call to action – ‘Sign Up For My Newsletter’, for example. When visitors sign up for your newsletter you grow your email list, which can become an entirely separate marketing tool. List building is SO important – make this one of your primary aims.
  8. Do not post only ads to the groups. Also create posts that actually provide value, whether entertainment or information, to the reader. You want to build a relationship with the reader that makes them more inclined to trust your business. Social media is about being SOCIAL, so include some friendly networking posts, motivational quotes or questions. Join in with FanPage Fridays, like ladders and other networking posts but DON’T just post your web link. Always introduce your business to give the personal touch and people will be more likely to click your link. There are autoposting software programs available but use these wisely. The last thing you want is to get a bad reputation and be blocked from groups.
  9. Address problems. Whether posting ads or informative or entertaining posts, address problems that your product or service will solve for them. It doesn’t have to be a blatant cry for their business. Just making people think about the problem and creating an awareness that you can help contributes to the relationship.
  10. Use offers and promotions to promote your page and website but make sure you follow the rules or you could get your page and profile removed. Here’s a link for info: www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php If you aren’t sure, use a third party app to run competitions and sweepstakes. Asking people to share as a condition of entry is a definite no no!
  11. Relationship building. In all of your efforts, keep in mind that your success is dependent upon building a relationship with the individuals in the group and with the visitors to your Facebook page. Whether they are a few dozen or a few thousand, gear your campaigns to individuals, not groups.
  12. Be honest. Of course you want to be ethical but don’t let promotional stuff slip over into false statements. Assume that the reader will at some point become aware that a claim or a promise was false. When they reach that awareness, all of your effort toward building a relationship is at risk. It is much better to promise less and deliver on every promise. I see this so much with recruiting posts in the groups I run. Network marketers post things like “Want to earn 5k a month from home?”; it’s fine to share potential earnings but give real life examples and time-scales, so people joining the business don’t feel misled.
  13. Be an expert and answer people’s questions. Groups aren’t meant for you to ‘post and run’. Make sure you spend 15-30 minutes each day scrolling group posts (or use the group search function) for posts in your niche and make sure you comment on them. By answering posts you will soon be seen as an authority figure about your field. This can do wonders for your marketing efforts.
  14. Be patient. As with all marketing, you have to be patient and persistent. You aren’t going to suddenly double your turnover by posting in Facebook groups but by having a solid marketing plan you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
  15. Don’t waste time. It’s SO easy to waste time on Facebook. Make sure that you follow your marketing plan to the letter so you don’t get distracted. When you’re not using Facebook for your business LOG OUT.

What has been your experience of using Facebook groups for business? I’d love to hear your views; leave me a comment below…

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