3 Facebook Group Posting Strategies to Avoid and What to Do InsteadMay 06, 2016
The Purpose of Facebook Groups
If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or marketer, chances are you have considered a Facebook group as a strategy for your business. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? Facebook Groups are a great way to build your brand and create awareness, show off expertise, and gain new sales – IF they are used smartly. So, let’s look at each of these before we go into what really happens.
Build Your Brand and Create Awareness
Facebook Groups are a great way to build your brand! If your business is new, you need to make people aware that you exist, what you do and how you can serve them. Just creating a Facebook Page is not going to accomplish that, but groups can help with that.
There are many different types of Facebook Groups. My recommendation is that you choose a few (choose wisely) and be active in them. The first thing to do in considering the type of group to join is to consider who your target customer is and to what groups they would likely belong. Once you find a few, be active in them. Interact with other members, solve other’s problems and really show off what you know. This is all part of a relationship marketing strategy necessary for success in the digital space. Your interactions do not necessarily need to relate to your business.
"The goal is to create relationships and build trust with members."
Show Off Your Expertise
This brings us to your posts in the group. Your post in the group should be helpful and informative with a mixture of general and industry and business specific. The idea is to show off what you know and help others see why YOU are the expert they want when they need your specific product or service! This is where most people go wrong!
"Remember, digital marketing has EVERYTHING to do with building strong and lasting relationships."
People will generally NOT buy from a random stranger, so you want them to get to know you and to establish your expertise in their minds.
Gain New Sales
Now that you have done the legwork, you are ready to offer them something. Now is your time to pepper an offer in here or there if the group allows this (notice I said pepper, not slather). You have primed your audience, now you are ready for them to get a taste of what you do. You may want to start with your lower price points to solidify the trust you are building and so they can sample how awesome you are! Don’t forget, all this time the object is to get them into your sales funnel and on your list, where you can groom them for the higher ticket items you offer.
This sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It works, but IT TAKES TIME – sometimes a LOT of time! Sometimes years, depending on the type of business. People are impatient and don’t take the time to consider the intricacies of the digital space. Some people are desperate for money and will do anything they can to get some sales, but at what cost? You see, tactics used by the masses may yield short-term results, but they do little for establishing the meaningful business relationships necessary for long-term success.
If all of this sounds overwhelming to you and you need help developing a good strategy, I would be happy to help you develop a marketing plan and social media strategy or get your blog set up and started with ongoing support.
Below are three of the top Facebook Group posting strategy mistakes I see and what to do instead to move you toward long-term success.
3 Facebook Group Posting Strategies to Avoid
1. Selling, Pitching, and Spamming
The number one thing I see (and I bet you do, too) is straight up selling in groups. I am not talking about gently easing in your products and services, I am talking about the folks who join groups and do nothing but spam the group with sales pitches, products, and services. I know you have seen these folks, and I sure hope you are not one of them. If you are, stop now!
Allow me to explain why you don’t want to do this. Everyone in most groups is there with a product or service. More than likely there are many other folks in the group who do what you do. Posting about another product or service that is readily available in the group is doing nothing to help your business. You just end up being one of the many folks who do this, and to many of us it is not only annoying, but it makes us never want to do business with you! You have not proven to anyone WHY they would want to do business with you over someone else who does the very thing you do, nor have you added value to anyone in the group. You have approached the group from a self-serving standpoint and you have made that loud and clear to everyone. Sure, you may get a few sales because most people who spam groups are persistent and relentless and you will wear down a few unsuspecting folks, but mostly, you will lose the respect of most. Is this how you want others to know your business?
What To Do Instead:
So hopefully, you understand that spamming groups will not help your business in the long run. It, more than likely, is not winning you any points with most of the people in the groups, and may even be ruining your reputation with many of them. Savvy business owners will understand this and look for a different approach.
Instead of being focused on yourself, start to focus on the members of the group. What problems do they have that you can solve? What are their pain points? Who is in the group and what do they regularly discuss? Now relate the answers to these questions to your business or broader industry and solve their problems!
Create tips on the above topics, as they relate to your business or industry, or write blog posts that will help the group out with their pain points. Don’t allow this to scare you. Tips and blogs can be simple and short. They don’t have to be long and drawn out. Tips and advice go a long way in helping to establish yourself as an expert and draw other TO you – that’s what you want!
You should also spend at least 10 minutes twice per day in the groups you choose to be active in an answer people’s question and interact in discussion threads. This allows people to get to know you better and keeps you in front of others in the group.
Once people start getting to know you better and trust you as an authority, then you should gently add in pitches for opt-ins, freebies, and small ticket items. The idea is always to get people to sign up to be on your email list so you can develop a deeper relationship with them as they learn about all you have to offer them. The focus should always be on HOW you can help them, HOW you heal their pain, HOW you solve their problem, not WHAT you have to offer them. You also want to answer WHY they would choose you over someone else. Building a relationship with them helps this along, but you should also let them know somewhere along the way WHY you are different, better or the only one in your field they would want to work with. If you do these things they will feel like they made an informed decision when THEY chose to work with YOU!
2. Sharing Quotes and Other No-Value Posts into Facebook Groups
Allow me to acknowledge that as entrepreneurs and small business owners we definitely need quotes and positive “feel-good” posts to keep our spirits high when things get tough to help us through our days. Being an entrepreneur is lonely, challenging, and can break even the strong if they don’t keep their mind in the right place. This being said, share these things on your personal profile and occasionally your Fan Page. Here is why:
"They (quotes) do nothing to build your brand and move people toward buying from you."
Yes, I know you get a lot of likes and engagement when you share this type of post but are those likes paying your mortgage or rent? I think so!
This is what I call a “fluff” post. Fluff is just that – it makes people feel good, it may inspire people or motivate them to meet a goal, but YOUR goal is to move them to buy from you , and this type of post does NOT do that. This is not to say that occasionally when you come across a great quote you won’t want to share it – go ahead! But you do NOT want quotes to be a regular type of post into a Facebook Group UNLESS it is YOUR group! If it is YOUR group keeping people motivated to stay or meet group goals is a good reason to post quotes and such. However, if it is not your group, that is not your goal.
What To Do Instead:
Okay, so we all need great quotes and motivation in our lives to move us forward, but as I stated above, limit it to very occasionally in the Facebook Groups you join. Follow a posting strategy of tips, advice, blog posts, and occasionally a “fluff” piece to build trust and likeability in the group. You want to build brand awareness, build trust and confidence and move group members toward your website, page and email list. Keep the goal in mind and you will get much farther with your Facebook Group posting strategy than if you veer sideways into the “fluff” area too much.
3. Local Brands Sharing into National or Global Facebook Groups
Surprisingly, I see this more than I should, and every time I want to reach out to the business owner and ask what they are thinking. If you have a restaurant, local service business (such as flooring, HVAC, etc.), have a local retail location that does not have an online store, or are holding a local event, you want to be laser-focused on which groups in which you share your business. I see many folks like this promoting their business or event in a group that is not local.
"How will this serve your business? Plain and simple – it won’t!"
If you have a local business or event, you need to find local groups in which your ideal client or customer will be hanging out. Some of the best groups will be groups that are focused on lifestyle – and you may not be able to directly promote your business into many of them. However, they will be more effective in the long run than a national group because you will be building relationships with local folks and they will get to know you and what you are all about, including your business! This also applies to asking for Facebook likes on your page from people who are not local – it actually hurts your page, but that is another post for a different day.
This applies to local events, also. If you have an event in Philadelphia (where I live), why are you promoting in a national group, where the vast majority of folks will NOT be from your area? There may be a few locals who see your post, but you are really wasting a lot of time marketing to people who will not care. Time is better spent focusing on those who will.
What To Do Instead:
The best Facebook Group strategy is to focus on local groups in this case. Run promotions on your page and do a Facebook Ad targeting your ideal customer locally. Spending the money for this (if it is done right) will be much more effective and will have a much higher ROI than being unfocused in your approach. You also want to network and just talk to other local folks so they can get to know you and learn about your business. I know you are busy, but it is all part of building local awareness for small businesses. Being a small business owner takes hustle – get out there and do it!