I love Facebook, believe it or not, not as a profile user but for my business. I love that this is a free platform that gives business owners access to billions of people all over the world. Using Facebook Groups for Business and Business Pages can help your business grow and succeed.
However, it was never like that for me. Back in 2005 when I first created my personal profile I was taken back by the content the users were posting online. For me, as a private person, I couldn’t understand why people were sharing such personal information and pictures about their lives.
I then took a step back and looked at this platform from my business brain and realized very quickly that it wasn’t about me. It was about the audience on this platform, and as a business, I can tap into this network for marketing and Facebook Groups.
With this in mind, the transformation of Facebook from then to now is a wonderful journey, with this platform forever evolving giving us more tools and features.
If you are a Facebook user, you will be able to relate to the frustration of the platform moving buttons, adding features and others that you love just to disappear overnight, this makes keeping up to date with the platform a full-time job.
There have been a few significant changes to Facebook since the beginning of the year, and we are only in March. So in this article, I will endeavor to bring you up to speed with those changes.
Major Changes for 2018
Before we start let’s just recap on a major change from last year.
In January 2018, the update of the algorithm basically reduced the reach and audience down to 1% of your total fans on your facebook page. Business owners now have to pay for a marketing/ad campaign to get their products and services out into the newsfeed.
How to Make Facebook Work for Your Business
I believe business owners that add groups to their Facebook strategy will see a massive increase in their leads and sales.
The biggest struggle, we as business owners today, are facing is keeping our content in front of mind to our audience.
So, what would this strategy look like?
Facebook Groups for Business
Her analogy of Facebook is this… Our Facebook business page is our front yard, it’s manicured, it’s up to date and relevant. It changes with the seasons. It’s where people get their information from. People may drive by, they may stop, they put something in our letterbox and they may knock on our door. We keep our front yard clean and tidy, giving the perception of how we live. We often refer to this as a cold lead in the marketing world.
Now your Facebook group is your backyard, this is where you hang out with family and friends, invite new people you want to build relationships with. You share a coffee or beer, have a meal or BBQ and any other type of gathering. This is where you build your community.
If someone knocks on your front door (facebook business page) whilst you are having a party in your back yard (Facebook group) you are possibly not going to allow just any random into your back yard to hang out with your groupies (family and friends), the group (community) is your target audience. However, if you invite them in (to your backyard or group), these people can look around and see if they want to hang out with you and your community.
Healthy Facebook Groups for Business
Many of us are members of hundreds of groups. Maybe it is time to clean out stagnant/nonparticipating group members to maximize the Facebook engagement in your group.
One recent Facebook updates removed members of groups that were not active.
Add Value to your Facebook Groups for Business
Think of how you can use a group to add value to your existing fan base. You could offer VIP discounts on products, free information, education or anything that will give the client a wow factor. You want the group to be a destination, a place where your members check in constantly to see what’s new, what’s happening and be a proactive member of the community.
The best feature around groups is that your audience will get notified when you post. The extra features of facebook groups now include (LMS) learning management system (units), mentorship, files, announcements, and the new membership/subscription opportunity.
I think (and I am guilty of not doing this very well) your group content should be constant and scheduled. This will give your group members the maximum value.
The updates that have occurred this year so far include:
Facebook Group Membership Invite Rules
When you invite someone to your group, Facebook will give them limited access. They will be listed under “invited” (preview mode) with limited access to the group until they accept the invitation. This ensures people are in the correct groups and getting maximum value from being a part of the community.
Facebook Groups: Mentorship
Facebook mentorship has now rolled out to all groups. I have played around with this feature in a few external groups I’m a part of. I think the prompted steps are great. The problem is people may want to get through content quicker than Facebook wants to give it out, which is understandable. However, when you are a mentor working with someone there definitely needs to be a process to build trust and rapport.
As a mentor or mentee, the only commitment is working with the questions and spending time with the person that is agreeable with both.
Facebook Page transparency and accountable updates
Facebook is introducing additional steps to handle content on pages that goes against its community standards and policies. Facebook is updating its recidivism policy, which means that if Facebook removes a page for violating its policies, it will also prevent you from using a duplicate page or creating a similar page, or using a page that you already own to continue that same activity.
“Updates to Our Recidivism Policy”
We’ve long prohibited people from creating new Pages, groups, events, or accounts that look similar to those we’ve previously removed for violating our Community Standards. However, we’ve seen people working to get around our enforcement by using existing Pages that they already manage for the same purpose as the Page we removed for violating our standards.
To address this gap, when we remove a Page or group for violating our policies, we may now also remove other Pages and Groups even if that specific Page or Group has not met the threshold to be unpublished on its own. To enforce this updated policy, we’ll look at a broad set of information, including whether the Page has the same people administering it, or has a similar name, to one we’re removing.”
Page admins will see a page quality tab where Facebook tells them they’ve removed the content.
Facebook Ads Update
Facebook is giving the business owner the ability to determine where their ads are being placed. One option we now see is Facebook Group advertising. You can’t select the specific group you want the ad to appear in, however, you can select the demographic and type of group you want your ads to appear in. I already see ads in my messenger account and other groups I’m a member of.
Facebook Groups for Business Recap
I hope are confident when using Facebook. It’s a fast-changing platform. When you’re just getting used to a feature of two, you often find it’s disappeared overnight. Implement a strategy in your business to keep up to date. Sign up for the RSS feed for this blog or find Facebook experts to help you.
Remember this platform brings every target market to your table with advertising opportunities. Where else can you use a marketing platform that is free to set up and put can your business in front of billions of people or the select few that you wish to do business with?
The main objective for you is to keep your front yard full of educational content and your back yard a place that you build an extensive community that loves your work, love your business and your expertise. Allowing you to continue to do what you love and convert the back yard into paying customers.
Feel free to reach out to me on any of the social media platforms if you have any further questions or need assistance!