Facebook Groups have become an integral part of many brand’s digital marketing strategies. The tool allows brands to foster connection and conversation with brand fans and build authentic relationships. Last year, Facebook reported that 1.8 billion users use Facebook Groups and there are tens of millions of groups on the platform. Brands using Facebook also see a 65% increase in visual content. With these numbers top of mind, it is impossible for marketers to ignore the chance to bring like-minded people together and strengthen relationships with the consumers who are most likely to generate word of mouth marketing for your brand. Whether you are a Facebook Groups veteran or are just getting started, Dash Hudson has pulled together some best practices for building and growing an authentic community on Facebook.
Some may wonder whether their brand should start a Facebook page or a Facebook group to build their community and what the difference between the two is. The truth is, as Facebook has updated both of these features, they have become more and more similar. That being said, there are still some defining features that keep them apart. For example, a Facebook page features a customizable call-to-action button, the ability to boost with ads and the option for users to “Like” your page. In terms of a Facebook group, the settings can be adjusted to public or private, members need to request to join, and there is a chat for members to discuss your brand and related topics.
While both types serve different purposes, they both have built-in analytics for you to analyze your group or page performance and can often work well hand in hand.
The first place to begin with any social initiative is to identify your target audience, and define the purpose of the channel based on your brand goals. This will help you to determine the type of content that you want to share. With internet users exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads every single day, ensuring your Facebook Group content interests your target audience is crucial. Instead of adding to the constant stream of obvious advertisements, why not give users a break? If education is the main priority of the group, try to incorporate infographics or educational videos when planning your content pillars. If brand awareness is top of mind, behind-the-scenes and storytelling content will help your audience feel more connected to your brand. If fostering discussions is important to you, content that asks the opinions of your group members is the right move. No matter the type of Facebook community you are looking to create, it is important to align your content marketing strategy to it.
It’s important as a brand in today’s world to be consistent. Users quickly pick up on a brand only actively posting and engaging in a group right before a big product launch. Being an authentic presence on social media and developing a meaningful brand Facebook group requires consistent interaction. Luckily, there are social marketing tools that can help you with this. A multi-channel scheduler is the simplest way to plan and schedule content to your most important channels. Planning and visualizing content weeks in advance helps social marketers to stay on top of their Facebook Community and even allows for the seamless integration of e-commerce initiatives. Optimizing for the best times to post based on the success of previous posts is another strategy to ensure your community on Facebook is actually seeing the content you put out.
Solely posting content won’t get you far without facilitating meaningful interactions with your brand fans. Today’s modern consumer wants to get to know the brands they purchase from. They want to ensure your values align with theirs and they seek out personalized experiences with the brands they purchase from. Consistently engaging with your community will be the key to success on Facebook. Whether you reply to comments, drop a conversation starter or ask for your community’s opinion, anything that makes your audience feel seen and heard will be valuable.
Premium global beauty brand, Trinny London, is an excellent example of using localized Facebook Groups to connect with their community. The brand not only engages with their “Trinny Tribes” on Facebook but they use the space to facilitate introductions and conversations between members, strengthening the bond their consumers have with one another.
From a business perspective, Facebook Groups are a gold mine for strategic direction. What more could you ask for than a community of loyal brand fans discussing and providing feedback on your offerings? To fully make the most out of your Facebook community, sometimes a best practice is to just listen. How do your consumers speak about you? What are their pain points? Is there a certain product that is frequently praised? The ability to quickly surface trends, topics and products within your Facebook Group is game-changing for brands. These community-led insights can be filtered back into the wider marketing and strategic plans to create a full-circle feedback loop. Bonus points if you let your community know that a certain adjustment came directly from the feedback they gave in the group.
Don’t be afraid to promote your Facebook Group across other digital channels for a cohesive social strategy. If you have a private Facebook Group, loyal brand fans may be completely unaware of the group’s existence and miss out on a beneficial experience with your brand. A subtle nudge in the right direction can accelerate your group’s growth and allow you to foster more meaningful relationships. Brand newsletters, other social media channels and your website are great places to highlight your community on Facebook and encourage others to join. If you use a link-in-bio solution on your brand Instagram, try linking out to your Facebook Group. This allows you to measure the return on your Facebook community from Instagram and steers your brand fans towards even more content.
While each social channel has its own purpose, Facebook is a prime channel for building and growing a community. At the end of the day, loyal fans equate to business growth—both via repeat purchases and from the word-of-mouth marketing for your brand they create. By consistently posting valuable content, engaging with your community, and listening to valuable feedback, brands can leverage Facebook to form authentic connections and create a winning strategy for growth.
The best way to create an engaged Facebook group for your brand to grow is by making it an enjoyable, informative, and sometimes exclusive place for your consumers to be a part of.
A good community on Facebook is one that is active with both the group owner and the group members. The content within the group is also positive and informative. The beauty of a Facebook group is that it doesn’t need to have a large number of members in order to be successful. Having a smaller community of devoted users can be just as beneficial.
You can work on Facebook community building by fostering conversation and by providing some insider details or behind-the-scenes information, it won’t be long until word of mouth prevails and more and more people are joining your group.