Five years ago, Facebook Groups were a goldmine of untapped potential.
Every entrepreneur and small business jumped at the opportunity to get all their raving fans in one place. While organic reach for Facebook Pages had started to drop, the reach within a private group skyrocketed.
Even beyond creating their own group, businesses started to discover where their ideal clients “hung out” through these highly specific Facebook communities.
Suddenly, validating business ideas and new products became easier and faster. Creating a free download became an effortless way to build your email list, attract new leads, and become a recognized expert in your industry.
Five years ago, it seemed obvious that Facebook Groups were the path to success. But, as the platform continues to evolve and organic reach drops, are Groups still the holy grail they once were?
Even though Facebook Groups may not have the reach they used to, they can still be a valuable part of your branding and marketing funnel.
Let’s explore how to use Facebook Groups for your business in 2021.
What Are the Benefits of Facebook Groups?
If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you’ve probably belonged to a few groups before.
Facebook Groups are a convenient way to bring together like-minded people and form a community. Posting in Facebook Groups can help you find solutions to problems, get advice or input, receive recommendations, and more.
For a business, Facebook Groups can offer a ton of information about what their ideal clients are looking for, what problems they’re struggling with, and the language they use to talk about it. Often, you may even find your ideal customers in Facebook Groups asking questions and looking for solutions that you can easily provide.
However, depending on the size of your brand, creating your own Facebook Group for market research likely isn’t the best use of your time in 2021.
Even though Facebook Group posts are shown more frequently in people’s timelines than organic posts on a personal or business page, these posts still don’t reach everyone unless they’re actively visiting and participating in your group.
That’s why, in 2021, new Facebook Groups are often best used as a container to support and manage private clients, courses, and paid groups.
Creating a small community of dedicated fans and delivering customized content to them through your group can keep customers engaged in your program and your brand. Plus, the group provides your customers an opportunity to connect and bond with each other.
This makes Facebook Groups a powerful tool to help you grow a committed community and expand your following with slow, steady growth.
How to Build Community Using Facebook Groups in 2021
Gone are the days of inviting everyone you know to your Facebook Group. Now, growing your community requires a more nuanced approach.
We know that everyone on Facebook is served ads left and right. By the time they arrive at your group, your social selling can fall on deaf ears.
These days, when you’re growing your business with Facebook Groups, less is more. A more intimate group can create the community you need to help your business thrive. Creating that intimacy and closeness helps clients feel more connected and more inclined to refer your work to others.
One of the best ways to use a Facebook community is to include it as bonus content in a program or course.
This gives customers a place to direct questions and gain access to you or your support team.
If you sell physical products, a Facebook community can be the right place to announce private sales, give first looks at new products, and offer behind-the-scenes content to your most valued customers.
Jumping into the group and doing Facebook Lives can incentivize members to frequently check back or turn on notifications for the group.
Starting engaging discussions on relevant topics can help keep your members coming back for more.
Encourage your dedicated fanbase to use this space for any and all questions, thoughts, or reflections related to your industry. Then, you can show your unique expertise and let your members share their experiences as well.
Facebook Groups are a great way to keep your current customers and long-term fans engaged with your brand. But, how do you bring in new potential customers?
Where Do Facebook Groups Belong In Your Marketing Funnel?
A few years ago, it was common to see marketing funnels leading people to join a Facebook Group. Now, however, that technique often falls flat.
So, where does a Facebook Group belong in your marketing funnel?
If you’re creating a new group for a specific offering, group membership makes for an awesome upsell.
Offering an opportunity for dedicated attention in an invite-only group on a lower-ticket sale can be a turning point that shifts an engaged customer into someone who eagerly buys everything you create.
For more expensive offerings, a support group may be considered standard. In this case, your community can be a valuable bonus that turns a ‘maybe’ into a resounding yes.
For example, Tailwind founded the Pinterest GetTOGETHER group to offer continued support and engagement for attendees of the Pinterest GetTogether Webinar Series!
You can also add a Facebook Group link on your thank you page. This keeps your group limited to people who have already purchased something from you, no matter how valuable.
There are plenty of ways to bring new people into your Facebook Group while providing the experience of exclusive access to you and your team, but one of the most powerful isn’t even in your funnel.
Creating an affiliate program can empower your dedicated fanbase to bring new clients into your group for you.
Affiliate programs can create even more committed customers because they earn a commission from advertising your offerings and bringing new customers into your program and Facebook Group.
Ways to Use Facebook Groups Effectively
Facebook Groups have evolved to cater to business needs. That means there are a ton of helpful features that can make running your business even easier.
Here are a few key features that you won’t want to miss.
Delivering Courses with Guides
The Guides feature is a powerful way to deliver course material and track progress. To get this feature, you need to change your group type to Social Learning in the Edit Group Settings area.
Instead of paying for a separate platform to deliver your course content, uploading video and documents onto Facebook is a breeze. From there, you can easily drip content to ensure your students don’t get overwhelmed with too much information.
Adding different units can guide customers through the content they purchased at their own pace, with no direct intervention needed from you.
Even if you aren’t selling courses, you can still use Guides to deliver helpful information and gauge member interest in different initiatives.
For example, if you’re a retailer with an affiliate program, you can offer introductory information about your affiliate program through Guides. Once a member has read the affiliate information, you can automatically provide more information through Guides or contact them directly to discuss the next steps.
The Guides feature also offers a quick and easy way to add Facebook live content to your course content. This is a fast method to repurpose content and get new eyes on something you recorded live before, as a group workshop.
Running Virtual Events
The logistics of running virtual events are enough to make you and your team’s head spin.
Thankfully, Facebook has added some helpful tools to make promoting and running virtual events easier.
Instead of tracking down emails or projecting your live video call into your Facebook Group, Facebook has now developed their own video chatting platform called Rooms. The Rooms feature allows you and 49 other people to video chat directly through the Facebook platform.
Recording your Rooms session is a great way to easily share your content with anyone who missed the live session within your group. No more downloading huge Zoom call files and waiting for them to upload into your group!
A new Facebook Group feature also lets you schedule future live, virtual events in your group.
When your event is scheduled, an announcement is posted to the Facebook Group that allows members to apply for the event. Then, when you go live, the members who wanted to attend can join and participate in your event.
This feature also lets members add scheduled live events to their calendar and receive reminders. While they don’t replace impromptu Facebook Lives, a scheduled live event is perfect for scheduling support calls, presenting a topic, or hosting an event with someone else.
Expand Your Business with Facebook Groups
Even though Facebook Groups have changed, they are far from dead. In fact, they can be a powerful tool to offer exclusive content to your audience and deliver your services or products.
Using Facebook Groups to grow your business depends on creating a vibrant, engaged community. While creating an impactful group takes time and dedication, it’s an effective strategy to strengthen your brand and improve your reach within your Facebook community.
How are you using Facebook Groups to grow this year? Let us know below in the comments below!