If you’re looking to boost engagement on Facebook, creating a group is one option to explore. Facebook has now made it possible to link groups to pages, taking fans and visitors directly to the groups page and join an open or closed group.
You can create one or more of the following groups:
- A focused group that exclusively caters to your customers and encourages conversations among them can help form an intimate and engaged community around your social media content and brand.
- A group that considers the interests of your target audience can have broader appeal, attracting more people but giving up some of the content or brand-driven focus in the process.
What goals can you set for your Facebook group?
1. Gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences and opinions about your product
Facebook is an opinion heaven, which can be a double-edged sword sometimes, but always manages to generate buzz around a topic or product. You can ask for general feedback about a product or solicit ideas throughout the development phase of a new product. Or you can determine the aspect(s) of user experience you want to improve, and decide how that data will be used prior to framing targeted questions for your group.
2. Encourage your community to discuss your blog posts in the group
One of the best Facebook marketing tips you can leverage is having your community discuss your latest blog posts in the group. It is yet another way of generating conversations around your content. You can include this request in your email newsletters, and suggest a few talking points to get people thinking and elicit swift responses. If you provide this stimulus for every weekly blog post, group activity is likely to build up over time.
3. Identify the most engaged members and leverage that relationship to create a stronger group
Some members in your group will be more engaged than the rest. They may share your blog posts and announcements more often than others, initiate conversations and participate actively. Privately reach out to these members, thanking them for their contribution and perhaps offer them a special discount or freebie. Ask them if they would like to be group ‘leaders’, advocating for your community and keeping the conversations going.
4. Create a closed group to discuss customer service queries and feedback
Creating a closed group is a risk-based tactic to keep unwarranted criticisms from suspicious or barely engaged Facebook profiles at bay. But you don’t have to appear too selective or unwilling to receive everyone’s feedback: state the purpose of the group in the description to communicate eligibility clearly. It will also give you more control over who you want to approve or reject.
- Offer insights into how customer support works at your company
- Ask specific questions to gauge customer service effectiveness
- Respond to questions and comments within 24 hours of being published
- Stay perpetually courteous and offer assurance that you’re working on a solution to the flagged issue
- Encourage members to offer their views on how you can improve your customer service
Another option is to create a secret group where you invite high-value or loyal customers to contribute their opinions and experiences. They will feel valued, and their feedback will be helpful in understanding what you have been doing right and where you can improve.
5. Create a secret group for loyalty programs and discounts
One of the most creative uses of Facebook groups is offering your product/service at a discounted rate or sharing VIP/special programs exclusively with long-timers. It will bring them closer to your brand and motivate them to spread good WOM or drive referrals your way. Consider sharing quick videos to build excitement around your loyalty initiative or an invite-only markdown sale on your website. Shopping website Gilt was among the first to use secret groups successfully for its loyalty program; check out the example here.
You can also crowdsource ideas from the group to improve your product, promotions or identify a new opportunity.
Give your Facebook group(s) time to evolve organically. From time to time, discuss industry issues and broader topics of interest to members. If you can effectively put your community at the center of your Facebook group strategies, it won’t take long to build traction and deliver the envisioned results.
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