So, I'm assuming you have decided to use this opportunity. But the problem is almost anyone can decide to target a crowd of billions. How will you stand out?
Well, to answer this, you need to realize what's your goal?
Your goal is to filter out the engaging audience from that crowd. Then ultimately make a bond to build your trust in them.
It's natural, just ask yourself. Who will you prefer to invest your money on? Someone you trust, or just anyone making vague promises?
After all, that's the ultimate goal of your business or any business. To sell your product or services.
Recommended: Why Consumers Call Out Brands on Social Media
So now that you have chosen Facebook over other social media sites. You need to know how specifically it can work for you, Or your business? Will it be a Facebook page or a Facebook group?
1. Facebook Page
A Facebook page is a public profile for businesses, brands, organizations, celebrities etc to share their stories and connect with people.
It is different from personal Facebook profiles as multiple people can operate it, their posts can be promoted, instead of friends, it builds a list of fans which has no limit in number.
You can add a short description, contact information, location hours (if your business or organization has a physical location, consider adding an address and business hours so that people know when and where to visit you.), About and story (let customers know what your business is about.)
You can add a custom template and update the layout of your page to match your business. For example venues, nonprofits, restaurants, shopping, service and more. Learn how to view and update your page's template here.
You can claim your page's URL. Once your business page is set up it gets automatically assigned a number, which you can change with easy and more recognizable URL. For eg http://www.facebook.com/xyz
It provides a call-to-action button which appears prominently at the top of your page or at the bottom when viewing on your phone. It can sign up, learn more, play game or shop now or whatever suits your business.
There's a “milestone” feature available on Facebook pages which lets you highlight your business accomplishments which will be later seen in your about tab.
Your Facebook group can be linked to your Facebook page.
Your business will have access to facebook messenger so interact and respond to your customers.
You can also get a “very responsive to messages badge” if you actively respond to people's messages. This way people will know that you can be reached easily.
2. Facebook group
A Facebook group is a place for discussion and sharing information with people who share common interests.
To create a Facebook group you need to have a Facebook profile as it will be visible to your group members and you will be listed as an administrator (which is not in the case of Facebook page).
A Facebook group can be open, closed or secret.
i. An Open group is open for everybody. Anyone can come and join it and post on it. However, there are many chances of spamming other members with this kind of groups.
ii. A Closed group is only available for only the people admin approves. Admin can run a short survey before letting people in.
iii. Secret group is not visible to anyone unless he/she is invited to the group. You can even charge a fee for people to get invited for such a selective group if you're running some kind of training in this group.
Admin can make certain rules for their group.
You can run polls and survey in your group.
A built-in events calendar for groups is also available.
Facebook recently introduced “admin support”, where group admins can report issues or ask questions with saying it will respond within one business day.
Admin can provide group members with details which rule is broken after the post is removed and can add a note to their activity logs.
You can see the group insight, member request and other information on a single dashboard.
Which one will be right for you?
It's not an either and or case, whether you're a brand, freelancer or blogger. Both Facebook Page and Facebook group work in a synchronized way.
As you know pages are public but groups are not, however it's way too easier to build a good relationship with your audience in a group than a page, as it is more interactive.
All that you need to do is attract and engage visitors to your page, drive them to your website and group, convert them into leads and eventually paying customers.
How to operate a Facebook page for your business
Once you've created your business page and changed your vanity URL to a more recognizable one.
- Set a great cover photo and a recognizable profile picture.
- Optimize your “about section”
- Try to win “very responsive to messages” badge. As Hubspot has gained.
If you're responsive to messages but still have not earned the badge Facebook will still show off how responsive you are to messages to the visitors. Here's an example from Wistia
- Add milestone to your timeline. It could be an award, wins, product release, major event etc
- Chose a call-to-action. It could be anything like contact us, sign up, book now, shop now etc. Link it to your website.
- Now create custom tabs. By default, your page tabs are Timeline, About, Photos, Likes and more. However, you can create your own custom tabs too (these are like landing page on your Facebook page) it can be anything including your service, marketing your business etc.
Like Zendesk does on their page.
To create custom tab log in to your profile > visit your page > click on “more” tab > hit “manage tabs” from the drop-down menu. And there you go.
Finally, link your group to your page. You can link multiple groups. And when you link your group to your page, your group members will see a post in your group to get informed. Once you have linked your groups and pages. You can post in your group by choosing your page as the poster.
Now, that you're all set up, post quality content at the best times for your audience. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday. Early mornings and late nights are the worst times on weekend to post anything.
Make it criteria and try to find out your own audience’s good timing. As it can differ from business to business. Make use of Facebook paid promotion as organic traffic is a dying technique.
Won't get into much detail for this here, it needs another whole blog post on how to market your content on Facebook.
How to operate a Facebook group for your business.
You can start by joining others’ Facebook group for a business like the one you want for yourself. Analyze how it works? Get involved in the conversations. Because if you're just a lurker in these groups, then don't expect to get a ton back.
For example, try to post helpful information in these groups every month. And they will reward you with feedback, questions, likes etc. This way you get recognized by the audience of that group. (Try to approach a group with an audience that matches your target audience).
But always remember, there's a very close line between posting helpful information and spamming the group with annoying self-promotion.
Sometimes, try to provide the information for free (for example without trading their email addresses for it).
By doing all this you will build small groups of fans in your industry and this would lead to more gigs, jobs, and introductions, you otherwise would have never got.
But being in others’ groups, you will have to play by their rules. So at some time try creating your own group. And follow the steps-
Your group can be open, closed or secret as discussed earlier. But better be it closed. As they're the most popular in the business world. Where you can create a short survey before letting people in.
This short survey may help you to know the people entering in your group, what causes them the most trouble, which you can work on later.
And this data will be collected for you automatically and you won't have to go ask them manually what are the problems they're facing?.
i. Grow your group
Make it as easy as 1,2,3. For example after asking your people to subscribe, ask them to join the group.
Share “particular content” on Twitter, LinkedIn or join our Facebook group.
Ask people on your Facebook page to join your Facebook group ( you can do it by pinning a comment on your posts)
Add it at the end of your email.
Build an easy link to your group just like you did with your page.
ii. Grow engagement
Drop a personal message to your top contributors.
Promote your group's top contributors to admin or moderator.
Show your group members behind the scenes stuff which will be an special treatment for group members only.
Another thing to share is the first look, like a first production run of something (only if it is okay).
Share an actual quick win, like post an actionable forum funnel formula on 8 step process to help you grow. Easy to do and get results instantly, which people love and build raving fans.
Run a poll at least once a month to serve your audience better.
Start a debate or discussion.
Quiz your group members.
Go live for your group members as your personal interaction is the key. It doesn't need to be very long, it could be informative or just a hi. Do it quite often like once in a week. And before you go live, tell them the timing of your live session in advance.
Always be honest and open. Don't speak down to them, speak to their level.
iii. Business strategies in groups
Facebook collects tons of data from our members and also share a little part of it with us too. To access this data
Go to your group > click on group's insight > list of members on the right-hand side shows the top contributors. Scroll down, there's also some geographical data, age groups, countries, cities etc.
This data can be important for you to understand the type of your audience and run your ads from your Facebook page accordingly.
Create a poll to know what your audience needs. For example, which of the following topics you want to learn about in the near future? Pick 1 or 2
- Growing social media following
- Content marketing
- Converting traffic into sales
- Building a team
Once you have the results you can create a lead magnet for more email subscribers based on this. Or you can create a product to test here.
Use your Facebook group to crowdsource. Collect information like testimonials, case studies etc.
Create events for the launch of a new book, product etc and make sure members get notified before the day has arrived.
Discuss your new product ideas with your group members if you receive a green light then test them out on these people. It's always better to fill the demand than to create one. Pre-sell them the product. How many want it? Combine it with a poll.
So this was all about a Facebook page and Facebook group. What's there in them? How do they work? How you can operate them to get more out of it? If you put this information into action, you must get some useful results.
So try these techniques out. And if there's something that we missed here or you happen to know some other cool techniques that work, then let us know in the comment section.
Sadaf is a marketing writer and a copywrriter. When she's not writing she is probably practicing her guitar. Contact Sadaf, she likes to hear from her readers. You can also follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook