You can use many options to establish an online presence for your business. Social media platforms are one. In Zimbabwe, Facebook is one of the best online platforms to build brand awareness. That is why most Zimbabwean businesses have at least some presence on Facebook. Many do open Facebook pages for their businesses which is good. The other option you can explore is opening a Facebook group for your business. It can be for several different purposes. For example, it can exclusively be for your clients, or it can be an open group for anyone. Today our focus is on how to get the best out of Facebook groups for your business.

Niche Audience

Your Facebook group must comprise a niche audience. A niche audience is a relatively small and specialist yet profitable market. The point is not to have a group full of people. Many people miss the core objective here. You must ensure you attract and gather up a pool of people who will likely convert into repeat customers. That is why your onboarding process is essential. I am referring to those questions you ask an interested person to determine whether or not they can join. Come up with questions that will serve as a filter so that you really end up with prospects.

If you do not do this, you may end up with a group full of mere people not interested in your products or services. It is that aspect of garbage in, garbage out. To add, that same onboarding process can prove useful in gathering vital information about people. For example, you can ask something like, ‘What kind of products or services are you looking for?’, ‘where do you stay?’, ‘kindly provide your email to receive periodic updates’. It is up to you to get creative, but you can easily get important data through the onboarding process. Killing two birds with one stone – building a solid niche and collecting vital information to better understand that niche.

Edu-tain In Your Posts

The whole premise of opening a Facebook group for business is to leverage content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing approach where you draw, engage, and retain an online audience by sharing relevant and engaging content with them. In essence, you want to attract prospects, turn them into leads, get conversions, and turn them into repeat purchase customers. Here is where some people miss it; they post dry content. You need to understand that when people go online, they look for two main things.

That is information and entertainment. Thus, to capture people’s attention, you must provide content that informs (or educates) and entertains. If your content is like that, you will get good engagement. In 2020, I once did an article on five types of proven viral content. You should check it out to understand which content is most engaging. You can also check out another one on using video to boost digital sales.

Cultivate Interactions

When running a Facebook group, you must desist from monologues. Many people do this; their sole focus is just posting and posting. They never bother to respond to comments. Even the posts they make never ignite two-way conversations with the members. They do not cultivate an atmosphere for members to interact also.

All in all, it just becomes a notice board of sorts. Such Facebook groups never yield substantial results. Earlier this year, I did an article on five cardinal rules when building a social media community. You should check it out. One of the rules I pointed out in that article was two-way communication. An effective Facebook group for business should be rich with interactions. You are solely responsible for making that happen. It is for your benefit, after all.

80 20 Content Rule

We have established that posting content that informs, educates and entertains is cardinal. However, you should not just do it anyhow. There is a way you must post your content; a ratio you must adhere to. It is called the 80-20 rule – or derived from the Pareto Principle. The bulk of your content should be about creating an impact for your audience.

That also applies to your interactions with people- leads, prospects, or customers. Your thrust should always be to give them value; to impact their lives positively. More than 80 percent of the time, that should be your focus. Providing people with valuable information is highly impactful. Only 20 percent of the time is when you should directly talk about the stuff you are selling. When you do that, conversions tend to be higher.

Keep The Group Orderly

The order element starts right from onboarding. You should indicate the group rules members will have to adhere to. Then they must cite that they agree to comply. It should be a pre-requisite that they cannot join the group if one disagrees. Group members should stick to the core objectives of the group. You should be at the top of the order at all times. Do not hesitate to take action when someone is in violation.

The Facebook group’s approach in business is an example of what is termed gated content. Last year, a study showed that gated content is highly effective in lead generation. Facebook groups have higher conversion rates than ordinary posts via pages. What we discussed is important because many are not getting the best out of their Facebook groups. I have been on and seen many Facebook groups for business. Sadly most of them are not getting value from them. That is why we had to have this discussion. You may take Facebook groups lightly, but they can unlock incredible value for your business. That is why the 5-point strategy we covered should inform your strategic plan. It is essential to stay consistent; many people start well and slacken over time.