The days of repeatable, scalable free Facebook marketing are long over. However, the business that knows their audience can still find ways to get free exposure and revenue using Facebook groups.
Changes in the Facebook algorithm mean that simply having a Facebook page with lots of likes and killer content is not enough to get you in front of your audience. With most posts reaching less than 5% of the people who like your page it can be incredibly hard to get traction this way.
There are however some things you can do outside of your Facebook page that can still get you some exposure. They revolve around using Facebook groups.
The title of this blog called Facebook groups a hack, this is a little misleading as a hack suggests something easy and short term whereas using Facebook groups requires the investment of time and effort to get consistent results.
This and the difficulties in scaling this marketing are why we recommend groups as a supplement and not a replacement for an effective paid Facebook advertising strategy.
Why Use Facebook Groups
In the last few years Facebook has shifted its strategy towards promoting groups.
The announcements made at Facebooks F8 conference tell us that groups will be a continued focus of the platform meaning that having an effective group strategy will likely be where the attention of your audience is for years to come.
Facebook groups get more engagement than company pages and crucially are a conversation rather than a broadcast medium.
Which Facebook Groups To Join
If you are comfortable using your personal profile, we recommend using this to join and participate in Facebook groups as part of your Facebook marketing strategy. Depending on your business the right groups to join could be focused around geography, interest or industry related traits of your audience.
The key is to find groups where people with a potential interest or need for your product will be active.
If you sell a product or service to the public then joining and participating in local community or resident groups is a great way to be seen as part of the community and generate referrals. If selling to other businesses a similar business focused group might be appropriate.
Once you have found the right groups and have joined them, it is important to take the right approach, the aim is to become a respected remember of the community and not just a spammer.
Make sure you read the rules of the group to and play nice with the admin; this is going to make it easier to get your promotional posts read with them onside. There may also be specific days or times when promotional posts are allowed or even encouraged.
Simply posting links to your product or service is not going to cut it though.
You need to post content that is relatable but not a sales pitch. Get involved in other conversations on the topic and be the expert in what you do, that way when someone has a problem you can solve people will refer you rather than you having to do it yourself.
Be part of the community and be rewarded, throw grenades from the outside and the members of the group will put up walls and throw you out.
Should I Start My Own Facebook Group
One way to make sure you are not at the mercy of group admins is to start a Facebook group of your own. However, you need to make it about your audience and not about you.
The primary purpose of a Facebook group should not be to sell your product or service. Instead, it should be a resource that adds value to your community where they feel comfortable joining conversations asking questions and taking part.
Someone is unlikely to join a group for DowSocial Digital Marketing but they might join one call social media tips for small business owners. The focus should be on building a community of people with a common interest, goal or passion.
A popular group can have a huge impact on the reputation of your business, elevating you to a thought leader within your industry and a trusted resource. Leads should not be the focus but a by-product.