Facebook Groups To Grow Your Business

 

The future of Facebook is Facebook groups not just posting to your Facebook page, but being involved in communities with in the Facebook platform.

 

 

Welcome to the Girl Means Business podcast, I'm your host, Kendra Squalls. Over the last few years, I have built a business that allowed me to quit my to spend more time with the ones that I love and live my best life. Now I'm sharing everything I learned along the way with you each week. My guests tonight will share actionable tips, tangible advice and honest conversations to help you build your dream business. So get ready to take notes and put in the work because this girl means business.

 

 

Hey, guys. And a welcome back to another week here on the Girl Means Business podcast. I'm so excited that you've tuned in this week as we are in the middle of our social media series. So far in this series, we have tackled Instagram and LinkedIn. And today we're going to be taking a look at Facebook, but not just Facebook as we know it. We're going to be talking about the future of Facebook. Now, I'm coming off of Super Bowl weekend, which means just a few days ago, we watched the Super Bowl here in our house.

 

 

And of course, for me, I like football. I enjoy watching football. I really didn't have a dog in the fight. I didn't care who was winning. I don't really care about the game a whole lot. I was here for the commercials. And let's be real. I love the commercials. And I noticed that one of the commercials that ran down in the Super Bowl was for Facebook. And my husband looked at me and he was like, why does Facebook need to advertise during the Super Bowl?

 

 

I mean, guys, those Super Bowl commercials, I think they started at like five million dollars just to have the slot that as you include, the costs it took to design and create the commercial itself just to purchase a commercial slot in the Super Bowl was five million dollars plus. That's insane. So it did get me thinking, why would Facebook, this massive social media platform that almost everybody already uses? Why would they need to run an ad during the Super Bowl for what it is that they're offering?

 

 

So I went back and I paid really close attention to what the ad was. And the ad was not just advertising Facebook. It was advertising. Facebook groups. Now, I've talked about this a little bit in a previous episode where I talked about the things you should be doing on Facebook right now. And I 100 percent believe that Facebook is driving people to join groups. What they have noticed is that they want people to engage on their platform, not just click on their app and scroll through mindlessly liking random comments or posts.

 

 

They want people to be actively engaged on their platform, which means that people are going to be spending more time on their platform and to do that. People are joining Facebook groups. So the commercial they created was all about how no matter what interest you have, there's a Facebook group for you. And in that moment of rewatching that commercial, I realized that's the future of Facebook. The future of Facebook is Facebook groups not just posting to your Facebook page, but being involved in communities with in the Facebook platform.

 

 

So today, I want to talk about how to create groups for your own business and how to be active in other groups to help promote and grow your business. Now, today, I want to look at the two different ways that we can specifically use groups to grow our business. And the first one is by joining other people's groups. And the second one is by creating your own group. So we're going to look at these separately. We're going to talk about how each one can help us to grow our business.

 

 

I want you to think of it like a big networking event when you walk into a room of other people or a cocktail party or any event that you go to. The first thing you're going to do is not walk up to somebody and start talking about your business. You're going to walk into that event and talk about the things you have in common. You're going to introduce yourself. You're going to start a conversation. You're going to ask other people about themselves and then find ways to weave your business into those conversations.

 

 

The same rules apply for Facebook groups. You have to be very careful how you use it for your marketing for a couple of reasons. One, you don't want to be the person that jumps into a group and the first thing you're doing is sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. That is a really quick and easy way to one get kicked out of the group and to to ostracize yourself from everybody in that group. Because now you are known as the person who pushes a product or service.

 

 

Now, when you're. Thinking about using Facebook group as a marketing tool for your business, you're playing the long game. You have to keep in mind that this is part of that no likeand trust factor. You want to build a rapport within that group with people that are going to be your potential clients. Now let's get a little more specific. So one of the most popular types of Facebook groups that I a lot of female business owners join are local moms groups.

 

 

However, I have very rarely used these moms groups as a way to market my business, but I have received business from the moms groups.

 

 

So let me explain how I do this. So let's take again photography as an example. Every fall, it never fails. There are hundreds of posts within the moms group saying, I'm looking for a photographer, I'm looking for a cheap photographer. I'm looking for someone to do many sessions. I'm looking for this, I'm looking for that. Or people posting about, hey, I'm looking for a great location for us to do our family session at or I'm looking for someone to do hair and makeup for our family photo shoot.

 

 

These are opportunities for me to step up as an expert and help the client. One of the books that I read a while back that's one of my ultimate all time favorite marketing books are business books in general is building a story brand with Donna Miller. In that book, he talks about how we as the business owner are not the hero of the story. We are the guide that helps the hero, our client, solve a problem they have. So if I'm in a mom's group and I see that someone is posting a post saying, you know, I've heard about boudoir sessions and I've been thinking about doing one, but I'm just not really sure, like what to look for or where to even begin my search or if I'm even confident enough to do this.

 

 

Because now what I can do is I can slide into his comment and I can say, hey, as a boudoir photographer, I see this happen a lot with my clients. I even wrote an entire blog post about it. Check this blog post out. I think it really might help answer some of the questions you have about boudoir photography. I didn't advertise my service. I didn't necessarily say, hey, book me as your photographer. I didn't say, hey, I know a great boudoir photographer.

 

 

I gave them something. I gave them a tool to help them solve a problem that they have. I was the guide that is hopefully going to help them solve their problem now. If she clicks on, that link is obviously going to take her to my Web site where the blog post is, where she can find more information about the photography services that I offer. But I'm not directly saying here is my information. I'm saying here is a resource I've created that might help you with the problem that you have.

 

 

So as a business owner, this goes back to again to the idea of provide content that is going to help your client solve a problem, create content that's going to be valuable to them, because if you have a bank of content that you can be posting into these groups, you are going to become known as a resource for the people in that group. So what happens is that mom who posted or that woman who posted, I'm thinking about doing a boudoir session.

 

 

Has anyone done this? What advice do you have? I share that link. I share the blog post. She's not the only one seeing that now. Everybody else who's reading that, who has also thought, well, I've been thinking about doing a boudoir session, too, but I wasn't gonna say anything because that's it's too personal. It's too embarrassing. But now they have me just saying I'm a boudoir photographer. Check it out. My link.

 

 

I'm now saying, hey, to everybody in this group who has ever been interested in this topic. Here is an article for you to go read. And so now I've become an expert in the field. And when someone else who saw that in that group then sees somebody else posted another group that they're part of. Hey, I'm looking for a boudoir photographer. Hopefully they're going to think of me because they saw that I'm not just out there to advertise my services.

 

 

I'm here to help give you information. I'm here to guide you to the solution you're looking for. So in a nutshell, that is my strategy for marketing, my business for advertising my services within Facebook groups without breaking their rules. I have created a toolbox of resources that at any given moment I can pull out and say, hey, this fits the need that you have. Let me help you. And it just so happens that it's also very suddenly giving them my business information.

 

 

So within your niche, within your industry, you need to figure out what you can provide people with in these groups that you're part of with content or information that's going to help them solve a problem. Now, aside from just sharing links, the other thing I try to do to help become an expert within that group is comment and be part of a conversation whenever it's around a topic I know that I can help with. Another way to do a similar thing is to just leave comments on things, to start sharing your expertise in little bits and pieces, sort of leaving a breadcrumb trail to what you do.

 

 

So for example, let's say that you are a florist and so you know about plants and flowers and gardening and all these topics that are interesting and you're passionate about. And so maybe you see someone posting, hey, I'm looking to redo my flower beds. I don't know what's a great local plant that's going to survive the Texas summer heat. As someone who has that knowledge to share. Jump in there and leave a comment. Every time you leave a comment, you are putting out another breadcrumb.

 

 

You are having something associated with your name that's setting you up as an expert. So every time you comment with your name and your photo and your little piece of advice, the people in that group who are regular users who are going to read through all these questions and answers are going to start to recognize your name and they're going to start to associate you with what it is that you do even before they know you do it. As a profession, the cool thing you'll start to see happen is that people you didn't even realize were paying attention are then going to recommend you when someone asks for a recommendation.

 

 

So if you're that florist and you've been giving people advice about flowers and designs and gardening and tips and all this kind of stuff and somebody else has been quietly paying attention to the advice that you're giving and has put up all of it together thinking she knows what she's talking about. And maybe they've seen you post a link to a blog post that you wrote on your Web site, and they realize that now you have a flower design business. They might be the one to refer you.

 

 

Even when you don't realize someone's looking for it. I've had this happen multiple times where someone will post in a mom's group asking for a boudoir photographer. I didn't even see the post because I haven't been on Facebook that day. But somebody else in the group who knows that's what I do and has seen me comment and share then refers me within that or tags me within that post, where then I can go follow up with a thank you so much.

 

 

So again, this is all a long game. This is nothing that's going to happen within just a couple of days. It's all part of a larger marketing plan, but it's planting these little seeds along the way. And if you're like me, you're on Facebook, you're in these groups, you're seeing these posts anyway. You might as well use them to your advantage. So going into these Facebook groups, you need to make sure that you are interacting or engaging and you're being part of the community, even if it doesn't feel like it's moving your business forward right away.

 

 

It's going to pay off in the long run, being consistent and showing up. You'll hear me say this a lot. You heard me say it a lot on the Instagram episode. Be consistent, show up, offer something of value. Now, this is the part where I'm sure some of you are thinking to yourself, OK, Kendra, you've been talking about mom's groups. I'm not a mom. Moms groups aren't where my client is that what other kinds of groups do I join?

 

 

OK, glad you asked. Here is kind of my rule of thumb. 1. No, your ideal client. You've heard me preach this in several, several episodes. You have to know your ideal client because that's going to help you know what groups your ideal client is in. So if you know that your ideal client is a wine lover, then find local wine groups or wine groups in general if you are not just a local business and join those groups.

 

 

If your ideal client loves to travel, then join travel groups. If your ideal client loves running, join writing groups. Even if that's not something that you personally are avid about or that you do join those groups so that you can understand your ideal client better. This is a really great way to get into the mind of your ideal clients. I'm not a runner, but if I join a running group, I can go in as a newbie and say, Guys, I am not a runner, but I want to be.

 

 

Teach me your ways and you can make connections that way. People connect with people that they have something in common with. I see it all the time and I have clients come into the studio from my boudoir sessions. They sit down in the chair to do hair makeup and they're nervous and they're anxious. They don't know what to expect. And we just start talking and we find something that we have in common. Whether it's being a mom or music that we like or something that's happened in our lives that we can both relate to, and all of a sudden the walls come down.

 

 

That fear that they had, that anxiousness they had starts to go away because now they feel like they're in the company of a friend, not just a random person that's going to take their picture, not just a random person. They're going to buy something from. They are around somebody that they connect with. And that's what these groups can do, is it can help you connect with your ideal client on something that has nothing to do with your business, but that will help them want to work with you in the future because they have that connection for with you.

 

 

You want to make sure the number one thing that you do when you go into a Facebook group is that you know and abide by the rules they have set in place. The fastest way to get yourself kicked out of a great group is to not follow the rules they've put in place most the time. The groups you join are going to have a rule about no marketing or advertising or business or service. Some of them might say only on the third Tuesday of the month if that's the case.

 

 

We talked about strategies. We know how to get our information out there in a subtle way without advertising our business directly. So you want to make sure that above all all else, you are following the rules they have put into place. You also want to make sure that you are choosing your groups wisely. Guys don't just join any and every group that looks like it might be the one for you. You. Quality over quantity. Find the groups your ideal clients are part of.

 

 

And join those. And make sure to spend the time and energy in those instead of trying to join 50 groups and rarely posting in any of them. Find the ones that are going to be the best fit for you. And if you join a group and it's not a great fit and you find that it's not your ideal clients, then you have the ability to leave the group. That's the great thing about these groups, guys. You're not locked in for life.

 

 

So if you find that one's not right for you. Move on to the next one. OK, so now let's move on to the how and the why behind creating your own Facebook group, your business. Now, my rule of thumb is for why you would need to create a Facebook group are one if you see that there is a gap somewhere in the types of groups you're finding on social media. There's a need for something that you can offer that's not already out there.

 

 

So you create a group around moms, women who are looking to know how to dress now that they are maybe not in the 9 to 5 career world or that they don't want to just resort to the yoga pants and sweat shirts. They want to have cute mom clothes. And you don't already see a group dedicated to that. You could create your own group where you invite women who want to be the stylish mom, who want to know how to put together an outfit that is comfortable and casual, yet looks really stylish and cute.

 

 

That would be a perfect reason to create your own Facebook group. There is a hole somewhere in the groups you're already seeing. There's something that's missing that you can offer other people in the Facebook community. You can build your own community around a topic that you see a need for. Now, in this case, you are going to be creating a Facebook community that is not initially based around a product or service that you offer, but as more based on an expertise level that you have.

 

 

So in the case of the boutique owner, you're not necessarily building this around your boutique necessarily, but you're building it around a knowledge base that you have that can feed back to the products and services that you offer. Now, the second idea for this. Along those same lines is creating a Facebook group specifically for your business. So in the example of the boutique owner, if you wanted to create a Facebook group that was like a VIP group for your boutique shoppers where they could get exclusive access to new items, sales events you have going on product releases, all those kinds of things.

 

 

It's similar to having an email list where a lot of times people call their email list like a VIP list. It's the same idea. The only difference is it's on a very open social platform. So you're creating a community around your business. One thing that I have seen some people do that is sort of a funnel approach is they will create a group of each type. So they might create that Facebook group for moms who want to look fashionable and they will use that as a platform to drive people to their VIP boutique group.

 

 

So if you aren't sure which one is the best option for you or you're thinking why could really see a benefit for both? You could essentially have both. And the first one is a broader it's a more vague. It's not specific to your necessarily your business, but it's just along your level of expertise. And then the second one is very much specific to your business. It is mostly geared towards what it is that you offer the product of the service that you are providing your clients.

 

 

Once you've decided which type of group you want to create, let's now look at her little logistical side of creating a group. So one of the benefits and drawbacks of creating group is that you are now in charge of this group. So the downside is that you are in charge of the group. So you are responsible for all the things that come along with running a Facebook group. The upside is you're in charge of the group. You have ultimate say over what you want the group to be.

 

 

So my advice to you is, before you start your Facebook group is have a very clear idea of what type of group do you want this to be? Do you want it to be one where you are providing all the information and they are just sort of taking it in like a lecture style college course? Do you want it to be interactive? Do you want it to be very fully free flowing where people can post whatever they want? Do you want to have a lot of control over the content that gets posted?

 

 

So you need to really know going into it the type of group you want it to be. Think about long term. What do you want your group to look like a year from now? What type of people do you want to have in your group and what type of content and interactions do you see happening? So when you create your Facebook group, one of the first decisions you need to make is the type of group you want it to be.

 

 

So do you want it to be a public group, a closed group or a secret group? So a public group means that anyone can join and everybody can see the post. So if you have a public group, then more people are likely to find the group. However, it also means that more people are going to join it from maybe not the right reasons. Now, one reason to have a public group is if you're just trying to get a lot of people into the group and you're wanting it to be about a certain topic or event or a very public group that anybody can join in the conversation on a closed group is one where people have to request to join.

 

 

You can usually have them answer questions that you want them to approve or agree to ahead of time, and then you approve who as you allow into the group. It's also to where the content is not visible to anybody that is not within that group. Having a closed group means that you have a little more control over who joins and the content that's being seen. This is definitely one I would suggest for most businesses if you're creating a Facebook group around your business.

 

 

Then I would definitely make sure that it is a closed group. Now, the third one is a secret group. Now the difference with a secret group and a closed group. So a secret group is not one that can be found just by searching on Facebook. So let's say that you have created a Facebook group that you're calling fashion forward momma's. OK, well, anybody can go into Facebook and search fashion forward mommas and your group's going to pop up.

 

 

It's also going to pop up in some of the suggested groups. If you've been scrolling through Facebook before and you'll see after the right, say, suggested groups, other groups you should join based on the groups you are already in your group. If it's a closed group or a public group will show up in those, a secret group means that you have to actually invite your members in to it. It is not searchable within the Facebook app or Facebook website.

 

 

So it's definitely really for something that you want to keep very, very private. An example of this might be that if you are a boudoir photographer and you are posting content that is very sensitive and personal, then you may not want it to be a searchable group. You want to keep it secret. You want to keep it very private so that only people you have invited into that group know about it, know how to find it and are able to join it.

 

 

So let's use the example of the Fashion Forward Mammas group in the description, you might say something like this is a group dedicated to helping mammas who want to look great while still being comfortable chasing their little one around the playground in this group. We are going to talk about fashion tips, wardrobe ideas, et cetera, et cetera. Then you might continue with the rules. The rules are what you are willing to accept and not accept. So if you do not want people posting links to their online boutiques or their services that they offer for wardrobe styling, the need to let them know and the rules say, you know, we do not allow self-promotion in the car, in the post, if you would like to.

 

 

Promote a product or service that you offer, we will allow that. The first Monday of the month, however you want to say it, but be very clear on what you expect. This is also a great place to list out the things that would be grounds for removal. So I'm in a lot of Facebook groups that talk about that. We do not allow you to call out other businesses by name in any demeaning way, or they'll say things like bullying of any type is not allowed in here.

 

 

You will be removed if seen doing those things. One suggestion I have is to go look at the groups that you're a part of, especially ones that you really feel like are a great representation of what you want your group to become and see what rules they have posted or what guidelines they have listed so that you can use that as an example of how you want your guidelines and rules to be set up. Now, once you have all of this in place and you know exactly what you want your group to be like, you've got a great cover image.

 

 

You've set it to whatever type of group you want. You've got your description, you've got your guidelines. Then go ahead and create a couple of post, even though you may only be the only person or group right now. You want to have content that when people join your group, they're not coming into a group that is completely empty. You want to have some content there now with Facebook putting a lot of emphasis on groups. One thing they've done that I think is really interesting is they have set up within groups a thing called a units.

 

 

So this is a way for you to catalog the content within your group. So, again, going back to the Fashion Forward Mammas Group, before you ever invite women into the group, you could go ahead and lay out some content with in different sections or units that they can search through and read through as they come into the group. For example, you might have a whole unit that is on cute sweaters that you can wear to the park with your kids in the fall, in the winter, or quick and easy makeup tutorials, quick and easy hairstyles, date night outfits for, you know, a night out with your husband or the perfect girls night outfit for going out on a town with your friends.

 

 

You can have all these different units and some post or blog post or files, images, whatever you want to add to those units. And then as new members come into your group, they have this catalog of topics they can search through. It makes it super easy, convenient. And then as you add content within your group, you are also able to add those to those units. So you're building a catalog of topics that any new member or old member, after time goes by, can't go back through within the group.

 

 

So, again, Facebook is really making it super easy for us to create these really interesting and informative groups for our followers. Once you have some content within your group ready to go, you're ready to start adding members to your group. There's a couple of ways you can do this. You can add people that you are already friends with on Facebook. So any of your mom, friends and even your family members, acquaintances, anybody that you are Facebook friends with, you can add to that group.

 

 

You can also send messages to those people, if you would like first and say, hey, I've created this group, if you're interested. Click here to join. There's a lot of different ways to invite people to join into the group. You want to be very cognizant of the fact that not everybody is going to want to become a part of your group. Some people feel like that. They are so overwhelmed. The groups they already have that they may not want to join in.

 

 

That's okay. You just want to present them with the opportunity to say, hey, if you want to be a part of this group, here it is. Feel free to stay or leave. And then you want to make sure with in your group you have a post and you can pin post the tops. This is an announcement. It's so it's at the top. Anytime somebody pulls up, that group is the first thing they see. You can create a post reminding people in the group, hey, if you have any mom friends that you fight that would enjoy the content of this group.

 

 

Please feel free to add them. Just keep in mind that in the beginning it's going to take time for your group to grow. The best way to grow your group is to create content and an environment where people want to take part in. People want to participate and contribute and they're getting something of value because then they're going to really want to invite their friends into that group. Think about the groups that you're in that you are the most excited to share with other people that you know when you're sitting at a table with your girlfriends and are talking about things.

 

 

Is there one particular group that you're like, oh, my gosh, guys, in this Facebook group that I'm in. They talked about X, Y or Z, blah, blah. You need to go join it. You want that to be your group. So figure out what it is about the other groups that are so attractive and try to apply that to your group. The last thing you think about when it comes to creating your own Facebook group is the content in order to have a Facebook group grow, consistently, become active and stay active.

 

 

But they want to know what this group's about. Again, it's kind of like going to a cocktail party. There are going to be people who just kind of stand back and watch that aren't quite raised, just jump right into conversations. Yet they're getting a feel for things. They're kind of seeing who everybody is.

 

 

And then once they feel comfortable, they'll jump in. It's your job as the host of that party. The leader of the Facebook group to set the tone to get people engaging. So posting content, that is fun, that's interactive, that's engaging, that's exciting. We'll get people motivated. We'll get people interacting and then also posting content that is helpful, relevant, informational. Those are the things that people are really going to come back for as well.

 

 

So just keep at it. Even in the beginning, it feels like it's just a lot of you talking to yourself and talking to the wall. Eventually it will pay off and you'll start having people organically want to interact within that group. All right, guys, so that does it on our conversation on Facebook groups. Hopefully you are encouraged, inspired and ready to go out and start networking within those Facebook groups or creating your very own. I also encourage you to head over to our Facebook group.

 

 

Girl Means Business. Join in our weekly conversations about these podcast topics, as well as tons and tons of other amazing topics about business, life, mompreneurs, ship, entrepreneurship, all the things. So again, you can head over to Facebook and search for a girl means business. And join our community there. All right, ladies, I will see you back here next week as we wrap up our social media series with an episode all about the power of Pinterest.

 

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