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This is a continuation of the discussion of Facebook Pages versus Facebook Groups. See the first post to find out more about Facebook Pages.
What is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook group is a community. I love the definition that Facebook gives:
“Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”
A group is a place to share about a topic more than about your particular brand. If your business deals with dog training, your group might start a group about dogs in general. If your business sells watches, your group might be about the advantages of telling time.
One of the great things about groups is that it doesn’t have to be open to everyone like your Page will be. It can be public (totally open), Closed (open after an admin approves you), or Secret (only available if invited by a current member or admin).
This is perfect if want to connect with other people on a sensitive subject like budgets, or relationships. When they share in a Closed or Secret group it only shows to other members of the group and not to the public.
Overall, a Group is more of an interactive community versus your Page which is the face of your business.
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Why start a Group?
A Group is a great place to show your expertise to your readers. When you have a place for people to gather who are passionate about a particular subject it can make for some great conversations.
A Closed Group will encourage people to share more because only group members can see the posts. Because of this it is easier to connect and encourage people in a Group rather than a page.
When you build a close and engaged Group and nurture that relationship it can help you to become a known expert in your field. Your group members will start to recommend your group to other people interested in your topic as you display that you actually know what you are talking about.
One of the downsides of this is that Groups can take a lot of time when they start to grow bigger. As Admin you will be responsible for dealing with problems and moderating discussions. You might need to add another moderator if the Group starts taking more time than you have to give.
How to start a Group
This video will show you how to start a group, how to link it to your Business Page and how to schedule posts.
Encouraging people to join your Group
Once your group is established you will want to share the opportunity to join with your readers. Here are a few ways to encourage people to join:
- You can write a blog post dedicated to the topic of your group and share it via social media.
- Add a post script to all your email newsletters asking people to join.
- Link to your group in your email signature.
- Post a link in appropriate share threads in Facebook Groups you are a member of, but be careful to read the rules of the share thread before you do that! Some Groups do not allow promotion of other groups!
- Join your Group and your Facebook Business Page so that there will be a link to join at the top of your Page. (see the video above for how to do this)
WARNING! Do not under any circumstances add people to your group without permission! It is not like suggesting they like a Page, it actually adds them to the group right away and it is considered bad form. So, get permission or ask people to request to join!
Engaging with your Group
Now that you have created your group and have some members, talk to them! Ask questions of them and share what you know.
Facebook Live is a great way to connect with members. Facebook notifies all members of a Group when you go Live inside. You can create a regular schedule and pin it to the top of the feed or just go Live when you have something to share.
Remember that people join your group because of you. Don’t be afraid to share your own content! Some of the best Groups that I am in have very engaged owners who post everyday.
If you want to schedule posts to Groups you can now do that directly in Facebook! This is a new feature that Facebook recently rolled out. It is just like scheduling a post on a Facebook Page.
Currently, I use SmarterQueue to schedule to both my Facebook Page and my Facebook Group. I share a mix of questions, quotes, share threads and blog posts.
So which should you start?
Now that we have gone over both Groups and Page the big question is which is right for your business?
I believe that all businesses should have a Facebook Page. They are searchable and can include all the information that a potential customers needs.
Groups are more questionable. Do you have the kind of topic that people gather around? Do you have the time to commit to moderating? Are you willing to spend time engaging and answering questions?
Once you have answered these questions you will have a better idea of whether a Facebook Group is right for your business.
I hope this series has helped you to understand the difference between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Business Page. There are many advantages to having both a Facebook Business Page and a Facebook Group, but you should make the choice that is right for you and your business.