In the wake of the recently announced Facebook Newsfeed changes, you may be asking yourself if you should start a Facebook Group for your small business.
A lot of Social Media Managers are in favor of creating a Facebook Group in place of a Facebook business page. Business pages now have the ability to comment in a group as the page, so this is another means of communicating with your target market. I’m in favor of a Facebook group depending on the goals a business is trying to achieve by having a group.
Advantages of a Facebook Group over a Page:
- Groups are more visible in the News Feed than Pages.
- Groups promote more community discussion.
- Groups can be more “findable” than a Page to attract new members.
Disadvantages of a Facebook Group over a Page:
- Groups require more moderation than a Page.
- Groups are harder to advertise and promote on Facebook.
- Everyone’s comments are more visible to the group (good and bad).
Questions to ask before creating a Group:
1. What is the purpose of the Facebook Group?
The purpose needs to be more than just “sell my stuff”. People who join your group need to get some value out of being a member.
2. Who is the Target Audience for this Facebook Group?
What type of people do you want in the Group and how will you decide who can join? Groups can get a lot of join requests and you will have to be moderating those.
3. What will you post in the Facebook Group?
Decide what and how often will you post to get engagement in the group. Groups need content from the leader to get the conversation started and to keep it going.
4. How will you moderate the Facebook Group?
Facebook groups can require a lot of moderation. Since every post from the group is visible to all the members of the group, you want to make sure it doesn’t turn into a self-promotion fest.
5. What does success look like for this Facebook Group?
This is the biggest question you need to answer! What is your key performance indicator for how the group is working for you as a marketing tool for your business?
Creating a new group takes time and effort to get people to join the group, produce content that will elicit responses, and monitor for spam and negative comments. I think it’s only a matter of time before Facebook begins imposing “rules” on what is seen by the group. In fact, a few people have mentioned that Group admins are getting notifications from Facebook to “boost” posts within a Group. In my opinion, do your research and due diligence before deciding to create a Facebook group!
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