Facebook Groups: The Key to Building a Community?Monika Jansen
I belong to five active Facebook Groups, and I firmly believe they are key to building a strong, tight-knit community – at least in the 21st century.
Now, I’m not saying that in-person, non-digital communities are no longer important. Quite the contrary! They are extremely important, and we all need them for our well-being – but they aren’t always practical in today’s world.
Take one group I belong to with well over 1,000 members. How would all of us be able to coordinate our schedules so we could meet in one place on a regular basis? Exactly. It would be impossible.
Think about the benefits of an active Facebook Group for your small business. Imagine if you had 1,000 members, scattered around the world. Your Facebook Group could become an amazing community and a very important part of your overall brand.
Plus, let’s just take a moment to contemplate the sheer size of Facebook: In the first quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.65 billion monthly active users from around the world. That’s a lot of potential members in your community!
Here’s 10 reasons to consider creating a Facebook Group:
1. They can revolve around any interest
What are the biggest challenges your target market face? How can a Facebook Group help them solve those challenges? It might be something directly or indirectly related to what your business sells. What matters is whether or not your Group can have a positive impact on those challenges.
2. They can remain private
The Facebook Groups I belong to are private. You must be invited by a member, or you must apply to become a member. I would highly recommend going this route to keep out trolls and ensure that all members are there for the right reasons.
3. They can encourage collaboration
The two work-related groups I belong to are highly collaborative. People post job openings and seek out contractors and service providers. They share information and articles that others might find useful (or funny).
4. They can act as a support network
Have a question, facing a major challenge, need advice, looking for recommendations, or have a major win that you can’t wait to share? Your Facebook Group could act as an important support network for your community.
5. They aren’t limited by geography
Unless your group is very specific to a certain location (like the online yard sale group I belong to that is limited to residents in three towns), your Facebook Group can attract members from just about anywhere. The diversity of members, perspectives and knowledge could be truly mind-blowing.
6. They are easy to use (and create)
A Facebook Group takes no time at all to create once you’ve thought through its purpose and given it a name. Members can easily access it from desktop (listed in the left-hand navigation menu) or mobile (click on More > Groups).
7. They can become a trusted and valuable resource
Whenever I have a question related to running my small business, I go immediately to one of the Facebook Groups I belong to. Even if I don’t have an immediate need, I read through the latest posts to see what people are talking about. Wouldn’t it be great if your Facebook Group was held in the same regard by its members?
8. They keep you top-of-mind
Every time a member sees a notification from your Group or visits the Page, they’ll think of you. The more active your members, the more they’ll think of you.
9. They allow you to build thought leadership
When you post to your Facebook Group page, it’s (naturally) a great chance to build thought leadership around a topic. But so are all of the opportunities you have to participate and build that community, whether it’s responding to others in the group or starting or joining conversations.
10. They don’t require constant monitoring
Once your Facebook Group is up and running, it doesn’t need constant tending. Sure, it might need moderation here and there, but as long as you keep the Group private, set up straightforward guidelines, and carefully vet potential members, it should mostly run on its own.
Would you consider starting a Facebook Group and integrating it into your overall brand?
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