Do you know where unique groups of business owners and freelancers from around the world are talking, engaging, and even meeting up?
I didn’t really know about the power of Facebook groups for businesses until about 2 years ago. I had been using Facebook group as a way to help organize a book club or gathering, but never seen the amazing possibilities with the power of connecting people.
Two years ago after I interviewed a potential client, I asked her, how did you find me and she said “MOBs group on Facebook”. I was puzzled and asked her again and she explained that it was a group of Mom Owned Businesses on Facebook and I should check it out.
It wasn’t easy to find, but once I did, I was so excited. Since having a child, it was hard to find a tribe of women who ran a business and had kids. I asked to join the MOBs group. Once I was in the group, I recognized a lot of the women. I easily met new women who I’ve done business with as colleagues and as clients.
Since then, I’ve found other groups where I can solve problems by crowdsourcing questions such as what software would you recommend that can do time-tracking and project management? Or even better, I joined a smaller accountability group where we check in weekly, and meet in person (yes, people still do that!). We also support each other and provide a sounding board as we face the challenges of motherhood and business. All through a Facebook group!
Here’s why I’m excited about Facebook groups and how to use them for your business.
1) There are 3 kinds of Groups: Public, Closed, and Secret. Public is open to anyone and you don’t need to be approved to join the group. Closed means you can ask to join or be added or invited by a member. Secret is anyone can join, but they have to be added or invited by a member. I prefer Closed and Secret groups because the groups are filled with people who are following the rules. There’s generally much less ads and self-promotion as well.
2) Don’t forget to read the rules of the group and then stick to the rules to be a respected member. In the beginning, answer a few questions and reply to other questions so you can make a good impression. Be very careful about how you promote your own business. Most of the time there’s one day a week you can promote a product/service or promote your Facebook page. Share information!
Get creative when you are searching for Facebook Groups to join.
3) When searching through groups, see who you know and who is in them. You can search for groups within Facebook by Friends’ Groups, Local Groups and New Groups.
Another way to find a group is to search for target keywords via Facebook Search Box such as ‘yoga’ or ‘pilates’. Use keywords if you are trying to find clients in that line of work. To use the Search Box, type your keyword in the search box, and then click See More Results.
4) Use the Facebook Groups app on your phone to keep current in your groups. In order to build relationships with people, you want to stay current. It’s best to pick 5 groups and check in there once a day. Do this especially if you see many questions that you can easily answer and give advice.
5) Don’t forget to check Facebook Messenger! Facebook Messenger becomes vital to helping you communicate with colleagues and potential clients that you meet in the Facebook Groups. It’s a separate app on your phone (it’s integrated into the Facebook website on the browser). Facebook Messenger can be set up to send alerts anytime someone messages you. I’m not a fan of alerts myself, so I check the app daily instead.
Facebook Messenger allows you to share info and message someone privately. Many time a potential customer will ask for your email address or phone number in Facebook Messenger and you can then take the conversation to another line of communication for you and your client. Be sure to have it on your phone, it’s easier to check it that way as well as check it daily.
6) Create your own Facebook Group – If you have clients who value from information to be shared with them, then create your own group. Some professionals create Facebook groups as part of a monthly membership package. Others use it as a group to help educate clients, have discussions, and learn what their industry needs or wants. Either way, it doesn’t cost anything to set up your own Facebook group. Just be prepared to spend lots of time there and be present for people or your group won’t succeed.