Thursday, September 8, 2016

How to Maximize Facebook Groups for Business

Facebook Groups for Business

Are you considering using a Facebook Group for your business presence on Facebook?  Maybe you are starting a new Group for a product or service you have or maybe you want to create a Group to connect like-minded business people around your niche.

Facebook Groups are getting more popular since they are more visible in the News Feed than Facebook Pages.  I wrote more about some of the advantages in this post:  Should I have a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group for my Business?

In this post, I'll show you how to create a Group, how to promote your Facebook Group, and some of the Do's and Don'ts of Facebook Groups.

Reasons a Facebook Group Makes Sense for Your Business

Facebook Groups are a great place for a “natural group” of people to hang out including local connections, people who are part of a premium product that you sell, mastermind groups, customer service help,and more.

AgoraPulse has a great list of 10 Reasons to Create a Facebook Group Today – including an example from me!

One of the biggest benefits to Groups is that they are more visible in the News Feed because of the way notifications work on Facebook and Facebook's algorithm..  When you join a Facebook group, your notifications are set to Highlights by default.  Which means you may get notifications for posts that are getting more interaction in the Group, or if your friend has posted something in the Group.  Whereas when you Like a Page, you don't get notifications unless you manually set them.

But you have to remember that EVERY post from members of the Group is more visible.  So Groups require much more moderation than Pages.  You can restrict the Posting Permissions to just Admins or have each post approved by an Admin or Moderator but I think that stifles the conversation a bit.  And usually, if you have good rules in place, people respect them.

Posting Permissions Facebook Groups

One other consideration with using Facebook Groups for a business is that ONLY PERSONAL PROFILES can join or create Facebook Groups.  So you will have to participate in the Group as yourself.  Pages can post into Facebook Groups or be a part of them at all.  But you can always make sure your Facebook privacy settings are locked down appropriately so your personal information is more private.

How to Create a Facebook Group

Creating a Facebook Group is very easy to do but there are some settings you do want to pay attention to.

Here are the steps to creating a Facebook Group:

  1. Log into Facebook as your profile.

  2. Click the  in the top right corner and select Create Group.

  3. Name your Group (note that you can change the Group name any time up to 5000 members).

  4. Select the privacy of your Group to Open, Closed, or Secret.

  5. Click Create.

Here are a few images to help with the process.

Step 2:

Create a Facebook Group

Step 3:

Name your Facebook Group

Step 4:

Facebook Group Privacy Setting

The Group Privacy settings available are

  • Public – Anyone can see the group's members and their posts.  This can be a little too open since anyone can join and start posting.

  • Closed – Anyone can find the group and see who's in it but only members can see the posts.  This is the best option for most groups.

  • Secret – Only members can find the group and see posts.  You must give people a direct link to the group if you want to invite them in or add them.

Also realize you can change the privacy setting of the Group up to 5000 members any which way you want.  But after 5000 members, you can only make the privacy settings more restrictive (i.e. Closed to Secret).

There are come added complexities around who can see what within Groups and Facebook has a nice chart on the privacy settings:

Facebook Group privacy settings

Once you have the Group created, make sure you visit the Group Settings area to personalize your Group.

Edit Group Settings

Here are some things to customize:

  1. Group Type – choose the Group type to help let people know what the Group is about.

    Facebook Group types

  2. Membership Approval – select if the group members must be approved by an Admin or Moderator (recommended)

  3. Customize your Group Web address – this will make it easier to give people the URL of your Group.

  4. Add a Description – make sure it's clear in the description who the group is for and what parameters or rules there may be in the group.

  5. Add Tags – this is good if you want people to be able to find your group easier.  You can skip if your group is more of an invitation-only group.

  6. Posting Permissions and Post Approval – set these according to how you want to moderate the group posts.


Facebook Group Settings


And then finally make sure you add a cover image for your Group.  There are many different “official sizes” floating around and all Facebook mentions is that the image must be at least 400 x 150 pixels.  But I've found that 801 x 250 is a good size.


Facebook Group Cover photo

Now that you have your Facebook Group set up right, it's time to get the word out about your Group. (And a little FYI and plug for my Facebook Advertising Secrets Group – it is private only for people who have purchased the course but you can feel free to join us here:  Facebook Advertising Secrets – it's a great course if I do say so myself ”</p

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