How To Use Facebook Groups For Your Business

Facebook Groups are one of the basic components of Facebook. You are probably even a member of some of them.


It's a place where people with the same interests can connect online. The basic principle is that it is an online place for people to discuss, share experiences and express their opinions and attitudes. It also allows people to organize events, share photos, videos, or broadcast live videos.


Any Facebook user can create a group and its operation is completely free. Each user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time. 


Unlike FB Pages, groups can be closed, and while the Page serves primarily for brand presentation, groups are focused on users and their activity in the community.


There are 3 types of Facebook Groups:

Public groups are the ones anyone can find and join. On the other hand, Closed Groups can be found, but their content is hidden and the membership must be approved by its moderator or administrator. This is a great tool to control who wants to join the community and thus control the membership. The highest level of privacy is offered by the Secret group. You cannot view or search those on Facebook. Members of these groups are directly invited by administrators or other members.


Key takeaways

  • Anyone with a Facebook account can create and run a group for free
  • A user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time
  • Groups can be public, but also completely hidden and closed
  • You can create events, share content, and discuss, exclusively in a group, without showing content on your wall
  • As an administrator, you can delete a group at any time

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Why people use FB Groups?

More than 1.4 billion people are using Facebook Groups. It means, people like groups. Why are they using them?

To connect

People like to connect and discuss a common topic. Groups are a great tool for people to meet new people with the same interests, build relationships, or connect with friends or acquaintances.

Inform

Groups are an excellent tool for informing people. Almost everyone has a Facebook in their pocket, which makes FB Groups an excellent tool for informing people with common interests. For example, a library that you regularly visit may report sudden changes in its opening hours or send notifications about upcoming news or events.

Express

Groups are by nature closed places, giving people the opportunity to express themselves and share their opinions. 

Inspire

Groups are also a great tool for sharing inspirational posts, or finding inspiration.

Discover

In groups, people draw new knowledge, discover new resources and ideas.

Co-work

Secret groups are also popular at work. A Secret group is a place where people can discuss projects, share information and documents.

Offer

There are a number of groups that focus on connecting people who sell and buy something.

Organize

People like groups because it allows them to organize events for a specific target group on a regular basis. Groups allow them to easily create an event, let members know about it, and keep track of attendees.

How to exploit Facebook Groups?

Facebook Groups are a distinctive tool and there are several ways to use them for business.

Building community

FB Group is a great tool for creating communities around a particular interest, location, brand, etc. By its nature, a group is a closed place where people have a safe space to discuss and share their thoughts. When you create such an environment, you have a unique space to ask and interact with members.

Connect with your customers and provide them value

You can also use a closed group for your existing customers. It is a place where you can provide additional support and stay connected with your clients.

Connect your team

Facebook Groups can also be used as an internal digital workplace. You can set a group as "Secret" so people can't find it. It means you have enough privacy to discuss and share documents with your colleagues.

Nurture group data insights

Facebook collects a lot of user data and, fortunately, shares some with you. Use Group Insights to better understand the group. The data can also help you understand your target audience and help you target your ad more accurately.

How to grow your Facebook Group?

The growth of the members in the group is the basic rule for group success. There are some minor strategies to increase the number of new members with minimal effort.

Brief and clear description

Be extremely careful about the description. It's the first thing people see when they find your group. In this case, it must be immediately clear what people can expect from the group. The description should be brief and clear.

Think about contact points

Your potential group members are going through different so-called contact points. These points could be your website, Linkedin profile, business cards, etc. You can use all of these places to mention your group here.

Email signature

Include a call to action in your email signature. With every email you send, you let the world know that you run a group and invite other members there.

Set it as one of the signatures and whenever you write a new email or reply to one, you can easily add information about the group.

Try a paid ad

On Facebook, you can make your group visible with paid advertising. If it is well optimized, it is usually a cheap way to get new members. You don't have to be a social advertising specialist, for example, you can use our groost app to create an optimized ad with just a few clicks.

Short link

Use a short link with your domain that redirects the user directly to the group. For example yourwebsite.com/group should be redirected to the group. With this short link it is easy for you to tell people how they can find the group. 

Ask for recommendations

Reach out and ask the first few members of the group to invite their friends who may also be interested. You can repeat this process indefinitely.

How to increase engagement in a FB Group?

The basis of a successful group is the consistent and regular activity of its members. You can support it in many different ways, and we offer several of them in the following list below.

Tell people to set up alerts

Your post may be lost among other content. Fortunately, Facebook provides an Alert feature that notifies you when someone in the group posts something new. But the user has to turn it on himself and it's up to you to remind them. Create an in-action post, like an image, an animated GIF, or a short video to tell people to set up an alert.

Loom / Clips / Pic / GIF

Write personal messages to members

Groups are a great tool for people to meet each other personally. Don't be afraid to communicate with members directly. Send them personal messages. You are showing that you are interested in them and that you care about their membership. For example, you can thank members for their participation in the group. With more members, it's not easy to communicate with everyone, but you can use Group Insights to find the most active members and filter out the key members of your group, so that you can personally thank them.

Create an event

You can create an event within a group. It's a great tool to tell people about an upcoming event. Do this, because you will get feedback on whether people are interested in the event, and if so, Facebook will provide a reminder for you that lists who wants to come.

Name active members as admins or moderators

Take the opportunity to reward active members of your group. An excellent tool for this is to appoint a member as an Administrator or Moderator. It is a certain public appreciation and status they have earned for their efforts towards the community. In addition, the benefit for you is that such people will be happy to assist you in controlling and following group rules and deleting and blocking trolls.

Show your “behind the scenes”

Show people things they can't see. Show them what you're working on. They will feel more important, because you are sharing a "secret" things with them. This open approach can also attract other people to join your group.

Make polls

A minor, but engaging function. Instead of a regular post, give people the chance to vote by creating a poll. People like to voice their own opinions, and such a poll can give you valuable insight into people's ideas about a given topic.

Start debates

Groups, unlike Pages have an advantage — people are much more into debating here. They feel that they are in a small, closed group, so it is much easier to share their ideas and to debate about different topics.

Ask questions even if you know the answer. Remember, it's not important that you know it, but it is crucial that others have the opportunity to show publicly that they also know the answer. Remember, that people come to Groups to share their knowledge, as well as to learn more, and some people love to be "heard," so give them a chance to have a voice.

Create live video dedicated to certain members

Use one of the most favourite Facebook features — live stream. An advantage of the live stream is that you are authentic and this is what people like. You don't have to broadcast every day, but you should live stream on a regular basis. It also shouldn't be too long. Use live streaming to tell people news from your business, or just say “Hi” to them and thank them for their activity.

Pin important posts

You can pin one post in a group so it remains visible and doesn't get lost in the others. This post can be contacts, group rules, etc.

Closing remarks

Facebook Groups have a huge potential for your business. It's a great place for personal interactions with your customers. With all the features, groups are more powerful and effective tool than ever before. 

  • Do you manage any Facebook Group?
  • What strategies do you use?
  • How do you increase engagement?
  • What are your biggest struggles?

Let us know, we would be very happy to help!

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Hype vs. Trend – What Really Matters for Your Business?

AI, Chatbots, Blockchain, self-driving cars, cloud-computing... You have probably heard of all of those, right? Do these terms represent trend or a hype? What is the actual difference between those two words? And are they important for you, as an entrepreneur who's just getting started? These are probably the questions that jump to your mind when hearing these buzzwords.


There is a HUGE difference between what stays and what doesn't. In other words, not everything will stick and change our behaviour. This is how we can define our keyword, trend: as a change in the behaviour, habits or ways in which things work. It is a constant change. Let me explain trend in a graph, as I am a visual learner and a numbers freak…

Trend Line
Trend Line

On the contrary, hype is something that simply occurs and fades away… without any lasting impact. If I spoke in graphs, hype would look like this:

Hype Line
Hype Line

When the terms are clarified, let us look at the history and point out some of the trends and hypes we, as humans on this earth, have been through…


  1. 1950 – Year when the first credit card was introduced

Presented by Diner's Club, the very first universal credit card came to use and was accepted by some establishments. Had it been just a hype, no one would be using credit cards today… Non-cash payment instruments play a huge role in our lives today – this trend changed our behaviour for good.


Now, imagine a bank not issuing a credit or debit card after opening an account – a business that did not catch the trend. This bank would for sure not survive in today's world…


  1. 2008 – The word shared economy was loudly spoken for the first time

… and changed the way we travel, transport ourselves and purchase goods. Startups like AirBnB or Uber have shown us there is a new way of ordering a taxi or renting a flat for a few nights. Have classic taxi companies had to react to this change? You bet they have!


You can probably guess where this is heading. There are a plethora of examples of trends that have changed our lives. These are real changes that – if businesses ignored them – could be very harmful... 


  1. Now – Podcasts, home voice assistants and voice orders

Here we go. 2019 and podcasts, home voice assistants, voice search, voice order and – you nailed it – everything that has something to do with voice is slowly changing the way we behave. Is this something you should keep an eye on? I believe so. Is this something that is about to change / threaten / boost your business? That truly depends on your business industry and approach.


On the contrary, hype can calmly be ignored (or shortly leveraged). Do you remember the Bitcoin bubble in late 2017? 


If not, let me briefly explain. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that was invented in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Its price has been slowly rising since then, and in 2017, one Bitcoin was worth around 20,000 USD. With no real value behind it! In other words, so much money was invested in this currency that the price rose rapidly. An easy economic rule: when the demand rises (while the offer is limited), the price goes up. But what is crucial, is the value behind it. There was no value at all. And in January 2018...BOOM!

Bitcoin Chart (2018)

Identifying hype and trend can be crucial for the survival of your business. But no one really tells you how to get started. Well… saying that there is a manual would mean there is a way to predict the future.


But there are some ways to prepare yourself. As Gartner puts it: “Three key factors will ultimately enable you to identify the potential impact of a particular technology trend on people, business, IT and the technology market:

  1. New value. Identify clear business opportunities that this technology trend could help exploit, or challenges that it could help solve to produce better business outcomes.

  2. Level of digital disruption. Decide whether adopting this trend would mean changing your organization’s business model or inventing a new one. Could this new trend replace existing technologies or ways of doing business? How could this trend disrupt the technology market? Although, there will probably be opportunities for new providers, new trends can disrupt the services and performance of existing providers on which your organization may rely.

  3. Type of impact. Investigate whether the trend’s impact will be felt only within your organization, or whether it will have an external impact on your organization." 


Yes, you have to know your business and industry perfectly in order to answer those questions. If you decide to simply ignore everything that goes around you, you may get kicked out of business soon… But if you learn, build on your knowledge and keep an eye on the current trends & hypes (as you may not recognize them at the beginning), your chances will rise.


Build on your knowledge. Do not pay attention to what does not affect your business, but be aware of something that does…

We at groost.com are leveraging online advertising for small businesses, which has shown to be a strong trend that is here to change many industries. In 2018, for the very first time, 50 % of the world's population was online. Never before has the percentage of people with access to the internet been so high. And guess what… The number is rising. Is this a trend or a hype? You are now able to answer the question for yourself.


Are you up to date with what's on trend for 2019? Check the Gartner's research here: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/5-trends-appear-on-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-2019

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Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn connects more than 630 million professionals. Its main focus is to build strong and long-lasting career connections and quality content. The platform is definitely on the rise and there are plenty of ways you can leverage it for your business or personal brand.


Knowing the fact that the organic reaches for business pages for Facebook and Instagram are decreasing, LinkedIn offers a chance to reach your audience more effectively.


So, how can you get the most out of the biggest social network for professionals? First of all, know the basics. LinkedIn (and any other advertising platform) can be overwhelming, which makes it easy to get lost. Don't try to understand everything. Choose to learn what matters to your business the most.


We have prepared content that will help you get to know the very basic idea behind advertising on LinkedIn. We call it the Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn Advertising and within it we cover the following topics:

  • What LinkedIn is really about
  • Get to know the LinkedIn interface
  • Types of LinkedIn accounts
  • Setting up your profile
  • Introduction to Campaign Manager
  • Setting up the first campaign
  • Choosing the right objective
  • Setting up your target audience
  • Introduction to Ad formats
  • Setting up your budget
  • Tools to make your life on LinkedIn easier


Dig into the LinkedIn advertising by downloading the e-book below and let us know how it helped you boost your business.

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6 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Marketing Agency

For anyone who’s not an expert in this field, marketing strategies, SEO or social media can be like a maze. If that’s the case, navigating through it can get super difficult sometimes. However, that’s okay! Marketing agencies exist exactly for that reason — to help business owners and entrepreneurs efficiently use their business’s potential in the name of marketing. Naturally, you want your business to grow. You decided that it’s time for you or your firm to start working with a marketing agency. Good for you! But where do you start? How can you make sure that you choose the right one? There are so many questions that might seem tricky, but this list of things you should avoid will answer the most crucial ones.

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10 Best Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

There are over 7,000 marketing tools you can use today. And I'm going to name them all. No, just kidding, Scott Brinker already did. Actually, he updates the database every single year, so I don't have to. ;)

  • If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to spend it browsing a list of tools, here is an Excel sheet
  • If you want to print it as a poster for your bedroom wall, click here
  • If you are a marketing expert, I would appreciate your feedback down there, in the infamous comments section.

If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!

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How to Choose the Right Online Channel for Your Business

The benefits of online marketing are: marketing perspective (obviously) which leads to customer engagement, building the brand, product discovery and all of these increase the amount of purchases. Online marketing can be done almost everywhere on the internet, so the question you may have is should you go for email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Bing? Is the “I don't know where to start” holding you back?


Most businesses have already begun to harness the unique features of social media marketing. These businesses spend as little as 6 hours per week and over 66% of businesses enjoy lead generation benefits with social media. So do not wait! A properly executed social media strategy can improve your business' search rankings, drive more website traffic and increase conversion rates. 


“Internet access has become vital for communication, obtaining information, job-searching, and participation in an ever-changing world economy. The United States, the fourth largest country (by land mass) in the world, is no exception. With over 312 million internet users as of 2018, it is one of the largest online markets worldwide” says Statista.com


It's obvious you are supposed to boost your business online, as well! So how do you find the best online channel for your business? 



Find out:

1) Who is your target audience? Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customer behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about your audience. You will discover the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product. Learn how to create your buyer persona.


2) What are your social media strategy objectives? Being able to link your social media channels to your strategy’s high level objectives is essential. If you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you achieve your goals, then it’s more than likely you shouldn’t use it. It would be a waste of time. Always remember that the purpose of your chosen social media channels is to support the achievement of your strategic goals.

3) What channels are the people from your target audience using? After you’ve set social media strategy objectives, you need to consider where your audience is interacting online. For instance, it could be deemed wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of retired people and you chose Tik Tok as your prime channel.  


Similarly, it may not be very effective to establish your brand on Facebook if you’re only targeting teenagers. The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. 


Use data-driven insights to ensure that your strategy, and the channels you choose, facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible. This will help increase the chance for conversions. 


To sum it up, when choosing your social media channels, always base your decisions on demographic data, don't just go with the flow of trends. 


Define: What kind of content do you want to create? This is a relevant question as there are a bunch of different content formats you can use – some of which will complement your business goals and brand identity, and some that won’t. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular social channels than others. 


At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. The same goes for your creatives. Some of the people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively. 


Don't stick to one channel!

As social media has become more integrated into daily life, people are starting to use more than just one network. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults have their profiles on various social platforms. Most of the brands also administer more than one channel.


If you haven’t yet chosen any channels, or you’d like to expand into other platforms, the Pew Research Center have conducted an analysis that outlines the key demographics for a number of social media platforms. 


Let's talk about the most common channels, so you have some ideas when picking the right ones for your business.


Demography 

Facebook -  very common! 72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire adult population. 70% of Facebook users visit the platform daily.

Pinterest - It's growing! It's mostly used by women. 31% of adult internet users and 26% of the entire adult population. 27% of Pinterest users use the site daily. 

Instagram - online women are more likely to use Instagram than online men (31% vs. 24%) and 28% of internet users. 59% of users visit the platform daily.

Linkedin - 25% of adult internet users. And 41% of LinkedIn users earn a salary over $75,000! LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds. 22% of daily users. 

Twitter - 23% of all internet users. Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Twitter is more popular among younger adults — 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older. 38% of those on Twitter use the site daily.


Are you interested in more information about the demographic of the channels? Check this analysis.


Ask yourself: What is my product/ service? Who is the ideal buyer? Where are they? What content do they like?


Once you know who you are targeting, it's easy to find out which channel or channels to use. 


Also, you can adjust your content to that channel as well as to the audience you are talking to. Once you know who you are talking to, focus on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need.


Remember:

Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. 


Don't try to manage every single channel out there. It will be exhausting, chaotic, time consuming and, most likely, your audience is probably not active on every channel. Pick two to three of them, that are most suitable for your buyer, aka marketing persona, and stick to them. Manage them continuously, engage with people! Plan your posts, represent your brand identity, and track important metrics! When you're ready to manage your growing community, check out this article.

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7 Key Instagram Stats & Demographics

There are more than 7 billion people on earth. And 1 billion of those people are on Instagram. That means every 7th person uses this visual-based social media network. Launched in 2010, and eventually bought in 2012 by Facebook (with more than 30 million users back then), Instagram offers a huge opportunity to connect with your current and potential customers, as well as, your followers and fans. The growth has been tremendous, which makes Instagram one of the most well-known and most widely-used social media platforms of all.


You already know that you can leverage any platform if you have a clear understanding of the audience you can reach there – and whether or not it aligns with your target audience… To find this out, let's jump into the key stats about Instagram and its users!

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