I’ve been lurking around Facebook Groups for a few months and have come across some pretty cool strategies to utilizing them to build a business. Of course, there are some pretty spammy ways to use them as well, but we don’t need to cover those because everyone that reads this blog is totes spam free. Right?
I started my own group last winter when I did a little project around Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. I created a group where people could tell me their one biggest desire for the upcoming year and I’d write it on a tag and hang it on my Christmas tree. On New Year’s Eve, right at midnight (Central time), I burned the tags and sent them out into the universe. It was a powerful project for me. I wrote out hundreds of tags and connected with hundreds of people that loved what I loved: the process of being intentional about what you want to feel in your life. The Facebook group was were I posted updates and photos. It was a really magical experience and I am so glad I did it. It was a passion project and I didn’t want to sully it by selling and spamming the group with my AMAZING self. Ick.
But if you intentionally build a group to showcase your gifts and expertise, it can be way less spammy. I just started a group called Female Entrepreneurs Unleashed where group members can ask me and my business partner any question about their business or social media and we’ll try to help them…free….right in the group. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unleashedbusinessclub/
So, from what I’ve observed (because I’ve only just started my FB Group so I can only tell you my observations) this is what makes a group cool:
1. An engaged host and mama bear. Tell people hello. Have them introduce themselves. I think of Facebook Groups as a cocktail party…you want people to meet up, connect, find new friends or colleagues. It’s supposed to be chill. So, just like if some douche shows up at your cocktail party and starts handing out brochures and business cards…you mama bear their butts and tell them to knock it off. Nicely and patiently. Once.
2. Asking fun questions can help break the ice. People love to talk about themselves. Let them.
3. Being authentic leads to others being authentic which leads to laughs, tears, and virtual hugs.
4. Celebrate successes and sit in the failures with people. Ra-ra cheerleading gets old, fast. We all know we CAN do it. We’re just in a moment of weakness. Be uncomfortable. Support each other and come for support.
5. The host shouldn’t enforce rules they don’t follow…at least most of the time. You know when you were a kid and your mom said, “Don’t smoke!” as she was lighting up a cigarette? Yeah…don’t do that. If selling isn’t allowed in your group by anyone else, do it sparingly for yourself. If you don’t allow blog posts from others, don’t post every blog you’ve ever written.
6. Don’t automatically invite people. Ew. Just ew. Reach out in other groups and get to know people.
7. Reach out to people individually with offers…see if your group members have questions about your offers. Use the Private Messaging feature!
8. To build my group, I’m using the following strategy:
– I’m going into other groups that have my target market in them (women entrepreneurs, with mostly online businesses)
– I’m helping the women in these groups as best I can. I don’t sell them anything in the group; if I think I have something to offer, I reach out in a Private Message (PM)
– I’ve started to reach out to all the women I’ve PM’ed to see if they want to join my group and I explain in the message why I think they might like it. I copy and paste only part of the message, but the rest I make sure they know that I care about THEM and think it’s a fit.
– I respond as quickly as possible to anyone that comments on my posts in the group. Sometimes it feels like we’re having conversations with ourselves and I don’t want anyone to feel that way with me.
– I’ll grow it slowly with the right people, and know that there are thousands of women out there looking for help and connection and guidance.
9. Don’t let people feel bad for posting stuff that isn’t allowed. I’ve totally done it! And some group leaders are kind and compassionate and some are swift and unforgiving. This is a new ball-game for everyone and I want to be supporting. Instead, I want to create a group where you CAN post stuff that makes you look like an expert. You just can’t spam us. Post that awesome blog you just wrote. I know how hard they are to write sometimes. But comment on other’s blogs, posts, and comments. that’s all. You don’t got to a cocktail party and just talk about yourself, do you? Wait…maybe you do. Well, stop that now!
10. Like I said, I see groups as an online cocktail/networking party. Sure, let’s get some business done! Let’s not be ashamed that you know stuff. Let’s not judge anyone for the type or size of their business. Let’s lay off any “Learn how I made 17 Figures in 15 minutes” marketing. You’re better than that. It works, but not for long. You’ll be found out. So, keep it real. Keep it authentic, and keep it fun. It really is too bad Facebook groups don’t come with drink recipes. Oh, wait…maybe OURS WILL!!!!
How have you grown your business using Facebook groups? Comment below and let me know!