Are you using business Facebook groups to grow your business? Many business owners and entrepreneurs are finding that Facebook is the ideal platform to connect and engage with their local business community, and in turn grow their businesses. It’s time to join them!
Why not LinkedIn? Of course LinkedIn groups are also a very valuable way to build professional relationships, but in our experience it’s been much easier to build an online local business community using Facebook because people are using it for these reasons:
- They have a business Facebook page that needs daily management – posting new content and responding to customers interactions.
- They’re investing in Facebook Ads to promote their products or services.
- They have a personal Facebook profile that you use to keep in touch with friends and family, some of whom may also be business connections.
- They use Facebook groups to engage with customers, especially subject interest or local community groups.
So from a practical point-of-view, using Facebook for B2B interactions is easy, you’re probably already there and so is everyone else!
However, some business Facebook groups are not good examples of how to build an online community and help grow each other’s businesses. You may already have been a member of ones where interactions are predominately those of a sales nature. These groups can often have a high rate of churn as members become disengaged because of the amount of self-promotion that goes on.
It’s a problem for most Facebook groups. Whatever the group’s rules, some people can’t resist spamming the group with their business Facebook page or link to their website! Our approach with the groups we manage is to be proactive moderators, by asking members to take down posts if they’re too promotional and ultimately block repeat offenders!
But we also try to encourage best practice in our groups, by sharing content that we know our members will be interested in and leading by example. When you also do the same, I promise you’ll find membership of a Facebook business group much more rewarding. Below are my tips for getting started:
Tips for engaging in business Facebook groups1. Introduce yourself!
When you join a group, let other members know you’re there. Don’t share your Facebook business page and leave it at that, give them a few more clues as to who you are, what you do and what you’re hoping to get out of the group. Remember, you’re not necessarily talking to customers (although some members may be interested in buying from you), instead your objective should be to become part of the online community, learn from others and share your experience and expertise too.2. Think about how you can help others
Often people will post questions or ask for advice in a business Facebook group, so if you have the answers please share! It’s about helping other businesses grow as much as your own, and by offering advice and sharing your expertise you’ll build your credibility in the group and become the ‘go to’ expert. This approach could result in referrals and members buying your products and services. In fact in our experience, especially for those that offer B2B services, it’s a very good way to establish your authority and raising brand awareness.3. Ask for support and advice
Similarly, another way to engage with the group is to ask for help. We use the hashtag #hubhelp to flag up members’ requests for support. As well as getting much needed advice or market research, it’s a great way to learn more about other members and build useful relationships. You’ll also find it raises your profile and helps to keep your brand at the forefront of other members’ minds.4. Help promote other members’ businesses
Where appropriate, help other businesses to grow by sharing their content. For example, if someone is hosting an event that you think would be of interest to someone in your network – share it! Remember, you can share content directly with individual Facebook friends so your personal newsfeed isn’t full of business related posts. You can also share content to another page or group if that’s a better option. Other group members will appreciate your support and may reciprocate when the opportunity arises.5. Share useful content
Finally, if you come across an interesting article that other members might like to read, share it! Or share an event that you think they may like to attend – e.g. local business expos, business awards, clinics and workshops. If you’ve been given some fantastic advice that’s revolutionised the way you do business, or a great app that’s transformed your working day – share it! That’s what business Facebook groups should be all about: sharing knowledge, information, inspiration and support to help everyone be more successful.
The Bordon Hub runs two business Facebook groups, a members-only group and another open to any local business. To join, click on the links below:Bordon and Alton Business Hub
– members and non-membersBusiness Hub Members
– members only (for more information about joining The Bordon Hub click here
SiGNAL, our host for The Bordon Hub and team HQ, also runs a few local business interest groups which you may like to join. Again, click on the links to join these local communities:North East Hampshire Artisans, Crafters, Makers and More!Bordon Builders Network3D TECH ZONE NORTH EAST HAMPSHIREWellness practitioners and therapists in North East HampshireClick here to learn more about the Bordon Hub