There’s a myriad of ways to market your products or services on social media, and Facebook Groups happen to be one of the better options available right now. However, if you truly want to make it work, you’re going to have to change the way you perceive them.
In essence, those who know how to sell on Facebook groups don’t focus on the “marketing” aspect of it as much as they do on being helpful and giving value. Most likely, going for the hard sell will get you kicked out (and likely reported) before you know what hit you.
Above all, Facebook Groups are a community of like-minded people. Those who subscribe seek to bounce ideas off of each other while sharing helpful tips along the way. The members DO NOT like being sold to and tend to have zero tolerance for those who overstep this crucial boundary. Consequently, social media marketers have no choice but to blend in if they want to see any kind of success.
That’s the short version of it at least. If you have the time to stick around, we’ll give you our and the industry’s understanding of Facebook Groups best practices in detail.
1. Focus on building relationships
One of the key differences between Facebook Groups vs pages is that the former is focused on interactions between different individuals while the latter allows for a more commercial approach. Still, what’s more fun than socializing and striking up a friendship with someone all while passively promoting your business at the same time?
With this in mind, your goal should be to seek out the right people. Technically, anyone whose interests align with your offerings fits the equation, so you’re best off seeking out the most thematically-relevant groups.
Although you’re going to have to put in some time to find them (either via recommendations or Facebook’s built-in search), trust us when we tell you your efforts will pay off in spades. The fact of the matter is, Facebook Groups, when approached correctly, gives you direct access to highly-targeted and highly-engaged prospects, exactly the kind your business needs to grow. But you’re going to need to establish these relationships and nurture them – that’s for sure.
2. Know the Facebook content formats and how to utilize them
Thanks to the wealth of Facebook content formats the platform allows for, there’s no need to be boring. Why limit yourself to text messages when you can harness the power of polls, surveys, and quizzes to harness your marketing efforts?
Below, we’ll quickly walk you through each.
Polls are a great way to encourage engagement from the group members. Keep it fun, informative, and entertaining. Since the results of the poll tend to be an incredibly shareable form of content, encouraging others to do so won’t take much convincing on your end.
People want to be heard, and surveys are a systematized way of measuring people’s opinions so as to reach a meaningful conclusion. Be prepared, however, that people may not be as generous with their limited time unless there’s an incentive waiting at the end. Entering them into a raffle can be a good one, so get creative with this.
Have you ever noticed these “what character are you” quizzes on Facebook? People absolutely love them! Posting one of these quizzes in a Facebook group is sure to get you some clicks, provided you've done your due diligence and found the right groups to post to.
3. Start your own Facebook Group
Since you’re going to be putting in some time to establish yourself as a voice of authority in your niche, why not start your own Facebook Group while you’re at it? After all, you probably already have your own Facebook page where you’re posting content on a regular basis.
Although technically different, Facebook Groups vs pages compare in more ways than one. For instance, if you learn how to increase Facebook Group reach you will also be able to transfer some of that knowledge and apply it to your other Facebook marketing efforts.
Before you can come up with great Facebook group topic ideas, it’s good to have a general objective in mind. Ask yourself, who is the Group meant for? What value can you give to your current and future members? What is the core purpose it serves? Answer these questions, and you’ll be good to go. If one of your competitors is doing something similar, there’s the inspiration you need – now go and “steal” their best ideas!
4. Feed the algorithm
If you’ve spent a decent amount of time marketing on Facebook, you realize the importance of feeding Facebook’s algorithm. In the end, that’s what’s going to get it to push your content instead of your competitors’. At the same time, you also know full well how tough it is to please it.
The good news is, Facebook itself has stated on multiple occasions that content from Groups that are active is prioritized in people’s feeds. Let that sink in for a moment. Long story short, if you’re wondering how to increase Facebook Group reach, find a way to either:
a) Post in groups that are already active
b) Find a way to boost your own group’s engagement
In case you’re wondering about the validity of this advice, take a look at your own Facebook feed and take note of what you find. As you’ll quickly learn, engagement is key.
5. Start a discussion
Although you’re never in the wrong to chime in when you find a meaningful and relevant discussion, why not take the proactive approach and initiate one yourself? No one is going to flag you for spam by simply encouraging a discussion, especially if there’s something to learn for everyone.
If you’re looking for Facebook group topic ideas that will help you do that, it never hurts checking over the fence and studying what the competition is doing. But in general, it can be something as simple as asking their opinion on something. Or you can share an experience you’ve had with something and the lessons you’ve learned.
And please, don’t ask the group members if they’ve tried your company’s product, masquerading as someone who has no affiliation with the said company; most people will be able to sniff out your real intentions to promote it from a mile away. You can, however, mention your products or services in the context of a TOP 10 list or something similar (again, the emphasis is on giving value, so use that as your guide).
6. Track your marketing campaigns
By reading this far, you now realize that knowing how to sell on Facebook groups consists of giving value 90% of the time and marketing 10% of the time (if that). Take the 90:10 ratio as a ballpark figure (it can even be as little as 95:5).
But the thing is, if you’re really tasteful and clever with it, it’s okay to sneak in a bit of promotion once in a blue moon. Just don’t hide that you’re promoting it and, once again, try to make it contextually relevant and give extra value by throwing in a discount or something similar.
Once an opportunity like this comes around, it’s good to have a system in place that allows you to track your marketing campaigns. A simple link shortener like Ocoya’s Jubb.ly is all you need to track and analyze your clicks. Then, all you need is to take a look at your statistics every once in a while to determine what marketing strategies worked well for you and which ones still need some polishing.
In the end, no one likes seeing those long-winded promotional links that take up so much space and don’t look pretty either. If you want to make it super fancy (and if the situation calls for it), Jubb.ly also allows you to generate a QR code with the click of a button. Lovely!
7. Answer people’s questions
One of the major Facebook Groups benefits for marketers is that you don’t need to know any marketing techniques since direct marketing is discouraged anyway. Instead, model your profile in such a way that others can naturally discover your offerings (you can, for instance, advertise them in your Facebook wall banner).
Then, your job is to seek out relevant discussions and see if there’s an opportunity to chime in. For obvious reasons, you should have at least a somewhat decent understanding of the niche you’re operating in, otherwise you’re going to struggle with this. Then again, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t know every single thing about it either – a Google search might be all it takes to get the answer.
At the same time, consistently providing helpful tips will quickly get you on the path to becoming a recognized authority in your niche, or at the very least in the group you’re posting. But you have to keep putting in the effort day after day, there’s no way around it.
If you want to plug in some AI power to help you come up with answers without doing any of the heavy lifting, we’ve got you covered! Ocoya actually comes with the kind of AI capabilities that can automatically generate niche-specific answers on demand. Originally, it was developed for Quora, a questions and answers platform, but the same function should work wonders in this case as well.
To see how it works in practice, navigate to Ocoya’s main app page and find the Copywriter section, a treasure trove of powerful AI tools.
Select 'pick template' to the right.
Either find the Quora section of search for it using the built-in search bar.
Feed the AI by giving it a couple of sentences to work with.
Enjoy a wealth of smart and well-researched answers Ocoya can generate for you!
8. Keep an eye out on your notifications
Since one of the Facebook Groups best practices is to simply put in as much effort as possible, you want to make sure that you’re making the most of your time. With this in mind, keep a close eye on your notifications and use some kind of filtering if you can.
For example, you can opt to exclusively forward certain notifications to your main inbox on the condition that they contain one of the pre-approved keywords (something that’s related to your niche). Let’s say you’re selling VPN services. In this case, you may want to monitor keywords like “cyber security”, “VPN”, “airport”, “connection”, “secure” and similar.
Once you’ve established yourself as the go-to expert, don’t be surprised if people start tagging you and seeking out your responses directly. Don’t hesitate to provide them if that’s the case.
9. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Is your current Facebook Groups marketing strategy working well for you? Then keep riding the waves of success. If not, no biggie! It simply means you need to experiment more and discover what works best for the type of products or services you’re offering and what your niche tends to be the most receptive to. It could very well be that what you're doing right now would work perfectly fine in a certain niche, but not another.
The takeaway is, don’t be afraid to be “wrong”. Instead, tackle the matter with an open mind and be willing to learn along the way. If you’re just starting out, a good way to know that you’re indeed utilizing Facebook Groups best practices is to gauge people’s responses and see if there’s something in your approach that you can tweak.
10. Ditch the corporate facade
Facebook Groups are a part of social media, so keep it social! As conditioned as you may be to uphold a serious corporate identity, think about how you can loosen it up just a little bit to show your softer side.
A simple shift from “we at company X are proponents of Y” to “I’m a fan of X because Y” can be the slight change in tone that casts you in a much friendlier light. But this one is very much up to you as an individual so don’t overthink it too much – nothing is set in stone and only you know best how to come across as who you are.
Something as simple as talking about an experience you’ve had or what made your day could be all you need to get going. Whatever you do, just make sure to inject your own unique personality into things. As long as you stay on the respectful side of the debate (and steer clear of any controversial topics), people will love you.
Facebook Groups marketing is perhaps a bit of a misleading term, although that’s what it’s technically called. Perhaps we ought to call it “Facebook Groups socializing for experts” or “marketing without being salesy”. Interpret it as you may, we’re absolutely confident that you’re going to get it right if you stick to what we’ve outlined above. Happy 2023 on behalf of Ocoya’s entire team and may it be the best one yet!