An energetic Josh Klemons of Reverbal Communications captured the attention of May Craft Marketing attendees looking to learn more about the power of Facebook groups. At the online event, he described the value of groups and how Facebook prioritizes their interactions – often over Facebook pages and even ads.
Josh, a Madison-area social media consultant and digital strategist, explained that running a Facebook group “is like throwing a party.” As the host, you want to invite the right people, but you don’t have to be responsible for every moment. Attendees are there to interact with each other.
If you manage a Facebook page, however, visitors expect a different experience than a group. With a page, the host takes on the role of a performer on stage. It’s up to the host to entertain online visitors.
If you want to host or participate in a Facebook group, follow this one rule: Don’t sell your product; use it to build your brand.
Groups Attract Like-Minded Visitors
Facebook groups, Josh said, are “great for learning, listening, and connecting.” There are countless active Facebook groups with more than 400 million active participants – and probably even more since this article was written.
Josh is also president of the board of directors for Social Media Breakfast (SMB) Madison. After realizing the need to continue digital marketing conversations outside of their monthly events, SMB created the Social Media Madison Masterminds Facebook Group. It’s not a place for them to promote their events (if it was, who would want to attend that party?!), but rather a place where their audience can keep the conversation going day in and day out.
Organizing Your Group
If you’re interested in creating a Facebook group, you first need to decide which type best fits your needs. There are currently three options:
- Public: Anyone can see the information
- Closed: You can see what the group is about, but need to seek membership
- Secret: The group doesn’t show up in searches, and the host needs to invite you to join
Facebook allows you to edit group settings and use tags, a location, icons, and URLs to help potential members find you.
If you decide you want to approve new members, consider asking the following questions to see if the member is a proper fit for your group:
- How did you hear about the group?
- How long have you been in your line of work?
- Where do you live?
- Where do you work?
- What’s your favorite [XXXX]?
- What do you hope to get out of the group?
You can request an email address, but that could limit your group membership. You can also choose whether you will allow anyone to post, or you can require story approval to post a story.
Josh also suggested setting up specific threads for job postings and events so your site doesn’t become cluttered. You also can pin a welcome post and invite new members to introduce themselves there.
If a group administrator needs to remove a post, it’s courteous to tell the person why that action was taken. For example, a visitor may post a job listing in the wrong location. The administrator would then inform the member that job listings are displayed in a designated area so it’s easier for job seekers to find them and for others to avoid the posts.
Previously, groups could only be created and joined by an individual. But now brands can take on this role. For large organizations, that provides more flexibility, Josh explained.
Improve Group Metrics
It is imperative to check your Facebook metrics to see how your posts are performing. The data, which is similar to Facebook page metrics, allows you to analyze your top posts, visitors’ demographics, and locations.
Want to build engagement? Josh offered the following tactics:
- Plan contests/giveaways
- Recognize members
- Schedule weekly brag posts, if favored by the group, where members can share accomplishments
- Ask open-ended questions
- Host watch parties
- Conduct in-group training sessions
You can also gain participation by creating committees and asking members for input.
Finding Relevant Groups
Josh shared that it’s easier than ever to find groups that match your professional and personal interests. Just go to the Facebook search bar, type in your keyword, and hover over the groups. When reviewing groups, note the number of daily posts and members.
If you don’t see a group that meets your needs, consider forming one! Go to Facebook and click Create Group. Name your group, fill out the form, and you’re all set. Share your group with Facebook friends, email your contact list, and do what you can to encourage membership.
The Value of Networking
Josh reminded attendees that participating in a Facebook group compares to attending a party. You should participate in the group to help others, share your enthusiasm for a mutual topic, and develop relationships.
“No one wants to buy anything from you at a networking event,” Josh noted. But if they do need your product or service one day, you may be the first person they think of and contact.
Connect with Josh
Have a digital marketing question for Josh? You can reach him at:
Thanks and See You Soon!
Thanks again to Josh Klemons and Reverbal Communications, all of our attendees and volunteers, and of course our generous sponsors, Spectrum Reach, Thysse, and Winbound.
Join us for our next virtual Craft Marketing event at 4:00 p.m. on June 30! Nick Myers of RedFoxAI will present AI and Voice in the 2020s: What Marketers Need to Know.
Register here for the online event.
Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architectural/Engineering/Construction industry.