Warning! Facebook Business Groups can be bad for your business – how to use Facebook groups to successfully grow your business

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How on earth can a Facebook Group be bad for your business we hear you say? We know it sounds odd, but we spend a lot of time in groups and have learned a few tricks to make the time spent in groups, a profitable one. What we have also learned is that some groups should carry a health warning and here’s why!

Facebook groups, like any other networking forum or group, are operated by an individual or one or two admins and as such, take on their own personality and have their own set of rules. In turn, they attract a tribe, which fits their vibe. Understandable. But a bit like selecting to attend a networking event based on the speaker, or the organizer, the types of business that attend, or the format, so too should you be selective about the business FB groups that you hang out in. Every one is different and not all are suited to every business type or individual. Here are some examples:

 

The ‘there, there’ approach

This is the group that allows members to wallow in self pity, supports and pats on the back and says well done, even if actually you have made a whopping mistake or clearly have a failing business model, yet no one is likely to give you the strong, experienced advice that you need as they like to fit in and feel they are playing the role of ‘sisterhood’ not hard nosed business colleague. (These groups tend to be female only). It suits some. Those that need that endorsement or place to share their woes will love this group. Wallow here at your peril. The feed will be filled with sorrowful looking selfies and ‘vulnerability sharing’ actively encouraged; people wanting to hear what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear and heaps of business owners with obvious lack of self esteem, confidence and clear focus will fill the feed. If a boost and a friendly comment is what drives you, great, this group may serve a purpose for you. If however, you need down to earth, sensible advice and someone to snap you out of a rut, don’t hang out here! There is a risk of losing perspective on what is positive in business and begin to surround yourself with a crowd that doesn’t actually stretch or challenge you.

Give, give, give

This group is a good all round business support group however contains very few experienced business owners and rather than there being a lot of value being shared and useful tips and ideas, the majority is start ups or inexperienced business owners, seeking help and advice. Now don’t get us wrong, sharing your advice is absolutely valuable but take care that it doesn’t sap too much of your time and that you track and measure the return. If your target market is in there then great, you can share lots of advice and become an expert, attracting new leads. And if you are a newbie, than this can be the perfect place to learn and ask questions although ensure you do your due diligence as advice from those with little experience or breadth of knowledge, can be risky.

Follow the leader

This group is a less common one and is lead and managed by a strong leader, likely with a high profile and with significant member numbers. This group is packed with loyal members all eager to learn from the leader with many almost ‘idolising’ the leader. Although this sort of group can be great to learn from at whatever level, you may find a lack of variety in the content with members less likely to share their knowledge for fear of feeling inferior to the leader or stepping on toes. Members endorsed by the leader become known quickly and you could generate strong leads by becoming an expert voice within the group.  It can be a great forum to meet those with fast growing businesses and ambitious, driven individuals.  If you are easily intimidated or those that are further ahead in their business journey than you make you feel inferior, steer clear. Otherwise, read, learn and connect.

So how can a FB group work for me?

 

Here are our top tips for using Facebook groups to generate leads and grow your business:

 

  • Select the groups you mix in carefully ~ see our insights above.

 

  • Know why you are in the group – is it to learn, is it to share, is it to generate leads, is it to promote, is it to seek ideas? Know what the strategy is so that you can measure the success – if a group is not delivering your desired outcome, then leave or spend less time there at least.  It may simply not be the right group for you, but there are plenty of others to try.

 

  • Be consistent ~ FB business groups, like any other marketing or business development strategy is all about being consistent. Don’t be tempted to flood the group with content and then disappear for days or weeks. Try to schedule time each day to pop in, browse, comment or if you intend to share content, then create a schedule to do so and have a clear, measurable strategy.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to leave – if it doesn’t suit you and you are gaining no value, then leave and hunt for an alternative! Simple. Hanging around will only distract you and take up valuable feed space that should be full of the most useful content possible.

 

So get out there, join some groups, get a feel for the tone and vibe and start connecting and sharing!

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