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How to get Facebook Groups Working for Your Business | Marie Page BrightonSEO


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How to get Facebook Groups Working for Your Business | Marie Page BrightonSEO

  1. 1. How to get Facebook Groups working for your business Marie Page // The Digiterati & The Digiterati Academy @marie_page
  2. 2. Organic reach is falling
  3. 3. Engagement is falling
  4. 4. •News Feed focus on person-to-person engagement •Push to Facebook Stories •Emphasis on (private) messaging •Push on building communities via Groups @marie_page · ·
  5. 5. New mission statement “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”” @marie_page · ·
  6. 6. “Groups are at the heart of the experience” Mark Zuckerberg, Keynote Address F8, 2019
  7. 7. @marie_page · ·
  8. 8. Great reach
  9. 9. 78% of members viewed, posted, commented on or reacted to Group content
  10. 10. Brilliant engagement @marie_page · ·
  11. 11. Only x1 of the Top Posts from the last month is by an Admin
  12. 12. @marie_page · · New tools for Groups • Group admin tool • Health support Groups – ask admins to post for you • Job Groups – template for jobs • Gaming Groups - chat feature • Buy and Sell Groups - Questions and orders
  13. 13. •Mentorship for peer support •Units for social learning •Watch Party for Groups @marie_page · ·
  14. 14. •Ads pixel for Groups - understand how Group members engage with websites •Page mark-up for posts @marie_page · ·
  15. 15. Groups pack more punch than Pages • Beat the algorithm • Higher engagement • Members can start conversations just like admins • Groups feel more intimate and fuel more conversations • Content tends to last longer on News Feed @marie_page · ·
  16. 16. But can Groups work for commercial brands? @marie_page · ·
  17. 17. Paradigm shift
  18. 18. See it as sponsorship? @marie_page · ·
  19. 19. @marie_page · ·
  20. 20. What you can do in a Group as a business @marie_page · ·
  21. 21. Grow a brand community
  22. 22. Big Little Lies (from HBO) • 43,000 members
  23. 23. Grow a brand community Connect with customers Connect customers with each other @marie_page · ·
  24. 24. Customer service and product promotion where customers do half the work for you
  25. 25. Give a sense of exclusiveness @marie_page · ·
  26. 26. Thrive Market Insiders
  27. 27. Deep dive into subjects @marie_page · ·
  28. 28. Instant Pot @marie_page · ·
  29. 29. PostThis (from The Washington Post) @marie_page · ·
  30. 30. Breaking News (from Manchester Evening News) @marie_page · ·
  31. 31. @marie_page · ·
  32. 32. Customers will answer questions for you
  33. 33. Discover (and address) your customer pain points @marie_page · ·
  34. 34. Kajabi Member Community
  35. 35. Testing ground for new ideas @marie_page · ·
  36. 36. Hill City Wear Testers (from Gap) @marie_page · ·
  37. 37. Develop brand ambassadors
  38. 38. Customer advocacy @marie_page · ·
  39. 39. Build trust, empathy, loyalty @marie_page · ·
  40. 40. Position you as an expert @marie_page · ·
  41. 41. Small businesses growing through Groups Grown and Flown
  42. 42. Data capture new members @marie_page · ·
  43. 43. Find out more about customers through screening questions and conversation threads
  44. 44. Peleton • 180,000 members
  45. 45. Entrepreneurs leading the way
  46. 46.

Editor's Notes

  • Hi
    I’m Marie Page
    I’m a co-founder of The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy.
    We provide digital and social media marketing consultancy and training. I’m the resident Facebook afficionado
    I truly believe that Facebook Groups can work in the commercial world and not just for community groups or for those with special interests.
    So let’s get on with it
  • Founder of Social Media Examiner Michael Stelzner agrees with me
    In fact he might as well have stolen my talk
  • Facebook is a bit crap nowadays isn’t it?

    All those privacy scandals

    A news feed full of ads no one wants to see
    And it’s seen as a bit crap both for users and for businesses.
  • In 2018, Facebook switched up the algorithm in an attempt to “fix” the News Feed by promoting more posts from family and friends and demoting content from Pages
  • Organic reach is falling
    Average reach is currently around 7% but some Pages see it much lower than that,
  • Engagement is also falling
    The median engagement rate for Page posts is just 0.09%. On Instagram it is 1.6%

    [Every industry saw a dramatic decline in Facebook engagement rate last year, and for many, that meant less than half than the previous year’s engagement.

    Industry study of 1,800 companies from Rival HQ]
  • So what is Facebook doing to address it’s apparent death?
  • The new mission statement aims to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”
    That mission statement, to my mind, puts Groups, which are so good at building community, at the heart of Facebook’s efforts
  • “Groups are at the heart of the experience” Mark Zuckerberg, Keynote Address F8, 2019
  • You can now finally link your Page to a Group
    And link Groups to Groups
  • You can now join Groups as a Page
    And post as the Page in a Group
    This is great for Groups that need to protect the identity of Admins, for instance when dealing with vulnerable people and also for some brands
  • And it is not just me that has woken up to Facebook Groups. Groups are increasingly being recognised as rising stars by the marketing media.
    Groups are one way brands can still get in front of their audiences beyond paid social campaigns. 

    And we’ll have a look at a few commercial examples in a bit

    But for now let’s consider what other benefits Groups have

    [Facebook] is continuing to build out its Groups platform in an attempt to convince brands and advertisers that Groups are worth their time and effort.
  • Reach is soooo much better
    In any given month in my Groups I am seeing top performing posts getting reach of up to 50%
    You’ll never get that level of reach in a Page now unless the content is super viral or you are paying to boost it
  • To get those reach figures I use the Active Members metric
    Active members are members that viewed, posted, commented on or reacted to content in a Group
    You can see for this Group 78% of members viewed, posted, commented on or reacted to Group content during the period examined
  • Engagement is through the roof in comparison to the equivalent Page. The News Feed algorithm loves that active engagement which further pushes reach.
    And the engagement tends to be conversational and peer-to-peer which the algorithm favours
  • This is a Group with 3,000 members. Visibility of some posts is over 50%. Engagement is also far higher than we would see with Pages
  • The Group admin tool streamlines and speeds up admin activities
    Members of health support groups can ask admins to post for them – useful for anonymity
    Job groups have job opening templates
    There’s a chat feature for gaming Groups
    And Questions and orders for Buy and Sell Groups

  • More Group tools directed specifically at brands are being introduced
  • Ads pixel for Groups - understand how Group members engage with websites
    Page mark-up for posts
  • So to summarise, Groups pack more punch than Pages

    Beat the algorithm
    Higher engagement
    Members can start conversations just like admins
    Groups feel more intimate and fuel more conversations
    Content tends to last longer on News Feed
  • But can Groups work for commercial brands?
    It just requires a longer term view and something of a paradigm shift
  • Groups enable a multi-person conversation that you are far less in control of
    Groups won’t work as interruptive marketing
    The best Groups are where members feel a sense of ownership and admins play a facilitation role rather than driving all the content themselves.
  • In a world where millions are spent on sponsorship I simply don’t understand why Facebook Groups have not enjoyed more take-up by commercial brands. Groups could so easily be viewed as a form of sponsorship around a topic or interest area.
  • I was approached by choir app developers Choir Player to run their marketing.
    Their thinking was to increase the number of Facebook fans, build an email list, write articles, improve the SEO of the website – all the usual stuff that goes with launching a new brand
  • But what I have persuaded them to do is allow me to build a Facebook Group all about the joys and pitfalls of running a community choir
    It’s not conventional marketing, but it is highly effective in raising awareness of the brand internationally in a context that perfectly suits the product without significant spend on advertising
  • So far so good. What’s not to love about Groups?
    Well they appear to still be pretty hard to sell in at Board level. So what other arguments can you put forward?
  • They are a great place to build a brand community
  • HBO, was the first big “brand” to use Facebook groups for it’s TV show “Big Little Lies”. Dana Flax, a director on the social and marketing team said she found that a group was the right venue for people to “interact.” 
  • Groups help you connect with customers and connect customers with each other
  • Groups can provide a customer service option that takes the load off your own internal teams.
  • Give a sense of exclusiveness
  • Thrive Market, an online grocery retailer selling organic and all-natural products, has a secret Facebook Group where subscription members can share feedback on new products and swap recipes. 
    Thrive Market’s head of merchandising says “We hear from our members in our Facebook Group loud and clear,” “If they don’t like something, they’ll tell us. And then we have to act on that.”

    Jeremiah McElwee, Thrive Market’s head of merchandising.
  • These examples are from Veganuary. The role of the Admins and Moderators is that of community manager rather than having to create or respond to content. In this group the 35,000 members answer each others’ questions, provide support and even curate new content.
  • Your community will share your passion for knowledge and will likely want more detail than you’d normally give on a simple Facebook post or web article
    Your community will be driven by passion for your topic. Provide extra value and feed their thirst for knowledge and insight.
  • The global Instant Pot Group, which has 1.2 million members, includes recipes and “commonly asked questions.”

    Here is the UK Group packed with advice on using your Instant Pot both from Instant Pot themselves and an army of dedicated fans

  • The goal of the group is to allow reporters to connect with the newspaper’s most dedicated readers, sharing information about how they do their work, where story ideas come from, and how the job of political reporting gets done.
    They say:
    We want to help you find some of our best political journalism -- and offer insight into how it comes together.
  • Manchester Evening News host 9 different group including one for fans of Coronation street
  • Customers will answer questions for you
  • If you know the Business Model Canvas you’ll be familiar with the concept of customer pain points
    Again as a content marketer, hosting a community where these pain points are raised, and with our solutions only a click away makes a lot of marketing sense.
  • Kajabi is an online content platform for entrepreneurs. We use it for our online academy.
    The Official Kajabi user group has over 14,000 members and is a great place to go for tech support and ideas. The Kajabi team are also using the Group to understand more about difficulties customers have with their system as well as provide a place for peer technical support
  • Testing ground for new ideas
  • Gap has a FB Group for a men’s athletic brand called Hill City. The purpose of the program is for the brand to gather direct feedback from people wearing its clothing, which it then incorporates into design and development processes. Wear testers bounce ideas off each other and Gap sees the Group as a place to break some of the usual convention that exists around the Gap portfolio

  • Develop brand ambassadors
  • Groups are simply brilliant places for your community to advocate for you. We find that if someone kicks off, we rarely need to do anything ourselves because our community rally round and put the record straight.
  • Build trust, empathy, loyalty
  • Your sponsorship of the Group dedicated to a topic of relevance to your brand and bang on the interests of your members will bring you and the brand kudos. You’ll enjoy more brand awareness and more brand consideration when it comes to purchase.
  • Grown and Flown is a website for parents of children aged 15-25. They sell a range of products suited to that age group,
    The founders say their Group has a life of its own, with parents leading the conversations, which in turn informs them about the content that will work on their website.
    Engagement is huge. One post by a parent received more than 2,000 comments.
  • You get to ask up to 3 questions when people apply to join the Group. Offer a freebie in return for the customer email address
  • Find out more about customers
    through screening questions and conversation threads

  • Peloton community managers lead conversations about favorite instructors, biking gear, and fitness goals with plenty of user generated content too. Peloton hosts it’s group as a forum for Peloton members to connect and also get updates on new Peloton features and announcements.
    Peloton’s Group has been highlighted by Facebook as one of the most engaged, standout Groups among consumer brands. 

    The Peleton Group sees 300 posts, more than 5,000 comments and 20,000 reactions each day.
    “Posts that drive the most engagement are personal success stories like getting back on the bike after an injury, celebrating milestones such as completing their 250th ride and starting a group challenge to hold themselves and other Members accountable
    It also sees increased engagement when the brand announces highly-requested new features.
    “We notice that our posts usually spark other conversations among Members, which creates a domino effect,” says Jayvee Nava, Peleton’s VP of community “We continue to ask our Members for suggestions for features once a month via our #FeatureFriday posts as well.”

    Peloton’s Group has been highlighted by Facebook as one of the most engaged, standout Groups among consumer brands. 

  • Finally entrepreneurs are leading the way
    Some of these Groups act as a funnel to paid services, others are paid subscription Groups in their own right, others are Groups that are part of a wider paid for membership or course.
    Whilst these canny entrepreneurs have paved the way for commercial groups, there is nothing stopping commercial brands getting in on the act too.
    Thanks so much for coming to my talk
  • You are also welcome to grab some freebies from us
    These include our cover photo size guide and photoshop template, a checklist for setting up a Facebook Group and our Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing.
    Go to
  • Groups are the place to focus attention on Facebook in 2019
  • Just as an aside, I liked Instant Pot’s approach to new members. Within minutes of being accepted to the Group I was tagged in a comment in the pinned post which welcomed me and also directed me to the Group rules as well as some tips to avoid newbie errors in any posts I might make
  • Whilst these figures have been in decline for some time 2018 marked a change in Facebook’s algorithm that promised to display more content from friends and family and less from brands in the News Feed. With this change, it’s no surprise that Facebook engagement took a dip across all industries since then
  • In line with many successful Groups Grown and Flown have set up a paid-for subscription Group where admins give more time and personal attention to members
  • As well as the kind of user generated content we’ve already looked at, Groups tend to be a place where users ask loads of really useful and interesting questions.
    As a content marketer, this is my happy place.
    In this examples Par is asking the Digiterati Group for advice on SEO for YouTube
  • This leaves your Admins a lot more time to spend on the beach
  • Groups are a place to tell stories and show the people behind the brand
    People buy from people not websites
    And you don’t need me to tell you as marketers how important story telling is
  • Groups are a great place for on-the-ground market research
    As well as giving insight into your customers you’ll get ideas and inspiration for new content across all social channels
  • A Group provides you the opportunity to showcase your expertise, the leader in your field with your finger firmly on the pulse of what’s new and what’s worth investigating.
  • I don’t advocate lots of overt selling in Groups but occasionally you earn the right.
    Here’s an example from a Group I admin that sells products to church-based musicians. We had a product that perfectly addressed the user’s question.

    And on the right is an occasional post that we allow ourselves to promote some of our own services. In this case it’s the launch of a course on content marketing.
  • The result is connection
    Between you and your customers
    And between the tribe that will grow out of your Group
  • This is a quote from a Facebook blog post published during F8, Facebook’s developer conference in May 2019

    They say that Groups often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook

    Let’s look at some of the ways in which Facebook is ramping up it’s efforts on Groups
  • There is a new dedicated Groups tab on the app
  • That’s it from me.
    I hope you’ve been inspired in relation to Facebook Groups
    Membership to our own Team Digiterati Group is usually exclusively for Digiterati Academy subscribers but if you answer BrightonSEO in the questions we’ll let you join!