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EPISODE 17 – 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP

By Jenn Donovan

Why hello and welcome.  Welcome to Episode 17 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast. Today we’re talking about Facebook groups. How many Facebook Groups are you in right now? I bet most of you wouldn’t know the exact number and couldn’t list off every single one. I know I couldn’t.  You know what else I’d bet money on? That there are a few groups that you’d be able to think of immediately. Those that offer value to you, in which you engage and build relationships with fellow members. Perhaps you own some Facebook groups?  Or admin some?  Or perhaps you’ve heard the hype and wonder if they are for you and your business. I’m growing one – Like Minded Business Owners – if you’re not a member yet, head over there and join up – I would love to see you in there.  Link is in the show notes or head to Facebook and search like-minded business owners. Well that’s all the bits and bobs we’re going to talk about today. But first, of course, our discovery of the week. THIS WEEK’S DISCOVERY! This week’s discovery is https://placeit.net/ - Smart Templates Make Design Easy. There is 100’s of things you can do on this page all of which I have not experimented with before.  But I have found something so so useful on the webpage. Now have you ever wanted a photo for your website, social media, print marketing which is someone looking at their phone or tablet and it’s your website or your Instagram, Facebook or your picture that they are looking at?  Or wanted to take your lead magnets covers or flyers to the next level? Well me too!  I certainly have and this website makes it SO easy to get pictures like that.  And if you’ve never thought about it – well now you just might because you know how easy it is! I’m not a big fan of stock images.  Yes, I use them occasionally, but I would rather use my own proprietary photos if I could. So, this site gives you a blend of both!  Clearly, I don’t know the person looking at their phone, but they are looking at what I choose! There’s a couple of examples in my show notes at www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au if you want to see what it is I’m raving about here! Go check it out and have a think of how you could use these images in your marketing.  It’s not free – there’s an annual subscription or you pay per image.  I think pricing is something like $7 each or $14 per month annually if you pay for 12 months up front. If you can see value in it – like I certainly can, then it just could be worth the $170 odd bucks for the year. As always guys my discoveries are just that and I am in no way affiliated with any of them but promise to tell you if I ever am.  I just love them and from the response of my listeners, you guys, you are loving them too! Hey and if you have a little discovery, or something you use in your business that you’d like to share, please do so.  Email me at jenn@jenndonovan.com.au or tag me @smallbusinessmadesimple.  I really love to know what tools you use to help make your life simpler! 5 REASONS TO CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP Like I said before, you’re probably in an enormous amount of Facebook groups, heck I’ll probably in some and don’t even know it because just a wee bit ago you could invite your Facebook friends into your group and then they’re in until they hop out themselves.  Just a heads up that that rule has now changed, and you can’t do that anymore – you can still invite them but now they have to accept.  So, the tactic of building numbers quickly just got harder or perhaps in my opinion better! So why Facebook groups.  Well here’s my 5 reasons why: - Zuckerberg himself even said outright that people want to hear more from family, friends, and groups, and that was precisely what they were going to give users in 2018. And they clearly have. His actual Facebook post about it, if your interested, is in my show notes. I’ve always had the theory with social media that we should follow the bouncing ball. So many times, when they (as in the Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn etc) have brought out a new feature, I used it and encouraged the people in my world to use it too. If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that these social media companies don’t do anything for without a reason and if they’d like to give me more algorithm because I’m using their new feature, then I’m happy to oblige!  So, if groups are what they’d like us to do, then groups is where we should head to. The second thing Zuk, as we’ll call him, has been quoted as saying more recently, is that the goal for Facebook groups is to have 1 billion people in them – not 1 billion groups, but 1 billion people in groups. Currently there are about 250 million people in groups – so it’s got some growing to do to reach the goal. For us, as business owners, that means Facebook will be putting more emphasis on groups and therefore, you could assume, more algorithm.  Another reason why you should be both in groups and creating a group for your business (we’ll get to that soon). The third reason why Facebook groups are the way of the social Facebook future is because Facebook Pages are no longer allowing us to engage with our audience. Reach is at an all-time low – somewhere between, statistically, 1-5% of our “likers” actually see our posts.  Whereas in groups it can be as high as 80% - depending on the size and if you’ve attracted all the right people.  So, you want to talk to your people – a group is the 2019 place it can happen! My 4th reason – and this is an argument for having your own, you can build a fence around your people. It’s part of our human makeup that we all want somewhere to belong.  We want to hang out with like-minded people – whatever that looks like.  A Facebook group allows you to do that, have people come into your world and feel like they’ve found their tribe – the people who think, act, smell, talk like them. Think of Facebook as your house – let’s say – stick with me here. Someone drives by your house and sees a nice garden at the front, maybe manicured lawns and trees and of course your house.  There’s not much action in the front yard – but it’s a place you like to keep neat tidy, but it doesn’t really tell someone driving by EXACTLY who you are – yes it tells them a little – but not much.  This is your Facebook Business Page. But your Facebook group – well it’s the backyard.  Where all the action is.  Where you can invite people for a BBQ, for a party, into your world to get to know you and the others at your BBQ more intimately.  It’s where conversations happen, where relationships develop and where business can ultimately be done – maybe between you and your guests or even between your guests! That’s a very simplistic view of groups vs page but I know you are see my point.  They are different and we need to be thinking about them differently too.  They serve different purposes. And you need both.  Just like you need a front yard and a back yard – you do realistically need both a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group. Having a Page allows you to run ad campaigns for your business, get reviews, and have plenty of public updates that include blog posts, UGC, and more. It will show up in search engines and provides valuable information like a map and contact information for your business. Users can also message you directly. A group, on the other hands, puts more of a focus on community. When users post to your Page, it gets stashed away under the “Community” tab. When they post in the group, on the other hand, it pops up and stays in the feed, centre-stage, for other users to easily see and engage with. Furthermore, groups naturally invite more frequent interaction and discussions, because that’s what they’re meant to do, and users feel more comfortable, that they’re in a safe space to ask questions. Which leads really well into my 5th reason why Facebook groups are fabulous – and this one is about you being in groups rather than running groups. If you belong to groups that have like-minded people in it – you know – your people, then it’s not only a great space to ask questions but an freaking fabulous (and I cannot emphasis this enough) to give value, value, value and become the expert in your space. You can answer those people’s questions either with expertise or your experience, and really engage with people on a human and human level.  And that my friends is priceless when you are trying to attract more people into your own business. If you’re giving value, people are bound to stalk you – curiosity does kill the cat – and if after they’ve stalked you, they like what that see – they just might join in your world too. Facebook groups allow us to be massive givers and of course the more you help others, the more rewards you’ll enjoy too! In Episode 2 of this podcast I spoke about ensuring that you have a “reach out strategy” – and here it is in play.  If you’re not sure what a reach out strategy is or how it can help improve your marketing – head back to Episode 2 and have a listen in. Kate Toon, of which I’m a massive fan has a fabulous blog on 19 things not to do in a Facebook group.  The link is my show notes – if you’d like a laugh while learning have a read. https://www.katetooncopywriter.com.au/19-things-not-to-do-in-a-facebook-group/ As I said at the start, I’m in many groups and they do serve different purposes.  And it’s important you are a member of different groups to serve your different purposes too. I have one group, it’s from a course I purchased, and it’s my safe place.  I know I can go in there and ask anything I need and there’s no body making me feel bad but people either commenting “me too” or giving advice and value to help solve my problems.  Do you have that place too?  Despite the obvious reasons why you should be a part of Facebook groups – you might be wondering if you should have a Facebook group for your likers and followers. If you answer yes to these questions, then YES you should create a Facebook group of your own. Are you finding it hard to get any good traction or organic reach on your Facebook Page without running an ad? Would you like more engagement, more reach, more interactions? Have you been considering leaving Facebook because it’s just not working anymore? Do you have or want to build a community of people – a place where your tribe can give support to each other, a place where your ideal audience can learn, grow and share their journeys? Do you think you have value to offer?  If you could just get in front of the right people, you could help them, inspire them and give enormous value? Do you want to get to know your audience more intimately – the better we know and understand them, the better our marketing strategies can be. Or maybe if you answer NO to this question – is there a group serving your people, your ideal audience, already in a value adding, inspiring way (like how you would do it) – then maybe that’s all you need to know to start your group. So just to recap before we finish off Episode 17 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast – the reasons why we’re talking Facebook groups is because Mark Zuk wants to the platform to head that way – what that means exactly, no one knows but if it’s where the traction is now then it’s where we need to be too If can get a steady stream of leads and sales WITHOUT resorting to creepy sales tactics that make people run for the hills because they have got to know like and trust you more intimately (think backyard BBQ), and You can build a fence around your people – make them feel loved, safe, inspired, supported and allow them to grow, learn and share themselves. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering when the “perfect time” to start your Facebook group is – IT’S NOW! Most people believe they need to grow their email list, create a perfect offer, build a beautiful website, and amass an enormous social media following BEFORE they start their group. Uh...no. This kind of thinking is completely backwards. Your Facebook group should be building your email list FOR YOU. You should create offers based on what your group IS ALREADY ASKING FOR. You don’t NEED a big social media following, because all the engagement will be happening RIGHT INSIDE your group. As for a website...well, you’re gonna need one. BUT it certainly doesn’t need to be perfect. So that’s it for Episode 17.  I hope I’ve inspired you to think about building a group or inspired you to become more active, more of a giver in perhaps the group you already have and the groups you are already in. I can’t finish this Episode off without inviting you into my community that I’m building – my Facebook Group – Like Minded Business Owners – I would absolutely love to see you in there. I’ll be back next Thursday with some more marketing know-how and another discovery of course. If you’re liking the podcast – please head over to where you listen and leave a rating and even a review – those things are GOLD for podcasters like me!  I’ll be eternally grateful, and it helps others find this podcast and enjoy the free training, tips and tricks too.  It could be the best gift you give them! If you have more questions about Facebook Groups or how you could relate this information into say LinkedIn groups – please continue the conversation in Like Minded Business Owners. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave me a DM on Instagram or message on messenger!  They seriously make my day! Catch you next week, …….. and remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!

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