With the success of Facebook Ads, the world’s most popular social media platform is now seen as a business tool. However, did you know that you can use Facebook to grow your business from scratch without paying for ads? Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about Facebook groups. The groups feature was originally created to bring like-minded people together to share ideas, videos, and pictures in a forum type of environment. Now, it has grown to be one of the best business tools on Facebook.
According to Facebook, “groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos, and share related content.” However, if you have an entrepreneur mindset, you can quickly see the business benefits of Facebook groups as well. Groups do bring people together around a common cause and allow them to feel a sense of belonging. If you nurture this well, you’ve got a solid foundation for growing your business from scratch. Here’s what I mean:
Facebook Groups for Business
Instead of launching a website, creating a Facebook page for your business, and paying for some type of marketing (Facebook Ads, Pay Per Click, etc), first try building up a loyal community that will be excited hear about your new business. I took this unconventional route and ended up making my first $1,000 without spending any money on advertising. This is a step by step guide on how it’s done:
Weeks 1-4: Provide something valuable for free.
This is a very crucial part to starting your Facebook group. Yes, you have a business idea that is centered around providing something that people want and will pay for. But the idea for your Facebook group will differ a bit.
For example, my business is helping people find remote jobs but my Facebook group cannot just be filled with advertisements for my services. Nobody wants to be sold to all the time and doing that is a quick way to cause your members to leave. Instead, I created it as a forum for people to ask questions about where to find remote jobs, the application process, and living the remote lifestyle. For the first month, I posted remote job opportunities that I found, for free. This created a huge amount of loyalty from my group members right from the start. They really looked forward to seeing those jobs for free and in return, they naturally told all of their friends about it. If you follow through with this first step, your group will grow very quickly.
Weeks 5-6: Run a challenge.
Now that you have loyal group members that really look forward to your free content, advice, or resources, you can rev up your business engine by running a challenge. A challenge can be anything that gets the members of your group involved in a daily activity. The point is to challenge your members to accomplish something with your help, making you the expert in that field.
For example, I ran a 5-day challenge for how to nail a remote job application. Each morning I sent an email with helpful tips on each part of the application process. Then at night, I did Facebook live videos answering any questions that my members had. It was a great success. More and more people were talking about the free information in the group and how helpful it is to be a member. They all felt accomplished, completing the tasks each day, to get them one step closer to getting a remote job.
The challenge can be any format you’re comfortable with, using any platform for delivering the content (Youtube, email, Instagram, or right in your Facebook group), for any amount of days. Just make sure your challenge gives your group members the opportunity to walk away with a small victory.
Weeks 7-8: Upsell to your group.
This is where you launch your business model to your Facebook group. This is unlike any other business or website launch because the community members already love you. They look forward to your posts, seeing you on video, and getting your free help. Now it’s time to make them an offer they cannot refuse. Converting loyal members of your group into customers is much easier than converting subscribers from your email list, fans of your Facebook page, or cold leads from other sources.
You can even offer your group members a special discount for your product/service just for being in the group. For example, I let my group members know that soon I would no longer be sending them remote job listings for free, and instead, they would have to buy my subscription. But before I opened it up to the public, I offered it to them for half the price. If you have completed these steps with maximum effort, your upsell will be successful.
After the upsell…
The magic of Facebook groups does not stop there. If you continue to provide knowledge, resources, and support in your Facebook group, your members will continue to rave about it. This is the most organic way to continuously grow your audience without spending money on advertising. Make sure you have a link to sign up to your email list in the description of your Facebook group or in a post pinned to the top of the feed in the group. This will increase your chances of converting your group members into customers. You can run challenges as many times as you want but make sure that you continuously improve the process, learn from mistakes, and provide value for your members.
Want more social media strategy tips? Check out these 12 Strategies for Using Pinterest for Business.
Do you have a facebook group and are you using it to its full potential?