|Top Secret| Only use this if you want to find success in Facebook Groups…
Business Networking + Facebook Group Marketing = Profits for all
We’ve all heard about the power of Facebook for social networking and online advertising opportunities, but did you know there are people making sales on Facebook for exactly zero dollar bills and making friends along the way?
I’d like to introduce you to a simple and effective way to make friends who will give you money for your services or products, expand your network, encourage business to business exposure, and how to “share customers” between other businesses.
If you’ve heard of Facebook Groups but never used them for your business, you are missing the boat… and the lake… and the state where the lake lives.
Facebook Groups are a dime a dozen, but we don’t want just any group, we want our group to be part of the Facebook Money Group.
In a moment, I’m going to give you 3 levels of the same exact strategy.
Level 1 = Free.
Level 2 = Low Budget.
Level 3 = Moderate Budget – Power Play.
First things first, we need to get a few basics out of the way…
Even if you have a Facebook Group, you should at least scan the next section before skipping ahead to the money-making part. It’s worth the investment.
Facebook Group: It’s All in the Name
Think of it like this: Names on Facebook are the same as Location! Location! Location!
If you want to be found on Facebook, you need the proper name. Here are some things to think about.
If you offer national services, pick one piece of your business to promote to a localized area for your potential customers.
Remember, you need to be interactive and have others participate within your group or its simply a waste of time.
One of the easiest ways to get this interaction is to couple two things and one place together to make one focused discussion.
Let me give you a few examples:
If you sell truck parts and ship nationally, pick something like “Windshields” or “Tailgates” and come up with a play on words that people will remember easily.
You could call the Facebook Group Page “Windshield Confessions from Palatka Florida”.
Have your group members take photos of anything they see through their windshield and post it to your group page.
Or, you could do “Tailgate Trophies from Trenton Maine” and have your group members post photos of anything they are hauling around in their pick-up trucks.
Here is the Formula:
Catchy Name + Your Geographically Target Area = Successful Facebook Group Name
I know some of you are thinking these examples don’t fit my business, so let’s explore a few that seem to be tricky professions.
The same rules apply, just break up your services or products.
Dog Groomer: “A Walk in the Park in Atlanta Georgia”. (Photos of puppies on a stroll.)
Shoe Salesmen: “A Mile a Day in Saint Paul Minnesota”. (Photos of hikers or joggers.)
Plumber: “Poolside Antics from Albany New York”. (Photos of anything pool related.)
Now, this is the fun part…
Some of you may say, “Well, I’m a plumber and I don’t work on pools” or “Not all plumbers work on pools”.
Yep. And Yep. And, that is the beauty of it all. (I’ll get to more on that in a minute.)
Auto Body Shop: “Custom Cars from Cambridge Massachusetts”. (Photos of anything cars.)
The cars don’t need to be from that shop or from Cambridge, they just need to be neat to look at.
Facebook Group Names are not hard to create if you have a purpose behind the name.
You can also try this to pick a catchy name:
Pick 1 item you want to sell, 1 action or activity, and 1 location which will be the geographic area you want to increase sales.
Facebook Group Names: The Indirect Approach to Networking
Sometimes you can use things not associated with your business directly to increase your networking ability with potential customers to be used later.
(Remember the Plumber and the Pools?)
Life Insurance Broker: “My Latest Adventure from Seattle Washington”. People share anything they are doing for fun.
Anything that says “adventure” should say “potential client” to a Life Insurance Broker.
Realtor: “Getting Divorced in Scranton Pennsylvania”. The options are endless for the direction of the conversations in this group, but the reality is, a majority of the group will probably need to sell a home in the near future.
Facebook Group Names need to be easy to find, but do not need to be directly related to your business services or products.
Facebook Groups Need Content to Survive
First, you’ve picked out the perfect catchy name for your Facebook Group and its time to launch you group on Facebook.
(Hack: I recommend you use a Facebook Profile that is dedicated to your work. Do not use your personal account you normally use for friends and family.)
Second, you need something for people to look at when they land on your Facebook Group Page.
After all, no one will sign up or visit if there is nothing to see. Put up a few dozen posts relative to your group before you start inviting people to join.
The posts can be inspirational, or fun, or fancy, or expensive. The idea is to set the trend for all others to follow. You will set the theme at this point, so think it through.
Third, you need a group of people on Facebook that you can interact with and keep engaged with the least amount of time investment.
This means we need to have other people helping us to create focused content.
Where do you find these people?
Simply start with your existing customers, friends, colleagues, and other business associates. Log on to your Facebook account and go here to add a friend.
Now, enter the contact information of people you already do business with or would like to do business with.
Ask them to join your group and give them a one-liner on how fun it will be to participate.
(Hack: It also helps if you send a quick text or email to your close friends and tell them to become a member. No one likes to be the first one, so make a friend take one for the team. They can leave the group at any time in the future.)
Bring it all together with the first few people and watch it grow. For every member that joins, ask them to post relevant material.
Make friends. Play nice. Remember, you are NOT SELLING anything!
Money Making Part of Facebook Groups
This is where everyone gets excited and why we are all here.
There are numerous ways to make this work, but this is the gist of it. You need to be the one everyone knows. Yep. That’s it.
I know, I just blew your mind.
Ok, there is more but I want you to get that part in your head. I want you to answer the following questions before you move on to the next.
Who is your “Car Guy”? Who is your “Massage Therapist”? Who is your “I.T. Guy”?
Chances are, you have them already. If not, you know someone who knows someone.
You want to be that person!
Expanding your Facebook Group
Let’s get down to the Levels I mentioned before and you will see it all come together.
Remember, this is about networking to potential clients. It’s not about beating their door down with sales pitch after pushy sales pitch.
Level 1: Free and Easy Facebook Group
A good friend of mine came to me for help when his wife wanted to start her own business selling custom candle holders and homemade candles.
We started a Facebook Group and gave it a great name. (For the sake of identity, I’m changing some of the information.)
Let’s say we called it: “A Room with a View”.
They live near the water and started taking pictures from the inside of homes overlooking the water.
In this case, we would back up from the window to get a portion of the room in the photo.
Sometimes it was a dining room table or an end table with one of her masterpieces prominently displayed.
Sure enough, because all of her photos had these candles throughout, it became a theme.
People starting asking questions…
She simply answered questions and posted a link in the comments of where they could buy the candles and holders online.
The business grew nationally, the Facebook Group now has over 78K people, and she now sells more in a day than she was selling in a month when we started the group.
This type of “free Facebook Group” is feasible when you are giving people a reason to come back.
Gorgeous pictures with neat decorating ideas is a sure bet for traction.
Getting your existing customers to participate early is also huge jumpstart to your Facebook Group launch.
In the case of the candle company, it has become a “rite of passage” to her customers, and she sees about a 92% participation rate of new customers posting in her group.
Level 2: Low Budget Facebook Group
There are many ways to promote Facebook Groups within the Facebook platform, but there are also external ways to encourage participation.
Each of these models requires a small investment of set-up time and money, and believe it or not, you can do it for really cheap if you understand the goal of each method.
Here are just a few:
- Before we get too far, I want to make sure we all understand the four different types of Facebook Accounts I have mentioned. I suggest you have at least one of each for your business.
- Personal Account 1: Used for your own friends and family (Not for work)
- Personal Account 2: Used for work and dedicated to clients and other businesses
- Business Page: Dedicated to the name of your business. This is a “Like” page and a little trickier to get traction on in the beginning.
- Unlike Personal Accounts, Business Pages cannot “Add Friends”.
- Business Pages require other Facebook Users to land on the page and click on the “Like Button” to start following the Page posts.
- Business Pages must be started by a Personal Account.
- Facebook Group Page: These Groups must be started by a Personal Account and may be public or private.
I suggest you set this type of group to public, so anyone can find it and anyone can join without needing permission.
Once your Facebook Group is launched, with at least two dozen posts, you can start a Facebook Ad on your Facebook Page.
Facebook Ads are incredibly effective and you are allowed to set a spending budget.
Click here to learn more about Creating Facebook Business Ads.
Go onto your Facebook Page and set up an Ad to tell people about your Facebook Group.
- The Ad should be well thought out with a reason for people to click.
- The Ad should have a high quality photo or a video that people like.
- If you don’t know what people will like… you are like the rest of us!
- It’s all trial and error in the beginning. One of the best ways to start is by testing.
- An easy and free way to test photos is simply to post them on your wall.
- Count the number of “likes” and “comments” on each of the photos you have posted pertaining to your group subject.
- Use the photo that is most popular in your first Facebook Ad.
The biggest advantage of Facebook Ads over any other type of advertisement is a double whammy.
- You can pick your exact target audience and you can see your effectiveness through the built in analytics.
- If your premier customer is a woman between 50 and 70 years old, who owns her home, who has an annual income over $40k per year, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska… you can target only people who fall within those parameters.
- You can also see how many of those people saw your Ad and clicked on it.
- Facebook Ads can be refined thousands of times to get the best results. If you don’t see results, change it.
Email Campaigns are amazing if done properly.
Adding one of thee campaigns can give you huge boosts.
- If you have a small business with only a few customers per day, I suggest sending out emails manually from a template you create.
- If you have lots of customers, consider using Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
- This is a great way to keep your customers for the long term and encourage repeat sales by establishing a relationship.
- And since most of you email out an invoices or a receipt for goods and services anyway, it’s easy to re-use those email addresses for something other than direct sales.
- If you don’t use email, and use snail mail instead, you should consider emailing it for the future.
- The emails you send should be constructed to be informative and worth the customer’s time to open and read… and be thankful for your hospitality.
- Thank them for their business.
- Give them a few ways to enjoy their product or how to make it last longer.
- Proper care and maintenance tips are always great!
- Ask them to join your Facebook Group with a link to the group.
Level 3 = Moderate Budget Facebook Group – Power Play
This is for the business that wants to gain massive growth and is willing to open the group to several businesses in one community or put more than $1000 per month into advertising on Facebook.
Some people may immediately think that type of budget is too much for advertising on Facebook and I want to address it very clearly.
A good base line for a business’s total advertising budget is 4% of your gross revenue.
It can be more or less, but that is a good place to start.
You do the math on what you want to make and it may help you with your first few Facebook ads.
In my experience, Proper Facebook Ads should generate 8 to 1 return on investment or better.
(This is after years of practice and testing, so don’t get bummed out if your first few ads don’t see this much ROI. This is what I personally strive for.)
For every dollar I spend on Facebook Ads, I want to make eight dollars in gross revenue. If I’m not making that type of return, I simply change the ad.
Keep in mind, I have years of experience. I test ads on small budgets ($10-$20 per day) and I make changes until I have a winner.
Then I push up the budget to expand the audience views. I watch the results and tweak as necessary.
Expand the Business Community, and then, the Customer Community
Opening the group to several businesses in one community is a great way to get several people in other niche markets to participate in your Facebook Group community.
This gives multiple businesses a platform to market to and effectively share customers.
There are also great “Cost Share” opportunities for promoting the group and spreading the expense between the businesses.
Here are some steps to get you started:
Management is KEY! I suggest this type of group must be formed in person rather than strictly online and there is some homework involved.
Start by finding businesses surrounding your business niche and look at their Facebook activity.
If they are active, put them on your list to contact.
Once you have a list, call them and set up a group meeting with everyone involved.
- Example Case: Home Insurance Specialist:
Start a group called “Home Improvement Ideas in Austin Texas”.
Invite one participant from every industry dealing with “Home Improvements” to join in the group.
It is important to only invite one company from each to insure there is no internal competition between the businesses.
Think about these professions to build your Group team.
- Top Tier Architect
- High End Builder
- Local Plumber
- Local Handyman
- Custom Furniture Shop
- Custom Rug Dealer
- Any type of custom accessory provider
- Security Specialist or Alarm Provider
- Garage door and gate installers
- Landscaping Specialist
- Shutter Supplier
- Concrete Specialist
It is important that all of the participants are high end local businesses, active on Facebook, not in competition with each other, and understand the Group purpose.
The Group is not designed to be a constant bombardment of sales pitches.
It is a showcase to display work, share ideas, and give helpful content in front of potential customers 98% of the time.
The last 2% can be used to post a product on sale or a service for free, such as a free estimate or consultation.
Once the ground rules are set, all of the businesses will be made “Admins” in the group with a set schedule on when to post.
This can be done in calendar form or with a simple “3-4 times a week” understanding.
If you need help finding businesses in your niche, visit the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or in this case, the local Home Builders Association for ideas.
If you choose to keep the Facebook Group solely focused on your business, that is perfectly great too!
You can increase activity by creating events, drawings, competitions, polls, and even free giveaways with weekly or monthly winners.
- “Best of…” is a great way to start activity.
Encourage group members to post photos or videos of anything surrounding your product or product line.
- Best puppy outfit
- Best kitchen
- Best day with the kids
- Best funny face
- Best workout face
- Best laugh
- Best morning sunrise
“Morning Inspiration” is a powerful thing on Facebook. Post a morning quote or phrase designed to get people motivated for a great day, it’s always a winner.
According to most studies, 11:00 am is a time when people are most active on Facebook. Encourage others to post their favorites too.
Invest time into your Facebook Group by “Going Live”.
Facebook is spending millions and millions of dollars in video promotion.
Their efforts are so extensive; Facebook has plans to overtake YouTube in video hours watched per day.
Use this to your advantage by posting live videos using your cell phone or tablet.
Learn more about Facebook vs YouTube advertising.
For your own Facebook Account– (The one hosting the Facebook Group)
Invest in your brand recognition and your total online presence by splitting Facebook Ad targets.
Use the same methods we spoke of earlier, but direct the ads around your own products.
Here are other ways to use Facebook Ads.
- Facebook Ad for a specific product to a specific target customer
- Facebook Ad for a specific target customer to your Facebook Group
- Facebook Ad for a specific location audience to your Facebook Group
- Facebook Ad for retargeting to people who didn’t act on your first Ads
- Facebook Ad to target your Business name to everyone in one area.
Leveraging Facebook Groups and Facebook Ads are increasingly important to businesses.
When done correctly, and in conjunction with each other, Targeted Facebook Pages, Groups, Business Accounts and Ads are the cheapest, most effective marketing efforts in the world.
Use all of the techniques to drive an audience, increase your web space footprint, make lasting relationships and increase your business!
Every Digital Marketing Campaign should incorporate Facebook into the overall online strategy, after all, it’s the biggest Social Media platform on the planet.