5 Easy Steps to Make a Facebook Group Work for Your Business

I often recommend that direct sellers use a Facebook Group to stay connected with existing customers, and generate reorders.  There are a few reasons for this:

  • Facebook Groups can be private, which means you can make your contact information easily accessible to the people in your group, without sharing it with everyone on Facebook.
  • You can message the members of your Group right in their inbox.
  • You can invite all members of a Group to an Event with one click, without having to select each person individually (such as a special promotion, and online event around a specific topic, a hostess appreciation party…)

These are just a few, but you can see why each of these would be valuable for your business.  However, you can’t just set up a group and expect business to come, no matter how often you post to it.  A group requires a certain amount of attention if it’s going to bring results for your business.

Here’s what to do to make a group work for you:

  1. Include your contact information on the Info tab.  Make sure your customers know that they can always find your contact information there.  (Be sure your personal website address is listed there, too.)
  2. Invite every customer you work with to join your group. When the customer is completing a transaction with you, say something like, “Would you like to join my special members-only customer club on Facebook, where you’ll have access to styling tips, special offers and events, and more, just for my customer club?  Just give me your email, and I’ll send you a friend request, along with a special invite to the customer club.”
  3. Every couple of days, post a tip, link, deal, or engagement post (contest, quiz, question, poll, etc.) in the Facebook Group.  Make sure to check your Group daily, and respond to each person that participates in the Group.
  4. Every other week, send Message all Members in your Group, telling them about the latest discussions and events happening in the Group.  This is particularly effective when you can include a special offer or deal they can get by returning to the group.  Stress that they only have access because they’re a member of the group. Include a link to return to the Group and check out what’s going on.
  5. Every month or so, host a special event for your Group.  This can be in-person or online. Host a workshop related to your product line (styling workshop, cooking class, nutrition chat, etc.), host an online “mystery hostess” party, hold a customer appreciation party…whatever it is, make sure it’s of interest to your Group members.  Keep track of the types of events that attract the most people, and hold more of them.

By employing these simple techniques, you can create a thriving group of customers that think of you when they need something, and find it easy to contact you.

How do you make a group work for your business?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

15 Responses to 5 Easy Steps to Make a Facebook Group Work for Your Business
  1. Janna Marie
    July 21, 2011 | 1:22 am

    Hi Jen! I’m wondering if you still advocate for fb groups vs. business pages in light of the recent changes to the group feature. I’m finding myself overwhelmed with people adding me to groups lately. Just curious about your thoughts! As always, LOVE your blog!!

  2. Abi Almandinger
    September 25, 2010 | 3:13 pm

    Great post! My question is: Can I set up multiple groups? One for team members, one for traditional scrapbookers and one for digital scrapbookers? I realize it may be more to keep up with, but am concerned about “bothering” each of the groups if it’s not related to what they are interested in. On the other hand, it may help a traditional person to know those services that I offer (for example, making digital albums for people) to refer me to one of their friends who doesn’t feel crafty.

    Your thoughts?

    • Jennifer Fong
      September 26, 2010 | 2:13 pm

      Yes, you can absolutely set up more than one group.

  3. Philip Griffith
    September 22, 2010 | 6:33 am

    So which is better, private or public? I had my group as private, but no one joined. I then made it public and got more people to join, but haven’t used the group to do much.

    I’m not sure who sees posts to the group. Do you have to go to the group to see what is posted there, or do all the members of the group see everything in their news feed that is posted to the group?

  4. Linda Griffith
    September 21, 2010 | 3:10 pm

    All these points are why I want to set up a group. But, is it true that pages allow for individual photo albums that can be grouped by category, event, etc., whereas in a group, the photos all go into one album? This matters to me since showcasing photos would be a big part of what I would do in the “group” or “page.” I like the privacy feature of the group better and can’t quite commit to a more public “page” yet. Help? Thanks!

  5. Scentsy
    September 21, 2010 | 12:53 am

    I just a closed group for my team and it works wonderfully. Since almost everyone is already on Facebook, its a great place for us all to meet, connect, network and share ideas.

  6. Christa
    September 21, 2010 | 12:31 am

    Jennifer… GREAT advice!! Thanks for helping me to begin focusing my group interactions!!

  7. Carolyn
    September 20, 2010 | 1:25 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I’m glad you wrote this because I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a FB group. I already have a Page and I’m trying to build up my presence there and working to interact with everyone. I have a Ning group that I set up for customers of my monthly kit club, however, I’m not too crazy about Ning. Is there an advantage of doing a FB Group over having a Ning group? Also, suppose my customers aren’t on FB? Would they have to get an FB account before they could join the group? Thanks for any additional insights you can provide.

    • Ann
      September 20, 2010 | 1:40 pm

      I have another question in addition to Carolyn’s. Do my customers have to be my friends in order to be a part of my group? Not that I ever put anything on Facebook that can’t be seen by everybody but right now I limit my friends to actual friends and close business associates/customers. I’m putting together a newsletter. Do you think a group is better than a newsletter? Thanks.

      • Jennifer Fong
        September 20, 2010 | 2:39 pm

        Ann, you don’t have to be friends. Facebook gives you the option of inviting via email. But you may want to consider friending your customers. It gives you an awesome opportunity to build deeper relationships with them, which can result in reorders, among other things. And I wouldn’t replace your newsletter with a group. Both are important, and they work together.

        • Ann
          September 23, 2010 | 2:37 am

          Thanks Jennifer. In retrospect, it’s not that I don’t friend customers. I just don’t automatically friend people I can’t remember I even met but who probably got my business card at a networking event. Plus they don’t even ask with a personal message

    • Jennifer Fong
      September 20, 2010 | 2:34 pm

      My feeling on Ning vs. Facebook (besides the fact that you have to pay for Ning) is that most people are already on Facebook, so it’s easier to get them back to your group, without them having to navigate to an entirely different website. Regarding folks having to be members of Facebook, yes they would have to join to be part of your Group. But if they’re not already on Facebook, chances are you’re not going to reach them through your social media marketing efforts anyway.

      • Carolyn
        September 21, 2010 | 9:40 am

        Good points. Thanks!

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