Facebook Groups

group

A Facebook Group is a type of Facebook page that you can use to create a strong, niche-oriented community around a common cause or interest you are passionate about. Facebook groups are growing in popularity, and are fast replacing forums as an awesome way to interact and engage with people online. Today, there are millions of groups on Facebook. In fact, you can be sure that there is a Facebook group for every topic imaginable.

An example of a Facebook group would be a group focused around digital photography or a celebrity such as F1 star Lewis Hamilton. Groups can be used to bring people together to create a private, confidential sharing space and foster a strong sense of community. They can be either public or private.

Benefits of Facebook Groups

Facebook groups serve as a central hub for connecting like-minded individuals around a common interest, activity or discussion where members can get really involved in a topic they are passionate about. Members can post their thoughts on the group wall and interact with other members through discussion threads.

Groups can be a more personal option than a Facebook page for marketing your business. Since you are uniting an audience around a common cause, people will be more inclined to become members if they happen to be interested in the same cause.

Anyone with a Facebook profile can create a group, and you can join up to 300 Facebook groups. It is however significant to note that when you reach the maximum number of groups that you can belong to, you will be unable to create any new groups.

Searching for Facebook Groups

There are a number of ways you can search for groups on Facebook:

  1. Click on the Groups option from the left pane so that you are only looking at groups, and then click on the “search groups box” on the top right of the screen. Enter a topic that you wish to search for.
  2. In the search box at the top of your screen, type a name or title that interests you and then click See More Results For at the bottom of the list. For example, if you are interested in recruitment groups, you can start by typing in the keyword “recruitment” into the search box, clicking “see more” and then selecting Groups.

Choosing groups to join

From the groups listed on the screen after the search, take a good look to see if any of them are a good fit for what you are looking for. Note: the number of members, the type of group, and any recent activity on the wall and discussion board, so that you have some indication of how active the group is before you bother clicking on the group. You do not want to join a group with very few members – that would be a waste of your time. Look for groups of at least 150 members or more.

You can see which groups are active by checking how recently they were used. Have a look at the group home page. The most important part of the group is the Wall and the Discussion Board. This is really where the action is for any group. Spend some time looking over the recent activity of a group before you join. You want to make sure you are participating in a large group where the members are active.

When you access the group’s landing page, any recent activity will have been posted by the group admin in the Recent News section. Also, look for dates of any photos or videos that have been uploaded as well as any recent discussions on the discussion board.

Check out what people have been talking about on the board. Be sure to get an idea of the makeup of the people in the group. Are they “Nurses”, “Rappers”, “Secretary’s”, “Middle School Aged Kids”, etc. This is important because you want to make sure members of the group are in your target market, and makes sense for your content. Note that you cannot post in groups until you have been approved.

Use the Facebook Applications menu

The other way to find Groups is to use the navigation bar at the bottom of any Facebook screen. Choose Applications – Groups. The Groups page displays and is split into two sections. The left side shows you groups recently joined by your friends, and the right side shows you groups you have joined. Click either the image or the name of the group to access the group’s page.

Joining a Group

After you have identified a group that is a good match for your content and activity level, joining the conversation is simple and straight forward. Navigate to the page of the group you wish to join and click the “Join this Group” link under the group’s graphic in the top right corner.

Bear in mind that you can join up to 300 groups, and you only want to join groups that meet your criteria. Once you have joined a group, it will appear in your profile under the Groups section on the left pane. This is where all of your groups will be listed.

How to Use Facebook Groups

The best way to use Facebook groups depends on what you are looking to achieve. The great thing about Facebook groups is that they provide the opportunity for you to network and share content with a specific group of people that would be interested in the topic of discussion.

With this in mind, Facebook groups can be very effective with networking and helping to increase brand awareness, generate leads and get people engaged in conversations.

Use the following guidelines to use Facebook groups for promoting your personal brand:

  • Start by joining groups that are more likely to contain your ideal audience, are active and contain lots of members. For example, if you’re looking to build relationships with recruiters in your industry, you could join a recruitment group. Check the wall and discussion groups to see how active the group is.
  • Once you are approved as a member, start by listening to conversations taking place to get a feel for what people are talking about.
  • Post valuable content that will clearly benefit members of the group. Use Facebook insights to evaluate the popularity of the content you are posting, making adjustments where necessary. Be sure to experiment with different types of content, but make sure the content you share is open and selfless. Remember your goal is to tactfully build brand awareness by providing value rather than overtly promote yourself.
  • Make sure the content you post clearly differentiates yourself from other posts in the group. You can syndicate your blog posts, articles, videos and other content through these groups. You can also use groups to share PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
  • Be an active member. Post photos, statements and videos on a consistent basis, but do not use the group as a platform to openly promote yourself to avoid coming across as self-serving. Focus on establishing yourself as an expert in your discipline or industry. Your main focus should be on building brand awareness and encouraging your target audience to want to learn more about you.
  • Be sure to provide helpful information beyond what people can already find on your blog. The last thing you want to do is create a Facebook Group where you do nothing more than republish your blog posts.
  • Look through the group for people that you can build a relationship with, and send a message to any members you’d like to connect with.
  • Once you find Facebook groups which already attract your target demographic engaging in conversations with the group’s members will help to develop an audience for your Facebook Page. This activity takes time, but it can earn a significant reward. Ensure that you make useful contributions and post original content that members of the group will find valuable.
  • Interact with others.  If someone posts something you like, click the “like” button. When you can, post a comment in the stream below the post and respond to comments you like. People feel good to know that other people are reading and liking their content.
  • Post to 3 to 6 groups a day, and do not post to the same groups everyday.