Printer-Friendly

social media how toDo you want to connect to targeted groups of people?

Would you like to be more visible on Facebook?

Facebook groups give you an opportunity to network with your industry peers as well as potential customers.

In this article you’ll discover how to find the right groups to join, and how best to use them for your business.

network with facebook groups

Discover how you can network with Facebook groups.

Listen to this article:

You can also subscribe via RSS, Stitcher and iTunes. How to subscribe/review on iPhone.

Why Join Facebook Groups?

One of the biggest reasons to join Facebook groups is the visibility and networking they offer. On any given day that I look in my news feed, I see many posts from groups that I’m active in, but fewer from pages that I like.

group activity in the news feed

The groups you’re active in appear more in your news feed.

Groups are also more visible because people who belong to the group get notifications about new posts, which tends to keep the discussions going. (However, people can turn these notifications off if they want to.)

group notifications

Group members get Facebook notifications, which keeps the discussions lively.

One of the downsides of Facebook groups for some business owners is that you have to join as your personal Facebook profile—your page cannot join a group. So if you don’t want to use your profile, then Facebook groups may not be for you.

I’m a big fan of using your profile to connect with others on Facebook, just like you would show up personally to a networking event.

Before You Join a Group

You can join up to 6,000 Facebook groups, but I suggest focusing on 10-20 where you know you’ll be active regularly. If that’s too many for you, focus on a few that will have the highest impact for you.

Before you join a group, make sure it’s a good fit. Measure it against a few key criteria: active members, good description and low spam.

If it’s a closed group, you won’t be able to see the activity until you join, so it will be hard to tell if the membership is active. If you join and find the group isn’t for you, don’t feel bad if you leave right away.

group policy

Many groups list their rules in the About section.

When you’re looking at a new group, read the About section to see the mission of the group. This will give you a feel for whether it’s right for you. You may also find that the group restricts membership based on certain qualifications.

No group is going to be a valuable place to participate if it’s just a bunch of sales messages with no-one contributing conversation. Many groups have rules about what you can and can’t post. Some allow a little bit of promotion, but with qualifications—such as only promoting on certain days or within certain threads.

Find Facebook Groups

If you’re looking for a Facebook group to join, you can take Facebook’s suggestions or you can search with Facebook’s Graph Search.

Watch this short video we created on two ways you can search for Facebook groups:

To find Facebook’s suggestions, look in your left sidebar and click Groups > Find New Groups. The results are based on your interests and your activity in other groups.

find new groups feature

Find groups that Facebook suggests for you.

The results page also lets you browse groups by Friends’ Groups, Local Groups and New Groups. Or you can revisit the list of groups to which you already belong and decide in which ones to start being more active.

browsing group categories

Browse the different categories of groups.

One of the best ways to find groups is to search for target keywords via Facebook Graph Search.

To use Graph Search, type your keyword in the search box, and then click See More Results at the bottom of the initial search results.

search for yoga group results

To search for groups with specific terms, use Facebook Graph Search.

The default view shows posts. To find groups, select More > Groups from the toolbar. Now you’ll see groups that have your keyword.

filter graph search results by groups

Filter by Groups from your search.

Look through the results to see which groups will be the best fit for you, and then jump in and join the conversation.

Leverage Facebook Groups

You can leverage groups in several ways. If you’re up for creating your own group, consider creating one for VIP customers or for a product. And of course you can create a specific networking group.

If you decide you want to start and lead a group, just be aware that moderating requires a lot of work. You’ll have to post regularly, manage other people’s posts and otherwise keep the group active. Keep an eye out for spam and make sure people are getting along.

vip facebook group

Creating a Facebook group related to a product is great for community among your customers.

To keep in touch with your Facebook fans, you can find out which groups they’ve joined, then meet them there. To do that, return to Facebook Graph Search and search the phrase, “Groups joined by people who like (your page name),” and once again filter by groups.

facebook groups by people who like your page

See what groups the people who like your page have joined.

There are a couple of advantages to joining the same groups as your fans. First, you have the opportunity to connect with them in a different forum. And, as I mentioned earlier, many group members see the group discussion posts more than they see page posts.

Second, if your fan(s) are in a group, it’s likely the other people in that group are interested in the same things (e.g., your product or service). You have the opportunity to connect with potential fans and leads.

Participate regularly in 1-5 targeted Facebook groups (you can adjust the number based on your own capacity). No matter what, I suggest posting or commenting at least once or twice a week.

Tip: Download the Facebook groups app on your phone so you can easily browse your groups when you’re out and about.

facebook groups mobile app

Use the mobile groups app to help you stay connected to your groups on the go.

The small numbers on the group icons indicate new conversations in that group.

Final Thoughts

When you participate in groups regularly, you never know where your connections may lead. You can form strategic partnerships, get referrals or land new customers. By choosing your groups carefully, you’ll increase your chances for success.

What about you? What has your experience been with Facebook groups? Have they led to more business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tags: , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 465,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (53 pages, 80+ charts)!

More info...
  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups | Giuseppe Russo()

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups | Learn Internet Marketing Fast()

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups | Viral Social Networking-Viral Social Media()

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups - Social Money MakersSocial Money Makers()

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups - FansToYou()

  • Great article! Groups are fantastic. I run over 500, and my groups are growing like crazy with new members.

    I was happy to learn that the maximum amount of groups you could join was 6,000. I am getting ready to create 50 more groups, and I was scared I was getting close to the cap. I am very happy to know I am not even close.

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups | Hogan Multimedia()

  • Pingback: How to Network With Facebook Groups | Social Savvy Business()

  • Amy W.

    I do love groups personally! From a business standpoint, is there any way for me to admin a private – by invite only – group from my business page? I was thinking for my VIP only customers? Thanks!

  • Yes it used to be lower but they did increase it. I definitely think Groups are becoming more important as a business strategy for connecting with new people on Facebook.

  • No, the admins always have to be personal profiles. I’ve recently seen the capability for Pages to comment on Open groups so things may be shifting or Facebook may be testing things out. But for now, Groups are always for personal profiles only.

  • I’m in Facebook groups for professional “educational” reasons but haven’t tried them for professional “networking” reason. I’m in LinkedIn Groups, but again mostly for professional “educational” reasons. I’ll consider using Facebook groups to grow my client list. Thanks!

  • Julia Levy

    One of the biggest challenges for a company is how to maintain relationships created by an individual when that person leaves the company. So, could I create an individual profile for someone at work and then if that person leaves the person who takes over can continue to engage with the same groups?

  • Amy, You can achieve this with a “secret” group. A “closed” group can be found publicly but the content can’t be accessed, so that’s an option too. You can always change the settings as long as you’re an admin of the group. To Andrea’s point, tho, you can only do this from a personal page.

  • Thanks for this article. I have two facebook accounts, one for friends and family and one with a slight variation of my name for professional purposes, then I just use that account for all business networking and it doesn’t upset FB. I also have a handful of groups in the UK and find them far more useful than pages.

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Absolutely brilliant – Facebook Groups ARE my favorite feature, but I didn’t realize that you could search for Specific Groups. That is amazing – thank you!!!!

    Oh – and the Group APP is THE BEST addition to the FB Arsenal in 2014 – you can now delete your Facebook app and still keep in touch with the group members who matter to you!

    Kitto

  • Colombia Test Prep

    What in your opinion is the most effective way to get members to your groups, and how do I target specific audiences or demographics?

  • At this time I think groups are better for marketing than pages, and with the new iPhone app for groups it is easy to maintain them. Even with over 500 groups it is pretty easy to run them.

  • A problem I ran into that I wish I knew about before I started. I hired someone to create my groups for me. They made close to 500 groups for me adding the headers, group rules, basically doing all the grunt work I needed done. Then they added me to the groups, and left all the groups.

    The issue I have is that now if I add an admin they can actually kick me out of my own group. I am told that would not be true if I actually created the groups myself. i guess I should of let the worker log in as me from the start and create the groups.

  • You are so welcome!

  • I know a lot of people do have 2 Facebook accounts but it is technically against Facebook terms to have 2 personal profiles. But I understand the desire to have them separate.

  • That is very true! Facebook profiles are for individual people so it is against Facebook terms for someone to have 2 profiles. It’s basically the same in real life if someone cultivates relationships with people then the new person has to start fresh. Definitely a challenging situation!

  • Glad to help!

  • Great point Gary!

  • It was indeed a good read! The tips which you shared regarding the Facebook Group would be really helpful for the one who is eager to take part in discussion by joining different groups. Also, I agree with the point that groups are not for those who don’t have a Facebook Profile but don’t you think a page promotion through a personal profile is equally important? I think, updating posts regarding your page and sharing the page link in relevant groups would possibly get some new audiences & much needed traffic to the page. Hope to see your new interesting article.

  • Rhonda R. Hudgins

    Andrea, overall it’s a good, informative article. I have an article specific question/comment. How does one see the number of active members in a given group? It’s easy to see that group X has 25,000 members, but is it possible to see how many are actively participating?

    I saw from one of Gary’s comments below he believe’s groups to be better for marketing than Pages, yet groups do not have the available statistical analysis options of groups. As a marketing management major, I see the join to groups as a “cheap” way to avoid the work involved in truly marketing ones business by those who don’t want to or don’t understand the value of having content that will cause engagement with their business’ Pages. Do you think the business community on FB should jump ship and move to groups where they have no way to analyze their marketing efforts? Also they only reach group members, and even in a public group where anyone can see the posts, no one can interact without joining, and really who has time to join and participate in all those groups? There’s a DS Company in launch that has a group that’s actually recommending to new recruits that they join a minimum of 100 groups to post recruiting ads. Okay, let me be real, the exact direction was “you SHOULD BE a member of at least 100 groups” .

    So, your opinion would be appreciated.

  • Rhonda R. Hudgins

    Just my opinion that this is best served by a Company Page where the person(s) are admins of the Page and therefore always communicate as the Page, rather than themselves. If messaging is necessary they can sign their name or not. This is how many of the larger companies deal with a lot of customer service issues. You could do it from a group, but each member would have to be on their personal profile, as Andrea stated.

  • Rhonda R. Hudgins

    I concur, whether or not anyone else does.

  • Hi Gary,

    How does one A) Manage that crazy number of activity groups? and secondly, keep each one updated and active for its members on a regular basis?

  • In my case it is pretty easy to get content for the members. The content in my groups are driven by the members themselves.

    Management is another thing. Luckily I sit at a computer all day working, and when I am not I am always checking in with the Facebook Groups App. That app is fantastic.

    I have started bringing in Admins to help me as they grow.

  • That is a great question -I would look at connecting in similar groups (not competing) and possibly cross-promote that group if it’s within the posting guidelines (and I would also consider asking the moderator first). If you had a Page that had a good target audience for your group you could post about the group there. I haven’t tried advertising a group in a long time so I’m not sure if Facebook would allow it. But make sure you have great content you are posting to get interaction from existing members because they might have friends that would want to join. Hope that helps some!

  • Yes, you raise some very valid points Rhonda! So I do agree that the lack of analytics is not good for marketers. And I think 100 groups is a lot to keep track of and if they are only posting ads, they are going to get banned quickly.

    As far as seeing the number of active members, you can’t see that stat. I do like scrolling down through the posts to see if I can see a real variety of people commenting or if it’s the same 5-10 people over and over. So I do agree, that the benefits can be hard to measure. Sometimes you can feel the community and connection within the group and that’s always hard to put a price tag on 🙂

  • Praveen Karande

    Surely it increases the visibility,
    But Andrea though our name gets the visibility but tell me some ways to increase the visibility of group.Can i create or link my Page to Group.

  • Jkoczela

    Great article. Thanks for all the information, Andrea. I like the idea of joining groups that your fans are in—never thought of that. Also good to know about the FB app. I’ll be sharing this post with my clients who want to run FB groups.

  • How do you manage 500 groups or are you just a nominal member?

  • I have a group question that is less about networking and more about the difference of page vs. groups from a marketer’s standpoint. Two months ago I launched a group on a whim (seriously, I did NOT think it through) and stunningly, it now has 2,000 members and is pretty active. So now I have a page AND a group.

    I don’t want to confuse people so my website actively promotes the page. But…maybe getting people into the group is…better? How do you consider the value of interaction in either? The group is private so there is no network effect. But it seems to have better organic reach than the page (lack of analytics makes it difficult to confirm). What about focusing on groups since Pages are getting less organic airtime?

  • I only admin my groups. They are all pretty much growing on their own. I will have my first group to pass the 10,000 member mark next month.

    My real goal was to have 450 of them pass 1,000 members each. That would give me 450,000 members on those groups that I could market to.

  • Stéphane Baudin

    there are tools outhere for FB group analytics.

  • Elyse Salpeter

    What a cool idea to follow the fans on groups who are the fans of your page – didn’t know that was an option – thank you so much!

  • Here’s an alternative view from the other side: I belong to a number of health-related groups (patients who share the same diagnosis) and let me tell you that there are few things more annoying to our group members than those who join our groups “to grow their client base”. We can often spot these marketing types a mile away and frequently out them directly (“Why are you here? Who are you working for?”) and often these outings are because of the clumsy and clueless fashion that marketers choose to bulldoze into their clearly obvious pitch. Sadly – as evidenced in the enthusiasm of these comments – this march towards co-opting Facebook groups for your own gain is in full stride.

  • Pingback: Marketing Link Roundup - Strategies For Success()

  • Pingback: Facebook Groups and marketing | uluad()

  • Pingback: Pet Business Networking in Facebook Groups Made Easy()

  • Miguel Silva

    Hi Gary! How do you manage posts? Are you able to post in multiple groups without being penalized by facebook? Do you use any sort of automation?

  • MIguel, I have not seen any penalties from Facebook. Most of my groups are filed with content by the users. All I really do is monitor with with the help of a few admins.

    While my largest page has over 90,000 likes, my largest group is about 10,000 people.

    The main reasons I have so many groups is to sell or market my goods. I post my marketing items to the groups using IFTTT, but I wait until a group hits at least 1000 member before doing so,

    I hope that helps 🙂

  • It’s about time people started focusing more on groups. I’ve been talking about this for over three years and finall decided it’s time to offer a course on it. There’s so much to groups, learning to network the right, and how to connect that can be applied to a lot of different social media situations. Great article and tips!

  • I love groups over business pages for creating community and even marketing, but you can’t just “jump ship.” You need to keep a business page alive if you have a business. If everyone started leaving business pages for groups, Facebook would quickly find a way to monetize them. Let’s not give them the head’s up on this tactic so fast. 😉

  • Franz Rivoira

    Very interesting topic. I am fairly certain that FB Groups are a great marketing tool. However, I can’t find anywhere the percentages about the average quantity of members of a group, as well as the number of participating members in a group. Someone here has any insights about that?

  • I love this article! I am a brand new wedding and event planner, sell Avon and Le-Vel, and would like to start my own Social Media Management business, so all these tips are just AWESOME!

  • Zoltan

    Unfortunately Facebook just closing the way to use any automation tool that can help you to post to a Group.
    Hootsuite, Buffer, IFTTT neither Postradar can’t be used for that from end of April.

  • This is a Life saver! Now I can filter the groups that of benefit for my business!

  • SunShine

    How do you legally do that under Facebook terms that require use of your legal name — must match ID which becomes apparent when there is a lock-out — and require one Facebook profile per person. Even married couples are not allowed a “joint” account. Given the millions who are having their personal profiles banned for failing to follow the rules…how do you get away with it?

  • Melissa

    Can you share these tools for tracking group analytics?

  • Hi ,there is Grytics from which I am the CEO. Have a try. Regards.

  • Thanks for sharing such a amazing article. Facebook groups are very important in order to promote our latest or new websites with new people.

  • Tumshi Morales

    HELLO
    ALL,

    I AM
    TUMSHI MORALES MESSENGER FROM THE ALL SEEING EYE.

    BE WARNED this
    day of individuals who claim to be members and agents of the
    brotherhood/Illuminati. They are mare impersonators who will go any length to
    con you off your money.

    Well
    am using this medium to warn you, so you won’t have to blame the organization
    for your loss. And for your notice we don’t go as far as recruiting on
    Facebook. But recently we found that allot of you are going through the wrong
    people and wrong Illuminati websites. Illuminati A.M is a body but individuals
    who tell you to drop your information they are not in the position to make you
    a member, that’s why you send your money or details to them and you don’t get a
    feed back.

    It
    has come to the extent of impersonating. I have been sent to warn you. In as
    much as we are trying our best to stop this, you have to play your part by been
    much careful, and report immediately to us.

    Below
    is my story on how I got initiated by Gabriel Gardiel. About 8 years ago, I started
    a business with my wife, times got tougher as the business was not making any
    progress and profit. Bills was difficult to pay, life became hard for us, my
    wife never stopped complaining, we lived on until the day I saw an old friend
    of mine in a mall in the United States, with the changes I saw in him, I had to
    tell him about the hard times me and my family was going through. To cut the
    story short, he then told me he can help me regain my wealth in abundance
    through the help of the Brotherhood Illuminati, I accepted immediately because
    all I longed for all my life was in there, He then linked me up with more
    members of the Brotherhood and I was asked to get some items for initiation to
    the Illuminati god, which didn’t include sacrifice of human blood. We did the
    early part of initiation on internet and later ended it physically. Few weeks
    later I was given the Illuminati certificate and some other materials which I
    can’t disclose here and also a huge sum of money was given to me to invest. I did
    exactly as instructed and that week I experienced a massive breakthrough in my
    business and all my doings. I tell you friends, the Illuminati do exist whether
    you like it or not. Despite the scams. Right now am living happily with my wife
    and kids and words can’t explain how I thank the grandmaster for changing my
    destiny, story and making me what I am today.

    WARNING: Any legit recruiter is not allowed to take any
    fee for form. And there are no hidden charges. Initiation is free for whoever
    we find worthy to become one of us after screening. I don’t initiate, but have
    been sent to warn you and also to those of you who want to become member, I use
    this medium to urge all of you who wish to become illuminated or rather be more
    enlightened, and follow the unstoppable light of the brotherhood Illuminati, as
    I and so many others have done. And I hope I have been able to save a soul from
    been scammed by some idiots.

    ADD
    ME UP AS YOU GET LINKED TO MR GABRIEL GARDIEL

    Or
    message him through his mail address via

    gabrielgardiel@gmail.com