Have you thought about building a Facebook group?
Today's Facebook groups offer a way to create ties with thousands of members.
In this article you'll find four ways Facebook groups can help build stronger customer relationships.
#1: Get Real Customer Feedback
Golden Tote, started by Sarah Becker and Sarah Sweeney, is a women's fashion subscription tote service that lets subscribers decide whether they want to buy a specific tote each month. Based on one of two price levels, subscribers get to choose either one or two of the items they'll receive; the rest of the items are surprises.
The group now has over 2,400 members and experiences enormous engagement on a daily basis as members use the group to trade items from their monthly totes.
Not only is daily engagement high among members, but the Sarahs also interact directly with customers on a regular basis. They respond to questions from members, and they post images of themselves trying on clothes from upcoming tote selections. This gives members a better idea of what to expect when their tote arrives.
The interactive nature of Golden Tote's Facebook group increases the trust factor among member-customers and the company, and helps the Sarahs learn more about what their customers are looking for at the same time.
Those combined benefits are hard to duplicate on other single platform.
#2: Support Your Community
The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, a book by JJ Smith, teaches readers about the benefits of smoothies blended with vegetables, fruit and protein powder as part of a balanced diet. In the book, the author mentions that a cornerstone of the program is the supporting 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse Group on Facebook.
Currently at 125,000+ members, the enormously popular private Facebook group is used to answer questions, help overcome challenges and provide daily motivation to readers who are completing the 10-day cleanse.
A group of this size could be hard to keep up with, so while JJ Smith publishes a daily motivation thread to the group, she enlists the help of several non-affiliated managers to approve posts and update the FAQ files.
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While the involvement of author JJ Smith benefits and motivates the group's members, it's the involvement of passionate, non-affiliated group admins that helps keep conversations productive and on track.
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By creating a positive, health-minded environment for group members to give and receive motivation, JJ Smith created a community that goes beyond her book.
#3: Generate Qualified Leads
When Emmy award–winning business coach Natalie MacNeil launched the Conquer Summit, she offered the 9-week course for free to people who signed up with their name and email address on her site.
The summit's sign-up page also promotes the private The Conquer Summit: A 9-Week Course on Confidence, Clarity + Cash Facebook Group.
Allowing summit attendees to extend their event participation by engaging in the Facebook group created a community of passionate fans who benefit from their involvement with Natalie's content. When the time is right, Natalie can sell or promote future products to an engaged audience of over 6,100 leads.
If you have a resource to offer people in your target market, you can use that resource to prompt them to join a Facebook group and promote future offers to them.
#4: Find Hidden Opportunities
You Know You Are From Manhattan If… is an extremely active Facebook group that lets people share their memories of Manhattan, KS.
The group now has over 4,000 members who enjoy reminiscing and sharing memories on the page with posts of old business signs, vintage event photos and photos of how Manhattan has continued to grow throughout the years.
Because the community is so active, this group offers great opportunity for a tourism organization or local business to gain visibility with a target audience by contributing photos or historic updates in a non-intrusive way.
In the above example, for instance, the new business in the building formerly occupied by the Berry Patch could comment with a few before-and-after photos to let people know what's available there now.
Because many people come to the group to talk about how great they think Manhattan is, the chamber of commerce or a convention or visitors' bureau could comment with discounts for hotels, links to tours of historic landmarks by local guides or photos those users are looking for.
The key to successfully leveraging a group like this is to share information about your business or offer without being intrusive. Focus more on providing helpful information and resources than on selling your product, service or destination.
Each of the examples above demonstrates how genuinely contributing to Facebook groups with useful content is the best way to build relationships with your customers. Depending on your business goal, the content you share can come from either you or from trusted members of the community itself.
Increasingly, Facebook groups are built around brands or common everyday interests. Use the examples above to jumpstart ideas for using a Facebook group to build relationships with your own target audience.
What do you think? Do you participate in groups owned by others to promote your business or products? Have you considered starting a Facebook group of your own? What other great Facebook groups have you seen? Share your thoughts and examples in the comments below.
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