The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Insider Access: How Private Facebook Groups Can Boost Brand Loyalty and Online Sales.

If you are like me, you are always on the hunt for ways to better build your brand for your boutique small business.  Having a unique item to offer people is amazing, but, marketing your unique brand can sometimes be tricky, especially in an online environment awash in millions of other items, stuff, and brands.  It can just seem like your brand is just a grain of sand on an endless beach!

When narrowing your focus, it’s good to look at what is right in front
of you- your own best fans! How better to garner support than to network with
your loyal customers, and leverage their enthusiasm for your brand, all while
making them feel special and loved!

A great way to do this is to leverage a small group environment, and Facebook closed/private groups is a smart way to begin this strategy!

Huh?

Facebook groups are private groups, that can be very private (invitation
only and screened) or a little more casual, and open to anyone who contacts the
Admin to be added.  These are great
because they can move around the ever-changing algorithms on Facebook and
create a feeling of intimacy with those members of the group!

So, members can feel safe to explore and ask questions, without being in public, and without feeling under scrutiny by “pedestrians” on an open feed, which can sometimes become hostile when the trolls come by.  The idea of being verbally attacked by strangers is a real fear these days, and many people think twice about posting or engaging in public forums.  So, private groups are a great antidote to that fear!

Why Facebook groups??

Facebook is a great platform, because of the tremendous number of users and pedestrians from every walk of life, and every region of the globe.  It is free to use and free to set up private groups.  This allows you tremendous latitude when setting up your groups.

It also allows you a complete free-range of the “whys” — are you
setting up a private group to “reward” your loyal customers? Maybe repeat
customers can have their own private group where you offer rewards such as
discounts or invitations to special events and sales just for them!

Maybe you are looking to attract new buyers, and you can set up a group
for these potential customers, luring them with rewards like coupons for trying
new items, or discounts as a “welcome” gift. 
There are endless possibilities on how you can use “rewards” and segment
your audience for your groups.

Here is a great article that goes over some of the details, pros and
cons to setting up secret groups, private groups, and open groups on Facebook:

www.thesocialmediahat.com/blog/how-leverage-facebook-groups-grow-your-business

If you choose, you can set up different groups for different regions, different demographics — “Moms who love Elderberry wine” or “South American fans of hemp sandals” or whatever your imagination can think of, that is directly linked to your business.  These groups should be a place where the members can ask questions, connect, and build their loyalty and your brand simultaneously!

Different Strokes for Different Folks?

The groups should feel casual and comfortable, and have a good
conversational flow to them, so that your members remain engaged, and stay
positive!

But…

So, there is always the big “but”.  Sometimes everyone is NOT positive — what then? Maybe a group for suggestions on how to improve your brand! People love to be heard, and give feedback, and feel like their complaints or criticisms are relevant and are being heard.  Groups can be a great place to lend an ear and clear the air!

Also, Facebook groups are a great way to contain a possible problem and keep it manageable before a negative trend can begin, or a negative viral post, etc.  It’s best to “nip” problems “in the bud” before they grow large and can permanently damage your brand.

Special, Special, Special!?

Who doesn’t love feeling special?? We all love it when we are picked to get an early invite to something exclusive, or even be the first to receive an invite to a special event that’s open to the public! Groups are a great place to build momentum for a fabulous marketing event or upcoming sale! You can start a Special Event group months before, and build an amazing lead-up to that fantastic fundraiser, or that new product launch, or new store opening — the possibilities are endless!

Here is a great article about different ways you can use your Facebook groups to further your cause and build your brand: https://thegirlsmeanbusiness.com/10-ways-to-use-facebook-groups-to-grow-your-business/

Let’s get together!

Facebook groups are an awesome place to build your community, promote special events, and when necessary, clear the air and keep things on a positive trend! Facebook is an ever-evolving platform and keeping up with algorithms and other necessaries to get your products seen or brand built can be tricky even on the best of days.  Groups are a great and FREE way to avoid those changes, build a great relationship with your existing customer base, and allow networking and word of mouth to continue to build your brand, again, for free!

And, in this world, who doesn’t like getting a freebie?! The possibilities
for these free groups for marketing, brand awareness, and relationship building
are endless!

Category: Social Media Marketing 201