What’s your marketing secret weapon?
Here’s a hint. Do you belong to at least one Facebook or LinkedIn Group?
If you haven’t leveraged social media groups for your business, I’m going to show you why you need to test them as soon as possible and why they are a marketer’s secret weapon.
Social media groups are a place where business owners can connect and tap directly into their target audience. Businesses can then start to build a relationship through sharing relevant and helpful content.
Before you begin marketing in social media groups, you need to decide which platform is best for your business. While there are some amazing marketing social media groups on platforms such as Reddit, Slack and Growth Hackers, we will concentrate on the two most popular platforms for groups; Facebook and LinkedIn.
With over 2.38 billion monthly active users, Facebook groups can be a treasure trove of new leads and engagement for your business.
Make sure you join relevant groups related to your business. The number one mistake people make after joining new groups is to just promote your business. You need to engage with the community members and provide value before trying to sell your products or services.
On top of joining, you can also create and build your own community through Facebook Groups and attract highly targeted audiences.
An example of a successful Facebook Group execution is from my friend Vin Clancy, who created the group Traffic and Copy.
They now have 12,492 highly-engaged members with similar interests and goals.
You’ll notice when you scroll down their group feed, they rarely sell their services or products. They constantly provide relevant value, content and advice for their community.
They even give away free in-depth courses and continually educate their audience. With so much free value, when they do eventually make an ask, the community is much more likely to purchase.
Gary Vaynerchuk explains why this method is so successful through his jab jab jab right hook philosophy.
“Jabs are the value you provide: the content you put out, the good things you do to convey your appreciation. And the right hook is the ask: it’s when you go in for the sale.”
“You gotta throw some jabs before you throw your right hook.”
How to get 1014 members in your new Facebook Group in 7 days
Traffic and Copy grew to over 2,000 members in their first 2 weeks. How did they achieve this hyper growth? They simply invited all of their exisiting Facebook friends to join and provided them with an incentive.
The average number of Facebook friends is 338
If you start a new Facebook group with 2 other people, that’s a potential 1014 people you can invite instantly. If you offer your friends a valuable reason to join, your conversion will be high and you can build a community of like-minded people in under 7 days.
Public, Closed or Secret Facebook Group?
The last step is to decide if you want a Public, Closed or Secret Facebook Group.
There are pros and cons to each type of group, outlined below in the below table from Sprout Social.
LinkedIn Groups are most effective when you’re targeting business owners or professionals.
Similar to Facebook Groups, this is a great place to find relevant prospects who are already interested in your business area. Start posting educational content (instead of just selling yourself which is a common mistake we often see on LinkedIn groups) and provide value in these groups. You will start to build relationships and become known as an authority in your business area.
An awesome feature of LinkedIn Groups is that you can communicate directly with anyone from the group you are connected with.
Tip: How to find relevant LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn will recommend relevant groups based on your position, industry and usage of the platform. You can also search manually by keyword or name.
Creating a LinkedIn Group
You can create your own LinkedIn Group through your personal profile. A great perk of owning your LinkedIn Group is that you can directly email any of your group members. But don’t abuse this feature – make sure that the messages are valuable and don’t include too many sales messages.
One of my favourites is The Lean Startup LinkedIn Group with 10,546 members. Members of this community share personal lessons through learned experiences.
Matteo Gasparello shares valuable lessons from working with a client:
And Herman Poleschuk provides a how-to-guide on validating your startup idea:
As you scroll down the group feed, the majority of posts are educational content that helps the community.
Now it’s time to map out your goals for your new social media group. What’s your endgame and what does success look like?
Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads or something else?
Start a content plan where you can keep track of you content posting strategy. Here are some content ideas that can bring value to your groups:
- How to guides
- Creative inspiration
- Case studies from customers
- Discuss current industry events
- Create in-person events and promote
- AMAs with industry leaders
92% of business owners who have already embarked on a formal social media campaign claim that social media has already helped their businesses. As you now know, using social media groups can take this effectiveness to the next level. Instead of using ‘spray and pray’ techniques, you now have an easy way to find and engage with your target audience.
But creating a social media group is just the first step on building a real community. If you want to know more about what makes a community, listen to this short podcast with NYT author Chris Guillebeau.
Have you had success using social media groups for your business? Let us know your results in the comments below.