A little over a year ago, Facebook rolled out Groups for Pages. Since then, many brands have taken advantage of the unique opportunity that these groups provide for encouraging engagement and building a community.
Inventors can take advantage of this feature by creating a group focused on their product or company. For the inventor looking to increase results on social media, Facebook groups can be a wonderful way to improve his or her Facebook presence. Read on to learn more about how to decide whether you need a Facebook group, how to set up your group and how to get the most out of it.
Do I need a Facebook group?
Before you go through the effort of setting up a Facebook group, ask yourself whether it will help you achieve your ultimate goals and if you have the capacity to do the work needed to make it successful. Consider:
- Does your invention lend itself to a Facebook group? In general, you’ll find that consumer products are better suited to a Facebook group than products geared toward businesses. Of course, there are exceptions to this; either way, consider whether your product is something that lends itself to user discussions. Is there a community of like-minded people who would enjoy discussing your brand and related topics among themselves?
- Are your users on Facebook? How many likes do you have on Facebook? What does your engagement on your Facebook page look like? If you don’t have any activity on your Facebook page or your users aren’t on Facebook, you’ll have a hard time making your Facebook group a success.
- What are you hoping to get out of the Facebook group? Do you need user feedback on your current product or upcoming products? Have your customers shown you that they’ve found new, unique ways to use your product that they could share with others? Do you get many emails or questions that other users could help you answer? What conversations are you wanting to start in your group? If you aren’t looking for feedback, don’t need to grow a community of users who can inspire each other, and you don’t get a lot of questions or comments that need answers, a Facebook group may not be necessary. However, if you feel that you and your company could benefit from establishing a community around your product or brand, a Facebook group is a great way to do it.
- Can you devote time to participating regularly, moderating comments and growing the group? Plan to spend at least a few days a week monitoring your group, though as it grows you’ll likely need to check on it more often.
Setting up a Facebook group as a Facebook page:
First, it’s worth mentioning that if you want your Facebook group to be associated with your Facebook page, you’ll need to be an admin of the page. Then you’re ready to create your group.
- Go to your Facebook page and in the column on the left, click “Groups.” If you don’t see this option, you’ll need to click “Settings,” “Edit Page” and “Add a Tab,” then add a group tab.
- Click “Create Group.”
- At this point, you’ll be able to name your group, add people to your group and configure your privacy settings. This name is public, so choose the name carefully. Make sure to add your personal page to the group as well so that you can interact as yourself or as this business page. Once you have all of this information entered, click “Create” to create your group.
Congratulations—your group exists! However, there are some things you should do to set up and personalize your group and make it more user friendly for your customers.
- Upload a cover photo. Pick one that highlights your invention or product!
- Edit your group’s info. Go to “More” below the cover photo, then click “Edit Group Settings.” This gives you the option to add a category, description, tags, locations, your website and other important information.
- You may want to add rules to your group to set boundaries about what can be discussed and what is not allowed. It’s OK to be strict here; after all, it’s your group! Rules should be structured to encourage engagement while limiting off-topic discussion. You will probably also want a rule about harassing comments and behavior.
For more tips on setting up and moderating your group, visit Facebook’s Help Center.
How to get the most out of your Facebook group
Once your group is ready to go, you can begin adding people. Start by inviting your Facebook page’s fans to join the group. You may eventually want to close the group to keep it a bit more exclusive, but when you are trying to grow it initially it’s a great idea to leave it “open” so that Facebook users can find it.
As soon as you have a small number of people in your group, you can begin posting content. Some tips:
- A few times a week, start conversations by posting relevant content that can cause other group members to respond. Ask a question, offer up a tip or post an interesting link.
- Did you know that groups can host events? Consider hosting a meet-up, networking event or other event to take your community offline.
- Make sure you’re staying involved in the group! Don’t just ask questions; respond to comments as well. Facebook makes it easy to interact both as yourself and as your brand’s Facebook page.
- Consider creating “theme” days! For example, perhaps on Mondays you encourage users to post a picture of them using your invention; on Tuesdays you allow them to get off-topic and talk about their own businesses or ventures; on Wednesdays you post a poll, etc.
- Set up a live Q & A session in which your group members can ask a question for you to answer in real time. Make sure to promote it beforehand.
- Post tutorial videos to help your customers get the most out of your invention.
- Encourage group members to invite their friends. One way to do this is to ask a question that encourages them to tag someone.
Ultimately, with a bit of effort upfront and regular moderating, a Facebook group for your invention can be a great way to curate a community and take your business to new heights.