Facebook Groups can be started up by anyone, on any topic of interest to them and they serve as a gathering place for members to discuss the topic and share thoughts and opinions. Conversely, Facebook Pages can only be created by the official representative of the business, artist or public personality. Facebook Pages allow for more interaction though due to the addition of applications, while Facebook Groups can’t have applications.
You have a choice of either joining an existing Facebook Group on a topic that is relevant to your business so you can promote your brand or create your own group. If you decide to join an existing group, remember that it is still a social media platform and so bombarding members with commercial messages will only serve to alienate them. Additionally, if you try to advertise yourself too much, you may end up being reported as a spammer and have your profile or page shut down by Facebook. They have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to spammers so you need to be extremely careful.
What you should focus on, though, is building yourself up as an authority and someone people want to follow. You can achieve this by posting relevant content that they will find interesting. Likewise, don’t post only content that is on your blog in an attempt to drive traffic because people will still think you are spamming.
Remember to mix it up by posting content from your own blog or website along with other interesting content from the web. Finding content to post isn’t as difficult as it may seem as there are plenty of content aggregators on the web, such as AllTop.com or Technorati, which aggregate the most popular content on the net.
You can start your own group, but you should first be sure you have a thorough understanding of how groups work which you can only do by joining other groups and watching how people interact and participate. You manage your group just like you would your Facebook page by posting fresh content to make sure that people are joining all the time. The more people you have joining your group, the more others will come and join as well because this acts like a form of third-party validation.
You may be asking yourself what the point of creating a group is if you have to do the same things as you would on your Facebook Page. You need to understand, though, that your group shouldn’t be based on your brand, it should only support it. This means that you need to create a group based on a topic that is of social interest but is also relevant to your brand. So, for example, if you sell wedding gowns, you could start up a group for brides trying to lose weight before the big day. While it isn’t a direct promotion of your brand, it is a topic that will garner a lot of interest and will increase brand awareness while drawing in your target market.
However, just as with your Facebook Page, you need to post interesting content and even sometimes controversial ideas to spark discussions, while also engaging your members as much as possible. So, if someone comments, then comment back. The more you engage members, the more people will trust you and the more activity your group will have. A highly active group on an interesting topic will always draw new members in.
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