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Leveraging Facebook Groups for your Business

If you are a regular Facebook user you are probably aware, and have even been invited to join, at least one Facebook Group in conjunction with your personal profile. These groups can vary from hobby or interest groups to support groups, and are a great place for camaraderie and the exchanging of ideas.

But did you know that Facebook Groups are a great tool of business? It’s a creative vehicle to bring together those who are like-minded, or even share a need for your business offerings, in one universal and easy-to-access place?  Another plus is that Facebook Groups can be completely private so only those who are invite and approved can lay eyes on the information shared or join a carefully moderated conversation.

But there’s more to a Facebook Group than just creating a catchy name, inviting people to join and then just “rolling with it.” Facebook Groups, much like off-line groups, need maintenance and monitoring to ensure your private oasis doesn’t turn into the Wild Wild West.  Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Show up and be Seen: By mindfully spending time within your group, encouraging interaction and stimulating positive conversation with the members, Group facilitators will reap the benefits of a healthy and vibrant group culture. Periodically ask questions that get the group sharing ideas and engaging. The biggest impact within your Group will come from conversations with people.

Have Guidelines and Rules: This doesn’t need to be as strict as airport security, but your group still needs to have parameters and boundaries in place so it doesn’t turn into a free-for-all. Post these guidelines within the Files section of your Group and remind members, new and old, to be familiar with them. If need be, kick out the rabble-rousers or those who are using your group in a detrimental way.

Be a Leader: Most importantly, as the Group founder, be present. If people are not getting their questions answered, or are feeling like they belong and matter, they will simply lose interest and find somewhere else to join. The ultimate goal is to have members feel a sense of pride, and if they do they are likely invite new people to join the group as well.