With over 800 million active users, if your business isn’t already on Facebook, you’ve probably at least considered it as a marketing strategy. There are three ways that you can have a presence on Facebook: personal profiles, business pages, and groups. In today’s post, I’ll explain why a group is not ideal for marketing purposes.
- Facebook groups are not indexed on Google. This seriously decreases the likelihood of being found by anyone who doesn’t already know it exists.
- Facebook groups cannot be customized. Whereas pages and personal profiles allow you to upload a cover image of your choosing to enhance your brand, groups only display a row of members at the top of the screen.
- In the early days of Facebook, you could invite people to join a group, and they could choose whether or not to accept the invitation. This is no longer an option, unless you copy the link to the group page into a message and do it that way. The other person would then have to click on the link and request to join, then you would have to approve them. That’s a lot of steps for both parties!
- In order to bypass the above steps, you may be tempted to simply add people to your group. That is probably going to tick a few people off, especially since the default setting when you join (or are added to) a group is to receive email notifications of all group activity. Although this can be edited, a lot of people will find it easier to just leave the group.
- Items posted to groups cannot be shared, so you lose out on the benefit of viral marketing.
In short, groups just aren’t set up for social media marketing! But that is not to say that groups cannot be beneficial to your business.
What groups ARE good for is discussions among people with a common area of interest. Many consultants use Facebook groups as an online forum for members of their online programs to communicate with one another. A group allows your clients or other contacts to discuss organizing challenges in a more private setting than on your business page, which can be viewed by anyone and everyone.
I felt the need to write this post after a local business person created a group for her business, added over 300 people to it (including me), and filled up the screen with promotional messages, including a long string of testimonials. Not one post asking the members of the group to introduce themselves or to engage with her in any way! Needless to say, this hasn’t made me any more likely to recommend her to people who may need her services; in fact, I’ve stayed in the group only because I’m curious to see what she’s going to do next! I don’t know her well enough to tell her about the error of her ways, but I hope through this post I can help someone else not to make the same mistake.
While we’re on the topic of Facebook groups, I run a group called Organized Bloggers, which is a venue for professional organizers to talk about blogging. If you’re not already a member, I hope you’ll join us!