While your business Facebook page may not be reaching as many people as it used to, there’s another powerful way you can use the social media platform to grow your business; Facebook groups!
Being involved in Facebook groups can help you connect with other people in your industry, allow you to get input on all areas of your business, and find potential clients or customers.
Finding Facebook groups
Before we jump in to how to use groups, here’s a quick explanation on how to find them.
- Use the search field at the top of your Facebook page to enter your search term. It doesn’t have to be exact – you can use keywords as you would with a Google search
- Once you’ve searched select the ‘Groups’ tab to eliminate irrelevant search results
- Scan for relevant groups, read their descriptions and request to join.
And now on to leverage these groups to grow your business.
1. Connect with others in your industry
Facebook groups are amazingly useful for building communities of like-minded business owners. You can build relationships in your industry and establish expertise in your area which can lead to:
- Finding and creating collaboration opportunities
When I booked my wedding photographer I asked for recommendations for a videographer. I was suprised to find he didn’t have anyone to recommend to me. There are definitely opportunities out there to connect with others and then…
- Gain new customers or clients via referrals from others in the group
If my photographer had been part of a Facebook group where he’d seen amazing wedding videography shared, he no doubt would have recommended someone from there to me
- Learn and develop from other’s expertise
Whether they’ve answered your question or someone else’s, or simply shared something they’ve learnt, there’s so much to gain from others in your industry
- Test new ideas for your business
Have an idea but want to get advice first? Post your idea and see what others in your industry think; in most cases you will receive helpful advice
- Feel supported in a group full of professionals in your field
The majority of Facebook groups have rules around negativity on posts, which leads to communities that respect and value each other.
A few quick search for wedding and pregnancy based groups came up with the below.
- Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants
- Australian florists and shop owners
- Wedding photographers Australia – support, advice, help
- Pregnancy and baby business network
- Doula network Australia
2. Engage with potential customers and clients
These are probably the easier Facebook groups to find, but the hardest to engage in without coming across as too salesy. By joining local groups of future Mums and brides, you’ll hit a jackpot of women needing your services.
In our recent blog post, 3 Brides Weigh in on the Importance of your Online Presence, bride-to-be Christine mentioned she relied heavily on her local ‘Innerwest Mums Facebook group’ to find wedding vendors. The issue you’re likely to run into is that some of these groups will have rules on advertising, sometimes even in response to posts asking for recommendations, so engagement opportunities may be limited. That’s not always the case though, with some groups having set days to advertise, others allowing referral comments on posts, and some existing purely to connect business with customers (like this group for finding a doula in Australia.)
Another useful way to use these groups is to get ideas for your online content, whether it’s your website, social media or blog. Quite often you’ll see the same questions pop up that you can easily answer with a short blog post, or by adding information to your site. You can then refer people to that post each time the question comes up.
When we started with Love, Bump & Co. I posted in my local wedding group asking what people found hardest about finding suppliers – I then used the answers to plan blog posts!
Groups to search for:
- Mum and community groups in your area – terms like ‘Mums and bubs [city name]’ and ‘Parents [city name]’. You can get more specific with your searches dependant on your business, or less specific if you’re not a location based business
- Wedding/bridal groups in your area – terms like ‘Bridal [city name]’, ‘Brides [city name], ‘Wedding [city name]’. Again you can be more or less specific depending on your business.
3. Connect with other small business owners and entrepreneurs
Need advice on an app for accounting? Not sure how to tackle an email from a client? Not sure why Instagram is doing that weird thing with hashtags?
Facebook groups for small business owners and entrepreneurs are made up of people from all types of industries looking to help others and establish their expertise. This gives you the opportunity to post and ask advice on those little things you just can’t figure out. You may even pick up tips by reading other people’s questions for topics you’ve never thought about! Depending on your business, and the group you join, you’re also likely to build useful contacts for collaboration.
Our two favourite Facebook groups for business owners and entrepreneurs (that we definitely think you should join!) are:
- The Rising Tide Society: This group is huge, growing fast, and is filled with a lot of people in the wedding industry.
- Being Boss: This group is more of a mixture of entrepreneurs, so less wedding or pregnancy focussed, but an amazingly supportive group that shares ‘boss moments’ and advice.
Final tips and takeaways
Not in any Facebook groups yet? Join a few this week, get a feel for them, get involved in the ones you click with and see where it takes you! Not all groups will work well for you, but when you find those few that do you’ll be amazed at the opportunities they open up.
Be sure to read the rules each time you join a group before you jump in and post.
Have you used Facebook groups to build your business? We’d love to hear about your favourite ones and how they’ve helped you!