We’ve all been part of that dreaded Facebook group. A million and one notifications but very little actually aimed towards you. You’re probably wondering why I’m even talking about them right now. What if I were to tell you to use Facebook groups when marketing your business online. Yes, a Facebook group – for marketing. If used correctly there are many ways in which you can turn this underutilised tool into a centre-point in your brand awareness and marketing plan; here are four tips you could try.
1- Creating A Community Of loyal Customers
We all love being a part of a special group. Something exclusive and something to boast to your friends about. Who doesn’t revel in the feeling of being “important”. Well, why not try and offer your customers the same feeling.
You can set up a group which you can then invite loyal customers to be a part of. Sell it to them as giving them an opportunity to get first dibs on new products, a platform to help develop the business and a place to meet and interact with other like-minded individuals.
The great thing about this is it shouldn’t be that difficult to convince those repeat customers to join. You can even offer new members a special discount or reward for signing up. The more people you have join the more you can allow them to drive the conversation themselves and more importantly the more committed and loyal fans you have at the reach of a finger. Think of it like a little, mini fan club.
2- Manage Brand Affiliates/Ambassadors
If you are utilising Brand Affiliates why not use a group to help motivate, communicate and reward them. By getting involved with the ambassadors you are already doing more than most businesses would and this can lead to higher levels of success from the brand ambassadors. A Facebook group can be a great tool for doing this as they may not be based locally to your business.
For those who aren’t aware a brand ambassador is a form of Influencer. They generally operate under affiliate style marketing – usually buyers/users of your brand already and fit your target demographic (although not always). The arrangement is that they may set up a website that is completely independent of yours and your brand where they will then be licensed through an agreement to sell your own products. You don’t pay them a salary, give them equipment or training. You don’t even need to supervise them. They make their earnings by a small commission on the sale price. They facilitate the sale and you handle the rest. You likely already are friends with people who are currently doing this but don’t confuse them with people who are involved in Multi-Level Marketing.
Where this differs from Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is that in MLM’s the vendor is heavily incentivised and rewarded on signing up new vendors/members rather than selling the product. What ends up happening is a vendor sells to another vendor who they signed up who then sells to another bellow them. With MLM’s the brand, it’s self ends up with a customer base almost entirely based on people supposed to be selling externally. While they can make money on products sold the incentive is mainly on sign-ups. This is because they have to surpass certain thresholds of sales before earning which on paper looks do-able but in reality ends up costing them money. The only way they end up making money is off the people’s sales below them and the more they have signed up the more of a percentage they can bag.
Brand Affiliates are only rewarded for sales and their customers aren’t required to sign up to anything. The Commission a Brand Ambassador or Affiliate makes is directly attributed to every item sold. They can make 5% on every sale for example. In an MLM they may only make 1.5% on sales once £1000 has been hit. The customer experience journey will be identical to any other purchase made through the main site rather than an affiliated one and the Brand Ambassador won’t have to buy any stock or have overheads as they simply arrange the sale in which you would then send out for shipping.
The people best suited to this are your ideal target audience. People who already use and love what you do and this is why the Facebook group would be ideal. You will give them a place to receive news, updates and support from you and others in the network. It lets you track their progress, concerns or successes and keep a healthy community of brand ambassadors.
3- Quality Access To Your Customers
Once you have a group with a sizable number of customers, you can begin using this as a platform to market directly to your target audience without the need for costly ads. Everybody within this group would not only see the post you may place, but they will also get notified about it, minimising any chance of them missing it.
Better yet, anybody who joins a group do so because they either really enjoy the brand or don’t want to miss out on new things. Both of whom are your ideal customers. From time to time you can offer them some incentive to staying in the group such as discounts, vouchers or even a direct say so in the development of new products/ranges.
Keeping their interest and engagement levels up will only make them more keen on anything you promote via the group.
4- It Isn’t Just A Tool For You To Communicate With Your Customers
If you run a large company or have a number of employees, a closed group may just be the perfect way to increase staff happiness and productivity.
This won’t be an environment for criticism, discipline or nagging – save that for the 1-1’s. You should consider creating a place where you praise, reward and engage with your staff, especially if you don’t see them much. You don’t want this to become a place that the staff members ignore because they dread what else you may be asking or telling them. Let them get to know you, get to know them and invite them to love their job a little more. It has been proven after all that a happy staff increases your profits.
Whether or not you use the group for exclusivity or the masses, staff or the customers it is undeniable how this free tool can yield a lot of potential. When compared to the benefits gained against the work actually involved when using it you’d be a fool to not even consider giving it a go.
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