Every small business should be on Facebook. With more than 2.27 billion monthly users, small businesses can use Facebook in a number of ways to promote services, increase customer support and boost recognition.
The question is not about if your business should be on Facebook. It’s more about how can your business get visibility on Facebook.
Facebook has suffered multiple changes and updates. I don’t want you to panic, but certainly, it’s important for you to know about Facebook’s latest algorithm change, how does that look, and how what Facebook marketing strategies you should be focusing on.
Facebook’s Algorithm Changes Again
Facebook likes to throw a few curveballs our way, and they’re changing the algorithm once again to keep us on our toes (and, you know, improve the whole user experience and all that).
They just announced two different ranking updates to affect what people are seeing in their feeds.
The first prioritizes friends that the individual user is most likely to want to hear from (based on past engagement) and the second focuses on increasing visibility to the links that the user might find most valuable.
While having more relevant content showing up in users’ feeds sounds like a dream, Facebook’s past algorithms haven’t always been friendly to Pages with their declining organic reach.
Facebook has claimed, however, that these algorithm updates are not designed to impact Pages; they’ve also hinted that if you’re sharing links that your audience will find valuable, it may even help you.
You Can See The Algorithm In Effect
Let’s do this test. Open your Facebook App, and go to your feeds. I’ve done this with my clients and we all have noticed the same. Your top posts are from friends who have active conversations on messenger with you. If you scroll, you won’t noticed updates from business pages or from ads, until you scroll a few times.
This is not the only change Facebook has made to its algorithm this year, which takes us as marketing strategists to put all the dots together in order to come up with a game plan that considers all the changes as a whole.
See Facebook Algorithm History here.
Facebook wants to reward video creators who produce quality content for viewers. Over the coming months, many updates will be implemented to distribute more original videos that engage viewers beyond the one-minute mark, particularly videos longer than 3 minutes. Videos that receive repeat viewings will also see a boost in News Feed distribution. Conversely, videos that do not offer much originality or value will see demoted distribution as well as videos and Pages that promote sharing schemes.
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Research from Facebook shows that groups are seeing a lot more engagement than Pages. This is because Facebook groups enable members to start conversations more seamlessly than a Facebook Page does, while it’s also part of the broader shift away from public sharing to discussions in more enclosed, private space.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Jessica, you’re really asking me to put another social community on my plate?”
Yes I am, but only if it makes sense for your business (if you will be generating revenue), and/or if you have the time to maintain a Facebook Group.
Open A Facebook Group Using Your Business Page
Facebook wants us to have real interactions with their users. Since Facebook Business Pages are limited in the interactions they can have with users, Facebook Business Groups make the most sense.
Recent research shows there is a gap between what businesses believe trust means and what it means for consumers. So it’s important for businesses to communicate effectively with their audiences, whether through news articles, events, blogs, social media platforms or other vehicles.
Your best bet in building relationships with your audience in the social media landscape is to build relationships and a sense of community.
This, of course, can be a little difficult via post threads and comments, and building a community on your own website can take tech (and money) that you may not have access to.
Facebook groups enable you to build a sense of community, which is great to get your message in front of potential customers and get them to trust you.
To start, go to your Page settings, make sure your template has groups enabled, and then create a Facebook Group. To do that, click “Create Group”. If you have a Facebook Group already, you will be able to “Link Your Group”.
Once your Business Page claims your group as a Business Facebook Group, it will appear in your Business Page and your page will be able to interact on that group. Therefore, you don’t need to use your personal profile to engage with your community.
Your team can help you manage your group without the hazard of using a personal Facebook profile. Check your Business Page settings, go to Groups, and you will be able to manage roles, add other group owners, remove them, etc.
Advertise Your Facebook Business Group
If you want to build a community, I recommend adding your Facebook Business Group as a call to action. This is a new feature so you might have to edit your current call to action.
By changing your Business Page’s button to “visit group”, your call to action will allow you to convert your Facebook Page users and potential customers to Facebook Group users. And this is where your whole new strategy will start!
You might want to activate ads to get more users; but that’s only if you have a clear content marketing and a conversion plan for those users. If you do, then, go ahead and promote your page, just to get people to like your page, which will take them to your main call to action (visit group).
Another way to use Facebook Ads to get more people visiting and joining your group is by sharing your group as a post, and place an ad to promote the post. Do not use boost. Make sure you are using the more advanced features to target the right people.
How Many Business Groups You Can Have?
A Facebook Business Page has the ability to start a group or add a group. You can add multiple groups, but that’s not really the question. The question is, how many groups, strategically, your business will be able to grow, nurture, and achieve conversions?
My advice for any social media marketing tactic: simplicity is the key. You might want to have a group for your paid clients, and a group where you are leading a community of like-minded individuals.
What if I am a realtor, insurance agent, but I don’t own my brand?
If you don’t own your brand, meaning, you represent a corporate brand, remember that you still can take advantage of building your personal brand.
You can open a Facebook Business Page and a Facebook Business Group too. Focus more on local interests, so you can build a broader audience. Then, use content marketing to build trust. Lead your Facebook Group with the same principles you would lead a networking group. Relationships should come first.
Top 3 Activities To Drive Conversions
Remember, a Facebook Business Group is not a point of sales. It’s a point where you build trust.
To build trust and ignite people’s interest in your business, I recommend these top 3 activities:
One: Host events for your group.
These events can be online, using the watch party feature. I wish I had this feature when I was building my direct sales business
Two: Start a poll.
The best way to know who are your top engaged users, is by launching a poll. You will be able to see them and interact with them.
Three: Welcome new members post.
I wait until we accumulate up to 50 people and then launch the welcome post. On that post, customize the message and add, for example, add a link to your upcoming event.
I’m telling you all my secrets here! I hope you’re taking great notes!
Facebook Marketing Has A Lot To Offer For Small Business Owners
If you’re interested in generating a powerful Facebook Marketing Strategy that can help your business boosting awareness and conversions, I would love to strategize with you!
I just shared a step-by-step tutorial for my clients on how to incorporate Facebook Business Group to drive more website traffic to their landing pages, webinars, events, etc.
Now that you know all about Facebook Groups, it’s your turn to implement! Let me know if you have any questions.
Ready to accelerate in your business? Check my invitation to Entrepreneurs’ Inner Circle here.