This week, Facebook launched a re-booted version of Facebook Groups that essentially allows you to invite small groups of friends into a private space designed just to share information with them. According to the official Facebook blog, Facebook Groups, you can post photos, chat with members, and use the group to send targeted e-mails. By default, all groups are closed, but you can choose to make them secret or open, according to Mashable.
Using Facebook Groups is a feature only available to individuals with Facebook profiles, so businesses can’t use the feature directly with their fans on business pages. But, you can create an open group that anyone can join. Or, to use it for company communication, you can simply connect with employees on Facebook to invite them. And, well-connected business owners who are personally connected with fans can create closed groups and invite fans exclusively to them.
So, as a business owner, how can you use the new Facebook Groups? Well, our team recently used the new feature to brainstorm some ideas you could use immediately!
Here are 10 types of Facebook Groups you could create for your small business today, categorized by the type of people you’d invite:
1. Brand Ambassador & Customer Loyalty Groups (Closed or Open)
Do you have a group of customers who love to talk about your brand on social media? Create a Facebook Group specifically for them to share with them hot information about your brand so they can spread it as your brand “street team.”
2. Customer Focus Groups & Feedback (Closed or Secret)
If you’re considering launching a new product or service, or want feedback on good ways to market your local offerings, consider creating a closed customer Facebook Group and invite loyal customers to share their feedback in the group. This is a great way to show loyal customers you really care about their feedback and listen to their ideas.
3. Marketing Events & Promotions (Open)
If you create events or promotions for your small business, consider creating an open group to promote it with updates about event or promotion details. Make this group fun and exciting, and consider ways you could engage group members, like getting their ideas for prizes and giveaways, or holding a group contest. For example, a local restaurant hosting a holiday event could hold a recipe contest in the event’s Facebook group and allow members to vote for their favorite idea with a simple “like” contest, and the recipe with the most “thumb’s up” would be featured at the event.
4. Internal Company Communication (Closed or Secret)
Most small businesses don’t have the time or budget for a full-fledged Intranet to keep employees in the loop on company information. So, create a group for employees and use this as a place to share information, updates, and encouragement with your team. For small businesses with multiple locations, you can use the live chat feature to connect with other branches in real time.
5. Internal Customer Service Group (Secret)
Do you have a hard time keeping track of customer service issues, complaints, and the like? A closed group dedicated to logging customer service issues could help you make sure that whenever any employee encounters customer service issues they could post the issue – and log the follow up – keeping you in the loop and making sure all issues are dealt with, and providing a rich archive of past issues you could audit regularly to see if the same issues arise again.
6. Tracking Business Ideas and Stats (Secret)
Want to keep track of and discuss of important business trends, ideas, and statistics and share them with key employees? Create a closed group and invite your big thinkers to comment on and share business-related info.
7. Brainstorming Blog Ideas (Closed or Open)
If your small business has a blog or content marketing platform, create a group to brainstorm and develop ideas you could blog about. If you wanted, you could create a open group and invite top readers of your blog to share their ideas, or, you could use this group as a way to develop ideas just with a private group of blog authors.
8. Professional Connection Groups (Closed or Open)
Want to connect with other business owners in your area? Consider creating a group and inviting other local entrepreneurs to join to share about your common interest of being a business owner or create a referral network. You could use this as a place to discuss co-branding promotional opportunities or other community-buzz building tactics.
9. Fun, celebration & wins (Closed or Open)
Everyone loves a virtual high-five, so why not create a Facebook group focused on celebrating? The sky is the limit – you could create a space to celebrate customer wins, talk about product success stories, or post pictures and videos of your work in action.
10. Philanthropy & Calls to Action (Closed or Open)
Want to get involved with a local charity or community action? You could create a Facebook Group and select customers, community members, employees, etc. to help you develop ideas or select a group to get involved with locally.
So, there you have it – 10 ideas you could use beyond connecting with your family members and close friends. Are you part of a Facebook Group yet? What do you think of the new features? How are you planning to use it? Share your thoughts, comments, and ideas in the comments section, or send us a Tweet!
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About the Author
Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and small business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence.