Facebook Groups provides a way that one can connect to other users, whether for common interests, shared goals or problems or political causes.  It is a useful tool for online marketing Chicago small business owners can use.

Groups differ from fan pages in that they provide a place for the user and those in his group to discuss topics of mutual interest.  They can access the group to help in areas where they are having problems.  They ask their questions and share their opinions.  While the fan page is used to online marketing Chicago small business owners should reserve the group for discussing specific topics.

A group on Facebook can be used in many for Online Marketing Chicago

Examples include:

  • Gaining valuable customer feedback
  • Developing virtual focus groups allowing one to lead a discussion concerning the business’ products or other topics related to one’s business
  • Develop loyalty programs that reward a business’ customers for their continued support
  • Promotion of specific events or offers
  • Follow up after live events that continue the initial networking through a group
  • Generating leads to new customers as well as potential business partners
  • Enhancing the value of one’s coaching or membership program through the addition of a place where members can support each other and establish accountability

How to Find Group Members

Before beginning a new group, you should search Facebook groups to determine if a similar group is already in existence.  If so, you will need to create a unique twist in developing your own group.  Change the idea in order to prevent direct competition with similar groups in vying for members.  This can be accomplished by localizing the group or designing it to appeal to some specific market segment.

When creating the group, take the time to create profile information describing exactly the purpose of the group using concise language.  Potential followers need to understand the purpose of the group immediately upon seeing the profile.

Be sure to reach out to offline customers and email contacts and not just those who are your followers or friends on the social media page.  Tell everyone you meet about this group and what they can find there.

Beginning and Managing a Group

On the Facebook profile, take time to create a name for the group.  The name needs to be simple yet distinct.  Once it is created, it is possible to invite others through the Facebook profile.

Group creators will find they have the option of setting up the group as Open or Closed.  Closed groups allow members by invitation only and are private.  Most businesses will find Open to be the best option.  However, when creating a group to support a paid membership program or similar features, the group should be considered as closed.

Once the group is created, the creator should click Edit.  This option allows one to upload photos, create the group e-mail and manage the membership.

In order for the group to be successful, one will need to keep members engaged.  This can be done by beginning discussions, adding polls and commenting on other member’s posts.  Try to foster an atmosphere that is open allowing members to be encouraged to interact with the creator and other members in sharing ideas.

While the purpose of a group ultimately is online business marketing Chicago companies will not find this the place to do so directly.  Instead, the focus should be on networking, offering help and providing a place for members to have discussions.  Since the creator is also moderator of the group, he or she is seen as the expert and the person to whom group members will naturally turn when needing the services or products the company provides.

Topic: Online Marketing Chicago