Are you fed up with your Facebook Page not reaching the number of Fans it used to? It is estimated that the on average only 6% of Fans engage with Page Post (Source: Social@Ogilvy). Various theories have been put forward for this with Facebook explaining that there is now so much content – around 1500+ posts whenever a user logs – that it’s a better experience if content is prioritised and limited to around 300 posts. But whilst Facebook state that reach is not being reduced to make money they do recommend that you advertise with them for greater effectiveness.
“Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals. Your business won’t always appear on the first page of a search result unless you’re paying to be part of that space. Similarly, paid media on Facebook allows businesses to reach broader audiences more predictably, and with much greater accuracy than organic content.” Source: Facebook.
Given that Facebook is listed on NASDAQ and they need to generate revenue for investors this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Companies are investing heavily in Facebook Ads spending $2.91 billion in the last financial quarter (to end June 2014).
For those that don’t want to advertise there’s plenty of advice out there around making posts more engaging, which will almost certainly increase reach, but less talked about are Facebook Groups. As you can read below there are lots of advantages and benefits.
There is one elephant in the room though so let’s get that out the way. You can only take part in a Facebook Group as a person – that is, using our Profile – and not as your Page. This can be It can be off putting for people who want to keep their personal and business lives separate. It’s hard to understand why this is the case, particularly when Google+ allows participation both by people and businesses. That said, participating in Groups doesn’t allow anybody access to your personal information. Your privacy settings are not affected.
Here are some advantages of Facebook Groups and some suggestions on how to use them:
Get displayed in the News Feed – Whilst Facebook Page posts are less visible in the News Feed than they once were, posts from Facebook Groups are highly visible. If are active in Groups, scroll down your News Feed and you’ ll see what I mean.
Facebook Group Search – Unlike Facebook Pages, you can search the content of a Facebook Groups. This is really useful for quickly finding a tip, reference or event that was mentioned in a past post. It’s particularly useful for busy Groups.
Public Groups – Public Groups are great for maximum awareness so are perfect for business networking groups like Local Business Network, which attracts local business people from across the UK. It’s fast growing group of members share advice and recommendations – it’s an online meeting place.
Closed Groups – Whilst the name of a Closed Group and its members are public, it’s posts are only visible to Members. So a Closed Group is ideal for people with a shared interest who also want to attract others to the Group, but want to have private conversations. So ideal for a group of web designers sharing ideas or a business networking group.
Secret Groups – This Group format is completely private the Group doesn’t even show up in Facebook Search. There are many possibilities for Secret Groups – Good for collaboration with colleagues, internal communications, sharing drafts, designs and ideas with clients, project collaboration, team discussions and planning events. Another idea that I’m considering is to use as a ‘surgery’ where clients can ask for advice and help. The ability to create (limited formatting) and upload documents can be really useful for all these uses.
Ability to share into Groups – You might not be able to join a Group as your Page, but you can increase your reach by sharing your Facebook Page posts into Groups. You need to be careful with this approach as you don’t want to come across as spammy but where relevant and appropriate, this is a great tactic as it helps raise awareness of your Page and your business. You should also use this approach to spread the word about other useful Facebook Pages and Posts. Select Share on the post and then change the default from On your own Timeline to In a Group.
Browse Groups – There is a central area for Groups – Browse Groups – where you can set up a Group, respond to your Group invites and review Suggested Groups, Friends Groups, Local Groups and Your Groups.
There’s no need to abandon your Facebook Page just yet, even if you don’t have the budget for advertising, but hopefully this article will encourage you to make greater use of Facebook Groups. If you are already taking advantage of their many benefits, let me know in the Comments below.