Facebook Groups for Fun and Profit
By Jen Phillips April
Chances are, you use Facebook for marketing your pet care facility already. You probably post cute dog videos, pictures and socialization tips on a regular basis on your business page to attract attention and bring in clients.
However, you may not have realized the power of Facebook Groups. Simply put, groups are a way for brands to connect with their target audience and build a powerful brand by building loyalty and connection.
What’s the difference between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Business Page? I’m glad you asked! Groups are more interactive than a Business Page and encourage discussion which can be super useful. It’s also a way to segment your customers and even find professional development and network with colleagues. Which means, your customers may initially find you via your Business Page, but a well–run group builds community and loyalty. Plus, as of the time of this article was written, you can boost posts and run advertising only on Business Pages.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of groups.
THE 3 TYPES OF FACEBOOK GROUPS AND HOW THEY WORK
- Public Groups: These are easily found by people searching by keyword terms. Anyone can see the members (even if they themselves aren’t members) and the group content can show up in anyone’s newsfeed. In this way, it’s similar to a Business Page except groups lend themselves to more interaction than is usually found on Pages.
- Closed Groups: This is one of the most popular types of Facebook Groups, mainly because you have more control over the membership and who sees the posts. To become a member of a closed group, one has to request it or be added by an existing member. Also, only existing members will see the group content and/or see the content in their newsfeed.
- Secrets Groups: These are essentially invisible and are available by invite only. Only current members will see the existing content.
Now that you know there are three types of Facebook Groups, you may be wondering which is right for your business.
Which Facebook Group Setting Do You Choose for Your Pet Care Business?
As you can see, the biggest difference in Facebook Groups is the privacy settings. Here’s why you’d want to choose one over the other:
Both public and closed Facebook Groups serve to build a community. You can use it to start conversations, to address concerns, to make emergency announcements or interact with your clientele. Most businesses choose to create a closed group. That way, their conversations are kept within the group confines and people have to ask to be admitted.
Another cool feature of having a closed group is that you can ask questions before you let someone in, including asking for their email address. That way it does double duty to build your list too.
You might choose to use a secret group for an extra level of privacy. For example, if you offer a VIP level membership to your pet boarding facility, then you may choose to offer a secret group option just for them. You can then use it to make special announcements, offer them insider information and other perks.
Can you choose one now and change it later? Yes. You can choose to start your Facebook Group with any security you choose and change it later. That makes it easy if you’re undecided. Though I’d choose a closed group first because it offers a level of privacy while still being found.
Facebook Groups Are Also Good for Networking and Professional Development
As a professional freelance writer, Facebook Groups are a wealth of networking opportunities and professional development. The good ones offer inspiration on tough days, marketing ideas, and even nuts and bolts business practices, like how to handle contracts.
These useful groups aren’t limited to the writing community, they also exist for all kinds of industries. In fact, you may be a part of one yourself. If you’re not, here’s a great opportunity to start one. You can start a closed group of other pet boarding professionals and discuss what’s working and where you want to improve. Or go with a secret group for a select few people you hand–select.
Successful Group Best Practices
If you’re wondering what to include in your client–facing group, think of what would interest your pet parents. For example, maybe you showcase one of your regular clients every week (the furry ones, not the human ones). You could do short Facebook Lives that introduce your staff or anything new happening at your facility.
Are you now offering dog grooming? Then show the dog grooming area and introduce us to the dog groomer. Another time, you can have the groomer demonstrate the proper way to cut nails or when to trim tangled fur vs. brushing it out.
You could share information about how to socialize your dog and all the things you want your clients to know. You could do a regular Q&A. The cool thing is, an active group builds community because people get to know one another.
As you can see, hosting a Facebook Group gives you another way to connect with your clientele and/or network with your colleagues. Do you already have a Facebook Group for business? If not, start one today!