Facebook isn’t just for friends and pages

Aug 25, 2011 by

I have been a Facebook user for many years now, it’s a great way of keeping in touch with old work colleagues you would normally lose contact with, parents from nursery and friends who have moved away.  That’s the personal side of Facebook, but there’s a whole other side to Facebook you might not have considered.

Companies are now catching on to Facebook pages, it’s your opportunity to showcase your business on Facebook, you can even create custom tabs to make your page more representative of your brand and to stand out from the crowd.  It’s something we help our Clients with all the time, linking their blog posts to their Facebook page so that the wall updates automatically, scheduling status updates over several months at specific times/dates and setting up the custom pages for them.

But that’s not what I am blogging about today, I am talking about Facebook groups.  I have used Groups in the past socially, sadly the most recent one being to help find a friend who had gone missing, the messages of support posted in that group for his family were a great comfort, especially from people who had never met him but were hoping for a positive outcome.

Earlier this year I was invited to join a ‘closed’ group on Facebook, it’s a kind of networking group.  Like minded people gathered together in one place. The fact that it is closed means that only the people in the group can see the conversation.  Updates show up on my timeline but only to other members of the group.  It’s a lot less formal than a LinkedIn group and therefore it’s a much more social place to be.

I was talking to a Client about the benefits of a closed Facebook group today, it would be perfect for a specific element of their business.  The group will work well on Facebook due to the more social aspect, and people will feel more able to discuss what could be sensitive business questions knowing that only those within the group will see the question, it also means that they have more chance of receiving constructive feedback.

The groups I am in work well because they have a mix of business and social in there, in amongst the blog posts, news and serious stuff that is being shared there are often jokes, videos and other light hearted comments.   We commented on what social media we have open on our machines during the day, and Facebook seems to be one of the most popular.  I had been falling out of love with Facebook, but it’s now constantly open on my desktop not just because I am working on it for Clients but because the groups provide useful and intersting content for me.

I still have Facebook pages for my two businesses, but it’s the Facebook group that has the most activity on it, more interaction from members.  I can schedule questions for the group in the same way that I can schedule Facebook updates for pages, so even on days when I am not around I can ensure there is fresh content, but unlike a page I don’t need to do this as often as I find the group members initiate conversation themselves.

I created the Facebook group only because the iPhone app I was developing didn’t link with a Facebook page at that time but would integrate with a Facebook group, and I haven’t regretted it for one minute.  We have a forum where people can say what they think, ask what they like, and just chill out, which they wouldn’t feel free to do as much on a LinkedIn group, and also it’s not really somewhere that people stay logged in all the time.

So take a moment to look at your business, where do your audience hang out? If you find that the majority hang out on Facebook then ask yourself if a group would work for you, in addition to your Facebook business page or in place of.

And of course if you need help setting up your group, business page or just need assistance updating it then you can call us on 01904 890212!

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  1. Nice reminder of a hidden feature.

    In the strive to connect the world – facebook have unsuspectingly given people everything they need for a private community away from the all seeing eyes of google.

    If you had to write or buy software with all this functionality – it would be quite expensive.

    Think about it…

  2. I agree, setting up a closed fb group for my colleagues and peers was one of the best social media decisions I have made and I regularly get messages from its members thanking me. It only took a few minutes one evening and I never realised how powerful those few minutes would be. The self-policing group has influenced, supported and entertained over 1,200 small business owners since its inception and continues to grow.

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