Making social media groups work for business

|| June 5, 2020

By Jordan McDonald

55 comms social media coordinator

Social media groups are continuing to grow in popularity as users look for more authentic ways to connect online with other like-minded people. Traditionally, social media groups are created and managed by people, for people, around a specific interest or service – this could be a suburb, community, sports team, buy/swap/sell. But in recent times, business pages have started to adopt social media groups as a new method of engaging their audiences – one that’s more authentic and personal, and where the benefit is two-way.

Before I outline the benefits, it’s important to note that you’ll need to invest a decent amount of time and effort into building and managing your group to really realise the benefits. I’m not saying you’ll have to hire an entirely new person to do the job, but it needs to be considered for its own content alongside your page’s content. 
Now, the benefits…

Gathering Useful Audience Insights
There’s a lot you can gain from observing the conversations in your group – the group is essentially your own listening tool. To help in your ongoing efforts to continually provide your audience with the best value possible, read through your group as often as possible – read the comments, the questions, the posts.

All of this is valuable information that businesses can respond to. That response could be in the form of a group discount code, a new product, a quicker support reply. This information could also form the foundation of your next marketing campaign. 

Building Relationships
Your social media group is a perfect opportunity to reveal a more human side to your business by having more one-on-one conversations with group members. Consumers often feel that communicating with a business lacks that “human” feel, that there is likely to be a robot or that you’ll be met with extensive hold times before you reach a human on the other end. But groups are a great way for businesses to remove that and instead develop those important consumer relationships. It’s also wonderful for improving trust and strengthening that sense of community amongst consumers. 

New Content Ideas
This is an extension of the first benefit I mentioned but worth expanding on. Through the constant observation of the discussions in your group, you’ll learn more about what your consumers need and want and this can help you develop new content ideas. These new content ideas are GOLD because you already know it’s responding to the needs and wants of your consumers, which you could assume would be consistent with your wider audience outside of the group. Plus, it makes your group (audience) feel heard, which is really important. 

Networking Opportunities
This may or may not be something that fits with your business model, but for those it does, groups offer a unique opportunity to network. Connecting with customers, connecting with other brands, connecting with different professionals in the same industry, or creating cross-industry connections - all of this is positive!

If you’d like to have a look at some brands/businesses who are nailing social media groups, check out any of the following: 

            • Instant Pot: https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstantPotCommunity/
            • Gold’s Gym: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheGoldsGymChallenge/
            • National Geographic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2121020774841090/
            • Elementor: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Elementors/
            • HubSpot Academy: https://www.facebook.com/thehubspotacademy/

Social media groups will only continue to increase in popularity so it’s worth considering if it fits for your business. For some businesses it isn’t necessary, but for others, it’s a great opportunity waiting to happen.