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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

4 Clever Business Uses for Facebook Groups

4 Clever Business Uses for Facebook Groups

While most companies focus on building a Facebook Page as a way to promote their businesses, some companies are enjoying the benefits of using Facebook Groups as well. A Facebook Page is a public-facing presence online for posting messages, images and video to fans that have “liked” the Page. A Group can be public, private or even secret and it is more conducive to conversations between Members.

Setting up a Facebook Group requires following a few steps to name and describe the Group, set its access status, invite people to join the Group and the ability to upload a Group icon and Cover image. When you post to a Group, you are posting as yourself and not as the brand.

If you set your Facebook Group to secret, you can use it as a private, invitation-only forum where you can interact more deeply than you might be able to do on a public Facebook Page.

Here are some ways you can leverage Facebook Groups for your business:

1. Virtual Team Discussions

Use Facebook Groups as a place online where your team, especially a dispersed virtual team, can converse and collaborate. You can upload files to the Group that all members can download. You can also list upcoming events and note important dates. Facebook Groups are not a replacement or a project or task management program but instead can be a virtual gathering place where team members can exchange ideas and brainstorm.

2. Online Focus Group

If you need an online space where you can easily survey a captive audience, Facebook Groups can serve as a Focus Group platform. Include links to actual surveys and polls in posts to the Group and participants can respond and also comment on the posts. Or you can use Facebook’s “Ask A Question” feature with polling options to capture quick input. Post questions to the Group for feedback and additional discussion.

3. Peer-to-Peer Customer Service

Many companies manage online forums where they invite customers in to interact with customer service staff for more immediate help with products or services. These customer service communities also serve as a place where customers who are familiar with your products or services can serve informally as customer service reps, assisting newer customers with frequently asked questions. You can also compile, upload and update a Frequently Asked Questions file (FAQ) to your Group for quick reference.

4. Brand Ambassador Community

One of the best ways to leverage the passionate participation of your most loyal customers, your Superfans, is to engage them in more personal conversations within a private or secret Facebook Group. You can turn your Superfans into ambassadors for your brand by inviting them into a private Facebook Group where you can get to know them better and offer them perks for their loyalty. You can also invite them to reach out to other customers and prospects on your behalf, tapping into their enthusiasm for your brand.

Maintaining a Facebook Group requires time and attention as any online community does. While you may have many fewer Members of your Group than people who like your Facebook Page, the frequency of posting could be much higher.

Conversations in Facebook Groups tend to be far more in-depth and potentially valuable than the random or offhanded comments made in Pages. If running a Facebook Group long-term seems daunting, however, look for ways to leverage the more intimate forum for short-term market research or projects.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman

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