While the organic reach of Facebook Pages has (drastically) dwindled, there's one aspect of the social network that Zuck + friends have gotten right for your online business: Facebook Groups. To make the most of this fantastic tool for solopreneur networking and community building, we asked our One Woman Shop members for their #1 tip for utilizing Facebook Groups. Here's what they said:
Be extremely selective on which Facebook groups get your time and attention and then show up consistently.
Be sure to read any policy documents, and do your best to stay on the right side of policies. If you're unsure, reach out to the moderator. Also, focus on the positives whenever possible -- even when you may be doing a critique, start with something nice to say. (Editor's note: try the Hug Bump Hug!)
Branch out to look for groups filled with people that work with similar clients to yours. Skill sharing and collaboration is sure to happen that way, and you might get some referrals as well!
Be helpful + give advice. Sometimes it feels like people are sales-pitchy in groups, trying to offer their services or products. If you know how to solve a problem, walk them through it instead of trying to make money right off the bat.
Read the entire thread before posting, offer solutions rather than opinions, and don't be afraid to share a solution that goes against the norm.
Remember that everyone is in a different place and business isn't one-size-fits-all. What works for you might not work for someone else.
- Cristina Roman
If you're in a lot of Facebook groups, pick 2-4 that have the most value and focus on building a strong presence in those. Bookmark them on your Facebook sidebar and turn on notifications for them so you don't miss any conversations.
Join them! Some of my client come from referrals, but A LOT come from entrepreneurial Facebook groups. Play nice. That means 'following the rules.' Those rules are usually there to make the group "unattractive" to people who are just looking to sell to the other members. The main purpose of most groups is idea-sharing & networking. Selling & collaboration is usually a natural by-product of that.
If you have a question, use the search function first! Often, someone else has already asked and gotten great advice. By tapping into the feedback that's already been posted, you can help cut back on the same repetitive questions that are asked in the groups.
What did we miss? Leave us your #1 tip in the comments below.
PS -- Looking for an active, engaged Facebook Group to join? Apply for OWS membership!
PPS -- Want to build a full marketing plan using Facebook Groups? It's possible -- and Val Geisler shows you how in Growing With Groups.
This post may contain affiliate links for resources mentioned. As always, we only promote what we feel may benefit your biz!