In our last post, we discussed how to join a facebook group to interact with consumers about your brand, in this post we will cover how to create your own facebook group and invite your customers and contacts to be a part of it. Anyone can create a facebook group, in fact you can create multiple groups depending on who you would like to connect with. You can create a group to connect with people you went to high school with, or a family group, or a group to market your business. All you need to get started is a personal facebook page, although it is also a great idea to have a facebook business page to connect to your group.
To get started, navigate to your personal facebook page, on the column on the far left scroll all the way to the bottom. Click the “create group” button.
The next screen will require you to name your group, invite some members and choose your privacy setting. Choose a name for your group that represents your brand, if the group is for your wine club you can use the name of your club, or the name of your business but be sure you identify it as a group so people don’t confuse it as your business page. You have to invite at least one group member other than yourself to get your facebook group started, it’s a great idea to invite a close friend or family member at this point as you don’t want to invite your customers until you are finished with the setup process and happy with the results. You can make your group public, meaning anyone can find it and join or you can keep it private and only invite members that you select. Having a public group for a business is probably the best way to reach a wider audience and will enable members to share posts from your group with their followers but a smaller, more private group can also be a great option if you don’t want to worry about regulating spam or having people posting in your group whom you did not invite. Privacy is a personal choice and can always be changed after the group is published.
The next screen will prompt you to add a cover photo to your group, create your first post and invite members. For your cover photo, choose an image that represents your brand and fits well into the space. The correct size for a facebook group photo is 1,640px by 856px (or 1.91:1 ratio), if you need a template to create your cover photo canva.com is a great resource. For your first post, announce the group and what you intend to accomplish with it so the people you invite, or who find it organically know what to expect. Also, it’s a good idea to post some rules or parameters for the group so that if someone is not behaving appropriately within the group, you can remove them knowing that they should have had a clear understanding of the expectations. When you post this, post it as an “announcement” rather than a regular post so it will stay pinned to the top of the page, you will find that option in the field under the text box along with several other publishing options.
Before inviting group members, take some time to fill out the “about” section of your group. Tell people about your brand, add a link to your website and generally fill out all the required fields under the “edit group settings tab” found under the “more” tab on your groups home page. Also you will have an opportunity to link your facebook business page to your group so people who navigate to your business page will be able to see a link to join (unless you have a closed group).
You are now ready to start inviting people to your group which you can do from your group’s home page, on the right hand side of your page. Facebook will recommend group members from your friends list or you can invite them via email. While there is no way to bulk invite group members, you can enter email addresses from your email list into the invite field and as long as the email address you have on your list is the same one they use for facebook, they’ll receive an invite regardless of whether or not you are personally friends with them. Facebook is also offering a new feature (possibly not available in all areas as of yet) that allows you to embed an invitation in an email campaign using a code snippet (as always if you are unsure how to copy and paste code please reach out and I am happy to help). Once you have invited your group members, it is time to decide on a content strategy to engage with them and promote your brand. Our next guide on creating group content will be available next week.