What are Facebook Groups, and how you can use them to grow your agency?
A Facebook Group is Facebook’s version of an online forum. These subgroups within Facebook can be created by an individual or a business within Facebook’s platform. Therefore if you have an account or business page for your agency, you can create a Group.
Groups can be open for anyone to join. They can also be closed, but discoverable, which means you have to approve all members joining. They can also be secret, otherwise only found with a link.
For businesses like your agency, they are a powerful tool! Here are a few of their uses…
- Customer Benefit – As an insurance agent you can post detailed explanations about coverage, local news, or use it as a Q&A option.
- Gathering Members/Attendees – You can use Groups to build attendance and interest in an upcoming event you will be attending, hosting or sponsoring. This works particularly well with local events.
- Promoting Others – Work with your partners and help promote their business. But remember, you are not there to sell yourself. The Group’s purpose is to engage with your members as though you were in a room, having a conversation.
- Promoting New Lines of Business – You can use the group to announce new lines of business or market. Or, use it to promote any agency news.
Creating a group on Facebook is fairly easy. These are the main decisions to make at each step…
Naming Your Group
Let’s think about this for a minute. You don’t want to confuse the group with your business page. So, leave your agency name out.
Will you have different groups for different lines of business (auto customers, home insurance customers, etc.)? That is an option.
Do you have multiple locations? Maybe you should create groups based on location.
Or, maybe you just want a general Q&A type group. That group could be titled Ask Your Agent. The important thing is to think about what the focus of the group will be and who you want to target. Then choose your name.
Selecting Group Type
Public, closed or secret? Again, before deciding what type of group to create, you have to think about what you want from the group.
Public groups allow anyone to join, and everyone can see what you post.
Closed groups allow anyone to ask to join, but you can approve or not approve any request. Only members can see the posts.
Secret groups allow only members to see posts, and the group cannot be found in a search. Secret groups are usually used for things like high level coaching or financial planning. They’ll have very specific members. This type of group can sometimes be monetized, but you also have to offer high level service to that group.
Customizing Your Group’s Appearance and Settings
Just like your agency’s business page, you should include a banner or header image for your group’s page. Your group cover photo should be 828 x 315 pixels.
You can use free online services like Canva.com to create your image. But, keep it true to your agency’s branding.
As you customize your group, you will be asked to select a group type. This will let Facebook know how to categorize your group for search results. Complete the description, tags, locations, and web and email address settings to finish of the customization.
Inviting People to Join
While it would be easy to invite family and friends to your group, they most likely aren’t paying customers. When inviting people to join, focus on those your group serves.
Consider sending an email blast through your email marketing platform inviting people to join your group. Be sure to include why it would be beneficial for them to join. You can also share a link to your new group on all of your social media platforms.
What will you post? When you post to your group, members will receive a notification, unlike when you post to your business page.
Even before you create the group, you need to have in mind what content you will share. Will it be inspirational, educational, entertaining or all of the above?
The content you share doesn’t always have to be original. You can curate content from reputable sources as long as it is relevant and useful to your members. You can use sources like Insurance Journal, BuzzSumo, Google News, podcasts, etc.
If you want a successful group, your members have to be engaged. Post things that will spark interaction and conversation among members.
Also, don’t be absent in your own group. Join in on the conversations.
There are a few types of content that are very popular in groups. Live Q&A sessions are one of them. As your audience grows, you can do a live session once a week to help and support your group members.
Polls are also a good way to not only get engagement, but get ideas on what type of content your members would like to see.
You can also schedule a daily theme. This is usually a certain day of the week where members can post about their business or share their latest blog.
Groups are a powerful way to establish your expertise and there are many ways to use Facebook groups. The important thing is to find a way to provide value to group members that will keep them active in the discussion.
About the Author
Stephanie Ewen helps ITC customers with the search engine optimization of their websites. She has been working in marketing for more than 10 years. Her specialties include web design and search engine optimization (SEO). To stay on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates, Stephanie reads blog articles and participating in courses produced by some foremost experts in SEO. She is certified in inbound marketing, Google Analytics and fusion marketing. Stephanie is an avid softball fan and enjoys volunteering and spending time with her husband, kids and grandkids.More Content by Stephanie Ewen