Facebook is one of the most popular Social Media platforms and is used by millions of people on a daily basis. Facebook is used mainly to connect with friends and family and share snippets of your daily life with others. In recent years, Facebook is also becoming increasingly popular as a marketing tool and a platform to do business through. Businesses can promote their products and services and reach a much wider audience than traditional marketing methods.
Aside from social interactions and marketing, Facebook is also a fantastic place for entrepreneurs to communicate and share ideas. One superb feature that Facebook offers is the ability to create groups; these groups can serve as a central place of communication and an area that members can talk and have meaningful discussions. This article provides insight into Facebook Groups and shows you three easy steps you can take to create your own group for entrepreneurs!
Why should you create a Facebook group for entrepreneurs?
You may wonder what the actual benefit of creating a Facebook group would be. Why should you invest your time and effort to do this? Why not just join an existing group or use other platforms to connect with like-minded individuals? You can join other groups by all means, but creating your own group is rewarding and gives you a higher degree of control and purpose. The following are some reasons as to why you should consider creating an entrepreneur group on Facebook:
To build a network of like-minded individuals
The beauty of a Facebook group is that you can invite who you want – you can create a targeted audience and include only those who offer something valuable. You can build an entrepreneur group for your industry or product and invite like-minded individuals to join. Working with and talking to individuals who share common goals or interests can help greatly. It can help focus your thought process as everyone in the group will understand your problems and goals.
To help generate and share new ideas
One of the main benefits of creating a Facebook group is to help produce new ideas. Within your group you can create posts and discussions – every member of the group can contribute to these discussions and give their own thoughts. Let’s say that you are starting an online craft store for example. You could create a discussion asking group members what they felt a suitable price range would be for your type of product. Users could then give their own opinions and you could even create a poll that users could vote on. This type of information gathering and idea sharing is invaluable for new business ventures.
To promote your own business and ideas
Although this is not one of the main reasons, it is certainly something to consider! Aside from inviting like-minded entrepreneurs to your group, you could also invite suppliers, investors and even potential customers. This could help generate interest in your business and even help secure those first important customers. Furthermore, by sharing your ideas and business plan with other entrepreneurs, they may be able to help with promotion or even offer their services to help you progress. The more exposure you can gain, the more chance you have of succeeding.
To potentially generate funds and investment opportunity
Finally, a Facebook group can help secure much-needed funds and investment for your business venture. As a new start-up business, you may need funding and an initial amount of capital – this can often be hard to come by. When speaking to like-minded entrepreneurs, you can discuss funding and they may be able to provide you with contacts or potential investors. Furthermore, you may even speak to entrepreneurs who want to invest in your business themselves or who are interested in working with you.
Step 1 – Create the Group
Now that you understand the benefits of creating a Facebook group, we can divulge the simple three steps needed to get up and running! The first step is actually creating the group – there are many step by step guides available on the web, but the process is quite straightforward and self-explanatory.
1a. Create a new group
First, you must obviously log in to Facebook (we are working on the assumption that you have a Facebook account!). Once you have logged in to your account, look at the left-hand control panel and find the “groups” section – this may be populated with any other groups that you are currently a member of. At the bottom, there should be an “Add Group” option – click it and follow the on-screen instructions.
Once you have clicked on “Create New Group” you can then choose what category of group it is, together with the group name and privacy settings. We recommend thinking about your group name beforehand –choose something catchy, but also relevant to the group’s purpose. Furthermore, we recommend setting the group’s privacy status to closed – this means that only members of the group can see it.
1b. Complete the group info/images
Once you have created the basic group you can complete the “about” section. The about section allows you to write a detailed paragraph about the purpose and aim of your group. We recommend taking some time to draft an about introduction – this is one of the first things that your members will see and it will provide them with insight into what your group is for. Create an “about” intro that is catchy, provocative but also informative. You can also add any rules you feel are required in this section such as no abusive language for example.
Now comes the fun part – adding a cover image for your group! You can add a personalised cover image that will display at the top of your group’s page. As with the about info, this cover image should be meaningful, eye-catching and informative. Consider creating a custom cover image as opposed to simply using a generic photo from Google. If you have any design skills or access to an image editing program such as Photoshop, then let your creative side run wild and design a superb cover photo!
1c. Edit the Group Settings
As mentioned above, you should consider the privacy settings of your group. “Closed” privacy allows only members to see and create posts. Furthermore, a closed privacy means that anyone can view the group, but you have to request to join it.
Once you have chosen your privacy settings, you can then choose a Facebook icon for your group – again, choose an icon that is relevant to your group’s purpose. You can now finalise the basic creation of your group! After this, we recommend checking out the advanced group settings to tailor the group fully before you start adding any members.
Click on the small cog button next to the notifications text and a drop-down list will appear – from here click on “Edit Group Settings” and a new page will open. Within this settings menu, you can change aspects of your group such as posting permissions, post-approval (you can set your group so that all posts must be approved by an admin), group address and membership approval. Take some time to consider each option and tailor your group settings as you see fit.
Step 2 – Invite Group Members
You can invite members to your group during the initial creation phase, but we advise leaving this step until afterwards. Create your group first and think about inviting members after – each step should be given forethought and sufficient time to complete.
Create a list of potential group members – look at other entrepreneurs, business owners, suppliers and investors – anyone who you think would be interested in joining and could bring something useful to your group.
Once you have created a list of potential members, you can start sending invites. To make the process easier, we advise that you send friend requests to those people you wish to invite (if you are not friends already). This will make the inviting process easier as you can simply search through your Facebook friends and locate them quickly. The alternative is searching through the whole of Facebook to find the right person which can take time!
To add members you simply click on the “add members” button. Once you have pressed this button, a search box should appear that lets you scour Facebook – simply tick the people you want to invite and press the invite button. These individuals should then receive a join notification and they can choose to accept or decline your invite. Keep track of who has joined your group and consider making a list of those who have accepted or declined.
Step 3 – Promote the Group
Now that you have created your group and invited people, you can concentrate on promoting it and generating interest. You can promote your group in a variety of different ways – mainly through social media and other online outlets. The more exposure your group gains, the more likelihood you have of attracting new members and a wider audience. The following are several simple ways that you can promote your group:
Promote through Facebook
Facebook is obviously the logical platform for promotion. As your group is created via Facebook, you can easily use this platform to promote it too. To promote your group, you can do simple things like sharing its posts on your own timeline. By doing this, anyone who is your friend will see your group’s post on their news feed. Furthermore, if you set the privacy of your share post to public, anyone can view it which widens its potential reach. You could also ask group members to share group posts too.
Aside from sharing posts on your timeline, you could also consider joining other similar groups to promote your own. Furthermore, you could consider “liking” complementary business pages and sending them private messages with a join invitation. In short, use Facebook to widen your reach and appeal to a great number of potential new members.
Promote through other Social Media platforms
Whilst Facebook can serve as the main promotional platform, don’t disregard your other social media outlets! If you have accounts on other social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, make use of them! Although you can send invitations through other social media platforms, you can still make posts containing a link to your group. Promote your group regularly through these platforms, but make your promotional posts interesting and engaging – give viewers a reason to join your group!
Promote Via email
Finally, don’t neglect email promotion! If you have created a mailing list for your business, make use of it. Consider creating an email campaign promoting your group and distribute it to your mailing list and any other contacts you feel would benefit. Your email should contain a link to your Facebook group, together with useful information and examples of what you discuss, etc.
As you can see, creating a Facebook group is much easier than you may have expected! Although this process requires hard work and effort, the actual creation process is straightforward. Whilst the creation process and subsequent promotion are hugely important, you must also make an effort to create regular and engaging content.
Facebook groups often fail due to lack of content – a user may create a group with the best intentions, but simply let it fizzle out due to lack of care or posts. Once you have created and promoted your group, ensure that you make regular posts to give users a reason to be a member and interact with other members. You can create polls, events or even just posts asking for member’s opinions. Keep the content fresh, relevant to your group’s purpose, and interesting!
We hope you have found this article illuminating – if you are a budding entrepreneur, why not look at creating your own Facebook group today and sharing your ideas with the world?