Groups on Facebook can be a huge asset to your business. Millions of people use Facebook and there are so many groups for anything you can think of. I started to really see growth in my business when I joined high quality Facebook groups. But when I was browsing posts to see where I could contribute, I came across the same Facebook mistakes again and again. People were wasting their time and making being in the group less enjoyable because the types of posts varied so much when it came to helpfulness.
There is a right and wrong way to participate in Facebook Groups so let’s help you make less mistakes and not waste your time participating in them!
Posting with no strategy
We’ve all seen the random questions in Facebook Groups. You’re scrolling and suddenly someone’s asking the one thing you’d change in your business. Or maybe they’re asking what is the most aggravating part of being a business owner. Typically these posts are made to open conversation but rarely get answers or engagement. They always feel so broad and like the questions are addressed to no one.
A better approach is to post when you’re looking for more specific information. Include who you are asking, why, and what in your post. You’re more likely to get help from others in that industry. You don’t want your name and face to become synonymous with confusing, overly broad inquiries. Starting conversations is key and you want to make sure you’re speaking to the right people. So approach every post you make not looking for specific help with strategy.
Ever come across a post where someone shares their Instagram and asks for yours they can follow you? But if you don’t follow them back soon enough, they comment that they followed you expecting a follow back immediately? Follow for follow is dead. (So are Instagram pods by the way…same concept…)
Depending on how you use your social media accounts (inspiration, networking, community, etc.), you can follow or unfollow any accounts you want. When I notice I’m comparing myself to someone, even if they are a friend, I’ll unfollow them. If I feel negativity around anyone’s post, I unfollow. I may still like them a lot! But I want to set boundaries and protect my mental health when using social media and you have every right as well.
If you’re genuinely looking for new accounts to follow, start a post where you’re clear people can follow whoever they align with and you’ll do the same. It takes that pressure off and helps you meet people who genuinely make sense for your business rather than inflating your follow count with people who never plan on connecting or buying from you.
To do proper market research, you need to ask a series of questions that will help you serve an audience better to fit their needs. Posting the wrong question in a Facebook Group rarely gives you answers that are helpful. Comments, which can be miscommunicated, don’t give you all the information you could get from asking questions over a Zoom call.
You should totally use Facebook Groups to find market research participants but ask them to speak off of Facebook. Include detailed descriptions of who you’re looking for, what it’s for, what they get in return, and how long it should take to speak with you. You’ll find a much more engaged and excited response and get super helpful information.
Asking for feedback on your work
There’s nothing wrong with learning from others how you can improve your client work, personal branding, and more. But asking a huge Facebook Group will get you way too many opinions and typically leads to feelings or imposter syndrome and a lack of confidence. I’ve seen many posts turn outright negative by people just wanting to offer their own services or paid help when your intention was to just get another pair of eyes on your work.
Find a smaller, more intimate community to receive feedback on your work. There are Slack communities and masterminds (or you can make your own if you can’t find one!) so you can ask a group of people in your industry you trust! This will give you better tips to improve what you’re working on and an easier way to have a real conversation around what everyone is suggesting to gain more clarity.
When someone is asking for advice, jumping right into offering your services or products can feel really spammy. You also don’t want to DM someone (whether offering your services or not) without first commenting and asking for permission. Many groups have that as a rule but I’ve been private messaged so many times, even when I asked not to be. It feels extremely invasive and can associate aggressive marketing with your business.
When people ask questions you’re an expert in, share a clear and simple solution to help them out! You don’t have to go into insane detail since that’s what you’re paid for. But you want to make sure you either point them in the right direction or provide an additional resource (and occasionally it should be your own, like a blog post or freebie) to get them the answers they need.
Trying to skip essential steps
Asking for help is what Facebook Groups are all about. But I see posts all the time asking other business owners if they can share their contracts, pricing guides, templates, and more. These types of posts rarely if ever have comments. Someone isn’t going to (or in most cases legally can’t) share what they use for those things. They either purchased it from someone else or invested a lot of money to have it made custom for them. Not knowing you need to invest in those things is normal when you’re a brand new business owner, but asking for free resources for those things doesn’t help you.
I see this as well with asking for payment processors with no fees. That’s a completely normal business expense and a tax write off. Small business ownership has more of a community around it than ever before. Trying to not invest in things everyone has to invest in just makes you look like you’re not serious and your business is just a more official hobby.
It’s better to ask where people purchased their own templates or who they hired to help their business. Business ownership is an investment with a return and you can’t make something from nothing. People are more than happy to share their favorite shops, professionals, and their own freebies or offerings to help you out! Stay focused on giving back. Your question could also help another newer business owner that wasn’t even aware they needed to look into the same thing.
To get a return on your investment in Facebook Groups, much like money in your business, you need to invest first. How can you get a return otherwise? Leads and sales can definitely come from groups but you need to give, give, give first. Let’s pivot focus and go over ways to be super helpful and become known as an expert.
Become well known
The more people you help with thoughtful answers, the more known you’ll become as the go to person who understands certain subjects. People will even start tagging you and others will notice that you’re trusted by your peers on that topic. You’ll be top of mind once people are ready to hire out for that particular project. Because you gave a lot of help before asking for any type of sale.
Build connections with others
Be the first to cheer people on when they post a win! With permission, connecting with people outside the group can also grow your business circle of friends and peers. I love finding new people to refer clients to, hand over potential clients that aren’t the best fit for me, and to relate to others on issues it’d be hard to explain to someone outside my industry or who wasn’t a business owner. Connections can always lead to paid opportunities but entering relationships without that as the main goal can be so uplifting when you need it most.
Share your most valuable resources
You don’t want to get into spam or promo (which most groups don’t allow), but you should post things that you don’t gain anything from necessarily if it can really help people. Always follow the rules though of course! But if you have a freebie or upcoming webinar, especially a no pitch one, and it can really help the group, share it!
Do you use Facebook Groups for your business?