You noticed it huh? For some time now, it’s really been misery. Your Facebook page with 20,000 fans has no visibility. Your publications are being overlooked in the newsfeed. All because of Facebook’s algorithm change. Yet what a job to get there….
Promotion galore, paid advertising, so on…
A lot of hours and budget invested.
2 things however.
The first one, it’s not your fault that these changes have taken place Except if your name is Mark Zuckerberg, it’s complicated to play with Facebook’s internal algoes.
The second. It’s not a drama and there are ways to work differently to get good results.
The third (I said 2 I think …). We will see here another way and the first steps that you can take today to restart the machine.
I don’t know if you felt it. But today we’re at a turning point in the way of doing business on the web.
There are more and more people to try the adventure.
And the miracle recipes to make you very wealthy in 3 days, it starts to run out of steam a bit anyway.
The key now is to build a community. In creating sincere and deep ties with your audience.
I’ll explain this to you with the example of a 100% offline business: a restaurant.
When you have a dinner at a restaurant alone with your partner or even with your group of friends, what you eat matters.
If the food is not great, you are unlikely to come back. And worse, you will surely make bad publicity on the place near your close relations.
But it’s not just that.
The experience that you will live as a customer also comes into play. Very much even.
How were you greeted when you arrived at the restaurant?
How did the staff behave towards you?
We have all experienced the haughty waiter whom we seem to disturb when asked for a jug of water.
Or the one who shoots the mouth when asked for the sauce aside for the salad.
Come to think of it, it’s even much worse than what I just told you.
If you ate well, but the service was deplorable, you will probably have bad publicity. Because the experience in the end was not ideal.
On the other hand, how many addresses in which you had had a great time, did you recommend to your friends?
Where did you find yourself a little pampered as a customer?
Where did you even leave a tip because the waiter was funny and accommodating?
The kind of place you’re going to go back with pleasure. That you will want to make known to those around you.
The relationship with a business on the web?
If you sell products online, whether physical or digital (training, coaching, support, etc.), it’s exactly the same.
On the one hand, there are the products you sell.
And on the other, your relationship with your clients or future clients.
The experience you provide them and the ties you have forged with them.
Before I even try to sell them anything.
So how do you build a real relationship with your audience?
Using Facebook groups.
It’s clearly on this that founder Mark Zuckerberg puts all his energy (and it’s not me who said it, it’s him).
Basically, the right time to get started too in building your community.
Ok, now let’s take a look at the how and why a little more. Or the why of the how if it suits you.
Because there are a few rules to follow if you want to build a quality group.
What are groups? And what difference with the pages?
First, if you don’t know what a band is, let’s see the difference between your fan page and your future band.
A page, it is there to promote your products and your services.
The group meanwhile aims to bring together people with the same area of interest. Lovers of Lot et Garonne fly fishing for example.
In order to create a space for exchange around common interests. If you’re an old man on the web, it’s very much like the forums that existed at the time. With very specific themes around which people exchanged.
The idea behind?
Build a space in which you will attract people who are interested in what you have to say. Instead of thinking about a page fan, I repeat, think community.
Ultimately, members of your community can become fans.
The subtlety, especially when you start, is think quality before quantity.
To think as if you were going to open a 3-star restaurant and especially not a McDonald’s.
Because here, we don’t want to attract all-comers. Only people who like good food. And who have clean feet to enter the restaurant.
Because we must not forget the purpose of the maneuver. Create a community of people who are interested, even passionate about what you have to tell them, teach them.
I’m going to give you some golden rules to apply to your group. If you already have one, you can change the way you use it. If you don’t have one yet … well, you just have to do the following.
Private or not Private.
When you create a group, its visibility parameters are important.
There are 3 levels of confidentiality.
- Audience: everyone sees the group and can view its content;
- Private: everyone sees it and only members can view the content (the point that interests us);
- Secret: no one sees the group except the members. No interest for us here you doubt it. If nobody finds your group, it’s going to be difficult to make it grow. (It is difficult to see a restaurant without a sign, hidden in the depths of a cellar).
You have all the details here on the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465
Ideally, your group will be private.
This allows you another essential point: validate the members BEFORE their membership and therefore their entry into the group.
What interest will you tell me?
If the person asking to join your community is already a member of 189 other groups, you may want to refuse them.
This is the kind of profile that will never see your posts (drowned out among all the others) and is unlikely to interact with.
No interest for you, because it will weaken the quality of your group.
No interest in him, because he will not take advantage of your knowledge.
The little extra?
It is possible to ask questions to future members when they ask to join your group.
In my case, if they don’t respond to it. I refuse the application.
Because if they were not involved from the start to be active members of the community. They are unlikely to be once they join her.
For example, if you have a group on the kitchen, you can ask your future members what is their main difficulty when cutting a pineapple.
This allows you to see at a glance whether the profile of the future member is relevant or not.
Simple and radical!
And all my hard-won fans on my page?
Do you already have a page full of visitors?
Don’t panic, it’s possible to bring a part of it back to your group with 2 simple tips just a click away.
- Promote your group through posts on your page. To naturally encourage your readers to join your group.
- Pinning a post at the top of your page to get people to apply for membership.
Clearly, not everyone will come.
But like I told you. Your goal to get started is to serve a beautiful, refined salmon tartare. By breaded fish from the local supermarket.
Your fan page, but not only …
Your Facebook page is good. A good start.
But you may have a mailing list at your disposal.
A list of your blog readers, prospects and / or customers.
Why not send them a message to invite them to the group? This is how I did to get my first members.
They are very good candidates because if they are already subscribed to your newsletter (or better customers with you), there is a good chance that they will want to join your group.
A little thing that everyone neglects …
Never add a member manually, let them come to you on their own.
You’ve already experienced adding to groups that you haven’t asked for anything. The guy who asked you for a friend and who 10 seconds later automatically adds you to his group.
It never makes you want to stay a member. So don’t make the same mistake.
Remember: “It’s all about fun”
A point capital not to neglect.
People come to Facebook to loosen. Not for working or shopping.
If you spam your group with ads and offers every day, you’re just going to get them drunk and they’re going to get out. The opposite of the desired effect.
So how do I work?
I publish content every day (or almost). Like a restaurant that sells a different dish of the day all week (yes the restaurant again, but the example works well, right?)
Uh, everyday … Is that a lot of work?
Yes a little, I admit. But you don’t attract flies with vinegar (or prospects with wind).
I apply this strategy for several reasons.
First, to bring a lot of value to the members.
And it allows you to show them that there is life in your group. That the thing is not managed in a completely impersonal way.
That it’s not just another nth space where we’ll push you from the link to products or content without head or tail.
What is magic?
You can vary the pleasures and the formats.
Post text, photos, audio, videos (a good live from time to time is formidable, especially to test a paid offer). Or even mix all of these formats.
Posting every day is also a way to start linking. To make sure that you appear daily in the news of your readers.
Let them notice you. Let them know you’re here.
Because you shouldn’t kid yourself.
Competition will be tough in the field in a few months. And in my opinion, only those who really bring quality content and values will break through and survive.
Well, I’m not going to lie to you. At first you feel like Tom Hanks on his island with his Wilson balloon. Alone in the world. It’s the desert.
People react little or nothing. Asking yourself if there is really someone who reads what you post.
A bit like these restaurants where you have the waiter who waits, alone at 9 p.m. in front of his bar.
But again, it’s a story of persistence and regularity.
If your selection of members at the entrance is good, you are bound to interest your readers.
Do not be discouraged and take the helm. This step is crucial! (Having been there, I guarantee that this is the moment when you should not give up).
Weaving the link continuously
Once you have the first reactions to your posts?
Take the time to chat with your members. Like their comments, answer the questions they ask and ask you. Pampers them.
This is how you will bond. Create emulation between members. And once again show that they are not deceived by coming to your group.
You’ll tell me that it takes time there too.
Yes and no. If you are well organized, managing your group does not require as much energy as that. These are the kinds of themes that I approach in my own group that talks about efficiency and organization.
Your new playground
A Facebook group is like a playground, a restaurant, or a bar.
You can get to know the members, talk. And above all, great interest in learning a lot about their issues. Because one thing must not be forgotten. You are there to run your business. And discovering the deepest problems of your audience is the best way to help them. Showcase your expertise to bring out the best solutions for them.
Once you have demonstrated this, you can continue on.
When to sell?
Ah finally ! It’s fine to create a community, but at some point you have to test your prospect base.
So when should you start offering paid services?
When you have a few people, of course. If you have 10 tourists who are dueling, it will probably be a bit tight. But no need to wait for the 1,500 fans of your theme either. Because if you have properly qualified your members at the entrance, they will be for the majority of prospects (there are always a few tourists or people who never buy in the lot).
I made my first sales in the group when I reached 200 members.
What didn’t make me a millionaire you can imagine. But allow to validate the quality of the group. And it’s a great way to start showing that you can provide more advanced services than what you give for free.
If you took the time to do your job well to lead your group, people will not be offended that you offer them a paid service. Normal, you have already through your content, demonstrated what is your value and what you can bring.
Here is an example of a spontaneous return from a customer following a sale made through the group.
As for the restaurant. If you serve good food, your customers will be your best ambassadors.
Sweep from time to time
Again, if you want to keep a quality group, you have to do a little cleaning from time to time. Sweep when service is complete.
What do I mean by that?
Simply remove from the group members who do not have their place.
Except that you will not have statistics on your group until you have reached at least 200 members. But (thank you internet), you can use the socialgraph online tool for free. It provides you with interesting values on your readers.
You understand, it’s been a lot of times I repeat it. It is by preserving the quality of your group that you ensure its sustainability. Not by letting the first tourist come to spoil the wall with its links to “Become an annuitant in 24 hours (and without investment).”
So imagine that I apply the same policy on members’ posts.
This is why each post in the group must go through the validation of an administrator or a moderator.
Personally I prefer to moderate the posts because there are a bunch of people who are just going to come to advertise their business and who say it does not care what you share.
If the behavior becomes recurrent, I eject the group member.
Before concluding, an important point.
This article is specific to Facebook groups. But what you need to understand is thatyou have to go where your prospects are. If you do B2B, you will probably find them on Linkedin and not on Facebook. You just have to take a step back at start-up to choose the platform that corresponds to your market.
Building and leading a community is a long-term development strategy for your business. And you have to think of it as such if you want to have results. Not just as a hobby on the web 😉
Are you still there?
Here’s a roadmap summary of the main steps that will help you build a successful group. So that you can get to work right now.
Your roadmap for a successful group
- Create your private group
- Set selection criteria for members
- Not present in too many groups
- Some validation questions before accepting the request
- Fill your group with your existing contacts
- From your Facebook page
- From your email lists
- Bringing valuable content
- Publish regularly
- Respond and exchange with your members
- Start selling
- Test and propose paid offers
- Administer your group
- Remove inactive members
- Remove members who are trying to spam the group with their own self-promotion
One last reminder before you start. It’s not even a reminder of the number of times I’ve mentioned it :-).
The quality of your group is found in the selection of your members, the interactions you have with them and the content you deliver to them.
Your turn !
The author: Benjamin Vauris:
Benjamin has 3 lives: entrepreneur, father and employee. It helps entrepreneurs to launch their business alongside their salaried job. How? ‘Or’ What ? By sharing its productivity methods to free up time and boost its efficiency.
Find him on his Facebook group: Les Zefficaces.
Website – Facebook