In contrast to Facebook Pages, you can build exclusive communities using Facebook Groups (Groups).
Groups offer an immersive, virtual experience, where brands provide extra value in the form of exclusive content you can monetize, behind the scenes stuff, exploration of deeper subjects, and Beta testing new ideas.
While conferences are in person events designed to attract a captive audience, Groups are a virtual alternative that also gathers people with similar interests.
They are no different in that they also promote organic conversations, connections, networking, and knowledge exchange among members. Building relationships in either community setting, provides long-term benefits such as support, loyalty, and the fostering of good will towards you and your brand.
Yet it is privacy and secrecy that give Groups an air of exclusivity, making them an attractive substitute to other more public forums. For example, you can create a for pay “private community” for a very special group of clients by invitation only.
In addition, they offer higher levels of engagement than branded Facebook Pages, supplying you with unique insights into the audience you are growing. For instance, you get to learn what they like to talk about; when are they active; where they are located; and who are your biggest supporters (Ex. AdEspresso image below).
“The more personal you are the more trust you build.”
Communicating, asking, answering, and learning about your community strengthens the bond, the relationship, and builds trust.
Monetizing Facebook Groups
- Membership fees. Create a Group and ask your top clients to join for a fee. They will get access to your best practices, intellectual property, case studies or other expertise advise from authors, consultants, and coaches. You can charge a monthly membership fee they can cancel at any time through your website. Successful groups share actionable and useful information, and expert insights in different formats such as live videos and webinars.
- Sponsor Activations. Secure sponsorships and advertisers from brands interested in your audience. Just like at a live public event, you wield great power when you know exactly who’s in your audience and how find the right partnerships. You can have tiers of sponsorships that include combinations of direct messages, image ads, and content pieces. For example: post a content piece, a story, that showcases how the sponsor can be of value to your audience, and drives traffic to their website or public event.
- eCommerce Platform. Creating a Group type “buy and sell” comes with different features compared to regular groups. A post to this Group displays sales and price details, and it can appear in Facebook’s Marketplace Platform. A “buy and sell” group paired with the right niche could yield profits for you and the members. Suppose you’re interested in purchasing, selling, and trading baseball cards. You could create a buy and sell group for that objective or join a group to sell your products
BONUS: Check out these 13 tips on how to create, grow, engage, and monetize your Facebook Groups I learned from @PatFlynn whose new book SUPERFANS is out now:
- Add a request to join your FB community from your website
- Create a smart link like: com/community
- Link multiple FB groups together
- Feature newcomers so others want to join
- Post exclusive content
- Send personal messages to your highest contributors
- Promote people to admin level
- Show behind the scenes
- Introduce product prototypes
- Test Beta service offerings
- Ask for opinions
- Run polls
- Start a debate – be a bit controversial
About the author
Daveeed Wagner is the Lead Consultant at 1marketingidea, a marketing agency that leverages the social media experience to transform personal brands who struggle at connecting and engaging with their networks, resulting in deeper and stronger relationships, repeat business, referrals, and higher profits.