(This post is part of our Unconventional Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups for Business. If you want to get your hands on all the chapters, click here!)
Nearly 1/3 of the world’s population has a Facebook account.
Let that sink in for a moment.
*takes a little pause*
Hell, I still remember creating my FB account back in 2006 and how quickly “just message me on Facebook” became a go-to saying of mine.
Fast-forward a few years and I started using it as a tool for our various businesses and a whooolllleee new world opened up.
And while Facebook’s initial mission used to be “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” (uhhh mission accomplished!), they recently unveiled their updated vision, ultimately highlighting why soooo many of us love and use their platform…
“Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
See that little underline up there?
Yep! it’s all about community building, baby!
Which is where this free guide comes in…
You see, as I mentioned a few lines up, we have been running a free Facebook group for the Screw now for 3 straight years.
In fact, we’ve built TWO!
And while it’s been an amazing experience, we’ve learned a LOT when it comes to running a Facebook group for business.
(55,000+ members will teach you a thing or two *wink*)
So we wanted to use the next, ohhhhh, few thousand words to deep-dive into the nitty gritty of using a Facebook group for business…
Let’s dive in…
What is a Facebook Group?
I know. “What is a Facebook Group” seems pretty self-explanatory, but hey! I’m writing an “ultimate guide” over here so I figured we should cover the whole shebang!
Simply put, a Facebook group is a group of individuals on Facebook who came together based on a common interest.
Pretty straight forward, right?
Yet, they are so much more than that.
Facebook groups foster networking, connection, brand recognition, affinity, loyalty and rapport building.
They provide a safe haven to explore open communication, constructive criticism and give the members a chance to support one another.
It’s a free online sanctuary for those with like minded interests, activities or objectives.
Basically, they are the ult when it comes to creating amazing communities.
What’s more is you don’t need to be a business owner or entrepreneur to kickstart your own Facebook group either. Literally anyone with an account can create and manage one themselves.
Which would explain why there are millions (and millions and millions) of Facebook groups you can join.
Now that’s a lotta groups!
Facebook Group Privacy Settings
But let’s jam a little about the Facebook groups app and the different types of Facebook groups privacy settings.
There are three levels of Facebook groups privacy:
Facebook Public Group
A Facebook Public Group is accessible to anyone with a Facebook account. Anyone can find you, join without requiring an invitation or permission, see posts, share posts and view members.
If you are starting a Facebook group for business then I don’t recommend using the public setting.
With so many fingers in the pot, it would be a real pain in the ayse to moderate and you don’t really have any control over spammers coming in and blowing up the stream with bullshit posts and “payday loan” links.
Instead, public groups are best when based around interests like sports, book clubs or local businesses and typically become an extension of a Facebook Page rather than a community building tool.
Facebook Secret Group
A Facebook secret group is exactly that — secret.
Even if you know the name of a secret group, it is unsearchable. To become a member you must be invited by an admin or a current member.
Not exactly scalable if you plan on using this kind of group for your business as you would have to invite every. single. member to join it.
But back to secret groups…
With these types of groups, absolutely every aspect of a secret group is private. You cannot see group name, members, posts or locations unless you are a member.The only loophole here is when a member leaves voluntarily, they can still search the group by name and see it’s description, location and tags.
Secret groups are perfect for mastermind groups, group coaching programs or even small group training workshops where you want to control who knows about and can find the group.
They also work great if you want a free way to connect with a virtual team and don’t have the budget for apps like Slack.
For the purposes of building a community around your brand however, secret groups are a big ol’ hell no for me for the simple fact that they are unsearchable.
And to grow an audience you need to be visible.
Which brings me to…
Facebook Closed Group
Closed groups are probably the most common. They are similar to public groups in that you can search them, see their description and view their member list.
Unlike public groups though, you must request to join or be invited in. You also can’t see any of the group posts until you have been approved.
We love closed groups, especially for business and marketing purposes, because they offer waaaay more control (and intel!) than public groups.
Well, a closed Facebook group allows us to filter out potential spammers through the “join questions” you can set, gather info on who is joining, moderate members and the content they post so we can control the quality of our group to serve our community and the outcome goals we have for our group.
After all, the whole point of creating a community is to have it serve your members AND your business, otherwise it’s not worth investing your time and energy in.
And while that might sound a tad harsh, as entrepreneurs we need to prioritize the growth of our companies.
Which means if something isn’t fueling our business and is serving as a drain on our time or resources, it should be a no-go.
Fortunately, the entire purpose of this guide is to walk you through how to create profitable (and highly engaged) groups so that your free community is propeling your business forward, faster.
But back to closed groups…
There isn’t much I dislike about using closed groups, but if I had to dig for a reason it would be just one: it is rented space.
Now, obviously, the odds of Facebook closing up shop any time soon is pretty damn slim, but you never know.
And should FB close its doors (or shake things up with yet another algorithm change!) you can say goodbye to your group and the community you worked so hard to cultivate.
But again, let me be clear, this is me reaching for a disadvantage.
Simply put, I swear by Closed groups for business.
Should YOU start a Facebook group though? Or is a Facebook Page more suited to your needs?
In Chapter 2 I’m dishing the deets on the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups so you can make the right call for your business.
Need help deciding?
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