A Facebook Group is a great place for you to build a more personal community of pet lovers – a place where people can get to know you a little better than they can on your Facebook Business Page.
Often people feel more comfortable asking questions and sharing experiences in a closed community and therefore you get more of a chance to show up as a pet expert for those people.
Having said that, it’s important that if you are considering starting a Facebook Group you don’t rush into it without any thought.
3 Things To Consider Before You Set Up A Facebook Group.
#1. What is the purpose of your Facebook group?
- What do you expect to get out of it?
- What are the people that join going to get out of it?
Do not be misled into thinking that you are going to get millions of customers from day 1 from this group. You need to build relationships and get to know people.
For me the benefits of setting up a Facebook Group were:
- A great place for me to get entries for my annual pet competition
- A place where I could create awareness for our business as people get to know me
- Somewhere I could get inspiration for blog posts from the questions people are asking each other about their pets
#2. Do you have time to build a group?
What does your Facebook business page look like? Have you built a presence on there?
If not, then you are not ready for a Facebook Group. Don’t add more things to your plate until you have the other things you are doing nailed.
Remember you will need to moderate the group and when you are starting out you will need to keep conversations going and generally have a presence in the group.
If you don’t have a lot of time it could be something that you have a staff member do. With clear guidance from you it could easily be a task you pass to someone else.
#3. It’s important to realise the group is not just there to promote your business
Although our ultimate aim is to market your business you should start the group with the intention of networking with people, helping them with their pet questions and getting them to know, like and trust you.
With this approach business will come naturally as a result of your efforts.
People will be put off if all you do is talk about yourself and your business and how great you are.
Think about what type of pet group you would want to be part of – a fun one right?
6 Steps to Setting Up A Facebook Group
#1. Pick a Name
You could pick a name which ties in with your business name or something that references the service area you cover. For example Pet Lovers of X Town.
Make sure that another group in your area doesn’t have a similar name.
And once you have decided on a name you need to create a nice banner image for the group. Canva is a great place to do this.
#2. Write a description for the group
Make it clear what the group is about so you attract the right people into it. Don’t feel you need to have everyone in your group – only accept the right people.
For example, we have focused our group on people who want to learn more about:
- Caring for their pets
- Pet news
- Local events
#3 Create your rules
Mine are very clear and simple – “No promotional posts, no spam, no fighting! (or you will be removed from the group without warning)”
Facebook have a built in rules section that you can use to set this up – so you don’t need to write your own rules from scratch.
When people join the group you can ask them to agree to the group rules.
#4 Choose some questions to ask members when they join the group
When you set up your group you can set 3 questions that members have to answer when they join.
- What do they want to learn from the group
- What pets they have
- Where they live
- Do they want to receive your newsletter (ask for an email)
Note – Depending on where you live you may need to check GDPR rules around collecting and using emails without an official opt in to your email list.
#5 Promote your group
There are a few places you can promote your group
- To your existing customers
- To your email list
- On social media
- Boosted Facebook Post
Once the group gets established you can ask members to invite their friends to the group.
#6 Engage and Moderate
If you only let the right people into the group you shouldn’t have too much to moderate. But you do need to engage, or get one of your staff to. If you don’t put the effort in with the group you will get nothing out of it.
Think of things you can post to get conversations started.
- A weekly introduce yourself post
- Blog posts answering pet questions
- Pet news articles you can ask people’s opinions on
- A monthly cutest pet picture
Remember this is like Networking and you wouldn’t go to a Networking event, say nothing and leave…and then expect to get referrals!!