Mari Smith outlined in her Webinar about Facebook Trends for 2016 that Facebook Groups are going to be important for businesses in 2016.

This was great news to hear, as I started a Facebook Group for my Pet Sitting Business just before Christmas.

I had been thinking about it for a while as I felt that it was time for me to build a more personal community on Facebook of Pet Lovers in Ireland – one where people could get to know me a little bit better.

Don’t get me wrong I love my Facebook Page for my business – it’s where nearly 40% of my website traffic comes from. However, I felt I wanted something where it would be more personal and easier for me to get to know people and their pets.

3 Things To Consider Before You Set Up A Facebook Group.

#1. What is the purpose of your 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 petsFacebook Groups

#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 it, keep conversations going and generally have a presence in the group.

#3. Realise the group is not there to promote your business

You can’t go into this thinking what can you get out of it. You need to consider what your members will get out of it. It’s like networking – you can’t be all about yourself. Focus on giving and making friends – and the business will come later.

People will be put off if all you do is talk about yourself and your business and how great you are!

6 Steps to Setting Up A Facebook Group

LOVE YOUR PETS FACEBOOK GROUP

#1. Pick a Name

I went with our tagline of Love Your Pets as it ties in nicely with our business. We are not saying it is a Pet Sitters Ireland Group, but it is run by us.

#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.

#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)”

#4 Create a cover picture

As you would with a new Facebook Page you need to create your cover picture. You can do this on www.canva.com

#5 Promote your group

There are a few places you can promote your group

  1. To your existing customers
  2. To your email list
  3. On social media
  4. Boosted Facebook Post

#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 you will get nothing out of it.

Think of things you can post to get conversations started. For example, a weekly introduce yourself post, a monthly cutest pet picture etc.

Remember this is like Networking and you wouldn’t go to a Networking event, say nothing and leave…and then expect to get referrals!! 

27 Ways To Get More Customers In Your Pet Business

27 ways to get more customers in your pet business
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