Creating a Facebook group is an inexpensive yet, effective way to reach your target market on a platform that they are already using daily. Facebook groups are communities that you can build directly on Facebook’s platform. This makes it easy for users to join and participate in discussions. When managed correctly, Facebook groups can be a great source for finding new clients for your kennel business.
Setting Up Your Group
What is your strategy? Do you want to run a group for pet owners in your town or a larger focus group about what is happening in your town in general? Before you create a new group, do your research to ensure that the topic of your group doesn't exist in your area already. If you are competing against a popular group, it might not be worth it. Keep your target audience in mind when naming the group.
When setting up your group, you want to enforce a screening process and lay out some general rules. We recommend adding a group where members must send a request to join. This is a great opportunity to ask some basic questions to qualify them and get to know them. It is important to verify a member's location to keep the group focused on local. Doing this will allow for the right members to join, all while keeping in mind the objective of your Facebook group.
How Do You Get Members to Join Your Group?
You are most likely starting a group in a nearby community that you are involved in. To get started, invite friends and family in the area and encourage them to share your new group to their friends and family. Once you get a little bit of momentum generated, people will start joining on their own.
If you started a pet specific local group, your clients are a great place to start. Don’t start adding random people, only add people who will benefit or have genuine interest in the group. It is best practice to ask for permission before adding somebody to your new group. Add it to your newsletter, your email signature, and share it on your website or other social media platforms as other ways to promote your new group.
What Should You Post?
Before you even start inviting people to join the group, you should have some content posted. Even a nice welcome message will do. Again, it is important to understand your target audience and the goal of the group. Share local information pertaining to your town. If it’s a group of pet owners, keep the topics pet related. Posts that are informative and educational or focused around local events are a good way to get engagement. Ask questions. Answer questions with your blog posts. Now what does that mean? If someone asks for advice, have a blog article that answers their question so they are directed to your website. If your group is community focused, post about local farmers markets, events, local news and any other interesting stories from that area. Save one day a week for self-promotion and to stay organized, keep it limited to the comments of your post.
Is it Worth the Investment?
There is no denying that there is a small investment of your time needed to be successful, but when managed correctly, it is worth it! But, it’s important to keep the group conversational and not full of spam or ads. This is why screening members and having moderators is essential. Keep the group useful and build yourself as a thought-leader. Do your research before you start a group. As mentioned earlier, if Facebook groups are oversaturated in your area, it may not be worth your time. If Facebook groups aren’t popular in your cuty, you may have stumbled upon a great opportunity.
How Do I Convert Group Members into Clients?
As we mentioned earlier, driving members to your website for answers to their questions is a way to start the process. If someone asks for recommendations for vets in your area, share a blog post with your top recommendations. Now, they will be introduced to your website. As a group owner, stay active and make sure members know your name and know you are the group leader. This will make referrals easier when people are looking for services that you offer. Run contests to get the group members to interact with your Facebook page by teaming up with other local businesses. Add a note that the group banner image is sponsored by your company. If they get value from the group, then they will appreciate you taking the time to help them.
Creating a Facebook group can be a great marketing strategy when planned and executed correctly. Take the time to do the research and preparation to set yourself up for success! Managing a Facebook group is a commitment, and with nurturing, your opportunities are endless.