Welcome to Day 9 of the 21 Days to a More Engaging Facebook Presence series.
(Click to watch in Fullscreen HD)
The purpose of this series is to help you grow deeper relationships with your so you can develop content they love interacting with, and products they can not live without
The focus is on using Facebook for business, not just, “Get more fans” because first, having a ton of fans that don’t give you a ton of feedback is pointless, and secondly, when your focus is truly on connecting and deepening your relationship with your readers, “more fans” is a natural by-product of that connection.
Which is why today, we’re going to focus on using Facebook Groups to build one on one relationships with your most avid customers.
Groups is one of the more under rated features on Facebook.
But for those businesses who are using them well, they’re building crazy amounts of satisfaction.
Gilt City is one of the more recent examples of a brand using a secret group for a loyalty program.
Recently they received a nod from Mashable saying it was “one of the more creative uses of Facebook Groups we’ve seen among brands”
But here’s all they did, Gilt City‘s Chicago division invited 100 of its top-referring and top-spending members to the Group, 69 of them accepted the invitation.
Members of the group are given rewards and other incentives, such as exclusive events, vouchers and early access to offers, to encourage them to get even more of their friends to sign up to the service in the area. Gilt City’s social media manager, Mae Karwowski, also reaches out to the group for feedback and ideas for future events.
Although she wasn’t able to disclose numbers, Karwowski noted that there has been a jump in referrals to Gilt City since the group launched last month.
While Groups “secret” feature is great for businesses and members…
It’s terrible for me for demonstration purposes.
Because I’m not a member of the Gilt Group, I’ll have to show you how powerful this can be by setting a “loyality group” up from scratch.
So first I go to Facebook.com/groups
And click create group.
In the pop-up I give my group a name, select it’s icon, and add members to the group.
Now it’s important to note, these members are added automatically, so if you want to “invite” them, you would want to first send an email to only your Best Customers (or if you don’t have s in the traditional sense, the people who interact with you the most) and only once you get the conformation from them should you add them to your group.
On the privacy dropdown select “Secret” which will make your group invisible to anyone who’s not a member. It won’t show up in searches, it won’t show up in members profiles, except to the people who are members for all intents and purposes it doesn’t exist.
If you want your group to show up in the searches and have it’s members visible but the wall hidden, and still have control over who could join, you would want to select closed and ask new members to request invitation (which we’ll talk about more in a second), and if you want it totally open, click Public.
When you’ve set your groups privacy, click “create”
From here you want to click edit group on the right navigation…
Decide if you want to new members to request approval to join. If you leave this open, existing group members can add new members to take part in the groups activities. However if you check this box, existing members can still add friends, but before they’re added to the group, they must first be approved by the administrator.
Click set up group email, and create the group email address.
Now notice underneath where it says “emails sent to this address will go to all group members” If you’re using this group as a loyality program, this is a very quick way to notify all members of a deal you’ve posted. BUT don’t abuse this. When you’re done click create email.
Enter a detailed description, this will show up to anyone who is not currently a member.
When you’re done, click save changes, then “profile picture on the left hand side of the screen”, and go through the steps to upload your groups profile picture.
When you’re done, click back to group on the top right of the screen.
From here you’re able to do many of the same things that you would from a regular profile page
Or Facebook Page.
But having a smaller group of only your most loyal custmers allows you to offer your products or services at a severly discounted rate. This will encourage your best s to think even more highly of you and encourage them to share you with even more people.
Some of the ways you can show your appreciation are to:
- Create exclusive links to password protected items on your site.
- Create Members only events like local sponsored parties.
- Record videos to give tip offs.
(With the fizzy pop group I’m letting group members know of a deal that’s coming up in the next couple of days and how they can be the first to take advantage of it.)
You can ask questions to crowd source options with your most loyal members. In this example, I’m asking my most loyal s what they think would be a good partnership would be to do cross promotional deals, the options are the cupcake factory, the music store, and the skateboard shop.
You can also create docs, that can be edited by the group.
In this example, I’m using a doc to ask for feedback that will make FizzyPop better as a brand. Doing this allows us to let FizzyPop’s top paying s to have a voice that actually influences the direction of the company.
This also let’s the FizzyPop fans know that we truly are in this loyality group together so we can connect one on one.
And probably the best feature of groups is the ability to chat with all group members.
By clicking on the Chat with Group link on the right, we can chat with all the members online at any given time.
Now it would probably be best if you were to schedule these types of chats ahead of time so you’re not suprising your members out of the blue, but this can be a great way to get real time one on one feedback in a semi-private environment.
But what if you’re not a brand like FizzyPop?
You can also use many of the same functionalities in a completly different way.
Using the Docs functionality, Groups is a great tool for collaborative projects where you can edit documents and talk to team members at the same time.
By putting a file on your own server, and sending an email to the group email address with the link, you can notifiy all group members to go to the link and download the file.
(Update: Groups now have file sharing enabled)
You can use events to schedule calls to discuss project milestones… and the list goes on.
Two other things to note when it comes to groups
By default all group members are notified when something is posted in the group.
Also, when you publish to a group, it will show up in everyone in the groups News Feed, unlike publishing to a Page which will show up in only a percentage of your fans Top Newsfeeds because of how the EdgeRank algorithm works.
And that’s it, that’s the end of Day 9 of 21 Days to a More Engaging Facebook Presence.
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