You’ve seen it before: the overenthusiastic business spamming your favorite Facebook group with sloppy ads. You’re not that blowhard with a digital megaphone, so don’t copy the same advertising techniques.
Time to get a new strategy that avoids scaring off group members or spoiling your message.
With careful planning and research, you can market in Facebook groups without losing your audience or breaking the group rules. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way:
1. Avoid Being a Broken Record
Facebook groups are great ways to advertise, but you’re better off using them organically instead of blandly reposting the same salesman’s script over and over again. Your audience deserves better than sales lines, and you know it. Have fresh material or don’t bother.
You may need to look around and find your own legitimate news, updates, and ideas to share. If you’re offering highly-relevant products, sharing company news might qualify: a highly anticipated new product release or an exciting contest your target audience would love to enter. Mention it once, and don’t overdo your promotional efforts for that one piece of news. Say it and forget about it for a while. Use reminders sparingly.
Look for an excuse to post, or borrow one from us:
- Last Chances
- Running a contest that ends tomorrow? That’s usually a great reason to post; you have a built-in sense of urgency.
- Breaking News
- Relevant to the group? Share it.
- Unique Scoops
- If you’re a skateboard manufacturer posting on a skateboard enthusiast group, company news usually qualifies as relevant AND unique. Just make sure it’s impactful to group members.
2. Offer Something Useful & Avoid the Blandly Self-Promotional
Since many groups now have rules limiting self-promotion, you’ll also need to advertise in ways that don’t frustrate the admins or get you removed from the Facebook group. This sometimes requires a judgment call. Promoting your business, if interest is high enough and the offer is relevant enough, can be forgivable. Knowing your group and their moderators can really help. Establish a rapport if you can.
Promoting your business, if interest is high enough and the offer is relevant enough, can be forgivable.
For instance, announcing a holiday contest like sweepstakes or giveaways in a relevant Facebook group is an often welcome form of advertising — everyone loves free stuff! Posting a series of videos about your products on an hourly (or even daily) basis, however, veers directly into that self-promotional territory.
3. Reading the Room
Pay attention to the mood of the group. If your posts get zero interaction or response from members (few “likes” or comments), maybe it’s time to step back and reassess your contributions. Perhaps your messaging needs some work. Possibly it’s a mismatched Facebook group. Time to figure that out.
To choose the right groups in the first place, make sure you understand enough data points about your target audience. If you haven’t created a marketing persona, you’ll need to start. From there, consider any Facebook group your target personas would join.
Perhaps your messaging needs some work. Possibly it’s a mismatched Facebook group. Time to figure that out.
If the messaging seems off, this might mean you’re tone-deaf to market desires. Review and reassess your messaging, look for opportunities to A/B test any new copy with real customers. Using surveys and small focus groups might help. At the very least, to get some insight, talk to a member of your sales team or someone who’s interacting directly with customers.
Always watch responses to your posts and, if possible, track your metrics over time to look for ways to improve your messaging (or stop bad messaging before damage is done).
4. Plans. Goals. Calendars.
Social media is fun and spontaneous, but don’t get lost in the excitement. It takes a lot of time sometimes to perfect social media promotion, from doing the Persona research on your audience to finding the right Facebook groups. Invest this time wisely. Go in with some benchmarks, ideas, and concrete goals.
If nothing else, briefly write down some goals, objectives, and metrics for your marketing campaign. Even sketching-out a basic plan to provide guidance and determine success will help.
5. When in Doubt, Ask an Admin
Before blundering into a dead-end or making a group misstep, if you can, it’s best to check with a group administrator. Better to ask something like, “Can we advertise?” or “Would it be appropriate to– etc. etc.” and hear, “Sorry, no.” than harm your reputation and lose credibility with the audience.
Some groups now post rules. If you can, take a moment to look for them, and then send a short message introducing yourself to the admin. Let them know you’re very interested in the group. If you have a specific promotion idea you’re unsure of, let them know you’d like to share your news/info without harming the group dynamic. Be respectful if they reject your promotion–you’re fighting a war, not a battle, and perhaps the group could warm-up to your brand later.
Promote, Stay a While and Contribute
Once you’ve started advertising, stick around and be a friendly presence in the group. This builds trust and goodwill toward your brand. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about your customers and your target audience. So, don’t be afraid to kick off your shoes and stay a while!
Looking to run a contest on Facebook or in Facebook groups? Sign-up to Woobox free and build any promotion you like! Subscribe at any time to publish and embed it online. If you have any questions about customization in your promotions, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.