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Why Your Facebook Group Marketing Strategy is a Pile of Poop!

Facebook Group Marketing - How Not To Be Crap

Using Facebook Groups to build your business is super effective. Everyone knows it’s the best way to connect with new customers on Facebook. So you’ve joined “all the groups” and you’re ready to start harvesting new leads and getting your new enterprise’s name out there. So what do you post?  If you’re new to Facebook Group Marketing, you’re probably going to post at least one of these faux pas posts at some point. The rules of Facebook Group Marketing are nuanced and unofficial (or very, very official depending on the group). Everyone will do at least one of these – the key is to choose carefully the time and the place.

Note that I have chosen NOT to use one of the dozens of examples I see everyday on Facebook for this post. Instead I have created examples myself. It’s not cool to screenshot groups without permission!

Need Help?  We live and breathe on social media.  We don’t need to spam because we see opportunities for your business in Facebook Groups every single day.  Save your time, we’ve got this covered.  Learn more about our social media services now.

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Facebook Group Post tactics that everyone does, and everyone else hates

Seagull posts

“Get 60% off all this week guys, you’ll love it”

via GIPHY

Why it’s not OK:
Seagull posts are where the business owner flies in, shits on the wall and flies out. Hard sell, zero value to the actual group, straight up self-promotion. This will get you banned from Facebook groups immediately.

When is it OK?
From a “quality social media marketing’ perspective, the answer is NEVER, EVER. Like not once. However, spam groups exist. “Advertise for free” groups are all over Facebook. You can fly in and shit all over that wall as it’s already full of shit and nobody is looking at it anyway. These groups are old. From back when group marketing was brand new and people were searching for “Advertise” as a keyword. The only exception to the rule may be Buy Swap and Sell style groups, but be aware that these are “online garage sales’ and spamming them with commercial messages will get you banned.

Follow me posts

Example: “Hi guys, I just started a new Instagram account and would love it if you guys would follow me”

Why it’s not OK:
If I rolled my eyes any harder my retinas would detach right now. This is the single most annoying post seen in Facebook Groups. The reason? We’ve all started properties and all had to fight for every like.

When is it OK?
Groups that only exist for the very newest of the new. These groups specialise in helping you get your first 100 followers, help you figure out which delivery company to use, offer advice on getting an ABN – that sort of thing. This post *may* be OK in this kind of group. Check the group rules before posting.

Pods, marches, ladders, taskers

Example: “Hey guys, why don’t we all follow each other on Instagram/LinkedIn/Facebook?”

Why it’s not OK:
These kinds of posts create a flurry of spam on the wall. Everyone in the group posts the links to their social properties with the expectation of the rest of the group liking their stuff. Nobody actually goes and likes the stuff.

When is it OK?
Admins sometimes run “structured” posts around this, as long as you follow through and like the other pages, you will be invited back to do it regularly. There are plenty of dedicated groups for this. Just search “ladder” or “pod” and you’ll find them. These are probably OK to get your first 100 followers IF the group you’re in is populated with the right kind of people. Are they in your location? Will they likely have need of your product at some point? If they’re just “filler” followers they will eventually drag down your account’s performance. The percentage of your followers that engage with your brand can determine your organic reach. Getting lots of useless bums on seats decreases your percentage and harms your account’s overall performance.

Token information post

“Everyone knows anti-oxidants are key to long life and healthy organs – but did you know that one of the best sources of anti-oxidant is blueberries? Simple and delicious! Hooray. We’ve just had a new shipment of freeze-dried, 100% organic blueberries – get healthier organs here ==>Link”

Why it’s not OK:
You’re not fooling anyone. A bit of token information isn’t actually “adding value” to the group. Everyone knows this is a sales post, don’t even pretend they won’t.

When is it OK?
These can be used very effectively, spark conversation and gain real Facebook Group Marketing traction. The difference between a token post and a proper post is where you’re already seen as an expert in one area by other group members. Let’s say there’s been a controversial change to Instagram marketing (shadow banning is a big one right now) – creating a blog post that gives unique insights that are useful to the group members is an acceptable way to share a link to your site.
Remember that Facebook Group Marketing is best when driving users into the TOP of your funnel. Send them to your interesting and useful blog and then grab them on your site. Funnel them from that blog through your funnel – don’t try to bypass the conversion process.

Loosely disguised request for help

“Folks, I have a brand new product that I’m very nervous about. Here’s a picture. I think they’re AMAZING because they have {INSERT LIST OF BENEFITS} but am scared that people won’t understand that. Can anyone give me tips on how to market them?”

Why it’s not OK:
Any time you post a link to your website or socials, everyone thinks “spam”. It means you’re not getting through the mental block people have on reading and taking action on your post. These statuses do OK because they play on the culture of Facebook Groups – which is essentially “we’re all in this together and everyone is here to help”. By taking advantage of this wonderful collaborative culture for your own gain, you may be perceived as a jerk.

When is it OK?
Something big like a new website might be OK especially if there have been previous discussions about your need for a new website. However, “I just imported 5000 of these and am selling them really cheaply (link here), what postage option is best” – these kinds of posts get very annoying. If you’re going to manipulate the group like this, you’d best have a reputation for being super helpful to other group members first. Karma, The Golden Rule, being decent… whatever you want to call it, asking for help when you’re actually asking for sales is a risky way to use Facebook Groups for marketing purposes.

Humble brag

***BIG NEWS*** Guys I am so excited, we’ve been made the exclusive distributor of (brand name, product)! This is a massive thing for my little biz and I’m so happy because (product) offers Australian parents (list of benefits). I have been up all night adding the new section to my website! So excited. Check it out! ===> Link

via GIPHY

Why it’s not OK
Everyone wants to cheer you on. Your success makes them happy. It gives them hope. Again, it’s the collaborative nature of Facebook Business Groups. So… using that love to further your brand’s presence and click through can be a bit of a jerk move if it’s not a legit victory.

When is it OK?
It’s OK when it’s a legitimate victory. It’s not just OK, it’s a lovely post that will attract hundreds of likes. It needs to be totally legitimate.
“Guys I am so excited, something amazing happened to my little biz today! We just landed (BIG BRAND NAME) as a client. We’ll be staging the (MASSIVE EVENT) attended by 5000 people! Sorry to brag but this is the biggest thing that ever happened to my little biz!”  Remember that the best Facebook Group Marketing is to build a brand by being awesome!

Affiliate and MLM recruitment posts

“OMG, I can’t believe my luck! I was working 40 hours a week in a job I hated but now I am a freedom loving ruler of my own destiny… and I do it all from home! I’m making six figures working just 4 hours a week! Would any of you lovely ladies like to know my secret? DM me and I’ll tell all!”

Why it’s not OK
You are, I’m sorry to say, not welcome here. Group members’ “tap fingers” are aching from the lightning speed of their “report spam” click. Yes, you run a business. No, it’s not a business comparable to the other members of the group. They hate your business model. They want you out of their group. MLM and Affiliate Marketers are the plebeians, the underclass, the untouchables of the Facebook business world. You are the sole bottle feeder in the breastfeeding enthusiasts group. You serve white bread and pink sprinkles at the organic buffet. And no, MLM businesses don’t mention this when they recruit you.

When is it OK?
There are plenty of dedicated MLM and Affiliate recruiter groups. Unfortunately, there are thousands of MLM businesses in there fighting over any fresh meat that joins. This is more about changing up the business model. The smart MLM businesses make their core product part of a “store” that sells lots of related things. If you sell Jamberry Nails, you can create a store around nail accessories and the like. That way you’re perceived as a “legit business that includes Jamberry in their stock”. This is a big ask when you’re really desperate to increase your pipelines and don’t want to waste time and effort on running a “fake store”. For Affiliates, creating a blog around your niche – say business services – and referring to the affiliated service is the best way to get the referral clicks and share valuable content without being branded a straight up affiliate marketer. In reality though, if you’re not presenting objective and valuable information, your opinions will automatically be disregarded.

The MASSIVE offer post

“Hey everyone, we have this cool new e-Commerce auditing tool. We’ve just developed it and we’re keen to test it on hundreds of pages. Would anyone like to find out why they have so many abandoned carts?”

Why it’s not OK
Everyone knows you’re building a mailing list for your new product. Don’t kid yourself.

When is it OK?
The thing is that these posts work like crazy.  They rocket out of control in no time and you find yourself with hundreds of interested group members.  If you’re in the right group and have the right offering, you will get 500 leads from this exercise. You can only do it once. Plan, prepare and make it so damn special, and SO VALUE PACKED to the group members that it has a massive impact. You’ll need to plan to perform the service straight away – even if you have to do it 500 times. You’ll need to accept that offering free, high value services in a big group will attract a TON of time wasters. Your time will be wasted. Make sure you capture those email sign ups. Make sure you get all the value you can from this as it’s a once in a group lifetime chance to harvest leads.

The “Make it about me” comment reply

via GIPHY

Your post about Afterpay is really interesting. I am so happy that you’ve increased sales by SO MUCH. Have you considered (YOUR OWN COMPETING BUSINESS)? We do everything Afterpay does except that we also have a dancing monkey as our logo!

Why it’s not OK
A group discussion is NOT all about you. It’s rude, it’s interrupting a valuable discussion to direct it towards something NOT valuable – like your sales pitch. If it’s a competitor’s post and you brag about why your product is better, you’ll look like a total arse and people will actively avoid you and your business because the culture is collaborative. Do not turn things to a pissing contest.

When is it OK?
Rarely. If you have extra information to add value to the discussion, it’s useful – blatant self-promotion is not. If you’re an active, engaged, helpful member of the group (so your name and profile pic are familiar and positioned positively to many of the members) you can contribute a link to a relevant blog post with no negative repercussions.

Admin please delete if not allowed….

“Admin, please delete if not allowed. This is a link to my latest line of fashion accessories, would love your feedback ladies!”

Why it’s not OK
If you have to ask….you already know it’s not cool. Before you post this red flag for nobody to read your post, read the group rules. Is what you’re about to post in violation of them? Is the topic relevant to the group (don’t ask a business question in a car enthusiasts group for example). Then don’t even bother. Admin will delete… and maybe block you while they’re at it.

When is it OK?
IF the group has no formal rules and your question isn’t a direct violation of the “Social Compact” then it’s better to flip the coin and just post the question. Alerting admin and other group members that you’re feeling cagey for asking benefits nobody. If there is no other group that is more relevant, if it’s a question other group members may be considering, if it’s not going to offend a whole subsection of the group – roll the dice and hope for the best.

The Social Compact in Facebook Groups

“Social Compact: Implicit agreement among members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, including sacrificing some individual privileges for the good of the group. An agreement for mutual benefit between an individual and a group or the community as a whole.”

There are a few key points that are understood universally by Facebook Group members.  The same applies to LinkedIn Groups although spam is more tolerated on LinkedIn. These aren’t “recorded in a best practice document’ anywhere, it’s largely implied. Here’s the key ones:

  • Don’t spam.
  • Participate regularly and be helpful
  • Comply with all requirement of group entry including listing your details in any documents and adhering to any rules around post types and daily themes (eg #teachingtuesday)
  • Check the group description to be sure you’re compliant.
  • What happens in a closed group stays in a closed group
  • The first rule of secret groups is we don’t talk about secret groups… at all. Even that they exist.
  • Never PM another member with sales information
  • Never add another member to a mailing list without consent
  • Never use another member’s content without permission
  • Do not attempt to “pluck” group members to join your Facebook Group
  • If tagging a friend, ask yourself, would this chat be better in a private message? In jokes aren’t actually funny
  • Don’t flood the wall. Too many posts make you look spammy
  • Issues with Admins belong in private message, not on the group wall
  • If a member asks for referrals on the wall, do not PM them unless they ask you to.
  • You are what you share. If you share funny cats, you’re the “crazy cat lady” of the group. Stick to the topic of the group. Keep the cat pictures for your own timeline.
  • If you are inspired by something you see in a group, make sure you’re not violating anyone’s rights before acting on your inspiration
  • Check the swearing policy before dropping some colourful language into your post. Do not post graphic images or other disturbing content
  • Add a “Trigger Warning” before posting about topics that may remind users of past trauma (eg Baby Loss, Domestic Violence etc).
  • Your posts will give other members a “sense” of who you are – and that sense will determine whether other members read and respond to future posts.
  • Spammers go on the mental “do not deal with her” list and your brand will suffer significant damage
  • Clients recommending you is way more powerful than you recommending yourself
  • Don’t stir the pot. If someone posts something you disagree with, scroll on. Trolls are rarely tolerated.
  • Think before you post – if your post will offend, then admin would rather delete you than monitor the eschewing fight
  • Be authentically helpful 100% of the time
  • Be authentically you, 100% of the time
  • Social is social… what you say in group A will be gossiped about in group B
  • Check your spelling and grammar – or you’ll be perceived as lazy or poorly educated
  • In a group, you’re a collaborative force, even if your competitors are in the group too
    Groups are not a place to “make a quick buck” – be generous, don’t sacrifice your place in the group for a quick sale.

Listen, add value and be a part of a community

The key to building a Facebook network is to listen, not yell. Be a useful and influential part of the group and you’ll be more welcome to post self-serving content. Note that just about every business owner does at least one of these – even after learning the culture of Facebook Group Marketing. Remember that Facebook is there, like Insta, Google, YouTube… to drive people into your funnel by providing helpful information. Your website is there to convince them to take the next step. If you want to hard sell, use PPC. Once you’ve taken time to understand the group culture and have meaningful interactions with group members, you’ll be a far better Facebook Group Marketer.

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