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Oct. 28, 2014

84: Rediscovering the Potential Business Value of Facebook Groups

84: Rediscovering the Potential Business Value of Facebook Groups

Have you had a bad experience on a social network and refused to venture back into it? That's not good business sense. Perhaps it has happened to you by being opted-in to several Facebook Groups without your permission. Now is time to join Neal in rediscovering the potential business value of Facebook Groups.

Key Highlights

[02:47] Do A Reset On Everything You Do

[03:30] Facebook Statistics

[04:24] The Biggest Social Network

[05:55] Adapt and Change Your Way

[06:31] Facebook Groups

[07:45] My Facebook Group Experimentation

[08:35] Disadvantage of Facebook Group

[11:58] My Facebook Community

[14:03] The Challenge

[14:53] Creating Group Rules

[15:09} What To Do TO Increase Engagement

[15:18] How to Join My Facebook Group

Notable Quotes

  • You need to be with your audiences. And you need to figure out a way to engage with your audience to make yourself more successful. 
  • But I have immense respect for the platform and the people behind the platform. They really are building something that, you know, is in essence, sort of revolutionising the way that we communicate with each other for lack of a better concept.
  • So the other thing is that we talk about all these other networks where people still spend a heck of a lot of time on Facebook, it is still by far the biggest social network.
  • But the fact that people are on Facebook is no different today, it's irrelevant to the edge rank, the edge rank, and social media is always going to favor people over businesses. Businesses are always at a disadvantage when engaging in social.
  • So the other side of the Facebook group is as a business, you're at a disadvantage. When you're in a Facebook group, you're engaging as a person. And you can engage with people a lot more easier than you can on a Facebook page, if they have an interest in your group. 
  • But if people are going to pay to be in a forum, I want it to be presented in a certain way to make it a resource for everybody over time. 
  • t the benefit now, and I'm already seen it is that I'm creating when you're talking to someone on Twitter, you know, or on some of the social networks, some of the other ones, it's a little bit different than when you talk to them on Facebook, because it's the most personal of our networks, it's where we share the most personal information. 
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Welcome to maximize your social, actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, founder of maximize social business, and soon to launch Social Media Center of Excellence. Neal Schaffer. Everybody, welcome to my world. Neal Schaffer maximize your social yes, you're in the right place. It is a beautiful. Well, it's hard to say it's an autumn day when you live in a place where you don't see any snow in the winter, and it doesn't really get that cold. I'm here in beautiful Irvine, Orange County, California presented to you today. And it's that time of year right in mid to late October, where the heat starts to cool down, especially in the mornings in the evenings and your body starts to feel a little bit weak as you transition from your summer system to your winter system. And that's sort of where I am right now sort of feel like I need to, you know, put on long sleeve shirts instead of short sleeved ones when I put on my pajamas at night. But anyway, I don't want to digress about the weather. But it's a great lead in because you know, every time we get near the end of the year, and although we're only in October, you know how Thanksgiving advertising and you know, Christmas and Hanukkah advertising, everything comes earlier and earlier every year, we begin to sort of look back at what we've done this year, and look ahead for the new year. And one thing that we always think about is hmm, you know, I've never really used Tumblr is that a network that I should pay more attention to? Or like I talked about in my last podcast, Instagram, holy smokes, look at the engagement, look at the success stories that we're starting to hear how can I leverage that and make that transition from the personal to the business. Now, in alignment with all this is one of the quotes from my top 25 Social Media for Business quotes post, which is you are never too late to join or really engaged in any aspect of a social network. Right. So that's the beauty. You know, I presented last weekend in Dallas. And there were literally people who said, I am just signing up to LinkedIn, do you have a book that can help me, I'm going to be presenting in December, to a group of professionals here in Irvine, that a majority of them and they're in sales, and b2b are just getting started literally doing a workshop of getting them started with their LinkedIn account. So and they can leverage it. You know, you may have been leveraging LinkedIn for three years and have been successful, they can start leveraging it now. And they can be successful very quickly, if they do the right things. And there's really Yes, there is an opportunity loss. But you know, do a reset on everything you do. Don't feel like just because you tried something in the past, you shouldn't try it again. Or you're too late for something you want to go to ello great. You want to go to zoo or however you pronounce it. I'm assuming that zoo Tsu great. You need to be with your audiences. And you need to figure out a way to engage with your audience to make yourself more successful. They're not today's podcast with that in mind, okay. today's podcast is going to be about Facebook groups. And you're looking at me saying, Neil, first of all Facebook, right? Facebook seems to be hated by more social media marketers, and any other social network, right? I am a big fan of Facebook, I have always been a big fan of Facebook, even though and you've heard me, you know, I'll provide my own statistics. It has not been nearly as successful for me as a business for my digital properties, as a Twitter, or LinkedIn or even a Pinterest has been, although there's way more people on Facebook. But it is still where everybody spends their time and after visiting Facebook headquarters last year, and I still owe you all a detailed ebook interview, which I am creating, I need to get my LinkedIn eBook out first, because I've been promising you that for a few weeks. But I have immense respect for the platform and the people behind the platform. They really are building something that, you know, is in essence, sort of revolutionising the way that we communicate with each other for lack of a better concept. So the other thing is that we talk about all these other networks where people still spend a heck of a lot of time on Facebook, it is still by far the biggest social network. So if you relied on this equation of Facebook page, publish a quote or image, publish a link, publish a question, do it three times a day, don't use paid advertising, and you see your organic reach lessening because of EdgeRank. What have you well, you need to change what you do. You don't complain about the system and this is what gets me You know, originally, because up until a few years ago, professionals were only on LinkedIn. And I still get these right, all these complaints. Why can't LinkedIn do this? Why does LinkedIn do that? It's like, Hey, chill. Here's my, my Southern California, my Socata turd, right? Chill, right? You're playing in their sandbox, it's linkedin.com. It's not your company.com you need to abide by the rules. You can complain about the rules. But you know, it's just a waste of energy and a waste of time, figure out what to do within the boundaries and those that have done that have been the most successful. I think it was a famous quote from Guy Kawasaki, who got you know, suspended by Twitter back in the early days is like, Hey, you gotta push these networks to their boundaries. And it's funny, because I remember adding like 80 people on ello a few weeks ago, and I was just getting started on and I think I mentioned in the podcast, and I immediately got this, Hey, you got a too many people. Today, come back tomorrow. Great. Now I know that that exists, right? So that's sort of the thing. You need to adapt and change your way. But the fact that people are on Facebook is no different today, it's irrelevant to the edge rank, the edge rank, and social media is always going to favor people over businesses. Businesses are always at a disadvantage when engaging in social. That's another one of my top 25 Social media quotes for business that you better read that blog post. Sorry for me being forceful there. But I express a lot more in that blog post. And it's about 4000 words, I think I've done in any of my other blog posts, outside of my writing books, but let me get back to so that's the Facebook side, right? Well, groups. Neil, what are you talking about? Now, you're probably shaking your head right now. I am like you. When Facebook groups are announced, or some internet marketers started using them, I don't know, maybe two years ago, I was opted into almost any Facebook group you can imagine. And it was spam. And I hated them. And I tried to immediately leave and not allow people to add me back in and stay away from them. Right? They're evil people are just using them for marketing. There's a lot of spam, what have you. Now, that's what I used to think. But there's been a lot of just anecdotes that I have seen from people that I respect, from things that I read that you know what, there are some great Facebook groups out there. And it's the same with LinkedIn groups. I have a renaissance now with LinkedIn groups, because it's a big fan of them, then the internet marketers took over. And now there's some great groups out there that have great conversations that the internet marketers, and well, at least a lot of professionals have sort of forgotten about. They're like ads just full of spam. But there's really some great conversations, great information, but you need to find the right groups. And it's the same with Facebook. Okay, so I started my experimentation by saying, you know, what I'm going to join every open group that's sort of related to social media that has that has a lot of people. And I'm also going to go back into the groups that I was opted in, that I haven't deleted out, because it just began to be such a hassle and start to see what they're talking about. And what I realized was yes, 80 to 90% of the groups out there are full of spam. But there are some great groups. And I know you're listening here, Albert Chen, because I know Albert has built a great Facebook group organically that has, I think close to 2000. Members, you have to correct me if I'm wrong, Albert, like a social media job board, right? It's one example, I found a Facebook group for social media managers and has a little bit over 5000 fans. But it has tremendous engagement, no spam, and it's just been a great place to learn and also help others. So the other side of the Facebook group is as a business, you're at a disadvantage. When you're in a Facebook group, you're engaging as a person. And you can engage with people a lot more easier than you can on a Facebook page, if they have an interest in your group. Hope that makes sense. So if you're in marketing, and you want to get ideas for new products, or you want to understand the frustrations that cat owners have, you create a group for cat lovers you talk about, you know, the products that you use, you ask people what they use, you post interesting photos, it's sort of like inbound marketing one on one, but you're doing it for a group, it's the same thing you've been doing on your page and on Twitter and throughout social media, but now you're doing it on a more personal and authentic level. And it's sort of like for lack of a better word. What I see it as is above the funnel marketing now, the social media managers group that I'm a member of, they have a paid, it's like, you know, a $497, informational marketing product that they sell, and they offer the group up. It's a closed group, but you know, you can invite others as the new group that I created, which I'll go into, it's for alumni but also anyone else and whenever you go to the group, you see the header image and you know who the sponsors are and that indirectly will spark an interest in them and That's where it immediately hit me immediately hit me, that I, through the creation of a Facebook group can create a new community, like a LinkedIn group or Google Plus community here on Facebook in a way that you can't on a personal page, where you're not always talking to what you do for a living, and a Facebook page where the EdgeRank just the odds are not in your favor to begin with. But a community right, notifications are going to show up by default for your friends for most communities that I know. And obviously, you can edit that so that everything shows up. But once you've invested in a community, I think you have a much better chance of getting seen. When you like our Facebook page and they post, you don't get notifications, the notifications are the difference. And it's the same reason why I talk about this Facebook app in Japan, it's probably an illegal app. But you know, it's an app that someone hacked. This is like your boss, and you basically put in the Facebook URL, your boss, and you friend them and within, you know, 15 to 30 minutes. And when they post, it immediately likes their posts, right. It's brilliant. And it's about the notifications of maintaining mindshare, and it's something that I go into when I talk about my social selling presentations. So as I like to say, this is a subject for another podcast, someone's going to have to make a list of all these podcasts that I'm promising you to make sure I live up to my own brand promise, right. So that's not really as well, I can create something unique here. And basically what this other group is doing, is it's a freemium model. And I don't, you know, like I said, it's something unique that you can do on Facebook, similar to what you do on LinkedIn, or Google Plus, where you get notifications there as well, you know, depending on the community in your settings, but on Facebook, it's golden, because we spend so much time there, I'll take a Facebook notification over the other notifications any day. Right? Because I know that's where more people are spending more time. And they live off their notifications. So with that in mind, I decided you all should probably know I'm going to be launching this new community called Social Media Center of Excellence, you can go to social media coa.com To register, and it's going to be a unique paid community, right? Because time is money. And expertise is money. But I want to offer up my expertise and experience to any and every business person, small business owner, marketing executive, whoever's out there that can't afford to hire me to speak, to consult, but what more than they can get out of my books and blog posts, right? It's a natural progression for me. And really, I'm all about best practices. So that's why I got the name. And that's, that's what it's gonna be. But you know, it's also a freemium model. I also want to offer I'm all about education and empowering others. And I also want to offer up three things as well. So there'll be a free part of the site and a paywall. So it made sense to me now, you may be thinking, Well, are you going to use your Facebook group as your closed community? No, I'm building a forum into the site and for a variety of reasons. And I know it takes a little bit more work than a Facebook community. But if people are going to pay to be in a forum, I want it to be presented in a certain way to make it a resource for everybody over time. And there's also SEO benefits. And you know, that's another story. And if you're curious, you can hit me up separately via email or what have you. So the freemium model of the forum within the community on the website is the Facebook community. And no, I cannot answer as many questions or give out as much advice there as I can on my own paid community. But at least I can start to promote the presence of this community, on Facebook in a group and provide a heck of a lot of value. I can now funnel people when they asked me social media questions some of you may have seen if you follow me personally on Facebook, that I'm just sick of answering random social media questions on Twitter, if you want to ask a question, go to my community, where there's an ROI there opting into something, it's Facebook, other people see it, it's a win win, really, for everybody. Right? So the challenge now is, when you begin a community, you're the only person in it, who you're going to invite and when you invite someone you automatically opt them in. Now, this goes back to my roots of hating Facebook groups, and bringing people in that haven't opted, unfortunately, if you go to social media seo.com There's a landing page, I'll let you know when we launch and I'm acquiring email addresses so I can go through the email addresses and find people that I know that are already opted in to receive information. So I took the liberty and there weren't that many people because I just you know launch that landing page recently, of not only adding them but in the word that many like I said, but also saying hey, the reason why I added you as you already opted into wanting more information, and you're also a friend of mine, I thought it would be a natural extension to start the conversation here before that community launches. So I explained it very very clearly. I created a group rules which were very clear as to what indicated spam No, this was not a place to drop them. Links. It's not a place to promote your products and services, et cetera, et cetera. And slowly, I've started to build the community, what am I going to do to increase engagement? Do I welcome every new member Do I start to promote it on my other sites, and slowly, I mean, it's still very, very small. But if you're interested, if you go to I think it's facebook.com/groups/social media Corp, you can actually join the group, and I'll approve of you. So that's really sort of the background. But the benefit now, and I'm already seen it is that I'm creating when you're talking to someone on Twitter, you know, or on some of the social networks, some of the other ones, it's a little bit different than when you talk to them on Facebook, because it's the most personal of our networks, it's where we share the most personal information. It's also if you look at who our average Facebook friends are, they're part of our more trusted network. So if you want to spread the word about something, you want it to spread to the Facebook, friends of others, right. And Facebook will do this, because, you know, I think you've all seen over the last few months that it's actively saying, Hey, you should join these groups that we recommend for you. And they'll show you what your friends are in them. So that's why obviously, the more people who get from diverse backgrounds, not just your own friends, but people that you have no friends of friends of third degree connections, in the words of LinkedIn, the more you're going to get exposure for your brand. In Facebook, if you're a Coca Cola, you don't need to be doing this right. Or you could create a group for your your VIP fans. But it's really for those that want to build more brand awareness in Facebook in a different way. I think it can be effective. I just started on my journey, I'm already seeing very, very positive signs. It's actually forcing me to spend more time on Facebook. But hey, as I talked about, in another podcast, if you want to build engagement from a community, you need to spend more time in a community. And I think Facebook groups is a great way of doing that probably the best way of doing it. All that makes sense. I'm just telling it like it is like I see it, trying to share best practices with you. I can't say this is the best practice yet until I have a case study from it. But I really am excited about the potential. I'm obviously really excited about Social Media Center of Excellence, both as a new project of mine, as well as the Facebook community, which hopefully you'll all join. And hey, what's been your experience with Facebook groups? Let me know if you have a case study. I want to talk about it. I want to share it I want you to become part of the best practices in case studies and I teach corporations and professionals everywhere. Set for today. Hope you enjoyed this podcast. I always enjoy publishing these podcasts. And always whenever I see a tweet, an iTunes review, a SoundCloud, repost. It means more than anything that is my ROI from these podcasts is someone say, Neal, I enjoyed your podcast. Thank you. That's what I'm about. That's what my content is all about. And I really hope that this empowers you to do more and to get to the next level with your social media. That's it for today. Everybody signing out from Irvine, California. Make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show, or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community the Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. Thanks again and make it a social day.