Even before I had a business Page, Facebook was the #1 driver of traffic to my website. How? Because I was a part of a number of great Facebook groups where my ideal clients were hanging out.
And I’m not talking about popping in, promoting my services or latest blog post and hoping for the best. This sort of “drive-by” spam is icky and it doesn’t work, so just don’t do it. (Hat tip to Maggie Patterson for the “drive-by” description of this kind of promotion, it’s just brilliant.)
I’m talking about being of service. Answering questions, sharing resources you love and generally being helpful and supportive. I've said it before (in fact I wrote a whole post on this topic) but this kind of service is the best way to get noticed online and one of the best uses of your social media time. (And you’ll make really awesome relationships too! I’ve met mastermind buddies, biz collaborators and of course, clients this way.)
So how do you find groups on Facebook (that are ACTUALLY good)?
Step 1: ASK your clients and community
Send out an email to your list or notes to a couple of your clients and straight up ask them if there are any Facebook groups they love. (Bonus points: ask them where else they hang out online in general!)
Step 2: Use Graph Search to search for groups on Facebook
Last week before my Facebook from Scratch webinar, I was in a Facebook group with other business owners talking about how powerful Facebook, and Facebook groups, can be for reaching your ideal clients.
However, several of the business owners who serve “regular” people (as opposed to those of us who serve other business owners) said they found it VERY difficult to find groups on Facebook that weren't just a bunch of other business owners!
And I get that. Sometimes it seems a little bit like an echo chamber where every group is filled with the same gang of business owners!
But, given that Facebook has 1.23 billion active monthly users of which over 500 million are using Facebook groups (according to Zuckerberg in a 2013 Q4 earnings report), I’m going to go out a limb and say there are definitely groups of your ideal clients, you just need to know where to look.
And Facebook has an incredible tool called graph search that makes searching for groups really easy:
**UPDATED 25/5/2017: Facebook search has changed (again!). I've updated the tutorial below to reflect the changes. It's a bit less user-friendly than Graph Search BUT it's still possible to searching for groups of your ideal clients if you know how to do it:
Step 3: Join several promising groups
Read the description in in the group before you join it to know if it's open for anyone to join. Then spend a week or so just hanging out. Listen, see how the group is managed and familiarize yourself with the group’s guidelines. Introduce yourself (in a non-spammy way). If you see a question you can answer or someone you can help, jump in!
You are looking for a group that is active and has a pro-active moderator or moderation team (otherwise the group tends to denigrate into spam-central as it grows). And of course, it needs to feel like a good fit for you and somewhere you think your ideal client might hang out.
Don’t be afraid to join 5-10 groups and then leave all but the ones that are exactly what you are looking for!
You can also consider creating your own group! It’s a fantastic way to grow your community, really get to know the people in your audience and stay top-of-mind for potential clients. (If you curious what it takes to create a really active and supportive community, stay tuned! I’m going to be talking to a number of successful community owners in a future blog post and asking them to share their top tips with us. Don’t want to miss it? Join the email community and be the first to know when it’s published.)
Take action now
- Do a couple of different graph searches and see what groups pop up. Join at least 3 that look promising!
BONUS: Ask your audience where they like to hang out online–include the question in your next email or ask on your social media channels.
I’d love to hear from you
Are you part of any Facebook groups? Which are your favs and why? Share with us in the comments below!
And if you found this useful, I’d love if you shared this post with other business owners who might be struggling to find groups of their ideal clients on Facebook. You can tweet, share on Facebook or Google+ with the buttons right below : )