For any online business having a social media campaign and network is a must. They are great ways to interact with people and promote your products. Facebook and Google Plus both allow you to build pages dedicated to your business. The idea is that you promote your products and services via these pages and not your personal profiles which go against the networks terms and conditions.
The big problem is that Facebook pages have taken a slump that many have not been able to recover from. Facebook have pushed their ‘Promote a Post’ system where you pay them to show your post in the feeds of the pages fans, this is something that should have happened anyway. It seems that they lowered the reach of page posts so very few fans saw them in order to get people to use the new paid ‘Promote a Post’.
This crippled many pages who had small numbers of followers, when the reach has dropped and only 40-60 people out of say 900 are only seeing your posts then there really is not much point carrying on with the page. Google Plus has its own version of a page but it seems very few people are bothering with them.
Not many people are following Google Plus pages in my opinion, I could be wrong, maybe somewhere there are people who have pages with loads of followers but it seems Google Plus is more about people socialising than it is business. (Interestingly now called Boost Post)
Facebook Groups have been around for a while and were more popular than pages in some circles. Pages were the domain of teenagers creating fun pages that went viral and the craze of ‘liking’ pages was born. The more serious people like business people were using groups to network and communicate with similar like minded people.
When the Facebook pages were given an overhaul many businesses saw the potential in them and set about creating their business page. They then started to use Facebook’s own advertising system to drive traffic to them to get people to ‘Like’ their page. When someone liked a page, they would get the pages posts in their newsfeeds. When Facebook created their ‘Promote a Post’ system and started messing around with the reach of pages, pages soon lost their potential and appeal.
Many page owners had paid a lot of money using Facebook adverts to find fans so that they could now place their business posts directly into their newsfeeds. When this stopped and posts no longer landed in people’s newsfeeds pages became desolate places which forced many owners to simply abandon them. Many were pretty cheesed off at the fact that they had invested money with Facebook to get these fans only for Facebook to change the system and try and charge them for a second time.
For many this simply wouldn’t do yet they still saw great potential with Facebook so they decided to forget their pages and create Groups instead. Groups have been untouched and are not subjected to the reach problems associated with pages like having to pay for people to see your posts. With groups you have members and those members get notifications when a group member has posted in the group as well as if anyone had commented on your post.
Groups can be open or closed, an open group means that when someone posts in the group their friends will see it in their newsfeeds as well which can bring in new members if they are interested.
The communities on Google Plus are pretty similar; anyone can create a community and invite people to join. People who ask to join can be accepted or rejected so you decide who you have in your special group. You can give administration rights to anyone you choose so you do not need to do all of the admin work alone.
If your group or community is full of people worldwide and you get the occasional person posting spam posts you want them removed asap, if you as an admin are asleep in the UK when the post went live you could do with someone on the other side of the world who could administer swift deleting of the non wanted posts.
The great thing about groups and communities is that you have like minded people in them. Unlike pages that can be liked or followed by anyone with a simple click of a button, groups and communities can only be joined by people requesting to join or being invited.
People who do not have an interest in the group subject matter will not go through all of the trouble of joining whereas someone who is interested will. The people in the group have asked to be there, they are highly targeted people.
For example; if your group is about Content Creation, the people who join will be people who want to offer their services, look for people to hire or people who want to learn more. You will have a Mastermind group or a community of people that are looking for things that relate to that group. It is the same if your group is based on Social Media Tips, SEO Expert Advice or Internet Marketing.
Using the example of Content Creation, if you owned several websites and wanted to discuss ways to create content and was thinking of looking for people to outsource your content too you could create a group about Content Creation, invite a few friends, build up the group by accepting new people and then within a few short months you could be sitting on a good network of friends and people who can offer the services you want.
It is a win – win situation, I have seen this happen many times. People within groups have become friends and work has been passed onto each other. If your service is writing, social media manager, SEO or things like that, getting involved in a group can and will lead to paid work and new customers. I know this first hand.
As a group/community owner you do need to police the group regularly and with a firm hand. You will find people ask to join your group without the intention of really joining in. They see them as traffic sources and usually the MLM or Network Marketing fraternity are the worse.
They join as many groups and communities as they can and post bomb useless marketing style posts to try and tempt people to join their networks so that they can start making money and reduce their monthly costs.
It is quite sad how many people do this kind of stuff, they post nothing of value and desperately try to get new people into their downline any way they can and if it means ruining your group they will. So keep on top of it, delete useless spam posts otherwise your group will become flooded and the genuine good people will leave which is a real big shame because when done properly, a Facebook group or Google Plus community of like minded people can be a very valuable thing to be part of.
All there is left to say is that if you are not a member of at least one good Facebook Group or Google Plus community, you should go and join one or start one now. You will not regret it.