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There are numerous benefits to starting a Facebook Group, and they can be structured in ways that suit nearly any purpose. Your customers and fans are probably already using Facebook, so it’s smart to invite engagement there. Setting up shop where your market visits on a regular basis will increase your chances of reaching your target demographic. Understanding how to start a Facebook Group, the types of groups available and some guidelines for running your group will help you to begin the process of utilizing this powerful tool for your own business needs.


Define Your Purpose of Your Facebook Group

The first step in deciding to start a Facebook Group is to figure out its purpose. Groups allow more interaction than a Facebook Page. This dynamic can be ideal for establishing communities, increasing engagement and developing brand loyalty. The key is to form your group around a topic, cause or theme that is relevant to your business and meaningful to your fans. It’s important that members have a common need or interest. Otherwise, you’ll encounter a lack of participation and dwindling numbers. Do some brainstorming to come up with group ideas. Discuss them with your team. You may even want to get feedback from current customers. In addition, you’ll want to clarify what you, as a marketer, hope to gain from this group so that you can maintain focus. Narrow it down as much as possible. You may seek to build a community around a particular product in hopes of gaining loyal brand evangelists. Perhaps your group could focus on your niche of expertise in order to help your audience and build your reputation as an expert so that you can sell more informational products. Groups that rally around a cause or charity are often popular for forging relationships between fans and brand.


Set Things Up

Creating a Facebook Group is easy. Just click “Create Group” in the left sidebar of Facebook. You’ll need to add one more person to your group, per Facebook requirements. You can always ask a close friend to join ahead of time and add them during the setup process. Every group must have a privacy setting, which we’ll talk about in just a bit. For now, let’s move on to name your group. You want to give some thought to the name you choose so that its purpose is clear. The name can be changed later if you decide something else is more suiting or if your subject matter should evolve. Place a photo in the header, and then move on to add a short description of your group. It’s also a good idea to create a pinned post that will remain at the top of your group feed. This post should talk about the purpose of the group, its intended audience and the rules of conduct.


Choose a Group Privacy Setting

Choosing the privacy setting of your group is dependent upon the type of group you are running and its purpose. First, there is the public group setting. This means that any Facebook user can see the group and join. Members and posts can be seen by the public, too. This type of group is best-suited to non-controversial topics and mass promotion. Closed groups and their member lists can be seen by anyone; however, the posts can only be viewed by members. These groups work well for more sensitive content that members may not wish to have shared outside of the group. A secret group is open through invitation only. It cannot be searched, and not even the member list will be seen by anyone except those within the group. This format is for creating a safe space or for the purpose of discussing controversial issues.

These are the basics of how to start a Facebook Group. This forum can be a tremendous marketing tool, as well as a great deal of fun.