How to Use Facebook Groups and Lists To Market Your Business

With all the changes to the Facebook Timeline Pages for business, most of the focus has been on how to setup your Timeline while staying within the guidelines. In a previous post 10 Useful Tips For Mastering Timelines For Pages, we walked through the features and setup of the Timeline. Now it’s time to start using the pages and features to your advantage. Let’s look at a work around for what the Facebook Timeline has removed and focus on how you can use Facebook Groups and Lists to ensure your business still connects with customers to regain the free marketing platform you are used to.

The Facebook Groups and Lists feature is often overlooked as a way of promoting content or communicating with your audience but with only 16% of status updates getting to your fans, it’s a great work around to ensure that everyone who should see your updates, does. Create focus groups where you can poll and chat with everyone at once or customize the type of content you distribute to reach a more targeted audience. If your business is support related, you can also create group pages as a forum for certain topics as reference for users. The possibilities are endless.

If you have a regular Timeline Page, start by logging into your Facebook account and navigating to the Facebook Groups creation page and click “Create Group”. Create the type of group you want and add friends from your list to that group.

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Pick a category icon and name the group. Next, select the privacy settings you want for the group. “Public” allows anyone to see the group information page, members of the group and the posts by the group members. The “Closed” option only allows members to see the posts but anyone can see the group page and the members of the group. The “Secret” option only allows members of the group to see any information about the page, group members and posts. When you have a security option selected, press “Create”.

Click on the gear icon under your Timeline Cover to open a drop down menu. From the menu select the “Add To Interest Lists”. Click on New List and a window will pop up where you can select the people and pages to feature.

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Name the Group List and select the security option you want to have for the page. The “Public” setting allows anyone to see your list and subscribe to it. The “Friends” option allows only friends to see your List and subscribe to it. The “Only Me” option wouldn’t be visible to anyone. It would only be seen by you.

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The members in the List will be notified as a private message in their notifications when you make updates and posts in that group page. This means when they sign on to their Facebook page, your content will be waiting there for them, not lost in the feed of thousands of other updates and posts. This could be a very good marketing strategy for business if they take advantage of the feature and do a little leg work to get it going.

In addition to creating Groups and Lists for your business, users can take advantage of another neat feature in the new Timeline. The ability to go beyond the Like button is now possible. Users have more control over groups they belong to and what things they get subscribed to in their news feed.  In the old Facebook Pages, the Like button would disappear after a fan joins your page.  Now if a fan hovers over the Like button of your page, there’s an option to start an interest list to see special news feeds on related topics or create a new list customizing who is in the list and what pages the content comes from. Fans can also choose to subscribe to your lists (which will appear in the drop down menu) to have your general status updates displayed in their new feeds and unlike the page if it turns out to be something they no longer want to see updates for.

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Creating a topic specific list is an excellent way to get noticed by potential fans. By creating a list in a certain niche that’s relevant to your business or field, you will broaden your reach beyond the fans that already know about you. When a fan subscribes to one of your Lists, if it’s public or closed, it will be visible to all their friends. To do this, pick a category in the lists tab and then click on the people and pages you want that list to include.

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Name your List and decide which security option you want for it. Click done and it will now be added to your drop down of Lists viewers can subscribe to.

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Once you have your Timeline setup the way you want and Lists created, it’s time to spread the word! Share it to your audience so that others are made aware of the lists and topics related to your product. Once they follow, their friends are notified and others may join them.  The more people who subscribe, the more authority that list has when users search for lists to follow.

In conclusion, it seems that the Groups and Lists features could be a great marketing strategy. I’m going to try some out for myself and see how many others are using this approach. Did you know about this feature and are you going to use it for your business Timeline? Leave a comment and let us know!