What is a Facebook Community?
Big brands have pages/ profiles on various social media platforms including facebook pages. Using Social media presence and marketing businesses ensure that customers can reach out to them whenever they wish to. Following their footsteps local business and other small businesses also came forward and created facebook pages.
Today there are approximately 80 million pages of local businesses on facebook.
Do these pages help in creating engagements with the customers?
In India, I have noticed that most of the local business pages share a post for greeting their audience on festivals, any offers they are coming up with etc. These pages are not used for anything else. Unlike the big brands, small businesses cannot afford to get campaigns designed and then run them on facebook.
This type of facebook page maintenance is costing local businesses somewhere around INR 8000 to INR 15000 per month.
And the results are minuscule and unmeasurable. As they are not getting any measured results from there, they take facebook marketing for granted. But there is more than this which can be done, and better results can be achieved at the same cost.
What if they start forming communities, in the form of Facebook groups?
Small business can form facebook community by adding their existing customers to the group. A Facebook Community help in linking members of similar interest in their neighbourhood.
This way a business can communicate with the customers and start discussions on various topics related to their products. And the customers can start discussions and interact with each other.
Advantages of creating a Facebook Community:
1. Value addition for customers:
Creating a Facebook community will allow a business to add value in many ways. For example, if there is a local business which sells organic food — Grains, Vegetables and Fruits. They can form a community of people who are aware of the harmful effects of pesticides and the advantages of eating organic food.
Instead of spending INR 8000 to INR 15000 on maintaining a page they can spend that amount or even collaborate with a nutritionist to share useful tips in this group and educate people about building their meal plans. The value added to the customers through this group can be very attractive to the customer because consulting a nutritionist incurs costs which the customer is saving.
2. Free word of mouth publicity:
It goes without saying that if you do something to add value to your customers, they become your brand ambassadors by choice. Word of mouth marketing can do wonders for a local business.
If you wish to further increase your word of mouth publicity, you can also run referral programs.
3. Loyalty Marketing:
Once you create a Facebook community, you can also run loyalty marketing programs and increase your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) substantially. In fact, creating a facebook community itself is going to increase loyalty, because of the value addition you provide.
4. Easy maintenance:
A Facebook community is easy to maintain as compared to Facebook Pages. In communities, you may or may not post the members can always have a discussion of their own. Also, you can just initiate a discussion, which can continue for a few days. Hence, we can safely say that a facebook community is self-sustainable.
Building communities on facebook would require hard work. Adding all the customers to a group and convincing them to join the group is a big task. But it can be made attractive if the business can add substantial value to the customers through this community.
Small or local businesses can achieve all the above-mentioned advantages through a facebook community. So, start building one for your business today.
Click here to read what Facebook says about building a Facebook Community.