Using Facebook to grow my business as a therapist? Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? You may wonder how having a Facebook group can help to grow your practice. Well, let's explore...
One great benefit of using Facebook for your business is that people love to be a part of a group, a community, that gives them information on a specific topic. In today's day-in-age, more and more people are turning from physical community groups to ONLINE places where they can relate, talk to others, learn from professionals, and most importantly... NOT FEEL ALONE. So, who better to lead this group than, YOU (a professional therapist)? Don't doubt yourself! You are already THE expert of your niche (the specialty/specific topic of counseling) of what your Facebook group will need. How does this matter? Now you can use the group you create as one of your main online sources to educate the potential client, build a relationship and collect leads.. all at the same time! Excited to start a Facebook group now? Take a look at the few things, listed below, to think about when starting a Facebook group:
First things first- Don't Try To Sell In Your Group
You don't want to seem like you are trying to sell your services or products to this group because then, you're just enticing people to join solely for the benefit of financial gain. So please, make sure that the rules of the group are laid out from the beginning. If you are looking to promote something about your practice, do it in a casual way. Create a blog post of what you are looking to promote and share it within the group. This Facebook group should be mainly for educational purposes and growing your relationship with the potential client.
Second- Build That Email List... PASSIVELY
Once you have established the rules of the group, move on to how you can use the group to build your referral list. One quick and easy way to do so is when people ask to join the group, ask for their email addresses. Make sure this is optional. You don’t want them to feel like they have to, but you also want to build your email list for potential clients.
Here's a recap of what a Facebook group allows you to accomplish:
Effectively, and quite inexpensively, promote your brand
Reach more people that are likely to become your customers
Engage your audience on a more personal level
Engage in personal discussions with members and get valuable feedback
Gain priceless insights on how to improve your content/brand/product/services
Ok, now I know what you're thinking: Leta, how do I create a Facebook group in 2020? Don't worry, check out these next few sections which have a list of everything you need to know to get started!
Determine the Purpose of Your Facebook Group Page
Figure out who your target audience will be (these are the people are that you want to bring into your group) and how they will help you grow your business.
Once you figure out the type of people you want to bring in, it will help to determine the like-minded people that will help achieve the goal you have set for it.
Knowing The Difference: Facebook Group Vs Page 2020
What is the purpose of a Facebook group when I can create a business page? What are the differences between a Facebook group and a page?
Facebook groups have different dynamics when compared to a page and are better suited for building a business. A Facebook group is designed with the intention of encouraging communication within a small group of people where they can share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together for a common cause and thus promote a high level of engagement. For example, you can join Facebook groups related to your business and get an opportunity to identify and engage with your target audience. You can identify what your target audience wants and implement these ideas for your own business or with your own business page.
With Facebook groups, the advantage is that you can build a community. If you have a Facebook page for your business, your content is constantly fighting for people’s attention along with other updates on their newsfeed. To tackle this problem, business owners require advertising budgets for using paid ads to continuously promote their businesses. This challenge is eliminated by creating a Facebook group for your business. Creating a Facebook group is a great way to bring people together and interact with a group of like-minded individuals. If you frequently indulge in a healthy discussion with your group audience, they will come to your group often to devour the content that you are offering.
Now that we understand the basics of Facebook groups and how creating one can help boost your private practice, let's dive into the 6 benefits of owning a Facebook group.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #1: Gain High Level of Engagement
People want to interact with a person and not a business or a company. This is the reason why business pages don’t receive the expected level of engagement. If you have a group for your business, you will be the face of it. People will feel more comfortable to open up and share their concerns with you and thus help you understand the thoughts and concerns of your target audience.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #2: Receive Immediate Feedback
You will often need feedback from your audience about your products and other aspects of your business. You can conduct polls or ask questions and receive feedback from your audience in a short amount of time depending on the level of engagement your group has garnered. Many businesses use a strategy wherein they conduct polls or ask questions to their audience about a product they are planning to release in the future. By doing this, they’ll get a fair idea of how their target audience is going to perceive the product and thus decide whether it is a good idea to launch that product or not.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #3: Place Call to Action that Converts
Groups enable you to pin important posts for all group members to see. This is a great opportunity to place a Call to Action that grabs the attention of your audience. Although it’s not likely that all of your group members will respond to the Call to Action, most people eventually will. When people perceive you as a person who adds value, they will trust you and they’ll be much more inclined to respond to your Call for Action.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #4: You Get A Direct Line to Customers
The people in your Facebook group are likely your most loyal customers or fans. They’re spending their free time thinking and talking about your business on purpose. No one is making them participate (we hope). You’ve got an opportunity here to tap into some real insights from the people who know your business best. Watch, learn, ask for feedback, and then actually use it.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #5: You’ll Build Long-Lasting Relationships with Customers
Here’s a hot fact: customers are loyal to companies that treat them well. Inviting fans to be part of a community and engaging with them directly and regularly shows you care and builds invaluable loyalty and trust. If you want to take your relationship with your customer to the next level, a Facebook group is a great way to get serious.
The Benefits of Owning A Facebook Group #6: You’ll Increase Your Organic Reach
Facebook’s algorithm is designed to prioritize content from Facebook groups with high engagement. The more you and your group are posting and interacting, the further your reach in the newsfeed will be.
We've explored the differences between a Facebook group and a page and why the group works better for growing your business than a page would. We have also explored the benefits are for owning a Facebook group. Before you leave, we want to give you the three main types of Facebook groups (that way you're better equipped at understanding what type of group suits you best).
The 3 Main Types of Facebook Groups
There are three privacy settings to choose from for Facebook groups for business. Choose wisely (Or don’t. You can always change it later.).
Facebook Group Type #1: Public
With a public Facebook group, anyone can see what members post or share. If they have a Facebook account, they can also see a list of members, admins, and moderators. On the plus side, you’ll be visible to all potential group members and customers and there’s no barrier to join the club. There’s also no need to manually admit every single new member to the group. That’s right: the metaphorical door is wide open. Come on in, world! That being said, if anyone is allowed in your group then everyone is allowed in your group. Content can spiral out of control easily and be tricky to moderate, like a teenage house party gone wrong. This page is affiliated with your business, remember, so keep a close watch on what’s going on if you choose this option. Like it or not, even a post from a stranger on your page will ultimately reflect on you.
Facebook Group Type #2: Private and Visible
Private Facebook groups still show up in searches, but potential members need to be manually accepted by the administrators. It’s like they’re knocking on that door, waiting to be let in. Only current members can see who belongs to the group, and what they’re posting and sharing. (Anyone on Facebook, however, can see who the administrators and moderators are.) In short, it’s exclusive but still accessible. How VIP! Private-and-visible groups are a great option for businesses using Facebook groups. It’s searchable but still controlled, so no spambots can sneak it and ruin the fun for everyone else.
Facebook Group Type #3: Private and Hidden
Private and hidden Facebook groups (aka secret groups) don’t show up in searches at all. You can find it if you know where to find it. Secret Facebook groups have the same privacy settings as private-and-visible groups (only current members can see posts and the membership list), but they’re hidden to the general public.
Overall, having a Facebook group in 2020 could help expand your business. There are over a billion active monthly users on Facebook and with word of mouth, and with the option of sharing the group, so many people can find your business group. Find your niche, make a Facebook group, and allow your practice to expand. In case you've missed it, we talked about the transitioning of how therapists nowadays are working from home (click this link to find out more).