A quick look around Facebook will reveal a large number of business networking groups, giving you the opportunity to promote your business, services and or products.
Upon hindsight this sounds like a great idea and with many groups boasting with over 30,000 members a great opportunity, but before you hit that join button, here are some things you need to know and how you should be using these groups.
Find out who are the administrators.
In most cases, you won’t be able to do this before you join, but once you have, do your homework and find out about the group’s admins.
The admins are not someone who thought “hey let’s start a business networking group”, but will be an existing business looking to capitalize on the businesses that join for their own gain. More often they will be IT companies or Marketing companies that are SMEs or micro-businesses. They will then use the group to “mine” the information and find new clients or leads for themselves.
If your business seems to be a conflict then you will find that your posts will be delayed in posting (more often) as the admins will want to approve the posts first and have seen posts taken nearly 2 weeks to get approved.
Secondly, do not be surprised if your post suddenly disappears or the admins have an issue with your post and it gets deleted – if you are not conflicting then this next point will certainly affect you…
They break the #1 Networking Rule
The biggest rule in networking is NEVER to sell to those in the room but to those that people know. When you look in these groups what are people doing – trying to sell to each other!
This is not business networking and does not work. You cannot sell to someone if there is not trust or recommendation between you.
You could, of course, argue that with over 30,000 members that you must be able to get at least something, right? Well again if you take the marketing average then out of a group that size, less than 2% will have sold something to someone on that group – just remember the admins will be within that 2%.[bctt tweet=”Facebook networking groups are less about networking and more about how not to sell or get business from these groups!” username=”bizmachinesa”]
So why you need to join
With Facebook now allowing business pages to join groups it means that marketing your brand and name on these groups has become a lot easier. So here are the top tips and reasons for joining one of these groups:
- When you first join, introduce yourself and your business BUT don’t go for the sell. Instead, explain how you can help businesses and do your 60 Second headline to emphasis this.
- Next, do not post up about your products or services other than the first point. Re-do the first point maybe once a week (depending on the size of the group) as you would do at a weekly networking meeting.
- Comment on other posts that will help people and give advice or knowledge that you can pass on. Admins do not need to approve comments and are more often not checked.
- Become the goto guy – with support and advice on the groups you will be known as the authority figure in your field and people will want to come to you as you are now building trust and proving your skill sets
- Build your brand and members of this group will be messaging you.
It sounds like a lot of work but honestly, if you do this once a day and just scan through the groups and see where you can give good advice, it should not take you more than 20 mins a day.