Have you thought about adding social media groups to your social media marketing strategy? If so, you need to know which social networks have the best benefits for group owners. In this post, we'll look at 32 benefits of owning your own social media group on the top social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Before we get into the details of which social network offers the best features for group owners, let's look at some reasons why you would want to start a social media group on any network in the first place.
1. Social media groups invite people to have discussions with one another. Unlike a business page, which feels like marketing and advertising, a group will feel like a community.
2. You can use groups to attract your target customers by creating groups on topics your target customers want to discuss. For example, a company that makes iPhone accessories could create a group for iPhone owners to discuss nothing but iPhones.
3. Depending on the type and popularity of your business, people may want to start talking to other customers of your business. Think of a group as a place for customer service, where customers can have discussions with each other and you can provide valuable input. If you don't create a group about your business, products, or services, someone else might. Then you would have no control over the discussion.
Now that you know a few general benefits of social media group ownership, let's look at the specific benefits on the top social networks.
4. Facebook is the largest social network. Hence, most of the people you want to join your group can likely be found on Facebook.
5. Facebook groups appear to have better organic reach than Facebook pages. There are no official statistics, but if you are a member of groups on Facebook, you generally see more group posts in your news feed than posts from pages.
6. People who join your Facebook groups are automatically set up to receive notifications when popular discussions are started in the group. Unlike pages where you have to opt-in to get page post notifications, you have to opt-out in order to not get group post notifications.
7. You can boost the value of your Facebook group by utilizing features, such as sharing files with group members only.
8. Group privacy can be set to public, closed, or secret. When people post in public groups, their posts are often shared with their Facebook friends in the news feed, even if those friends are not part of the group.
9. Public and closed groups are suggested to Facebook users based on their interests and the groups their friends belong to. Hence, you don't have to pay for ads to get your group suggested to others. You just need lots of members.
10. The group description that shows up in the right sidebar can include a link to your website.
11. You can create a post that is pinned to the top of the group. This usually will contain the group's welcome message and rules. It can also include a link to your website.
12. Create a custom group header image and include a link to your website in the image and/or the description for the image. When anyone clicks on the group header image, they will see the link to your website.
13. If you are positive someone would want to join your group, and you’re friends with them, you can add them to your group. Please only do this with people you know without a doubt want to be part of the group.
14. You (and your members, depending on your group settings) can sell products in groups.
15. Public and closed groups are listed on Facebook user profiles, unless the Facebook user has chosen to hide that information on their profile.
16. Grytics.com gives you analytics about your group's engagement, such as your most (and least) engaged members.
17. LinkedIn is the largest professional social network. If your business caters to any business professionals, you will likely find them here.
18. LinkedIn allows you to customize emails sent to people who request to join your group and new members who you approve to join your group.
19. LinkedIn allows you to send emails once a week to your group members. Assuming members have not opted-out of receiving emails from your group, you will be able to send a message directly into their inbox.
20. Feature posts in your group to ensure they appear first. You can link back to your website in those posts.
21. When you create new posts in your group, your profile's headline will appear under your name, making it a great marketing opportunity.
22. You can post job opportunities in your group.
23. Groups can be standard or unlisted.
24. Standard groups are listed on LinkedIn user profiles, unless the LinkedIn user has chosen to hide that information on his or her profile.
25. Standard groups can also be added to LinkedIn company pages.
26. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn where you have to use your personal profile, Google+ groups (referred to as communities) allow you to use personal profiles and brand or local business pages to create, join, and participate in communities.
27. Community posts show up in the Google+ news feed, referred to as the stream, unless members configure their settings to hide them.
28. New community members get notifications for new posts within communities until they configure their settings to stop receiving them.
29. Your community information page can include multiple links to your website.
31. You can create categories for posts in your group to organize posts by topic or theme.
32. Communities generally show up beneath the cover photo on member's profiles and pages unless they specifically remove them.
Now that you know more about the benefits of social media group ownership, you can decide if you want to have a group on one or more of the top networks. If you're convinced, here are some tips on how to create a great group for your business.
If you follow these tips, you will build a successful group for your business.
If you're still not sure about creating your own group, you can see benefits for your business by simply being a valuable member of relevant communities where your potential and current customers are engaging. However you decide to participate, be sure to use social media groups for great business benefits.