Facebook Groups are different than your Company Page. You might have noticed that the organic reach on your business page is low and it doesn’t drive new patient except through paid ads. It’s a fine way to educate existing customers, but it’s not a good way to organically identify prospective ones.
Facebook Groups, on the other hand, are an effective tool to identify people who are looking for care and let them know about your business. I’m going to use a chiropractor as an example here, but the same principles ring true for any B2C, bricks and mortar business.
Here’s the key to making this group work: it’s about your neighborhood not about chiropractic, health and wellness, or anything other than the community that you serve. 99% of the posts in a community Facebook group are going to be unrelated to the services that you offer, but the 1% that you do are net new patients in waiting. The audience for a health and wellness group is limited and the people who join likely already have enough awareness about their health as to have already made decisions about chiropractic and their provider.
Here’s are some examples from a community group that I run in Elizabethtown, PA.
There are requests for chiropractic recommendations more than monthly in this group of 11,890 people about a town of similar size. Some people in the group are somewhat outside of town, work in the community, or otherwise have connections to Elizabethtown.
If you’re team keeps tabs on the posts in the Facebook group and your best patients know that posts in the Facebook group are a great opportunity to share their experience with others, most of the people looking for recommendations will send you a Facebook message or pick up the phone and call.
Building a Facebook Group
It might sound daunting to build a moderate a Facebook group, but there is a straightforward process for building and managing a Facebook group without losing your focus on the rest of your practice.
- Create the group.
- Add your local “friends” to the group.
- Message your friends to add their friends in the neighborhood.
- Ask people in the business community to offer something free or significantly discounted to the group in exchange for promotion on the group.
- Run a contest where the three people who add the most people to the group will win prizes from local businesses.
- Promote the businesses that have given something to the contest include your own practice and award the winners their prizes.
- Post about the need for moderators and reach out directly to people who regularly contribute to the group. Facebook groups are a great co-marketing opportunity so you may also be able to find moderators from other businesses in your neighborhood.
Rinse and repeat!
Facebook Group Rules
To keep the members that you just generated and continue to grow the group, it’s important that you have a set of community guidelines that your moderators can enforce that provide a good experience for group members. Take whatever approach to the group that you think is best for your community, but you will want to consider a few types of rules:
- How you will limit commercial posts: Other businesses will overrun your group unless you put some constraints on commercial posts. Consider limiting frequency or preventing generic, buy my products and services posts that don’t add value.
- Guidelines for certain topics or banning certain discussion in general: In the Elizabethtown, PA group politics is off limits and all posts must be hyper local: content about nearby cities is against the rules.
- Limits of what people can say on the group: Is profanity okay or not? How about personal attacks? People don’t always present their best selves on Facebook and you may want to limit the worst offenders, so that everyone can enjoy the group.
- What you will do when group members violate the rules: Some groups ban people right away while others give warnings before removing or banning members for violating the group rules.
Limits of what people can say on the group: Is profanity okay or not? How about personal attacks? People don’t always present their best selves on Facebook and you may want to limit the worst offenders, so that everyone can enjoy the group.
What you will do when group members violate the rules: Some groups ban people right away while others give warnings before removing or banning members for violating the group rules.
You’ll also save yourself a lot of grief if you require that people need to be approved to join the group. While spammers are getting more sophisticated, most of them can be easily spotted and it’s best to catch them before they join the group. You can also ask that people who request to join answer a few questions. This will help ensure that they are local and have interests that are aligned with your community guidelines.
Facebook Groups are a useful tool in generating new customers for your business. In addition, a community focused Facebook group has a number of other benefits. It will help you keep your fingers’ on the pulse of the community, local events that you might want to participate in, charitable opportunities, and it’s a networking opportunity with complementary businesses.
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