I see lots of back and forth these days about how effective Facebook is as a business tool. Some marketing professionals claim to hardly ever log into Facebook while other swear they get all sorts of business via Facebook. While your mileage will vary depending on your business and your strategy, I think Facebook can be a viable communication and lead-generation tool for businesses - especially those who are effectively targeting niches.
A Facebook Group is a great way to strengthen your brand presence in a specific niche of customers and connect with potential customers in that same niche, as well. Once you have reached a critical mass of customers in a given niche, create a Facebook Group that is themed specifically for that group of customers. For example, if you are a wedding planner and your target market is brides-to-be in Indianapolis, you might create a Facebook Group called “Indianapolis Wedding Resources”. You would then brand this group with your company logo and brand message and sponsor a group that is designed to let brides-to-be in Indianapolis share ideas, tips, and resources with each other. You would invite all your existing customers to join, and then ask them to invite their friends, as well. Now, you have provided a valuable networking venue for your customers and potential customers to join and utilize - all under your brand. In additional to being a helpful resource, another end goal of this is to gain the trust and respect of your potential customers so that you have a stronger chance of earning their business.
Other examples might include:
A local homeowners resource group, sponsored by a real estate professional
An “ecosystem” group to help associations board members network and learn from each other to get the most from their web sites, sponsored by a web site design agency that works with associations
A group to help professional speaker share tips and tricks, sponsored by a business coach who works with speakers
As you get more a more members in your group, you will want to post valuable resources, information, and educational material in your group to assist members. You will also want to start discussions that help engage members in conversation with each other. All of this helps to strengthen your position as a resource and a trusted advisor within that niche.
A successful marketing strategy is not made up of just one tool, but Facebook Groups are a great way to strengthen your brand presence within your niche.