Facebook groups have been and still are all the rage in the online world. They’re not only utilized by the virtual services industry, but by other types of businesses in an effort to create a community for their consumers. However, in the virtual services sphere, they’re heavily utilized by coaches, digital marketers, speakers, trainers, virtual service providers and so on. Additionally, some of these groups become very large with tens of thousands of members wanting to connect with others, access to freebies and to promote their own products/services.
There’s a trend with many of these Facebook groups though. Okay, let’s not call it a trend. Let’s call it a common practice, and this is group leaders/trainers excessively promoting their products/services to members. Of course promotion is necessary, as running a group takes work. I know this as I’m a Community Manager at Virtual Service Provider Odyssey. Many people don’t understand what goes on behind-the-scenes – I certainly didn’t. Running a group takes a lot of time, not to mention the engagement factor and content creation, among other activities. Therefore group leaders/trainers need a return on their investment. However, constant self-promotion and pushing products/services on members is a no, no. That is a turn off for many, and completely understandable. If group leaders/trainers provide quality free content, respond to questions asked and reduce excessive promotion; members will want to buy their products/services as they will see the value in them. Not only that, those members will refer the products/services to their own network.
On the other hand, if group leaders/trainers are not community-friendly and their products/services disappoint buyers, that’s another problem. That’s like creating a lot of hype for a show that flops. Inflating a balloon only to stick a pin in and burst it. I heard of a case where a member purchased a program from a group leader/trainer and the group leader/trainer removed the member for asking a question. How can that be? Most definitely not community-friendly and the word will travel.
At the end of the day, while group leaders/trainers must promote their products/services because they’re running a business, having it in people’s faces everyday doesn’t make them want to click the ‘Buy’ button. Providing valuable free content, being relatable and engaging with group members by answering questions increases the likelihood of them wanting to learn more about whatever product/service being promoted.
What has been your experience with Facebook groups?
Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.