More and more, small business owners are starting Facebook Groups in order to build communities that they hope will ultimately benefit their bottom line. But how do you know if starting a Facebook Group is a good use of your time and effort?

First, it’s important to understand what Facebook Groups can and can’t do for your business.

Here’s What Facebook Groups Can Do for Your Business

If you manage to create a vibrant community that engages with each other authentically around topics related to your business, your Facebook Group can be a great way to gather potential clients in one place and generate leads.

It can also be a great place to offer advice and show your expertise to potential clients. Even offering your advice for free now can truly pay off later.

But…

Here’s What Facebook Groups Can’t Do for Your Business

Even if you gather relevant people in your community, you can’t simply use the group to solicit your services 24/7. Your community members will quickly stop paying attention if they feel that the group is spammy or if they don’t get real value from reading posts and participating.

What this all really means is that a Facebook Group can only work for you if you’re ready to put in the effort that it takes to create a community that genuinely provides value. If you’re looking for a quick and seamless way to generate more business, there are likely more efficient strategies.

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Questions you should ask yourself to decide whether creating a Facebook Group is for you:

1. Is there a broader topic that relates to my business that people may want to talk about? For example, a doula may want to create a group about pregnancy and birth, whereas a personal trainer may want to create an accountability group for people who want to be more active. Think about the nature of your business and whether there really is a topic where a community would be valuable.

2. What other groups exist around this topic? Do I have a unique value proposition? Do a search for Facebook Groups in the topic that you have in mind. Are there tons of active groups, or very few?

Being one of many isn’t a dealbreaker, but if you can find a unique niche within your topic, you may be more likely to provide value that doesn’t exist and grow your group faster. For example, there are a ton of travel groups out there, but maybe there are fewer budget conscious travel groups.

Think: What unique value you can you provide?

3. Do I have a minimum of a few hours per week to invest in this group? Aside from setting up your group and creating a strategy for attracting new members, you’ll need to spend some time creating content, starting conversations, commenting and offering your expertise, and moderating the posts and comments of the community. Can you make the time to invest in building a community right now?

If you answered yes to these questions and can formulate a vision for a community that provides value to your target audience, block out the time on your calendar and get started!

Be sure to check out our tips and tricks for getting the most business value out of your Facebook Group.

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