5 Steps Every eCommerce Brand Needs to Use to Sell Products Inside Their Facebook Group
Get to Work Stuffing Cushions
If you’re in the retail and/or eCommerce space you’ve probably heard of “The Nugget”.
No not Dino Nuggs or what you get your kids from McD’s.
We’re talking about the rearrangeable sofa/couch/(play thing?), which was hot-to-trot in the resale market, in 2020.
If you haven’t heard their Fanbase is large and aggressive!
It’s not necessarily that these types of couches are popular but that a single Facebook group has had so much drama surrounding The Nugget, that resale prices have doubled if not tripled due to demand.
This one group, of course, has turned into multiple different groups with crazed Nugget owners.
Pointing to this as a successful “kind” of group for a Brand is not the point.
Yes, it has increase sales for The Nugget (and their competitors), but the point IS that leveraging Facebook Groups for your eCommerce Brand is a huuuuge opportunity.
So how would one go about starting a community like this for your own business?
- Create a Facebook group.
- Setup group rules and enforce them.
- Grow your group with different marketing strategies.
- Engage with your community to build rapport.
- Sell inside your Facebook group with a handful of proven tactics.
- Bonus: Tools that will help you in all the above.
Step 1: Creating a Facebook Group
The first step is starting a group.
This is really easy… So, let’s gooo!
To create your own group, go to: Facebook Groups, and click “+ Create New Group”.
- Choose a Group Name – Preferably something with your Brand included.
- Privacy – Unless this is going to be a VIP type of group, keep it public. This way anyone can join the group that finds it.
- And of course, invite everyone… Don’t worry about being over-assertive – they can decline the invite.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the bio is setup, graphics are on-point, and create your first post. Even if it’s just to say hi.
For other groups to reference, check out the Instant Pot Community. They are one of the most often cited examples of a successful product-focused group. The group has a following of about 1.4 million folks, all interested in the company’s products.
Another suggestion would be to, not only start a group for your brand, but also join some others (competitors included), to learn, watch, and monitor what’s working for others.
Step 2: Group Rules
This seems like a no-brainer, but this is going to be a big part of your success.
Groups can take a life of their own and run off on you. So setting rules from the get go is mucho important!
Nothings worse than creating a group around your brand just to have it become a drama filled high school cafeteria.
The easiest way to set the group rules is right at the beginning.
You’re able to ask people questions before they join and one of those questions should be something along the lines of, “…will you maintain the rules of this group and respect other members?”.
Simple and effective.
Then create a post with your community rules and pin it to the top of the group page – adding a video gets you bonus cookies.
Some of the most common rules for group members comes from GroupApp (which we’ll be talking about a little later…
Here are some examples of rules you can/should use:
- Be kind. Insulting or bullying other members or non-members will get you banned from the group without prior warning.
- Be civil. We do not condone foul language. Breaking this rule once will land you a warning. Doing it repeatedly will get you banned.
- No advertising. Don’t use the group to advertise yours or someone else’s business, page, fundraiser or website. These posts will be immediately removed and you might get banned.
- Use the search option. To avoid cluttering the group, please search the feed before asking a question. Someone might have already asked the same thing before.
- Use English only. To make sure all members of the group understand you, please use only the English language.
- Stick to the topic. We only allow posts and comments related to the group’s activity. Off-topic content will be removed and you will get a warning.
- No spamming. Asking the same question or posting the same comment repeatedly after it has been removed by admins due to rule violation will result in a ban.
- Report rule-breaking. If you see a post/comment that violates our rules, report it to the admins — DO NOT verbally attack the author of said post/comment.
- Think before you report. Don’t report posts or comments that aren’t breaking any rules just because you don’t like or agree with their content.
- Talk to the admin team. If you have any questions or concerns or are experiencing issues in the group, please turn to one of the admins for help. That’s what we’re here for!
These are simple and easy rules every one of your members should follow. Also, notifying them when they’ve broken the rules is important as well.
Simplest way to do that is by deleting whatever they’ve posted and give them a warning through Direct Message (DM).
3-Strikes may be viable for the justice system, but you should really think about enforcing a 2-strikes and you are out policy.
On top of those rules, from some more “VIP” type of groups, they usually use a handful of extra rules to incentivize discourse and keep away from BS.
- No outside links of any kind (outside your own website) should be allowed.
- Groups can be good for customer service, but it’s not the place to post a customer service-related issue – instead, give them instructions on how to properly reach out.
- Although civility was mentioned in the above rules, if it’s on brand, cursing or foul language can be useful (letting people express themselves) but should never be used to bad mouth another person or member.
- Self-promotion can come in many forms… The worst is through the “humble brag”, be aware of these and if it occurs more frequently address it.
As you’re growing your group and engaging with members, make adjustments where you need to by adding or removing rules.
Step 3: Growing Your Group
Now that you’ve got this thing up and running. Everything is set up. How do you grow your group?
There are a million ways to skin a cat (odd expression really) and a ton of ways to grow your group.
Before you begin growing it though, be sure you have a Moderator, who is in charge of posting, responding, and enforcing community guidelines.
This can be you or someone else on your team.
Over time, as you start to get people engaging, and begin to see one or two people who really stand out in the conversations, it’s a great practice to invite them to moderate.
This allows for two things.
- They’ve already proven they keep normal discourse which means they understand the members and can lead a lot of the questions.
- It’s CHEAPER! (Yeah, they usually love being asked to do this as they are already your biggest evangelist)
So now into the nitty-gritty.
Growing your group can be as easy as:
- After someone makes a purchase, invite them to the group!
- Inviting those on your email list. Adding this into your email sequences or even just a one-off blast. Incentives help with this (maybe a % off their next purchase or something clever).
- Believe it or not, you can also run ads to your group. Take a tiny portion of your ad budget and use it for push your group.
- By creating giveaways and making part of the rules for the giveaway to join the group (this also helps collect those email addresses in the initial questions when joining; you have to prove who you are).
- Engaging with your current members and creating great content. This is the best way, really. Through word-of-mouth your group will grow.
These are just a few simple and easy ways to help get people in your group. But also note, you can get creative with other ways of growing your Facebook group.
Step 4: Engaging With Members
Staying in touch with your members is critical.
Your group will become the perfect place to get in front of your audience simply and easily. It’s really one of the most effective ways.
When someone joins the group they’re shown a group of questions, like we previously mentioned.
A great question to use is, “What is your email?”.
A few reasons…
- Allows your moderator to reach out to “confirm” they are a real person.
- Gives you another way to stay on top of your community and engage with your audience.
What engagement really comes down to is content.
We’re not talking about 2,000-word blog posts (like this one) every day, but what we mean is consistent posts & content.
Just ask a question.
Get people to respond (engage).
Memes are fun too!
Creating a weekly video podcast (vidcast) would be amazing! But don’t think you have to do this right out of the gate.
The point I’m making here is don’t over think this…
Just make it happen.
As time goes on you can feel out your audience, understand them better, and make more of the type of content they like & engage with.
As Nike says, “Just Post It!”.
For examples of different kinds of actionable and engaging posts you can make, here are a few:
- Welcome post – welcoming new members.
- Ask new members to introduce themselves.
- Run a monthly post (just one per month) where people can promote themselves or their business on a specific post (these usually get a lot of engagement.
- Tell a story.
- Post a poll or survey.
- Photos and photos with quotes.
- Industry specific memes.
- And of course, ask questions.
These are just a few… get creative with it!
Step 5: Selling Inside Your Group
How can you sell in your group without sacrificing your community?
Okay, so hear me out…
Don’t be a salesman.
Now, your salespeople should be in the group as well (all employees in a perfect world – assuming your culture is solid and there isn’t any crazy drama occurring).
Selling in a Facebook group takes a more subtle approach them just posting a link to your product and saying, “Buy Now!”.
Just like your regular sales & marketing strategies, your Facebook Group is another channel to add into the mix and requires its own set of strategies.
So instead of viewing this as a negative, annoying, sales proposition you’re going to make to your fans…
Think of it more as another way to add value.
If you’ve already followed the last few steps, regularly, you should have built some rapport. If not, BUILD RAPPORT FIRST.
Now that rapport is built, we want to find clarity on our audience.
We’re going to do this with a Poll or Survey.
Come at it from a place of education.
That is, ask poll questions around what people want to learn more about and focus the question to relate more to the benefits or problems (high level) that you/your product can help with.
Now you have the data you need.
Not only for which content to start creating more of, but you now also understand more about what your audience is feeling right now.
Now to the selling…
I still remember the days where the Home Shopping Network was huge!
Don’t get me wrong, but they still are, just in a different way.
Hell, even Amazon runs their own style of this on their platform.
You can do the same – with a Facebook Live event.
Through a Facebook Live party.
Have fun with it.
Invite your members, interact with them, and showcase your stuff!
Treat it as your own Shopping Network of sorts.
This is just one way to sell inside your Facebook group, there are plenty other ways that you should try & test.
Examples of great ways to sell to your community:
- Facebook Live party / shopping network.
- Post new product drops in the group (preferably before they are shown to the public).
- Treat your members like VIP’s and offer them a promo that you’re not offering to anyone else.
- Involve them in the creation of new products. This is a great way to prove market fit and get presales.
- Show off new photoshoots of products – no links!
- Respond to comments of folks with specific problems that you have a solution for.
- Showcase customer testimonials (thanking them for the great review) in the group. This helps with FOMO and reinstates your appreciation to your members.
- Use email – segment your group members in your ESP.
As always, these are just a few examples.
There are a lot of other ways to sell to your group but testing these might be a great way for you to find what works best for you and your audience.
Bonus: Tools To Help You Manage Your Facebook Group
Using tools to help you understand your audience, how they engage, and how to improve your group are very helpful.
A few we recommend you check out are…
What is Grytics?
Grytics is a SaaS solution for SocialMedia Analytics on Facebook groups, for Community Managers, Marketers and PR.
It allows companies of all size :
- Improve your customer relationship through the analysis of publications on your Facebook group(s).
- Help your marketing intelligence.
- Engage and deliver a better service to clients/fans communities.
- Measure, predict, improve your groups performance.
- Enhance your community management.
- Increase your engagement.
- Curate content.
GroupApp is more for membership, subscription style businesses.
However, if you run a VIP member community through your Facebook Group, GroupApp would be very useful.
It allows its users to add a subscription model to their Facebook Group.
Have such an awesome community of fans?
This is a great way to monetize your group.
Buffer is a posting scheduler application that allows you to schedule out your posts ahead of time.
You can also track and measure engagement.
As well as what times of the day are the best times to post.
Most of you should have a scheduler of some sorts. Buffer is a solid option.
You’re looking for another channel that takes little actual effort, but consistent effort, starting a Facebook Group is the way to go.
It only costs you time… Or your Social Media Coordinator / Marketers time.
Needless to say, in this day in age, the more channels the better.
It’s an insanely great way to evangelize your audience and increase overall Customer Lifetime Value and Satisfaction.
If you’ve been holding off on committing to creating a group you’re losing out.
Get in some groups, create your own, learn as much as you can, and get to work!