- Facebook groups offer benefits that are different than those offered by a Facebook page.
- A Facebook group is much more personal and requires a much greater time investment than a Facebook page or profile.
- If you aren't ready to create your own Facebook group, you can join an existing group instead.
A Facebook group is different from a Facebook page. A group is a digital club, and rather than meeting in person, the group meets on Facebook. Much like clubs, Facebook groups are designed to be a more personal spaces, and as such, Facebook considers them an extension of the people or person leading the group.
If you are thinking about creating a Facebook group, make sure that you have the time to dedicate to it or that you can task someone else the job of maintenance.
A Facebook group with no activity is useless. Imagine joining a book club that never meets or finishes a book. You must be active. So if you have limited time, it is likely better for you to join existing groups than to start a new one.
What are the benefits of starting a group?
- More privacy control: You’ll have the ability to create public groups, closed groups or even secret groups.
- More engagement: Naturally, groups foster more discussion, which leads to higher engagement. On the other hand, a business page can sometimes feel more like marketing than a true conversation.
- More organic reach: Groups get better organic reach than do pages. Even when friends are not part of a group, they can often see posts on their newsfeed.
- Self-serving: You have the ability to create a cover, include a website on the side and also pin a post to the top of the feed. This gives you some space to get people to learn more about you, the leader of the group. By knowing more about you, people will be more inclined to entrust you with their business in the future.
- Notifications: Those in your group will receive notifications when there is an update.
- Free advertising: Facebook will suggest your group to people, and it will cost you nothing.
All that said, there are some disadvantages to Facebook group pages. Consider these before putting in the time and effort to start a new group:
- Rules: You must create rules of usage so that all members are respectful of one another and use the group correctly.
- External search: Your group will not be indexed by external search engines.
- Direct addition of friends: In some groups, anyone in the group can automatically add their friends to the group, even without asking you.
- Posts can get lost: As posts are constantly changing order when a new comment is made, it can be difficult to find newer posts.
- Loss of advertising: Groups offer no direct paid advertising.
- Beware of spam: Even if spamming other group members is forbidden in the rules you’ve outlined, you’ll inevitably have a user at some point who does so anyway.
If you have the time to dedicate to building a group, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do so. However, be aware that you should be doing it to position yourself as a leader in your industry and not to shamelessly self-promote yourself.
If all you want to do is post your listings and just sold properties, a group is not for you. In fact, you should probably stop using social media altogether.
What kind of group should I start?
There are endless options for the types of groups a person can start. As a real estate professional, here are some key types to focus on:
- Community group: If you live in a small city, creating a group to share local happenings could be just the thing for you. Likewise, a group for your specific neighborhood is a great way to connect and share events.
- Parenting group: These groups are not only a great way to share tips and stories with other parents, but they are also an excellent way to allow future clients to get to know you on a personal level. Be specific with the type of parenting group you want to create. For example, if you’re interested in connecting with local working moms, create a group for it.
- Hobby group: Perhaps you are passionate about golf and want to connect with others who are too. This is a great place to meet new people that share your same interests.
- Industry tips: Are you already viewed as a leader in the real estate industry? Solidify that by creating a group to bring agents, brokers and other related professionals together. This can be on a local or even a national level.
By creating a group, you will position yourself as a leader and will be able to connect with a large number of people. Don’t worry about the real estate; that will come.