If you’re thinking of starting a Facebook group for your business we say, “go for it!”
This is a great way to keep people connected to your company or organization.  We just ran across a great article at VirtualMarketingBlog.com that may help you decide how to start and help you make your group a success.  These tips will also help you when applied to other online social networks or blogging…

Thank you VirtualMarketingBlog.com for this information!


Tips for Starting your own Facebook Group

Facebook groups have become the single biggest story in internet marketing and PR over the last few months. When Facebook first started out as a student only social network, Facebook groups were small gathering places for students to look outside their circle of friends and find people with similar interests and discuss anything from their favorite bands to their favorite sports teams.

Students soon realized the power of these groups and began using them to organize and even protest. Now that Facebook has been opened up to the public the number and variety of Facebook groups has exploded.

Facebook groups are now being used for news gathering and sharing in times of crisis like the Virginia Tech shooting and the more recent 35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis. The CIA is using its Facebook group as a recruiting tool, the Humane Society is using Facebook to raise awareness and fund raise, and Wallmart started its “Roommate Style Match” Facebook group to try and increase it’s back to school sales to college students.

Using Facebook Groups as a Promotion and Public Relations Tool is a great opportunity for businesses to start conversations, and build relationships with their customers.

Here are a few tips for starting your own Facebook Group

1. Define Your Goals – Before you create your group decide on what your goals are. This might include building brand awareness, improving customer relations, and finding new customers. Make sure to keep your goals flexible because over time your group will evolve based on the interests of its members. Remember social networking is not about control, it’s about starting conversations and building relationships.

2. Name Your Group – What you name your Facebook group will immediately effect people’s perception of your group. I recommend including your company and/or product name, this will help ensure that everyone joining your group is actually interested in taking about your company or product. Something simple like “Company X Snowboards” will do. People will be turned off if they join a group named “Snowboarders of the World Unite” only to find out that it was a place created to only talk about Company X Snowboards. When it comes to social networking, full disclosure is always a good policy.

3. Build Your Friends Network – This will take some time, but I recommend scouring Facebook for people who have interests related to your product and services and invite them to be your friend and join your Facebook group. You will get a lot of rejections, but each person that accepts your friend invitation and joins your group will be genuinely interested in starting a relationship with you and your company.

4. Join Related Groups – One of the best ways to increase the size of your Facebook group, is to join and participate in other groups that are relevant to your company and products, and invites members of that group to come and join your group as well. Make sure you continue to participate in these groups, and avoid spamming unrelated groups.

5. Cross Promotion – If you are active in other social networks or forums, be sure to mention them on your Facebook group. You can also attract people to your Facebook group by linking to it from your webpage, your Myspace page, your forum posts, your blog, and don’t forget to send out a link to your e-mail list. Many people spend time developing multiple streams of internet marketing, but forget to cross promote them.

6. Keep the Conversation Going – Make sure you are active in your own Facebook Group. Don’t just start it and then walk away. Keep the conversation fresh and updated. Visit your group daily, and make sure you respond to everyone whether their comments are positive or negative. Your Facebook group could be a great place to find out about specific problems people have with your products and services and resolve them before they have a negative impact on your company.

7. Keep your Group Informed – People love hearing things first, so any new information you have about your company, your product, or your industry will make a great topic of discussion. A Facebook group is a great way to promote your products and services with a two way conversation without sounding like too much of a salesman. Just make sure you have permission before dishing out too many company secrets.

Thanks again to the author site:  http://www.virtualmarketingblog.com/facebook-groups/

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