I get that not everyone likes Facebook or wants to use it for their business, but the fact is there are benefits to using Facebook and groups for your business.
It is a tool that is free to use (other than your time or if you begin to use Facebook Ads) and it can help you reach people in many ways that are difficult to reach any other way. People who can change from being a stranger who had no idea who you were but found you on or because of Facebook. People who convert into being a customer.
Facebook comes with a lot of crap content, ads, and people too. Any social media channel does. Sometimes, you need to just adjust your privacy and news feed settings to reduce the content in your feed you don’t want to see or reduce what others can see from as well. That’s how you keep the personal separate from the professional on Facebook.
For dietitians and private practice owners who decide you do want Facebook as part of your marketing toolkit, this lesson is for you because there are some shocking things I found recently happening with Facebook Pages, including the reach for the content posted on Facebook Pages.
Essentially, what I found was more dismal than I thought possible.
Many of you have heard the term “Algorithm” and know that Facebook (among many other social media channels) does use an algorithm to determine what content everyone sees in their news feed.
What I discovered in my research and checking is how little content we do see, and it was even less than I imagined. I have determined that there is one ideal way to work around this. Today, I’m here to update you with what I have found and to give you some ideas on how you can work around the Facebook Algorithm and begin to get more results – and reach – from your Facebook marketing activities.
(You can watch this video showing you how hard it is for someone to see the content from Business Pages on Facebook.)
Now, before you get started, you do need to decide IF using Facebook is a way to connect with your ideal client. If it is not, you need to think about whether Facebook is where you want to put your energy, the same as with any other social media channel out there.
If you have decided to use Facebook as part of your marketing strategy, then my biggest piece of advice today is that you will need to consider opening a Facebook Group.
Please note: This advice is more relevant for service-based businesses like dietitians, nutritionists and wellness practices, not product-based businesses. When people buy your expertise, they want to get to know you, to trust that you are the person with the ability to help them.
This is where having a Facebook Group will come into play.
[Not sure what type of group to open? Read this article, How to choose the type of Facebook Group to open for your business.]
Groups allow you to engage easier with people on Facebook and they feel more comfortable sharing and posting online. Pages don’t give them that same sense of security and this is why the groups are one of the best ways to help you get a higher reach with the people connected to you on Facebook.
(I shared a picture of my garden before and after from a year ago in a Facebook group I am part of, and within 2 hours there were over 250 likes and about 50 comments. Any business would love that kind of reach and activity – and it can happen, but it’s more likely in a Group versus a Page.)
So, whether you have a group now or want to get started… here is what you need to consider:
1. You need a Facebook Business Page.
Even if you only want a group, Facebook Business pages offer you, as the business, options that are not available with only a Facebook Group. A Business page helps in ways that don’t necessarily mean posting content online.
Pages on Facebook are indexed by the search engines. They get you access to publishing tools and targeted ads as well as support for developer applications. And this list goes on. For most dietitian business and practices these are the main items of concern.
2. The Focus of your Facebook Group should be based on a topic your ideal client wants to learn more about.
This topic should be something you can teach your community about that can lead to them working with you. But, you want to do it in a way that it does not give away the farm. If the group members feel so at ease that you have given them enough info they can do everything on their own, you risk them trying and struggling all by themselves and never signing up to work with you.
3. Name your Facebook Group Strategically.
Many of us want to name our groups by our business name. Resist this urge. You want a keyword rich group name that also speaks to your ideal clients.
WHY? So that the folks searching on Facebook for answers can find your group. You want people to be able to find your group and join it. They will often search on Facebook using keywords or phrases they want answers for — they will NOT be searching for your business name unless they know you already. And that will be in the info / about area (or should be), so if someone is searching for your company name it will show up.
The goal with groups is to get people in the group who do not know you so they will not have your name as part of their wording to search and find a group.
4. Plan the content on this Group and your Page together.
You will need to use both the Page and the Group, but at differing levels that would be the same amount of time as most people have been using with a Facebook page only. The goal is to keep the page minutely active and placing more content in the group, so you are reaching more people and getting more results from the time you spend on Facebook in total. (This is something I am teaching my Marketing Mastery Inner Circle members this month, a specific content strategy for both Pages and Groups. It is a little different than what I would have called a “Page Only” strategy, but in the long run it will not take any more time and based on the changes we have done with some of my clients, it is getting much better results.)
5. Go LIVE in your Facebook group, regularly.
This is critical. It is the BEST way people can get to know you, hear your voice, listen to you share your expertise and learn from you! This does not have to be hard. People feel it is, but when you have a content marketing system and process for creating a main content piece on a consistent basis, these videos and Lives can come from that main content. Repurpose it!
If you have been struggling with Facebook and having dismal reach with your content, consider trying a Facebook Group. If you plan your content wisely, it will not take any more of your time, but could help you get better results, which translates to more leads and clients.
See a Group in Action
If you want to learn how to make Groups like this work and see how to build a Facebook Group right from the start, click here to get on the list for my new Group opening soon… Dietitian Collective: ACE your Marketing & Thrive in Practice. This is a community for Private Practice Owners to network and share while learning best practices on marketing their Dietitian Business to grow a Thriving and Profitable Practice.
PS. If you do have a Facebook group, especially in the “Health category” as many dietitians do, be sure to read this article, New Changes to Facebook Groups that Admins need to Know.
Stop Struggling and Start Thriving! My passion is helping to guide people just like you, dietitians, and private practice owners, who are often frustrated with all their wasted time spent on marketing that gets you nowhere. You can learn strategies to attract a steady flow of clients and build a thriving and profitable practice. Get started with some of the free resources on my Pepper It Marketing website, especially this Marketing Guide for Dietitians. I also offer several self-study training programs to help you attract more clients so you can have the Freedom and Security you want with your business!