Community Marketing in Facebook Groups - A Complete Guide

A primer from Convosight for anyone seeking insights into community marketing

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 22, 2021 11:17 AM
community marketing

In the last few years social media has moved from just sharing about yourself to engaging with trusted communities online around a cause, pain point, hobby or a purpose. At the same time there have been significant changes in how brands market to their existing and potential customers, with brands looking at more innovative ways to make meaningful relationships with their customers. 

One platform that has been able to capture the essence of the above shift is Facebook, via Facebook Groups. There are currently more than 1.8 billion people active monthly, in Facebook Groups globally, across 10 million groups.  Facebook Groups, which are organized around topics, by far, are the biggest destination of Organic engagement at scale with millions of posts done by members of the community for discussion amongst each other in the form of asking questions, seeking advice, sharing experiences and providing recommendations.  It’s actually word of mouth at a massive scale. 

For brands, these Facebook groups aka communities provide an exciting new opportunity to explore as a channel to augment their existing marketing mix. Exactly how to think about this channel is what we will cover below. 

This guide will serve as a primer into Community  Marketing and is meant for anyone in Marketing (Brand & Digital) who is looking to understand:

  • Why consider this channel as part of their strategic Marketing Mix?
  • How to evaluate a Community Marketing channel, understand the nuances?
  • How to measure its effectiveness & efficiency? 

We have kept the flow in a Q and A format, based on the top questions that the brand's marketing team asked us when we were working with them on the community marketing campaigns. 

Section 1: Why Communities? 

What is a Community?

A community is a "tribe" of individuals who have decided to come together to have meaningful conversation around a common cause. That cause could be a pain point, a passion, a hobby, a profession or even a life-stage. These clusters of people are bound by themes common to the entire member base. These communities exist as Facebook Groups on Facebook.  Some examples of Facebook Groups are

Why should Communities matter to brands?

Communities are where "real" conversations happen, and members have open & transparent discussions without having to showcase a “fairy tale” version of themselves. Essentially these are platforms where people have uninhibited discussions on topics that brands would love to engage in e.g.

In a cooking group, members would be sharing how they are making tasty dishes at home, experimenting with different cooking products. 

2. In a women’s community discussion about how to to keep your clothes white 

How are these Communities different from my existing brand/influencer pages?

Communities are NOT a Facebook Page, a blog website, Instagram Page which are balcony like platforms because it's where the owner of these platforms (including Brands) provides information to its audience (followers). 

Communities are like halls, where people choose to enter and meet with like minded individuals to talk about things they care about.  Furthermore, these halls (Communities) are gated by the Admin and hence these groups are inherently curated around the purpose of the group.

Another key difference is the communities are hubs of UGC (User Generated Content) as most of the content shared in communities are created by members for members.  It’s where the social interactions are largely in the form of Conversations rather than simply just reactions.  In fact, a typical post in communities see over 50% of the engagement in form of comments vs posts done in Instagram or Facebook Page, where 95% of the engagement is driven by likes.

Finally another key difference between Communities and other social media channels is Organic reach.  Given high organic engagement in Communities and high engagement being a catalyst for Organic reach, Facebook algorithm determines the group members to be ‘inherently interested’ in the group content, and therefore the organic reach of Facebook groups tends to be very high.  Hence, Communities provide a cost-effective way to drive Organic Reach.   

To note, Facebook group’s content can’t be boosted in any way. So, all engagement in groups is 100% Organic and interest and relevance driven. 

What kind of communities are most common on Facebook, in which brands can engage relevantly?

The best kind of communities on Facebook for brands are those that are built around a passion or a pain point and have members actively asking for recommendations and advice from other members.

  • Communities centered around parenting, beauty, hygiene, cooking, recipes, fitness, health, travel are around specific pain points or passions and have members discussing actively around these topics
  • Neighborhood communities are also very active and have discussions around multiple categories ranging from seeking local services to discussing common problems in the locality and sharing local events and opportunities.
    • PULA Pune Ladies where 230K ladies from Pune are learning and growing with each other
  • Professional communities that have members doing conversations focused around skill advancement, education, job market, employer reviews and so on

Section 2: How to market into these Communities? 

How to discover communities at scale?  Is there an efficient way to tap into Communities?

There are hundreds of thousands of groups under the many broad categories listed above. There are hundreds of highly engaged groups just around Pregnancy, or Skincare, Wellness. You could easily get a cohort of communities together around one category where the total member size across them would surpass tens of Millions.   Given that there are millions of groups, it is certainly possible to find hundreds of groups where your TG is actively engaged and talking about their pain points, needs and looking for advice and recommendations. A great way to identify the right communities is to

  • Search for relevant communities on Facebook using your category keywords like parenting, Gardening, Food, Recipes etc.
  • Join them and go through the conversations that are going on to identify and select communities which fit your business category and your brand’s USP.

How to approach these communities in order for Marketing?

The Community Admin/Creator is the key opinion leader (KOL) and most trusted voice of the Community.  The KOL has built, nurtured and scaled this community to where it is and members look up to the Admin to share valuable information in the community.  While the Admin of highly engaged communities tend to only do a few posts given so much member driven engagement, Admin posts have the highest reach and credibility.  Hence, it’s always best to approach the Admin to discuss doing a post in his/her group.  

Where does Community Marketing fit in my existing marketing funnel?

Right Community marketing campaigns directly impact your brand’s Consideration and increase advocacy for your brand. The objective of campaigns can be to do the following to build consideration:

  1. Education: Posts to provide education to members about how your brand’s products solve consumer pain points or address their concerns, for e.g. Pediasure starting a conversation about building immunity in children via good food. 

  1. Engagement: Posts that ask members to share their experiences around your brand, your category e.g. Godrej Protekt asking members what surfaces they would like to protect in their homes 

  1. Valuable offer to your advocates: Give a valuable offering to customers either through a sampling of a new launch or an opportunity to connect with experts around a topic. E.g. Lactogrow starting a conversation on how to boost a child’s immunity and giving moms a free sample pack 

The purpose of these is to start a conversation around your brand and your category and build momentum around your brand’s USP, its adoption and activate your brand’s advocate to help leverage word of mouth.

Community marketing campaigns directly impact your brand’s Consideration and increase advocacy for your brand.

What kinds of campaigns can you do in Community Marketing?

A brand can engage with a community in many ways but the formats which have shown the highest success are -

  • Content Partnerships - where brands and community owners co create content which engages or benefits the community
  • Community Contests - where community members engage in contests done by the brand for prizes and recognition
  • Product Sampling - where brands distribute product samples to community members and get feedback from them on the same
  • Surveys and Research - where brands do surveys in communities to understand deeper insights about customer preferences
  • Lead capture - where brands generate highly relevant leads for their products/services from communities by showcasing the value of the same
  • Link Sharing - where brands share links of their products or services in the community and drive traffic to them

 

Can I put Amazon links on the posts and redirect traffic to purchase?

There is no rule against putting “buy” links in Communities. But the idea of Community Marketing is to have a conversation with your audience and get them to talk about you. The reason why ads are banned in communities is because people are here to learn & share and not shop.

If they want to shop, they will either ask in the community itself or search for you on google/amazon.

 

Section 3:  How to measure the impact of Community Marketing?

What does success look like in a Community Marketing campaign?

Success is measured by understanding the change in conversations in the community -

  • Increase in Category conversations vs pre campaign period
  • Increase in Brand Mentions vs pre campaign period
  • Increase in Brand’s Share of Voice vs Pre-Campaign
  • Increase in Brand’s positive sentiment

What does Share of Voice mean in a community marketing campaign?

Share of voice is defined as how much are community members talking about your brand vs other talking about all other brands.

We define Share of Voice of Brand as your Brand’s share of conversation for a particular Category vs conversations centered around other brands in the same Category.  For example, if 5 brands are typically talked the most about in the hair care category, then Share of Voice breaks down the % distribution of brand conversations across all 5 brands, giving the brand perspective how often it's recommended or simply being talked about. Share of Voice is measured both pre and post campaign to evaluate the impact of the campaign.

Similarly we have defined Share of Voice of Product, Recommendation, Consideration Factors etc to see understand in more details about what part of the conversation was a campaign able to shift through its intervention.

 

How will my Share of Voice change/increase in a campaign? Are these changes/increases in share of voice Organic?

When an Admin creates a brand-post, the call to action is for members to share their stories with brand usage and brand hashtags. As the members start participating with brand hashtags, other non-participating members are also exposed to brands, and start commenting with their queries & experiences, either as part of the campaign or outside of it.

Within the time frame of the campaign, the brand mentions increase, as members keep commenting or adding their posts. This increases the Campaign Period “Share of Voice”.  Sustained campaigns lead to a higher baseline in Brand’s Share of Voice over time as more and more conversations happen around the brand, its products/services etc and all these increments are “Organically driven by User Generated Content” as the member-interest grows larger.

 

How do Community Campaigns help me build my sales funnel?

As mentioned earlier, the idea behind Community Marketing is to understand your customer and what matters to them when they consider to act on recommendations.  Building association between your brand’s USP and Consideration Factors helps build your brand’s Consideration over time through sustained engagement. Your brand remains on top of mind and every positive recommendation that comes in from your existing users helps further in strengthening trust between your brand consumers. In addition, you could also measure the increase in purchase intent conversation and see the increase overtime to see how you are building your funnel. 

How can we track, measure the impact being created?

Ideally, a statistical survey run between exposed vs not-exposed communities that measure awareness, adoption and consideration.  

Can you summarize the Steps of Community Marketing?

  1. Select a list of communities that are relevant to you by searching on Facebook and discovering groups.
  2. The best way to carry out Community Marketing is to first understand what is the top of mind concerns, paint points of members and what kind of problems they are discussing and what are they seeking, how much awareness currently exists around your brand’s products/solutions and what’s the biggest consideration factors for members when they decide on recommendations. Answers to these questions will help you gauge how to start building consideration around your brand, products and services. 
  3. Next is to decide on the type of Campaign you would want to do in these communities
  4. Run your campaign via Community Admin (KOL)
  5. Measure the impact of your campaign through change in pre and post campaigns results of Category & Brand Conversation and shift in Share of Voice.
  6. With sustained Community Marketing efforts, you can measure how campaigns are helping drive consideration, adoption and purchase intent through statistical measures. 

Whether you are convinced or not, if it's the right time to explore a way to tap into communities, you should note that the online world is truly shifting to Communities.  Online Communities is where people engage to discuss topics that matter to them and if you are a brand that offers any products or services, understanding your consumers' pain points and being present on a channel where you remain top of mind is essential. 

Section 4: How can Convosight help?

The founders of Convosight started by first building parenting communities under Baby Destination, which they scaled to over 2.5 million members across 30 Facebook Groups.  When they discovered that 40% or more of the conversations in these communities were members seeking information, they realized that Communities are an essential for Brands and hence, they began building the world’s first Community Marketing Platform and launched in Jan 2020.  

Today Convosight has over 45,000+ Communities with over 350 Million members across key global markets and categories.  

Convosight Solutions & Partners: 

Convosight can help your brand get the maximum ROI from community marketing by working with you across all the steps of defined above, i.e.

  1. Choosing the right communities based on the brand objective and TG
  2. Defining what type of campaigns would work the best and also the campaign construct for maximum ROI
  3. Working with Community admins (KOLs) to execute these campaigns
  4. Measuring the impact of these campaigns with completely automated reporting of campaign KPIs
  5. Working with you to scale the impact of community marketing campaigns for your brand 

Can you share an example of community marketing campaigns that you have done with brands

We worked with Pediasure in 2020 to help them engage with Young mothers on the topic of Toddler Nutrition.​​

The campaign, which was run in 80 Private Facebook Groups and 100 Whatsapp Groups, reached 4.6M mothers and generated 2800+ leads for Pediasure, with conversion rates of >60%, surpassing lead quality from all other channels. 

This campaign also won the IDMA Gold for Community Engagement / Community Building and Most Effective Social Listening. You can check out the detailed case study her 

Let’s Get Started?  We will be happy to start with valuable insights about your consumers to measure your brand’s top of mind: 

If you would like to understand how community marketing can help your brand please get in touch with our team here

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