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Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work 

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Setting up a Facebook Group for Business

with Alexi Boyd

from Boyd Office Management Services

Date: 12th May 2015

INTRO – So, why would you want to set up a Facebook group? There are of course Facebook pages which we are all aware of as small businesses (and we all utilize them in different ways) but what about creating groups? Why would you set one up? And what groups are currently out there for you to join?

I’ve chatted lots about the show about the importance of an online presence and one of those important places you digitally need to be is in Facebook. Now, we’ve had guests on the show either as specialists in social media or other business to business experts and I seem to recall that pretty much all of them said Facebook needs to be one of the strings to your bow. So today we’re going to be looking at some current groups out there right now (in the Hornsby and Kuringgai area, because we’re all about local here at Small Biz) and next week tips from those admins about setting up a page properly.

Most groups are set up as CLOSED group, for the safety and privacy of the members. You need to be invited in by an existing member or “ask to join”. Either way you have to wait for Admin to approve this request. Make sure when you ask to join you have something on your page which enables you to be accepted (such as living in the area and having a small child)

Part 1 – What groups are out there for you to utilise now?

  • North Shore Mums is what I refer to as the Juggernaut of Facebook groups. Over 13,000 members now it is the biggest of its kind in Sydney, possibly the world? !!
  • As a business you might like to join (but only if you are literally a North Shore Mum) and add to the conversation, positioning yourself in the expert of your field.
  • This does of course mean you’ll be giving away “free advice” but how else do you think people are going to find out what you do unless you prove yourself? And I think FB is a great forum fordoing that. Of course, for some business that’s not going to make sense because of the audience but for many you can make it work
  • NSMs has a business hour in which, if you are a business you can advertise with a post about what you do, for free – if you are a member. Now this is a great local
  • They also have a business directory so if people want to support others in the group they can find the service they are looking for in that list too. Great when the members are so loyal as NSMs wanting to support other’s family businesses and great for keeping in local to the North Shore.
  • An even more smaller, but more local groups with around 1000 members each include are Hornsby Heights Mums, Mount KuringGai Mums or Berowra Area Mums & Dads. They run in much the same way; but tend not to have business hours. They are also mothers asking for local info, giving each other tips but I don’t believe they have a business hour. One way you can be present in these groups is to answer questions in your area of expertise. You are also ok to literally answer the question “I’m looking for a local plumber, can anyone recommend someone” with your own business details.
  • Berowra Area Mums’s decribe themselves as: This is a nice way to share local info, get to know locals, say hi, meet up for a bit of adult conversation and a coffee/tea or just to know someone at the park when we are there. It’s a lovely community here so please feel free to ask to join, content is kept private as if we’re meeting up we don’t want just anyone on line to see where we are with children, it’s not private to keep locals out of the loop. We know there are loads of care givers in this area… If you are new to the area or have lived here for a long time, it doesn’t matter, We would love to meet you!
  • There are various Buy/Sell/Swap groups too in our area but these might not be a place necessarily to position yourself, but a good place to look for business supplies, for instance!! They include Upper Upper North Shore Freecycle (where people ask for and offer items for free), Hornsby NSW – Buy, Sell & Trade Adults stuff and Hornsby NSW- Buy, Sell Trade Kids & Maternity (name speaks for itself), and Hornsby & Surrounds Buy, Sell, Swap or Giveaway Homegrown/Homemade produce again, you can imagine what that group’s all about.
  • And then there are the specific Business Facebook groups, which are excellent and exactly where you want to be as a business.
  • They include North Shore Business Mums (again, you need to be a Mum), North Shore Business Group “Steps for Success” and Berowra Trades and Businesses
  • Here you can offer advice, offer your services (specifically when people ask for it only), refer your small business colleagues into work, and really build a supportive, FB business community.
  • They may also centre around netowkring meetings or events and make sure you go to thee to again reinforce your online presence.
  • They do have business hours and, especially if you’re a business-to-business provider this is where you want to advertise. Support your friends on the group but liking each others ad (because you still are beholden to the Facebook algorithm)

And it you’re part of a networking group you should expect them to have their own closed group where you can utlise their advice and support. If you’re forking out all that money to join these groups you should expect that too.

Now some of my regular listeners might be hearing me pick my words carefully with these groups and that is because you have to be careful not to be advertising your business outside business hour or constantly plugging it either. Remember these groups are not a public forum for you to say what you want and when you want it, and the all powerful Admins are the rulers of these worlds. That’s not to say they are totalitarian but all of them are looking for a level playing field for their members and want to keep it fair. If you do advertise outside business our (and I don’t just mean posting a distinct advertisement but if you are seen to be constantly talking about your business then you will be booted off 

Wrap Up

So next week we’re going to chat to the experts about how they set up their groups and our resident social media expert Paula Agius from Social Cocktails will be giving her advice on setting up a group for your business.

Setting up a Facebook Group for Business pt2

with Alexi Boyd

from Boyd Office Management Services

Date: 19th May 2015

  • The biggest thing I would have concerns about, especially if a business networking group, is purely vetting the new members and is it by referral only etc
  • There are plenty who use psuedonyms, so while this doesn’t matter in some situations, when you are bringing your business to the table, your integrity and credibility are on the line, Plus people get a bit wary if they don’t know you directly (IRL/in person etc)
  • I’m keen on rules, pain in the bum to admin them, but again, keeps a level playing field and when people know what to expect, it seems to work well enough (again, from a BSS perspective)
  • Let’s get back to basics, what TYPES of groups can you set up on Facebook – closed vs open to anyone, community vs business
  • What are your top 3 tips for setting up ANY Facebook group – tips on guidelines, ways to set it up properly
  • What is the role of an admin and why is it important to have a second or even third admin on board.
  • Can you give us some advice on the best way to monitor your page, whilst still allowing members to feel they can speak their mind?