To be honest and completely transparent: I think there’s nothing more challenging in a go-to-market strategy than figuring out the distribution strategy. And includes an answer to – should you start Facebook groups for marketing purposes.

There’s so much noise, and the good-old traditional channels are so crowded that finding the right channel to gain traction early on can really be a struggle.  

We were recently in a brainstorming session with a client, talking about to reach new users. We agreed on including Reddit threads, some Discord channels and relevant Facebook groups in the distribution mix. 

At some point, someone asked:

Should we create our own Facebook groups for marketing?

In short: no. Let me explain. 

There are many reasons that could explain why this might not be the best move, especially when you’re an early-stage company. Here’s our reasoning: 

  1. There are so many Facebook groups and online communities out there, that it doesn’t make sense to waste resources on creating and managing another group just because you want one that’s named after your company. We think this is just another vanity metric, and it shouldn’t guide your distribution strategy. 
  2. Many people mistakenly assume that you can’t promote your company in other people’s groups (and that’s why they insist on creating their own). Truth be told: yes, you can. You just have to follow the group rules. Plus, you need patience and the right strategy to become a trusted member. Use aliases, contribute free resources, and engage in conversations. When the time comes, you can ask for favours. 
  3. A group that is focused on a company will only attract current or past product users. In time, it will become more like a support/knowledge base group, instead of a new traffic generator. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this might work for you in the end, but we wouldn’t exactly recommend it in this situation either. You should want to have YOUR community on YOUR channel, not to depend on others.

If you still insist on creating your own community…

…bare this in mind:

  1. Communities grow slowly. It will take at least 6 months to 1 year to grow a community to a few thousand active members. Don’t expect this to be an acquisition channel from the beginning. 
  2. You will need a dedicated person to manage the community. If you’re really in this for the long run, you’ll want to make sure members remain engaged and that you’re constantly popping in with new questions and challenges. If you want to be successful, you need to make sure that your Facebook group or online community brings real value to your members.
  3. Make sure you require membership sign-up with email or another form of contact. This will lower the chances to lose everything in case things go astray. And it will help you with growing your email list.

There’s a lot more I could talk about on this topic. But I’m trying to keep things as short(-ish) and to the point as I can.

Hope today’s lesson helped!