The face book group I used as an example in my previous post, was for women interested in Laura’s yoga and nutrition. As a new business owner and in truth, Paula was after Laura’s customers, not her products or services. As a result she hijacked the group and ended up paying the price for doing so. Of course there’s always competition in business and any member of any group is free to join other groups and buy other services at any time.

Paula was hoping for a quick fix by securing Laura’s customers, or at least some of them, because she knew they were already interested in wellness and that’s an absolutely legitimate thing to do however, in Paula’s case, she was about as subtle as sledge hammer on her quest and was quickly found out.

Instead what she could have done, although this method is more time consuming, is to go the ethical route, the purpose of which is still to get customers, except its more covert and for some reason much less offensive to others. I say for some reason, the reason is, done quietly and without fanfare, less people notice you’re recruiting fans, it’s that simple and the fans that do decide to join you, feel less guilty about adding you to their pool of experts, because you enticed them so subtly and with such finesse.

So how do you recruit fans ethically? Well in Paula’s case, she could have joined the group and made a brief introduction as per the group rules. Once a member, she can then comment, support and like other posts. She can evidence her expertise by answering questions asked by group members, as opposed to blatantly self-promoting and she can wait for official promo days before posting links to her website or services.

Better yet she could answer questions or challenges being set by the group leader Laura, I mean all eyes will be on Laura to begin with and answering her questions means a laser focused audience is already in place for Paula and if she did this consistently for thirty days, people would begin to notice her. They would see she was an expert and they’d be grateful for her knowledge, her support and her kind words. And while going through this giving process Paula can, at the same time, begin friending or following members of the group, especially those who have liked her posts and they’ll be happy to accept her friend request because she’s helped them, paid them a compliment, or eased a pain point.

And here’s the biggie, once she’s got them as friends, they will come over to her page or her group of their own accord, why? Because people are inherently curious AKA nosey and will eventually want to find out more about the person behind the positive posts and comments. Once they do that, they’re in her group, her space or her territory and the best part is, they came willingly. 

Like everything else this is not a one and done solution. It’s a process, the outcomes of which, depend on how many people you want in your group and how much work you’re willing to put in. And it doesn’t end there, once you’ve got them on your side or in your group, they need a reason to stay and or a reason to buy from you, although that’s another lesson for another day. 

If you really can’t wait and don’t want to cultivate your audience over time then its best to create your own group from day one. You’ll still have work to do, but you’ll be the focus of the group and as such, be largely uninhibited.
All things considered, I strongly advocate choosing your social media platform/s, including any groups you join, in alignment with your overarching business goals. If you don’t and instead you apply the spray and pray method, targeting anyone and everyone in the hope that something sticks, you will achieve no more than wasting hours of your valuable time getting nowhere.

So how will you proceed, will you take the longer road and recruit followers via other groups and other sources or will you create your own group?  Please pop your comments in the box below and thank you for taking the time today!