Joining Facebook groups has been a big help to me as I’ve grown my business, The Write Impression Consulting Services. One of the most important aspects of running a business is building relationships. If you’re a service provider like me, most of your business will come through referrals, word-of-mouth, and of course your own networking.

Referrals and word-of-mouth will come because you are doing great work and your clients want to share you with others.  But in-person networking is not always easy. When you’ve got two small children, midday chat and learn events just won’t work. And let’s just be frank: by the time my husband gets home, I’m way too tired to change clothes, travel, smile, meet new people, talk business and exchange business cards.

That’s why I’ve fallen in love with Facebook groups. I’ve been able to learn so much from other business owners and share a lot of my knowledge as well. But let’s face it: there is a method to making these groups work. After all, time spent reading and responding to group posts can take time away from your business.

Know Your Purpose for Joining Facebook Groups

It’s super easy to join groups on Facebook. They are always being suggested on the left hand of your screen. And it may seem tempting to join as many as you can. But seriously: why? Why do you need to request access to every business group that comes up in your feed. Instead, you’ve got to think strategically. 

You need to join groups that speak to: 

1. Your business’ demographic

2. A business idea

3. A general business group

This way, you are learning the needs of your prospects while also connecting with other business owners.

Check It Out: Winning Prospects

Join Facebook Groups that Speak to Your Business’ Target Market

If the mission of your business is to help work at home moms remain healthy, join groups that are filled to the brim with work at home moms. This is, after all, your target market. The key to winning at Facebook groups–especially your target market–is not just sharing your business page, your website and promotions. It is to build relationships. Use your membership in target market groups to discuss the benefits of your business. Reveal to members how you are an expert and in time, the sales will follow.

Join a Facebook Group Focused on Your Business’ Industry

If you’re a freelance writer, join some groups focused on the business of freelance writing. If you are a personal chef, join some groups for personal chefs. Here is your opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs in your industry. Now I know what you might be thinking: how can I make money from my competition? Don’t look at others in your industry as your direct competition. Consider them a resource–to learn from and even connect and collaborate.

Join Facebook Groups Focused on Small Business Development 

There are tons of groups that offer entrepreneurs with the space to drop their business fan page for likes or to gain social media followers.  While I’ve  learned there are a lot  of people determined to get out of the 9 to 5 rat race, I’m not certain that sharing a business page or social media handle is the most effective marketing strategy. And on a personal note, I honestly haven’t learned very much about developing my business through these groups.

Now when I join Facebook business groups, there has to be a clear mission and lots of structure present.

One of my favorite Facebook Groups is Build, Brand and Launch with Arsha Jones. The purpose of the group is to be an “ecommerce resource to bloggers, creative hustlers and entrepreneurs.” This group is just awesome because accomplished business owners give great insight to those just getting started. You can pose questions and be ready for feedback and responses that will move your business forward. In addition, there are threads present that will allow you to share your business wins, your struggles and everything in between. It’s nothing but great support and with more than 30,000 members, you’ll always have an answer to your questions!