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Should Membership be Charged for Facebook Groups?

Ever since Facebook changed their algorithm, small businesses have found it increasingly difficult to reach their customer base organically. Facebook’s aim was to share more, stay in touch and engage in meaningful interactions with friends, family and Facebook Groups we are a member of. However, it now seems that Facebook is allowing the monetisation of some Facebook groups. Should membership be charged for Facebook Groups?

Initial Reaction
At first we were outraged that yet another free marketing opportunity was being taken away from us. Small businesses in their very nature have limited funds for Digital Marketing and this was one.

For us, using Facebook groups is a great, free way to promote your business or events. You do need to check the group allows business promotion but by doing the research and finding the most relevant groups, you can build up a relationship with the members.

Facebook Changes the Rules
In June 2018, Facebook announced that they were testing out membership subscription services with some parenting and cooking groups, reported The Verge.

Group administrators can charge between $4.99 to $29.99 for new subscription only groups so that they can deepen the engagement with members and continue to support their communities. Many admins will be running these paid-for groups alongside the free groups. The subscription groups will have exclusive content to make them value for money.

Facebook GroupsIn the Facebook announcement, Sarah Mueller set up a subscription group Organize My Home to sit alongside her original group Declutter My Home. Declutter My Home still continues to inspire and motivate others to tidy their home whereas Organize My Home gives access to checklists, tutorials and other tools that would be available to her clients.

The Flip Side
As part of our on-going local community efforts, we have set up and administer a number of Facebook groups. Whilst they are still on the small side, checking them regularly for requests to join, reviewing posts and dealing with membership disputes could take a chunk out of someone’s working day. Therefore, why not make a little money on the side? As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and this is still a really cost-effective advertising strategy.

If you were considering to monetise your Facebook group then take read of this article “11 Ways to Make Money with Facebook Groups” for some ideas.

We’d love to hear what you think: should Facebook group administrators charge membership? Let us know by tweeting @RedDeskVirtual

Digital Marketing on a Small Budget

We love working with small businesses & start-ups but in their very nature they have limited funds for Digital Marketing. We have therefore become experts at making the most of the free tools out there, of which there are many.

Here are a few of our favourite, free ways to help promote your business online:

Use Hashtags
# (hashtags) allow people to find posts that are relevant to their interests, to interact in conversations with other social media users on specific topics; make the most of this free tool to get your business noticed in relevant conversations and establish your company as an expert opinion where it counts. Although hashtags are short lived they push prospective clients to your content within the social media platform and help you to reach users that may otherwise not have discovered your business.

Use Twitter Hours
A Twitter hour is an event set up on Twitter that allows users to contribute by using a # (hashtag) to a conversation that is held at a specific date and time. During these twitter hours users promote their businesses and services as well as socially interacting with others. Research the relevant twitter hours & get on line when your expert skills or services are being discussed.

Use Keywords in your Website URL & in your Website Content
Keywords are one of the most vital components of content marketing, they help drive traffic to content and well researched keyword use is one of the best ways to improve SEO and rank better on Google.  Keywords are for long-term benefits whereas hashtags are for more short-term results.

digital marketing budgetCheck your Insights & post at Optimum Times
Checking your insights is an essential part of managing your social media and your Google Local Profile. Check when your audience is online and schedule your posts at optimum times. People browse each social media platform differently so do a bit of research and find out when best to post. This will make a huge difference to the performance of your post, you need to make sure as many people are seeing and engaging with your content otherwise it’s not really worth doing.

Make the most of your Google Local Entry
Google Local and Google Maps will likely be the first place your potential client visits before they reach your website – so make every search result count by keeping your Google Local content fresh with new photos, make sure your profile has up-to-date content and opening hours. Did you know you can add posts to your profile? This is a great way to add engaging content. Lastly do try to get some google reviews, this can be difficult if your customers are not the digital savvy type but do try to encourage reviews as they will go a long way to building a strong online presence for your business.

Post in relevant Facebook Groups
If you already have a Facebook Page you will know that it can be difficult to drive engagement without spending money to promote your page or boost your posts. Using Facebook groups is a great, free way to promote your business or events, but you do need to check the group allows business promotion. Do your research, find the most relevant groups for you, these could be around a topic or a location and make the most of these online communities. Be sure to check your groups regularly and build up a relationship with the members, use a call to action or announce any up-coming offers.

We hope these free tools are helpful, if you need any help with your social media the we’re always happy to discuss how we can help and tailor our services to your needs: lindsay@reddesk.co.uk

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