creative marketing ideas for startups

Have you been spending your time and resources publishing content for your Facebook Page? Most startups–when they think of Facebook marketing–immediately think of using Facebook Page.

While a Facebook Page has its merits and has a specific purpose in your marketing efforts, there is another Facebook tool that needs your attention: Facebook Group. It’s a creative marketing idea that only a few startups are using. You can use this tool to create a strategy to establish your expertise, connect with important people, and eventually get qualified leads from your industry.

In 2014, when I started my freelance writing career, I used Facebook Groups to acquire clients. All it took was one post in a group and it resulted to five meetings and two recurring clients. While I am no longer working with these clients, they turned out to be valuable long-term connections in my industry.

How to Find the Right Groups

1. Identify the influencers in your industry.

Who are the movers and influencers in your industry? Most likely, you’re already friends with some of them. If not, take the time to list at least 10 influencers on your niche or industry. Add them as a friend or if you can’t (if they have too many friend requests), you can just follow them. Keep their profile links in a notepad. I personally use Evernote to record this, so I can access them from all of my devices.

I recommend going the extra mile and sending a personal note along with your friend request; be honest and genuine. You can say something like:

Hi, I’m [Name]. I read your post about X, and I couldn’t agree more. I hope you don’t mind if I add you here on Facebook as a friend. I’d love to read more of your insight about [X] via the posts you publish.

People use their Facebook account in a variety of ways. Some people use it strictly for personal purposes and don’t use it as a means to network with people, and that’s okay! If your friend request hasn’t been accepted or your message has remained unseen, move on to the next influencer.

Most influencers have a follow button anyway, so you’ll still be able to see their public posts. The important thing is that you have access to their Facebook Profile because of the next step.

2. Identify top three groups where these influencers frequently hang out.

Once you have the list of influencers, go to their individual Facebook Profiles. Click on More and then Groups to see the groups they’re already a member of.

 

 

Not all groups in the list will be relevant to your startup; these influencers have diverse interests and are members of different groups.

For example: if you’re in the live streaming industry, check out the groups about Facebook Live, Periscope, or video marketing.

3. Narrow down the group into three.

Why three?

Three groups will give you more opportunities to reach more potential users and influencers without being too overwhelming.

Pick the group that has a lot of conversation going on–not just spam posts. Most groups are closed groups, which means you won’t actually be able to see the conversations until you become a member. For now, just join groups based on the title, description, and the influencers who belong in that group.

4. Engage and be helpful.

Once you’re approved, don’t go pitching your startup yet! Think of yourself as a Facebook user rather than a startup founder or a marketer. Join the conversation and do be helpful.

Find threads or questions that you can be a part of. Are members asking help or need answers to specific questions? Do you have the personal experience to provide a comprehensive and insightful answer?

How I Got 2 High-Paying Clients from a Facebook Group

Going back to my previous example, I didn’t immediately offer my freelance writing services. In fact, I didn’t offer it at all! Here’s what I did in a startup group (my target clients):

  1. Answered questions related to blogging and social media marketing.
  2. After a week, I introduced myself and what I do. I asked a question about how startups manage their social media and content creation.
  3. People started to comment and shared their experiences. While 80% of the comments was to answer my question, 20% asked me about my freelance writing services.

After experiencing success with this strategy in my freelancing, I applied this technique to any startup that I worked with, whether it’s B2C and B2B.

When Should You Talk about Your Startup?

There are times when people will ask about possible solutions. If your startup provides this solution, it’s time to do your pitch!

Let’s say for example, you have a software that analyzes social media data. Your ideal customers are freelance social media managers. You’re now part of a Facebook Group of social media managers from around the world. One of them asks:

I’m currently using X software to schedule and analyze my posts on Facebook and Twitter. But I find it’s too expensive.

Now, it’s your time to shine. Answer the question with possible alternative tools, including yours! Highlight the price points of your product and how much money they can save.

This is a screenshot of my answer to one of the questions on a live video group on Facebook. As you can see, I’ve suggested the product of one of the startups I’m working with.

A few reminders:

  • Always read the admin’s rules on posting to avoid being blocked and kicked out of the group.
    Always stay on topic.
  • Be respectful, especially when someone disagrees with you.
  • Set aside time to do this every day.

Final Thoughts

Like any other social media marketing strategies, this won’t work if you only do it once or twice. You need to dedicate time each day in order to find relevant conversations and join in. Spending at least 15 minutes every work day can eventually produce great results.

Have you tried using Facebook Groups as a way to attract potential users and engage with influencers?