Do you want to generate more leads for your MSP business? Building a Facebook group may be one of the best investments of your time in the current social media landscape.
In this post, I will detail the power a Facebook Group can give your MSP for generating leads and why it's the best platform to build an audience of local business owners to help refer you to quality local IT leads.
First, let's talk about the elephant in the room: LinkedIn.
Most IT marketers, coaches and influencers will advise you to concentrate on LinkedIn as it's the "business to business" social media platform; however, the reality is the glory days of LinkedIn are over.
It's no longer as powerful as it once was to gain the attention of your ideal prospects.
There are two reasons for this:
1) More of your competitors are now on LinkedIn using the same tactics to gain the local market's attention.
2) The platform is saturated with automated tools for connection requests and InMail, leading to a lot more spam - this, in turn, has many ignoring most notifications they receive from the platform.
What's the solution?
A facebook group for your local market or niche. Serve your local business community with something they want - a Facebook group where they can promote their local business.
Now, if you are a regular user of Facebook, you may already be a member of some of these types of groups. They work well in attracting local business owners and others looking for services.
Here where I'm located, I joined a small group back in 2016 called "Grampian Business Finder" - it's grown substantially since then and now has over 21,000 members.
The question I hear you ask is how running a local business Facebook group help promote my MSP?
Simple, you have control of the group, access to all the members, and post up any promotions/announcements and pin them to the top of the group.
I'm not going to get into the technicalities of building a group - that's something you can learn in the IT Rockstars membership area.
However, I want to outline the three powerful benefits of building a Facebook group for your MSP:
Instant local credibility - you can link your business Facebook page to the group and have it displayed right at the top of the group. This is powerful as your IT business can be perceived by other business owners as helpful to the local community.
You can take this a step further by also including your business logo in the Facebook group banner image for a further branding opportunity.
Every time someone sees a post from the group, they'll be reminded of your IT business name. From a branding perspective locally or in a niche, this is a great opportunity, and none of your competitors is likely to be doing similar.
The Network Effect
Not all the business owners that join your group will be ideal prospects. Some businesses are not the right fit for the MSP market. In our example above, over 21,000 people joined Grampian Business Finder. That's a huge number, and we know for a fact that not all of those that join even own or run a business.
What you need to be aware of is the network effect, and it's something I learnt when I was a member of BNI.
When I joined BNI as an IT business, I felt that everyone in the room wanted to do business with me. I met weekly with the other members and had scheduled 121's to find out more about their business.
After about six months, I learned that there was little chance with me doing business with anyone in the room, and that is not the purpose of BNI. The same is true for the Facebook group.
It's all about who the members of the group know and can refer you to.
To give you an example of this - in my BNI group, a well-established lawyer had an extensive network of business associates.
Let's call this person Sheila.
Every week, she referred business to others in the BNI group and was always willing to make introductions to people she had business relationships with.
When I asked for a specific person as a referral nine times out of ten, Sheila was ready and willing to help make the introduction.
The same is true for the Facebook group you can build. They'll be certain people just like Sheila who know many contacts in the local business community and are ready and willing to help you with an introduction and referral.
This is where the real power of Facebook Groups can be achieved as the admin of the group.
You can post an announcement and pin it to the top of the group asking specifically for your ideal referral. The intro is just a Facebook post away.
With the lease of iOS14 retargeting, your prospects is becoming more difficult. I talk extensively about how MSPs can use Facebook retargeting to generate leads, but it's a lot harder since Apple's recent update.
The good news is that Facebook has also got an internal retargeting mechanism. So while Apple might restrict you somewhat in retargeting visitors to your website, you can still retarget people that interact with your Facebook page, videos and posts.
This is super helpful because when you post something specific to the group from your Facebook page, you can then retarget the people that interacted with that post.
Here is the perfect example of just what I mean a simple ad for network security
If someone clicks, likes or expands the text in the post I can then retarget to them using something like a personal video introducing our company.
The true power of this is when done in combination with a series of other retargeting ads that attempts to hook the prospect in with other offers.
They might not be interested in a network security audit, but they may, however, have old business PC's that need replacing.
I can show them a combination of ads that differ over the period of 1-2 weeks. The prospect is far more likely to take action when presented with more choices over a longer period of time.
To conclude, I have to come honest with you - I was once on the fence about Facebook groups and the hassle involved in managing, growing and promoting a Facebook group.
We've generated many leads using Facebook Groups using our own group as an example (The MSP Marketing Lab).
If you would like to find out more about how to start growing a local Facebook group for your MSP, then consider signing up for a one-month free trial of our IT Rockstars membership - we've got specific MSP tactics for growing a Facebook group within the VIP members area.
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