I cannot tell you how many times my company was in the news and I was not even notified. However, now instead of missing out on the information, I find out via Google Alerts (a totally free, easy, and awesome service provided by Google). What is Google Alerts?
Defined by Google:
“Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. Enter a search query you wish to monitor. You will see a preview of the type of results you'll receive.”
How to Use Google Alerts:
Set up multiple Google alerts. (It’s free and easy so why not do this now?) I have the following alerts set-up for my first business, www.NJYP.org:
"Get out. Make friends." (my tag line)
"Members meet at restaurants, bars, in coffee houses, at comedy clubs, and even outdoors" (my main copy)
"New Jersey" "Young Professionals"
NJ "Young Professionals"
As you can see, not only am I seeking information that may appear about my organization, but I am also keeping an eye on whether anyone is using my tag line and copying illegally, talking about me by name, or talking about Young Professionals in NJ.
It will take you less than a minute to set up a few Google Alerts. An alert will keep you updated on who is talking about you and it also may help you figure out who is stealing your ideas.
Whenever you create a new group on Facebook, you need to decide if your group should be Closed, Public, or Secret.
Pick CLOSED every time!
If a group is public it means all the posts in the group are public. Anyone can navigate to that group and see what every member said. More importantly, it means a member's post MAY show up in their newsfeed. Depending on the topic of your group, your members may not feel safe posting.
For instance in a breastfeeding support group a new mom may not want ALL of her FB friends to know she is having a hard time with Postpartum Depression. She may just want the support of her fellow BFing moms. If your group is public she probably wouldn't bother posting.
If you want people to be able to find and join your group via a search then DO NOT pick Secret. Secret groups are 100% secret which means admins and members can add more members. No one will be able to find it.
Closed groups are the happy in between. They will come up in a search BUT only members will be able to see what has been posted.
In a past blog I spoke about how to respond when your ideal client posts in your local FB group. In order to "stalk" these local groups, you FIRST need to be a MEMBER of them. So today let's talk about how to find the groups.
One of the best ways to find local Facebook groups in the area you service is to ask for referrals. Go to all of the groups you currently belong to and post something like this:
"I am looking to join more local FB groups. Does anyone have a group they recommend?"
Believe it or not, some of the biggest groups I belong to are SECRET groups. If a group is classified as secret, it will never come up in a FB group search.
There are a number of reasons an admin may make the group secret but the most common reason is due to spam. I admin multiple groups and the bigger the group is, the more spammers request to join. Because of all the spam requests, I need to go into every membership "application" and decide if the person trying to join is a spammer. This takes time.
If I make a group secret, however, it means spammers will never find the group. New members would come into the group by way of referral (friends adding friends). As an admin, a secret group means less admin work fighting the spammers.
The Search Tool You Didn't Know About
I don't know why, but FB makes it hard for people to search for groups! There is a way to do it though, just follow the steps below for this example of what a birth worker who serves Miami should do.
Notice I did not search for "Miami moms". I kept it broad so I could scan through hundreds of groups and decide where my clients may be. If I had done a search for Miami Moms I would have missed out on groups named "Moms of Miami", "Miami Mamas", "Miami Mommies", "Lesbian Moms Living in Miami", etc.
So now that you were able to find and join local FB groups, what should you do!? You need to participate in the communities, "stalk" the communities, and run contests.
Laura Occhipinti is on a mission to help birth workers and holistic professionals grow their businesses.