Let’s go back to my very first year of teaching kindergarten. You knew I used to teacher kindergarten, right? I wanted to be the best teacher I could be and I thought the key to that was planning. I planned an entire year of quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals for my students before I even laid eyes upon them.
Here’s what happened the first day: a fire drill, kids crying, some kids knew how to spell their own name while other kids didn’t know the difference between letters and numbers.
One student wandered out of the bathroom with her pants down and asked me to wipe her butt. I definitely didn’t see that one coming.
In other words, my plan was useless. I created a content plan without getting to know the needs of my students first.
It took me a long time to realize that the difference between a pro teacher and a newbie teacher is listening, not planning.
I put my planner away, opened my eyes, and unplugged my ear-holes.
I watched them play and took notes. I listened to them talk and took notes. I tried a few activities with them and took notes.
I was finally able to create content that truly helped my students because I listened. Soon after I adopted this student-centered approach to teaching, my students were flourishing and other teachers were coming to me for advice.
It’s not about you. It’s about your audience and how you can help them.
Here are two ways you can use Facebook groups to be a better listener and create mind-blowing content.
1. Host Your Own Facebook Group
The main reason you should do this is because your ideal customers will open up in your Facebook group in a way that DOES NOT happen on your business page. Can you imagine how VALUABLE it is to be a fly on the wall in a room full of your ideal customers? I can because I do that every single day inside my Facebook group. (Read “Facebook Groups vs. Facebook Pages”) Companies spend MILLIONS of dollars a year to do target market research and you can do it FOR FREE inside your own Facebook group.
ALL my social media and blog content is created by LISTENING to what my group is talking about. What they hope for, what they worry about, what they struggle with.
2. Join Other Facebook Groups
If you aren’t sold on the idea of hosting a Facebook group yet, try dipping your toe in the water and join a few other groups. You want to do this because Facebook groups are a TREASURE TROVE full of juicy content ideas.
Here’s what to do.
Search the group for key words that describe your area of expertise. For example, if you create content that teaches people about branding then join my Facebook group and start searching.
Seriously, why aren’t you in my group yet? If you are a blogger or online biz owner, get in there! There are thousands of people that have already joined.
So, if you blog about branding, then you can look up keywords such as: design, logo, color palette, website, branding, voice, style, etc.
You will not only see the problems people have, you will learn how they describe those problems. People don’t post a question in a Facebook group when they have a general wondering. They post a question when they are in a moment of desperation. Group members are communicating their pain points explicitly and directly. That, my friend, is gold.