Before launching Harbor Marketing Agency, I worked at a subscription box brand that I helped scale to $15M in annual revenue. I believe that one of our secrets to success was our Facebook Group community.
So let's skip the fluff. Why is this important?
1. If you do this the right way, you will actually create a sales channel where your customers sell your box FOR you.
2. It will enable you to collect User Generated Content whenever you need it, which means you'll have more creative to test in your ad accounts.
3. You will gain a DEEP understanding of your customers — how they think, how they speak, what they like & dislike, etc. This means MUCH better copywriting and more conversions.
Ok, so here's how you build it...
Step One — Paid advertising. Please tell me you're already doing this. Assuming that you are, you should be driving a decent amount of traffic to your website and building up your email list.
Step Two — In the FIRST email automation you send to your lead list (right after someone joins your list), you should send them an invite to join your Facebook Group. The key here is to have a strong hook. I've found that curiosity works well here. For example, the subscription box company I worked for was a murder mystery subscription box company, so we sent people a murder mystery riddle in the email and told them they can find the answer by joining our Facebook Group.
Step Three — Let everybody in. That means both leads AND customers. Here's why — as more leads pour into your Facebook Group, a percentage of them will convert into customers. Now, assuming you have a good product and do a good job of engaging with your community, your happy customers will start posting about how much they LOVE your subscription box in the group. The leads who haven't converted yet will see this.... see where I'm going with this? It creates a self-sustaining system where your customers are providing you with massive amounts of unsolicited social proof. You're effectively channeling their word of mouth advertising (which they're going to do anyway) directly to the people who matter most — your potential customers.
Last part — How do you build a thriving community?
Here are my favorite types of posts...
1. Value Post (1x per week) — create an information post that provides some kind of value to your audience. Every subscription box solves some kind of problem. Think about the problem that your audience is experiencing and create an informative post on how to fix that problem.
2. Spark Post (2x per month) — The purpose of a spark post is to get people to re-engage with you. You can post something like...
"We're in the process of clearing out inactives from this group. Are you still interested in being a member of this commuinty? If so, comment YES! below."
3. Two-Step Posts (1x per week) — A post that leads with value and asks people to comment to redeem an offer. Example:
"We're looking to test out a new offer for our subscription box and are going to give 25 people who sign up TODAY 15% off their box. Comment "SIGN ME UP" below if you're interested and we'll message you with a secret code"
You can then have your customer service reps reach out with codes and a checkout link.
4. Brand Builder Post (1x per week) — A post that is meant to be funny or showcase what your brand stands for in a way that resonates with your audience. This can be a funny meme, video, behind-the-scenes. or another piece of content that simply brightens your audience's day.
5. Direct Offer Post (2x per month) — This is a post where you are directly asking people to purchase your product. If you're doing a good job of posting engaging content, it's OK to create a post like this 2x per month. Don't overdo these though or you run the risk of turning off your community.
6. Giveaway Posts — Run a giveaway or a special offer in exchange for User Generated Content. This is a great way to collect customer selfies with your sub box or even video testimonials when you're short on new creative to test in your ad account. This post might say something like...
"GIVEAWAY ALERT! We're giving away a free (Insert Prize) to the first 25 people who post a selfie with their sub box in the comment box below!"
I won't lie. Building a Facebook Group is hard work, but if you can do it, you'll unlock a gold mine for your subscription box brand. The best time to start is yesterday.