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Facebook recently announced that Pages can now join Facebook Groups. Before this change, only Personal Profiles could join a Group. If you are a business owner, this new option may open up a way of reaching out to new communities and to spread brand awareness and create exposure for your products and services.

Right now, Group default settings are set so that Pages are allowed to request to join as members. However, Page managers can expect to see that option turned off in certain Groups once more administrators learn about this new feature. Why?

Groups have been a safe place to discuss interesting or relevant topics without the intrusion of Business Pages coming in to sell their products. Now, less experienced social media marketers, or those who do not adhere to best practices, will take advantage of this new feature to push their product, thereby ruining the experience of the Group. So how do you use this new feature so that your business benefits, while avoiding irritating Group members?

Become a part of the conversation! Think of it this way. If you walk into a bar and start selling a product to everyone on a bar stool they’re going to slowly dissipate or flat out start ignoring you. But if you pull a stool up to the bar and start getting to know people, it’s easier for you to understand if they are the right audience for you while they get to know you and your products or services.

As your Business Page, engage on posts and threads, where appropriate. Don’t chime in right away with selling your product but make real comments in your brand tone of voice. Post a reaction on funny (but not derogatory) memes, like others’ posts and comments, or even ask questions of people to keep the conversation going. If people are interested in your product or service, they’ll click through to your Business Page to learn more.

You’re probably asking, is it ever OK to just sell in Group? The answer is, only when asked. Many people will ask for recommendations in a Group, from painters to car mechanics to the best type of gifts to get a girlfriend. Responding back to recommendation requests is encouraged but do so with some humility. If someone is asking for house painters, politely comment that you service their area and would be happy to stop by to provide a quote. A link to your website or a phone number is fine to post as well. However, uploading a complete brochure, paint color choices, and other forms is a bit too invasive, unless the customer asked for it. Ideally, that transaction should take place in a private message.

Don’t let any of this discourage you from joining a Facebook Group with your Business Page. When handled with tact and professionalism, your business can integrate seamlessly into Groups that will ultimately help your brand awareness and your sales.