* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!


» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)


Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator



Is it reasonable to start a group in Facebook for a software product intended for home users to increase sales?

I already have a forum. But Facebook easily allows to like and share with friends posts from my group.

Well, I start a group in Facebook and ask my forum users to join my group. I get say 100-500 users in a several months. I post interesting information about product, news of company.

But will subscribers of my group recommend posts to their friend? Will I get new visitors *FROM Facebook*? Will it work in reality? Are there social research on this question?

I would be grateful for any thoughts.
Igor Kokarev Send private email
Thursday, July 03, 2014
I don't have direct experience with B2C, but I can say that B2B does not do very well on Facebook. 

If your application is something fun, or really helps people at home, I can imagine they might tell their friends, like it, etc.
Doug Send private email
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Hi Igor,

A lot of my software marketing clients are B2B, and for them Facebook isn't usually a good marketing platform.  However, if you have a lower-priced B2C app then you can definitely leverage Facebook to get the word out there about your app... but ultimately you want to bring them back to your website or download site / app store to purchase, etc.

If you have managed to build a Facebook group following from your forum that's great... but of course if those are folks who are already active in your forum then you're not reaching new prospects.  Somehow, you do need to get them to either invite/encourage their friends (either directly, or indirectly through "liking" your posts, comments, etc), be active participants on your Facebook business page (so it'll get visible to more users)  or to purchase more from you.

Do you have a Facebook business page for your software as well as the group?  It's important to also have a business page, and for you to use that page to "like" other posts, add (relevant and useful) comments, etc.  Don't just use your Facebook page or group as a "mouthpiece" for your company.  Instead, you want to encourage and start two-way conversations to get other people engaged as well.  Share posts from other people that you would think they would like, for example... only a few of your posts should be directly about your product or software.

Hope that helps,

Joanna Lees Castro Send private email
Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thank you for really interesting thoughts and ideas!

I need time to think on these questions.

My nearest competitor started a business group with his company name in Facebook. And they post news around their product and niche.

My prodict is for B2C and my niche is ideal for community, because the product allows to create new things (creativity).

I don't want to copy him. My idea was to start a group with name of my product and make community around it. All users can add comments, but only 3-5 trusted members will add new posts.

I hope that my existing users from the forum will join this group and then they will like/repost news from my Facebook group. I'm not sure that it works. Here is the problem!

Also I don't want to create the forum #2 and competition between already existing forum and Facebook group.

2. I understood your idea with 2 step conversion if create a new group not directly linked with my product. It is really good idea. I have to choose.
Igor Kokarev Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014
You have very little control over anything in FB. FB might actually be showing your customers ads for competing products. Also it won't be available to people who don't have a FB profile.
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014
Andy - that's true, but you don't have control over what shows in Google's organic search results, or what competing products might decide to advertise there, either.  But I'm not advocating to spend a lot of time on FB marketing... you're main focus should be on getting search traffic.  However certain consumer-oriented niches can do quite well on FB and in that case it can be worth spending 10 minutes a day to grow a following there.

Joanna Lees Castro Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014
sorry, should be "your" not "you're".... typing too fast there!

Joanna Lees Castro Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014

Facebook allows to create "groups" and "pages".

"Pages" are available for all users, even for guests.
And they have short URL. Example:

Google indexes "pages" of Facebook.

I just created a test page for my product with custom design within 1 hour (using graphics from my website).

As I understood from articles, when my visitors "like" my page this event appears on their Facebook profiles.

So let see how it will work.

P.S. I have no luck nor with Adwords (expensive) nor with organic search (almost no statistics due to privacy policy of Google).
Igor Kokarev Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014
Igor Kokarev Send private email
Friday, July 04, 2014
My take - people expect a FB page, so create one.

However the interface of FB is terrible, and often changes. If you already have an established forum with experienced users posting on it then create a nice FB page - and put a link on there to your forum.

Personally I only use FB for keeping in touch with locals I go off-road scrambling and fishing with, but even for that I sometimes find myself cursing the hideous interface. It truly sucks.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Saturday, July 05, 2014

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz