Facebook Groups 101 Benefits, Growth and Best Tips
Facebook algorithms are putting an emphasis on Facebook groups. With this in mind, let’s discuss the many benefits and growth strategies and best tips!
Have you created a group with the expectation of extreme growth and high engagement only to find growing the group like pulling teeth and engagement scarce – then you’re not alone?
There are so many benefits to having a Facebook group, but here’s the top six!
- Groups are an amazing resource to create a community around your target audience.
- You’re able to build connections with other like-minded people in your niche.
- You have the ability to grow your email list at the same time as your group!
- Once you have a group, you can collect free market research whenever you want!
- By having your own group, it can boost your credibility and authority in your niche.
- You have the ability to monetize your group!
Creating a Facebook group isn’t difficult!
Before you get started with your group, there are a few things you should consider.
- What is your group’s purpose?
No one does anything without a specific purpose behind it. Every group has a purpose, so ask yourself… Is it to get more exposure? Position yourself as an expert? Create a community of support? Sit back and think about it honestly. Here’s a hint though – if the purpose of a group is self-serving, it’s not likely to grow and perform well. People join groups for their own benefit – not for yours! The purpose of your group should benefit the members first!
- What type of community are you attempting to create?
When you create a group, you have three options; you can create a public, closed or secret group. Each option serves a specific purpose.
If you’re looking to grow your group quickly and don’t mind non-members having access to the material before joining, then you can show the value of the content shared so they can make a decision to join the group.
The posts from groups that your members engage with will show up in the feeds of their friends. But non-members cannot comment until they join!
A closed group makes it so only people who are part of the group can access the posted content. You can promote the benefits of joining the group on social media and your email list to encourage people to join. You can even offer your lead magnet in one of your questions you ask as they join to help collect emails.
Secret groups are only found by the members and are not easily discoverable. This is not the best option for online marketing efforts – but it is great for internal use. Want to have a community built around a course that you offer? This is how!
- Think about the logistics.
When naming your group, make sure people can tell what topic your group is centered around right away. Use keywords within the title making it easy to search for. Creative names are fun – but not always effective.
To deter spammers and inactive members from joining the group, ask qualifying questions. Make it a requirement that they must answer the questions to join.
There are a few different types of questions you can ask:
- Do you agree with the rules? (This is a great way to confirm they’ve read the rules and you can delete them from the group if they break them.)
- Do you want this lead magnet? – Enter your email if you do! (This is a great way to grow your email list.)
- What is your biggest challenge with [insert group topic]? (This is a great way to get good content ideas!)
- Make the rules – and stick to them!
Set clear expectations for how the group should be used. What is and isn’t allowed within the community. Create a promotional policy. If you want people to post their offers, links, and promotions, great! Be warned – by doing this it can cause a lot of “spammy” posts and can harm the growth and health of your group.
Some of the best and healthiest groups are the ones that have no tolerance for belittling, bullying, or hate speech. It’s a safe place for people to post without the fear of criticism.
Once you have the rules – it’s important to stick with them. If someone breaks the rules, it’s okay to boot them out. In fact, if they’re a repeat offender – it’s highly recommended. You want to make sure your group is a safe place for everyone.
- Promote your group to the right people!
Having lots of members looks really awesome; everyone wants 10,000 members! But if those 10,000 aren’t engaged and aren’t within your target audience then the overall health of your group is in trouble. Just like any other marketing, if you’re marketing to everyone – you’re marketing to no one. Define your target audience and only attract them into the group.
Promoting can be done via:
- Social Media – Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, etc. Showcase the benefits of the group with a call to action.
- Email lists – Send out an email to your list with lots of value, outline the benefits of the group and include an invite!
- Old School – Sending a simple invite works too! Invite the people that you think can truly benefit from the group. But avoid mass inviting people to the group. They still have to accept the request and answer the questions. It’s more effective to send a personalized message to the people you think are a good fit.
- Link it everywhere – Make sure the link to your group is easily accessible. Pin the group to the top of your Facebook page. Put it in your email newsletters, icon bars, email signatures, bios and even your confirmation pages of your funnels!
- Take a look at your content.
When you launch your group, sometimes it can feel like you’re talking to a wall. It’s not going to be easy from the get-go to get others to begin posting within the group. They’re feeling out the group, trying to determine what is and isn’t acceptable to post. They don’t know what to expect. So, it's up to you to put out content. Engage with your members by providing value, asking questions and entertaining them. Over time, others will begin to join the conversation and eventually it will begin to run itself!
- Engage DAILY.
All good relationships take work. Do the research. Test things out. Find out when the best time to engage is within the group. What time are your members online? Try to post your best content at that time. You can prepare and schedule content to go out during those times – but make sure you’re available to respond to comments.
By engaging with your members, it also means answering questions when they’re asked and respond back to every single comment. If you’re not invested 100% in your group, then why would your members be?
Growing your group can be difficult. Here are some ways to help grow your group!
- You can create redirecting links to your website. Create a customized URL that redirects to your group, making it easy for people to remember AND help with overall branding.
- Add the link to your group as a tab on the main navigation menu of your blog or website.
- Brand your group as a “Free Community” vs a “Facebook Group.”
- Add the group link to your email signature so that every email you send will be an opportunity to gain a new member.
- If you’re on YouTube, add a call to action inviting people to your Facebook group at the end of your videos and in the caption!
- Create Pinterest graphics for your group and pin them regularly. The lifetime of content on Pinterest lasts for months longer than Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms.
- Pin posts sharing the free community and pin them to the top of your profile so it’s easily accessible.
- Wherever there are links to your other social media, include a link to your Facebook page as well.
- If you have a welcome email to your new email subscribers, include the link within there.
- Add a button to join the community on every single one of your Thank You and Confirmation pages in your funnels.
- Post about the group on social media regularly – add it to your content schedule.
- Go live on social media talking about the group!
- Try posting a challenge within your Facebook group so when people sign up for the challenge, they join the group!
- Provide incentive programs to increase engagement! Announce and reward the most active and contributing members!
Facebook groups don’t have to be complicated. Start them right from the beginning and they’ll grow steadily. The more work you put into them, the better they will be! So have fun with them!
Owner, AIM Social Media Marketing Nichole Howson is a social media marketing strategist that works with businesses to increase their reach, engagement and bring in qualified leads that convert. Nichole has worked with businesses globally from both ends of the spectrum – start-ups and well established. She focuses on the strategy FIRST before getting started – building a firm foundation for each business’ online marketing.