One of the easiest ways to boost engagement, build a following and become a thought leader or influencer in your market is by creating a Facebook group.
A Facebook group serves as a communication channel between you and an ever-growing community of potential customers. You’re able to take advantage of the heavy traffic that Facebook provides, and you’ll be able to connect with your audience who find you just by entering in keywords relating to your niche.
Best of all, growing a Facebook group is easier than you may think and won’t cost you anything at all!
The Power of a Group
Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world! It’s also one of the top-visited sites with more than 3 billion users logging in every single day!! Many users, spend hours on the platform browsing timelines and reading content. So, clearly, this is a great place to be if you want to grow your business!
The tricky part? Standing out in the crowd so you can capture attention and build a loyal following!
If you’re new to the idea of a Facebook group, here’s a quick overview:
Facebook allows users to create groups that bring people together. Groups are typically focused on a specific subject matter and help connect people with the topics that matter most to them. It’s a great way to seek out like-minded individuals, but it’s also a fantastic way to build a list, grow an audience, jump-start a membership site or even test out a digital product.
You can also set your privacy settings based on your objectives. For example, if you want your group to be available to anyone who finds it you can set it to public. Or, if you want to create a secret group that’s only available to paid members, you can set the group to private or secret and then approve members individually.
When it comes to building a tribe using the Facebook group platform, the possibilities are endless. Groups can be an invaluable marketing tool that connects you to your core audience, and best of all, they’re entirely free to set up. And if lead generation is important to you, Facebook groups make this exceptionally easy, because you can set up a group designed to target a segment of your audience and then pin a link to your landing page where people can subscribe to your list.
Facebook groups can also help establish you as a thought leader in your market, and help you build your brand by making it easy for people to see what you have to offer. Groups also work within Facebook’s algorithms, which means that the more likes, shares and comments shared within your group, the more likely your group will appear when people search for relevant content.
And finally, you can easily automate your Facebook marketing by using social media schedulers so that your group is always kept up to date.
Creating Your Group
First, you need to decide what your group’s objective is. Do you want people to find it easily so that you can build a large audience quickly? Or, do you want your group to be available only to those who were provided with a link to join?
When it comes to assigning a group type, here are your options:
Public: Anyone logged into Facebook can join your group. In addition, existing group members can invite and add anyone they choose.
Closed: Closed groups require those who are interested in joining to submit a request which can be approved by a group admin. Members can invite others to join the group, but all requests can be set for admin approval.
Secret: Secret groups aren’t visible or easily found without a user being provided with the direct link to join. This means that members need to be invited and can’t add or invite other people.
Clearly, a public group will get you the most exposure and will help you grow a group quickly. However, depending on what you plan to use the group for, you’ll want to consider your options carefully, because once a group has a few hundred members, the privacy setting can’t be changed. If you aren’t sure what to start with, consider a closed group. You’ll still be able to grow an audience quickly, but you’ll be in control of who you approve and how quickly your group grows.
You’ll also want to give your Facebook group a name that aligns with your brand. If you operate a single domain, try to secure the same name for your group. If it’s not available, consider what other keywords are likely to be used by people searching on Facebook for similar channels. Keep your group name short and sweet.
When it comes to creating a Facebook group that will stand out and capture attention from those within your market, there are a few things to pay close attention to. Don’t overlook any of this!
Group Description: Your group description is important because it tells prospective members what it’s about and what to expect. This is also where you’ll want to inject relevant keywords that will help people find your group. Highlight the benefits of joining your group and include any special features, discussions or added perks that members receive.
Add a link to your mailing list: Add this to your group’s description or include it in a pinned post or announcement so that new members are encouraged to subscribe to your mailing list to stay up to date.
Choose a Moderator: While you may not need one when just starting out, as your group grows you’ll likely want to accept help from someone else in your niche. Tip: Consider making one of your most active and trusted members a moderator. A moderator can help keep out spam and ban problematic members, but they can’t make any important changes to your group.
Content That Builds An Empire
If you want to grow a highly-targeted group that will help connect with you with your tribe, you’ll want to carefully create a content schedule so that you’re able to stay focused and on track. A group needs to be constantly updated, or it will become dormant very quickly. Group members expect interaction, and even though they’re likely to engage in conversations amongst themselves, they’ll still want to see posts, updates and share-worthy content from you.
When it comes to what type of content to post, you’ll want to start by researching existing groups that have successfully grown an audience. Join the groups that are most relevant to your market and conduct research. Pay attention to the posts that have garnered the most feedback and interaction. Clearly if people are responding to certain types of content, they would want more of it. This can help you come up with ideas for your own group.
While groups are best used as communication channels that help to build brand awareness and establish authority, lots of people also sell directly within their groups. Look at what (if anything) is being sold. Since every niche is different, this research is important in ensuring you don’t create a group with the intention to sell when most the market wouldn’t expect direct selling.
Growing Your Group
Obviously one of the easiest ways to begin building your group is to simply invite people to join. You can do this by going through your Facebook friends list and inviting them in one at a time, but there are other ways that will help you focus on building a group of like-minded individuals.
Invite those who are in other similar groups. If you’re active in other relevant groups, consider inviting those members into yours. Just be careful not to spam anyone! You are looking for people who are in other similar groups that you’re also in.
Invite your mailing list subscribers. If you have a mailing list, shoot out an email and invite your subscribers to join your group. Provide some sort of incentive to motivate them to follow through, such as by providing a product discount code to those who join or better yet, offer something entirely free.
Link to your group from any sales pages, blogs or other marketing content available online. The idea is to use every possible avenue to funnel people back into your group so that you can interact with them and continue building a relationship with your tribe.
Include a link in your blog’s menu. Add a link to your Facebook group right in your blog’s navigation menu, either at the top or as part of your sidebar.
Use text overlays in YouTube videos. Include a link to your Facebook group in every video you upload to YouTube or other networks. You can use text overlays to prompt viewers to join your group without taking away from their viewing experience.
Create a Pinterest pin. Design an attention-grabbing image and pin it to Pinterest that links to your Facebook group. This is one of the fastest ways to build your audience and maximize exposure at no cost.
One very useful feature that’s implemented into the Facebook group feature is the ability to add questions that people must answer before they can be approved to join your group. These questions can help to qualify members, ensuring that you are only allowing serious prospects and not just freebie-seekers. The questions should be easy to answer and relevant to your group’s overall topic. Design them so that they’ll make sense to people genuinely interested in your niche and so that they demonstrate a user’s overall knowledge or passion for the topic you’re focused on. These questions can also serve as a sort of survey, giving you insight and important information about members. Knowing your audience will help you create engaging content that your group members will love.
While Facebook groups provide a fast and easy way to connect with your audience, network with potential partners and learn more about your market, you always want to look for ways to direct group members further into your funnel. This starts with encouraging members to become newsletter subscribers. If you’ve done your job at providing valuable content within your group, and you’ve worked hard to demonstrate your commitment to providing tools and resources that help your audience, it will be easy to convince them to subscribe to your mailing list.
If you want to build a highly-interactive group filled with engaged members, you’re going to need to develop a content strategy. How frequent you post is important, but the quality of what you offer is even more so.
Here are a few things to consider:
Live Video: People love when thought leaders go live. It gives them a chance to interact with them on a personal basis while being entertained for a short time.
Webinars: Webinars are always sure-fire winners, especially if you design them so that it gives a ton of value away. Start with a free webinar that’s created to boost brand awareness and get people excited about your content.
Video: Create a YouTube channel and share your videos within the group. The videos should be short and interesting. Use keywords in the title, description and tags you will upload when you add the video.
Documents & Important Files: You’re able to upload documents of all kinds within your group so consider setting up content categories and then uploading things like checklists, step-by-step guides or a FAQ that addresses the most commonly asked questions in your niche.
Announcements & Pinned Posts: You can set one post as pinned, but can pin multiple announcements. Pinned announcements will be seen as soon as someone accesses the group and appears above all other content, regardless of the timeline in which it was posted. Use announcements wisely! They should be used to highlight a special event or draw attention to an important notice.
Polls: Polls are a great way to get feedback from group members so you can figure out what they want most from the content you create. Survey group members regularly and use their comments and votes to form a content strategy or to come up with paid product ideas.
The Power of Insights
Insights provide you with important information that can help you form a successful marketing strategy. That’s why it’s imperative that you keep a pulse on all the data offered to you by Facebook. To access your group’s insights, click on “Group Insights” in the left navigation menu from within your group’s main page.
Facebook Insights allows you to easily measure the performance of your group including how many new members have joined each day, how many posts, comments and reactions have taken place within your group and much more. Pay attention to the big things and the small.
The times of day when people are most active. This can help you determine when you should post important updates, or even when to schedule events.
Overall Engagement. What are people best responding to? What posts or content seem to generate the highest level of activity? This information is invaluable when it comes to creating content for your group.
Making Money With Your Group
While Facebook groups are typically created to serve as a place for people to discuss topics and issues, you can maximise your income with a well thought out Facebook group.
If you set up your Facebook group to serve as part of your business, you can easily maximise your income if you’re strategic about how you approach your group members. Start by offering discount codes or coupons on available products. Giving members a group-only deal of some kind will not only keep them engaged, but it highlights the benefits of being a member.
You need to make sure you strike a healthy balance between directly selling within your group and offering valuable tools and resources that keep your members signing in. The last thing you want is for your members to feel as though they’re always being sold to. You need to stay focused on providing exceptional value, free content that genuinely helps them and continuing to build trusting relationships.
Growing a successful Facebook group isn’t difficult, but it does require dedication and ongoing commitment. Here are a few last tips to help you get started:
Create a schedule and stick to it: This includes when you post content, but also when you’re active within the group. You want people to see you consistently active while also ensuring that you aren’t spending too much time in the group. After all, you still have to create products, run a mailing list and grow your empire!
Spend your time wisely: You can choose to spend an hour throughout the day, or only in the evenings after your workday is over. Whatever you decide, it’s important that you stay visible.
Invite thought leaders & experts: If you want to boost the value of your group, while also offering your members even more value, consider inviting thought leaders and niche bloggers to post in your group. It’s a win-win! They receive additional exposure by aligning with your brand, and you’re able to introduce your audience to an expert or influencer who will add value to the community.
Keep it fun! People join groups to interact with other like-minded people, but they also want to be entertained so even if your group is focused on business, try to keep it light and fun! Find ways to keep people engaged and active, such as by hosting special events once a month or streaming live video.
Monitor your progress: Keep track of how your group is growing each week. Write down the total number of group members so you can keep tabs on how many new people join each week. You can also post a welcome message to new members every week. Facebook makes it easy to do this with a click of a button.
Streamline social media: Invite followers from other social platforms to join your group. Send out a tweet, or share a post on Pinterest or Instagram welcoming people to become a group member. If people follow you on one social media platform, chances are they’ll be willing to join you on the others.
So there you go, all you need to know to get your Facebook Group growing!
For more hints, tips and business advice and videos – with live Monday trainings – head over to my Business Group at Filter Free Business.