Facebook knows that when people are engaged, they keep coming back and stay on the platform. So they want us all sharing content that people are actively engaging with, rather than passively viewing.
Think about the difference in reading some news (passive) to commenting on your mate’s holiday pics (active engagement).
Groups are online communities, where we engage with like-minded people, share and interact.
And Facebook LOVES groups that keep people active on their platform! Learn more about their algorithm strategy in this post: How to understand the Facebook algorithm and use it to your advantage
Do I also need a Facebook Page?
Short answer is YES.
You’ll need it for advertising. But also, think about your business’ online visibility.
With 1.23 billion people actively using Facebook on a daily basis, it’s pretty much essential for any business to have a presence.
In Australia, current stats from September 2018 show 60% of the entire population are active on Facebook, 50% check it more than once each day. (Source: Social Media News)
And, did you know that your content on Facebook also helps your Google SEO strategy? Yep, it does – more on that in another post.
Now, let’s get back to Facebook Groups.
Should I start a Facebook Group?
The million dollar question! Owning a Facebook Group is a lot of work, so it’s a strategy to think carefully about before heading off down the path of creating one.
It’s not going to be the right strategy for everyone and if you’re not sure about it, you can easily spend your time engaging in other people’s groups where the audience is relevant for you.
I believe owning a Facebook Group is a great way to build trust and awareness of what you do, and build a pool of warm prospects for your business.
From there you can convert people over to your email list and create targeted offers.
I started my Facebook Group in November 2017. As I write this, it’s less than a year ago and it has grown organically to 650 members, all people who fit the profile of my ‘ideal customer’.
Through my group I am building awareness and trust, which generates business enquiries for my coaching programs. So yes, it’s totally worth the effort for me to run a Facebook Group.
My top tips for running a successful Facebook Group
1. Think about the purpose of the group, who is it for and why do they need it?
Groups work really well when they are targeted at a niche section of the community so members feel like they belong.
When they feel ‘safe’ and surrounded by like-minded people who understand them they are much more likely to engage and share their own experiences and opinions.
You could base your niche on who they are (for example, mums with young kids) or you might have a subject-matter niche (e.g. yoga) that has a more varied demographic of people.
My group ‘My Tribe‘ is for female entrepreneurs who have service based businesses and want to learn more about marketing. Want to join us? Come on over to Facebook!
2. Engage new members asap
The success of your group is all about engagement, so getting people actively talking is essential.
Facebook manages what people see in their feeds based on what they engage with the most, so it’s a good idea to get them engaging straight away.
I have a pinned post for new members, where I give them the run down of the group and tell them all the things they can do to get the most out of the group.
Each week I do a welcome post to the new members and tag them, inviting them to introduce themselves and their business to us.
3. Create questions so people can give advice
Us humans LOVE to give advice to others! So use it to generate highly engaging content.
This is what groups are all about – sharing, talking, helping each other. If you can get your group doing this, you’ll reap the rewards in terms of reach.
Think about what you can ask them to get them talking, and provide value to other members in the group at the same time.
4. Provide helpful content, seek to add value
If you want to keep people coming back to your group, make sure you’re providing helpful content.
Even if the purpose of your group is to find prospects for your business, you will find that the group is much more successful at delivering them if people don’t feel like they’re being sold to.
Show your value and expertise through content you create for the group, conversations you engage in and help you give them.
5. Connect your Group to your Facebook Page so people can find it
Make it easy for people to find your group – if they are already on your page, chances are they’ll be interested in your Group!
If it is already in your page tabs, click on Settings to switch it on. Then you can adjust the order of the tabs in your menu by dragging and dropping.
6. Optimise your description so the right people find you when they’re searching
This one is so simple but so important! Did you know your description is searchable content on both Facebook and Google?
In the description you need to cover off what the group is about, who it’s for and, most importantly, tell people WHY they want to join! What are they going to get out of it?
Don’t be shy with the amount of content you use and build in your target keywords to ensure the right people can find you!
Think about what your target person might search for and use those words.
7. Create a cover image that clearly communicates the purpose of your business
Similar to the point above about the group description, your cover image is another place you can get your key message across and entice your ideal customer to join.
Choose your words and image carefully, to appeal to your target audience and clearly articulate what the group is about.
8. Be clear about accepted behaviours
It’s important to have group rules so you can crack down on anti-social behaviours and bullying.
Unfortunately situations do arise from time to time where you’ll have to remove a group member, so having clear guidelines right from the start gives you a very professional way to manage negative behaviours and maintain the integrity and culture of your group.
Having said that, it’s equally important to tell people how they can engage in the group and encourage them to do so!
If you don’t outline what they can do, many people will hang back, unsure of the right conduct.
There you have it! My 8 top tips for running a successful Facebook Group.
What do you think? Will you be giving Facebook Groups a go for your business? Comment below and let me know!