Facebook Groups have always been powerful platforms for building and engaging communities, networking, and sharing knowledge. Please don’t be fooled by thinking they’re only useful for selling the crap hiding at the back of your cupboard under the stairs! As Meta has monitored and understood the value of Facebook groups over the years, they have evolved the functionality they offer, and so it is, of course, important to stay up-to-date with the latest strategies to make the most of this fantastic marketing opportunity.
Getting started, or even rejuvenating your Facebook Group, means understanding a few things in order to get things right and build something worthwhile – here are my thoughts on this.
Have a Clear Purpose for your Facebook Group
The first step in your Facebook Group strategy is to define exactly what you want to achieve for this group. What’s the outcome? I recently started a Facebook group for another business I’m involved in, the purpose of which is to build an audience for a specific personal development group that would allow the existing community to come together, and also invite their friends and family to get a taste of that event – which in turn will help build the overall audience of the business and awareness of the brand. (You can check it out here if personal development is something you’re interested in!)
Know who your group is for…and who it is not for!
Who’s your avatar, or avatars! What are their interests and how specifically will your group add value to them? Whether it’s a professional networking group, a support group, or a group that is for people with shared interests, having a well-defined audience will attract the right people who will show up, engage, and contribute in a meaningful way.
Plan and Create Engaging Content for your facebook group!
Your content will be the lifeblood of your successful Facebook Group. Share information that is valuable and interesting, ensure your updates are relevant to keep your members engaged and avoid sharing too much in terms of branded content – sounds counter intuitive right? The last thing you want is for your community to feel that your group is simply there for you to pitch to them or to be used as a sales tool! This should be a place where they can get content they can’t get anywhere else from you – or at least that they’re able to access it on a deeper level.
Your group members should be encouraged to contribute their own content, whether it’s articles they’ve found, photos and videos, quotes, questions or even the occasional live!
Foster Active Participation
No one wants to be in a group where the only people who post are the admins! You may need to add a few prompts here and there to get your members going initially to create a culture where everyone shares in your Facebook group.
Create a welcoming and inclusive environment by ensuring you respond promptly to all comments and posts from your members. Make sure your group admins are actively moderating the group to ensure discussions remain on topic and respectful; this will also give you the perfect opportunity to show some appreciation and gratitude to those who participate regularly – this alone can encourage even more engagement from the lurkers in your group!
Your Facebook Group will have some epic features – make sure you use the ones that are relevant to your purpose!
I considered adding a list of features here… in truth though this list is constantly changing, and so by the time I’ve hit publish, things could be added, removed or updated! Meta continually introduces new features to enhance the group experience and bring more value to us as group owners, as they know this is one of the key reasons users return to Facebook; being part of communities! You’ll get a notification as new features are added to your group – if you need help with any of these just reach out to the Green Umbrella team!
Remember one of the best ways to use an online community is to take it offline occasionally too! Organising live events and meetups where your community meets in person can also help bring people together behind your purpose.
I encourage you to experiment with the different features on offer to see what works best for you and your community.
Encourage your Facebook group members to collaborate and network
Whenever you get a group of like-minded people together there will be the opportunity for awesome connections to be made and valuable collaborations to happen. Create opportunities for your members to connect with each other, share their expertise, and explore how they can work together on projects whether they’re commercial or simply content collaborations! Hosting virtual networking sessions, webinars, Ask Me Anything sessions (AMA’s)… these all allow you to facilitate connections and who know – you might even find some opportunities yourself
Pay attention to your group Insights
Want to know if your Facebook group is working for you? Check out the insights! Meta provides a variety of insights and analytics for group administrators – the success of your Facebook group will depend on far more than simply the number of members! Using the data available to gain valuable insights into the engagement of your members, how your posts are performing, and overall growth trends will allow you to understand how things are going. They’ll also help you figure out the type of content that’s resonating most with your audience allowing you to tweak your strategy, optimise engagement and maximize the value you’re providing.
Recruit a team of moderators for your Facebook group
In the early days, running your group as the only admin isn’t too taxing. As your Facebook Group grows, trust me, this changes! Especially when you have successfully implemented I’ve shared above! As your group grows keep an eye out for possible moderators – these will appear as the people in the group you can rely on to make comments regularly, show up to your lives and are generally active in the group.
Group Moderators play a crucial role in ensuring the group remains vibrant, respectful, on-topic and aligned with the purpose of the group. Get them involved in supporting you with content curation, enforcing group guidelines, and engaging their fellow members. Recruiting moderators from your audience is It’s a wonderful way to reward your biggest fans and gives you an opportunity to empower them. Just ensure you have the necessary tips, tools and guidelines available to allow them to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
Do all the above, and you’ll have an engaged Facebook group that serves you, and your community!
Following these tips will, without doubt, create an engaged Facebook Group that both thrives and provides incredible value to its members.