How to Engage with your Facebook Group
After you’ve setup your own Facebook group the next goal is to learn how to engage with your Facebook group members in a meaningful way.
Once you have started your group and have members, you need to establish a routine for staying in touch with them, building your authority, and generating brand loyalty.
You need to set an editorial and promotional calendar, so they will hear from you regularly, once a day.
But remember, communication is a two-way street. You have to show that you value the engagement that you are getting from your members.
4 Things To Do Each Time You’re on the Group Page
- Scan the comments – Read what people are saying. Delete anything really inappropriate. Reply to ones you think are useful, or which can help you demonstrate your expertise. Like the ones you feel are useful. Remember that they will see you interacting with their content, and will be more likely to come back to engage with you again.
- Post – Post your content for the day. Try to vary it, such as memes, videos, polls and so on. Informational posts will position you as an authority. If you are going to post promotional material, give it a context, such as current events, a holiday, a special offer, or, “A lot of people have been asking us about X, so we thought we would mention Y product.”
- Add and approve members – If you have a closed or private group, you need to manually invite, add and approve members. Try to check this part of the page more often, or get moderators to do so, so those who wish to join don’t have to wait ages to gain access to the group.
- Ban and remove members – You don’t want to be too heavy-handed, but you do not want spammers or disruptive members wrecking the group you are working so hard to build. Keep things polite and respectful. You can also remind them that freedom of speech does not protect hate speech.
Some members will post a lot more than others. Encourage them if their information is useful. Discourage them if they don’t seem to know what they are talking about or are spammers.
Study Your Insights
Once you have a regular routine for managing your group, you should set up a regular routine for studying your insights, or metrics on the account, to determine who your audience is and what content is proving most popular.
Check the days and times when you get the most group visits and try to plan to publish your content then.
Recycling your best content – When you are first starting out, you will need to publish content regularly, but have only a small following. However, over time, your group will grow.
Use your insights to see which content gets the most response, and publish it again in the future, for example, in three months’ time.
You will also most likely create seasonal and holiday-related content. At the end of each period, evaluate which content received the most engagement and file those posts away for next year.
Also create what is termed evergreen content, which won’t go out of date too quickly. A post titled, “The 7 Main Puppy Training Problems, and How to Solve Them,” is a sure winner.
Let Your Expertise Shine Through
When you are crafting your content, be real. Show you are an expert and not just creating ‘me too’ content, or content just for the sake of it. Give real life examples, and what you learned from them.
You don’t have to be perfect, or fake, to get an avid following. You just need to be helpful and willing to interact with people, such as by calling them out by name if you have a piece of content you think they could really use.
Make it Fun and Interesting
Groups are places where people can socialize and mingle, so don’t be afraid to step away from your business goals sometimes and just have fun. Ask for content from your followers, such as their cutest pet holiday photos.
Run contests, caption contests and more. Don’t be too bossy or intense. Try to think of the kinds of content people like engaging with most and provide it.
Just make sure that anything you might try to post as ‘funny’ is not politically incorrect or rude.
Growing Your Facebook Group Each Week
Set aside some time each week to grow your Facebook group. There are a number of ways to do this. Encourage those in the group to invite others who might find it of interest.
Look for the top bloggers and media representatives, such as journalists who cover your niche and invite them to join you. Use the Facebook interface, or email them.
Add friends and new connections strategically, only if you think they are the kind of person who would be truly interested in the group.
Keep a spreadsheet of your growth each week. It is easy to keep track when you are first starting out because you will have 1 member only. Over time, however, it is important to track the growth by trying to determine what might be triggering it.
It could be a great free giveaway, or special discounted offer. You won’t know unless you try to track this.
You could add new subscribers to an existing mailing list, but it is usually a good idea to start an all new list in order to track the conversions from the Facebook group to your email marketing list.
Create more than one list, each with a different offer, and also track which one gains the most subscribers.
Watch the lists you have joined as well, to see how their numbers night be going up or down. If up, what sort of things are they doing that might account for the boost? Imitate what seems to be successful and track your results.
Invite members through other social media sites. Facebook may be the top social media site, but there are other sites with millions of active users, including Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If someone is a member of Facebook, there’s a good chance they also spend time on some other socially-oriented sites.
Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so it might also be a good site to try.
LinkedIn has their own groups. Consider becoming a member of one and participating. In this way you can build your authority and it will seem logical, not spammy, if you choose to invite certain group members to your Facebook group.
Here Are a Few More Suggestions on How to Grow Your Group
- Drive memberships via your website or blog. – Make sure everyone knows how to connect with you on Facebook, and via your Facebook group. Tell them the benefits of joining, such as access to your expertise.
- Discussion boards – Find discussion boards related to your niche. Participate in them and use your Facebook group URL in your signature file.
- Your email marketing lists – As soon as you have created your group, announce it to your lists. Again, tell them all the benefits they will get if they choose to join.
- On all your marketing material – Include your website URL and your Facebook group URL. People understand the value of groups and might be more interested in your group than in a regular Facebook page.
- In all your free giveaways – Brand your free ebooks and ecourses with your Facebook group URL. Encourage people to share the URL so their followers can get this great content, too.
- Using paid advertising on Facebook – Facebook ads are just about the most cost-effective ads online. They are much more targeted than Google AdWords ads, and less expensive, too. You can turn your best content into an ad, a sponsored post, as it is called, or create an ad of your own from scratch.
If you create an ad, you will need an image to go with it that will capture what you are trying to offer. Then write a description and add the URL of your Facebook group. A budget of as little as $5 per day could grow your group really rapidly, leading to more members, traffic, subscribers and sales.
Selling in Your Group
Facebook is primarily a social site, but you can sell strategically if you are not too pushy and your content is not overly promotional to the point where your group just looks like spam. All your information should be genuinely useful and show off your authority and expertise.
Creating special offers once a month, not every week, will also make this content stand out, not seem the same old stuff.
If you are going to create offers more often than once a month, be sure there is a context, like a holiday, something in the news, the 12 Days of Christmas, and so on.
In terms of the special offers, you do not necessarily have to offer a rock-bottom price. Consider adding a number of attractive bonuses to an existing product to increase its perceived value.
Checklists, templates, cheat sheets and other items that save your target audience time and money will always be in high demand and boost your authority in your niche.
With more than 2 billion users monthly on Facebook, if you are not already marketing there, you should start today. If you already have a personal and/or business page, great.
If you don’t already have a Facebook group, you are leaving money on the table.
Facebook offers numerous opportunities to market your business for free, but groups are one of the best ways to build a community and position yourself as an authority in your niche. It only takes a few minutes to set up a group.
The preparation and research you do before and the content you get ready for your target audience will be key to people joining your group and coming back regularly for more.
Interact with them regularly, and see what Facebook groups can do for your traffic, subscribers and sales.
Go ahead, create your Facebook Group and… grow viral!