Facebook has played a massive role in defining the social media age. The interactivity of the platform has enabled users to join en masse and partake in the new global trend. At present, there are more than 2.23 billion active monthly users. Given the fact that the planet has a population of about 7.6 billion people, this number represents a significant chunk of the populace.
Facebook presents the perfect opportunity for business persons and large corporations to showcase their wares. While you can directly engage with individuals on your personal account, it’s better for the brand to have a dedicated Facebook group where users engage. As the creator, you need to lay a couple of ground rules and a have clearly defined niche. With that setup, you’ll be able to grow your audience and appeal to the masses in your own fashion.
On paper, this sounds like a breeze. However, in reality, this is not always the case. In a bid to enlighten you on how you can expand your reach, we’ve reached out to a Facebook Group expert and have also highlighted a couple of pointers.
Strategies From The Expert…
We got in touch with Laura Payne-Stanley, a Facebook group expert who manages ‘Boss Ladies Building Empires’. Laura shared with us four key strategies she follows to grow an active Facebook group. Here is what Laura has to say…
Facebook has not only been integral to growing my business, but creating a high vibe community that people want to be a part of.
Strategy 1 – Organised experience
Deep down we all like the feeling of being in a tribe, being connected and we like organised activities. Create a structure within your group, with daily themes and then make sure to let your community know about the structure.
Strategy 2 – Make people seen & Heard
People want to feel like they matter and a great way of doing this is by giving them increased visibility within the group. This can include the basics from welcoming new members to the group and tagging them, to hosting online or real life contests where you send them prizes. They key to contests is to think about what lights you up and then replicate for your audience.
Strategy 3 – Give Free Stuff
What better way to welcome someone to the group, then giving them an instant freebie. This could be an online guide/workbook or checklist and think of it as a thank you and to start establishing trust.
Strategy 4 – Make Yourself More Available
People want to know that they can get value in your group, and the biggest way this is reflected is by having the leader accessible to them. This can be through tagging or include it as part of strategy 1 and have a day dedicated to this.
9 Tips for Growing a Facebook Group
1. Be Part of the Discussion
Facebook groups entail more than just the creating part. To really grow your audience, you should dedicate a portion of your life towards the initiative. This means that you should communicate with your group members on a daily basis. The topic is at times inconsequential. What really matters is that they should feel your presence on the social media platform.
If you represent a brand, you should seek to answer as many questions as possible. This particular step is important for newly founded Facebook groups. If you are already established, you can drive engagement levels through the roof by posing a couple of questions. With time, you’re bound to notice that members will seek to inform others about particular experiences they have first-hand knowledge about. This form of organic engagement helps members feel right at home.
While this is a rosy picture, you should not simply recline without being part of the discussion. Instead, go the extra mile and laud active members and provide alternative takes on various situations. Your presence is of the essence since it gives group members the impression that you actually care about their welfare.
2. Visual Appeal
Incorporating a couple of images in your posts can go a long way in boosting the group’s profile. The images and/or videos featured should depict relatable situations to all the group members. Such regular posts are reassuring to members and helps affirm the belief that they are with the right crowd.
New group members can also feel a sense of connection whenever they identify with particular posts along with the accompanying photos used. Images are important since they help enhance plain text.
Research has determined that people tend to form first impressions within 50 milliseconds. By incorporating images in the marketing mix, you can help make the first impression to be a favorable one.
3. Qualify Members
Numbers never lie. There’s a good reason why many marketers are always seeking new ways to grow their Facebook groups. However, having a large demographic is of little use if the engagement levels are depressing. To rectify this, you can set a requirement for members to answer a questionnaire before they become part of the Facebook group. Ideally, the questions need to be at least 3.
This particular tactic is beneficial since it helps bolster your Facebook ranking whilst encouraging group members to engage on a regular.
4. Track the Metrics
In the digital age, everything leaves a footprint. To ensure that you get value for the time you dedicate to managing your Facebook group, you should track the metrics. On the internet, there’s the “Group Insights” feature that allows administrators to monitor how the Facebook group is fairing.
There’s no reason to fret if you happen not to have this particular feature. There are a ton of options available at your disposal. One of the most popular alternatives is the Grytics option that freely allows administrators to track how members engage. A couple of useful stats like the most active members, the least active, and the most popular posts can go a long way in helping you plan strategy. With such data at your disposal, how the Facebook group fares depends on just how badly you want to succeed.
5. On the Regular
To boost engagement levels, you should strive to make regular posts to your Facebook Groups. This is mainly a numbers game since people are online at various times of the day. Spacing out your posts to different times of the day means that more people will be able to see the posts on their News Feed. Importantly, you should not be disappointed if some of your posts don’t do numbers. Talking to walls is part of the job as an administrator.
You can source your material from various places in the online space before deciding what direction your creative juices flow. If you happen to be pressed for time, try to bring on board technological solutions to ease the pressure of management. It’s possible to schedule posts in a Facebook group using the platform itself, or alternatively, you could use a social media scheduling tool. These automation solutions help you schedule posts in order to ensure the Facebook group is active at all times.
6. Adopt a URL
If you’re serious about growing your audience, then you should definitely go all out. Consider purchasing a domain and setting up a redirect to the Facebook Group URL. Whilst Facebook allows you to choose your group URL it will still have the Facebook link. You may also find that the URL is quite lengthy as other options are taken. With a custom URL dedicated to the Facebook group, it becomes easier for you to grow your following.
In addition to this, you can easily pin your custom domain on various other social media platforms. Custom made URLs also tend to give off the impression that you are really serious about the brand. In effect, this draws in more subscribers and boosts the profile of the Facebook group.
While a diverse management team can give your Facebook group a new lease of life, the main purpose is to lighten the load.
You can seek help from your colleagues or a couple of your friends depending on the type of group and the goals you want to achieve. This additional help will come in handy as you can delegate the tedious tasks like approving/denying membership requests, content creation and generation. They can also help in monitoring interactions in order to ensure that the group never goes into a lull.
8. Premium Content
Having particular content that’s only available to group members can help you grow your audience. One of the latest phenomena that has taken the social media world by storm is the live video concept. You can hold a couple of live sessions and webinars in a bid to empower your group members.
People are more likely to engage with a video post than every other form of communication. Other than entertaining group members, you should tailor your promotion strategy to compel new members to join. The promotion should preferably be carried outside your personal feed. With this particular setup, you can filter in new members since they’ll have to request membership access.
9. Tags & Location
To boost the Facebook Group’s visibility, you should ensure that you have listed out several important keyword tags in the profile section. The tags chosen should be representative of what the group is really all about. If you’re unsure about what to include, a little research could be beneficial to your cause. You can create a lengthy list then start trimming until you arrive at the best tags.
If the setting of your Facebook group is localized, then it’s important to add a location every once in a while. Doing this helps inform members about where particular events are happening in order for them to RSVP in advance. Facebook allows you to add multiple locations or simply co-opt out by listing the location as “Global”.