FaceBook Groups : One if not, “THE” easiest way to build a following and become a thought out leader in your market place. Why?
Because Facebook groups are reliable, evergreen communication channels to your ever-growing community of like minded people. They let you take advantage of the heavy traffic that FB generate everyday to connect with the people that are looking for you! Best of all, growing a Facebook group is easier than you think and won’t cost you a dime. In fact, you don’t even have to set up any paid advertising campaigns to attract thousands of potential buyers.
In this article, I’ll show you how to create a Facebook group the right way. You’ll also learn how key influencers and thought out leaders use groups as springboards to market their brand and skyrocketing their income.
The Power of A Group
Facebook is one of the top visited websites with more than 3 billion users logging in every single day. Many of which, spend hours on the platform browsing timelines and reading content. Clearly this is a the place to be if you want to grow your business!
The tricky part? Standing out of the crowd to capture attention and build your tribe! Facebook groups will help you do this quickly and easily and at no cost.
In case you’re new to 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.
There are many different features that make Facebook groups a stand-out resource for building an engaged community. This includes the ability to share posts, pin announcements, upload documents, photos and files with approved group members. 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 mastermind-style 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 the 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 algorithm’s, 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 HootSuite, a popular tool that helps you schedule posts so that your group is always kept up to date.
In the next chapter, we’ll begin by creating a group and ensuring it’s optimized so it appears in Facebook’s search engine whenever someone enters a keyword string that aligns with your group’s focus.
Creating Your Group
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.
Closed groups are often more management because rather than a swift influx of members joining, you can grow it naturally, over time. It’s also a lot easier to ensure that your group stays on target and focused on your niche. Secret groups serve as great auxiliary components to online courses and training because they provide your students with the option to learn from others, to ask questions and connect with you on a personal level. And because they’re only available to paid members or students, the exclusivity factor makes them even more valuable.
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!
Cover Image:You’ll want to hire a professional graphic designer from a marketplace like www.Upwork.comto create a Facebook cover that represents your group topic. Make sure it’s properly sized so that it looks just as good on mobile devices. Currently, the optimism size is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall, but you’ll want to verify this because Facebook’s image requirements are constantly changing.
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. For example, one popular group offers members with discount codes that aren’t available anywhere else.
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.
Add a Headline:Keep your group’s headline short and concise. You want it to grab attention and speak to your audience so keep it to 15 words or less.
Create a Promotion Policy and Rules: Decide what kinds of promotions are allowed and include it in your group rules section. By default, Facebook offers a pre-written set of rules that you can easily modify or edit to fit your needs.
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.
Next, you’ll want to add a bit of content just so that when someone joins they aren’t facing a bare wall. We’ll discuss the kind of content you should create for your group in the next chapter.
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.
If you are planning to use a Facebook group as the launch pad to becoming an influencer, being active is even more important because you’ll want people to clearly identify you as the admin of the group. This position will help align your brand with being thought of as an authority in your market.
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. You should also pay attention to the type of products or services they are successfully selling within their 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. Start by paying attention to what is being sold, you’ll be able to determine how people respond to paid offers within a group setting.
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. While you’re researching, pay attention to repeatedly asked questions or common concerns amongst the group.
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.This includes:
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.
Inviting 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 from every other page you own: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.
Add A Link to Email Signatures: It’s easy to implement a direct link to your Facebook group right into your existing mailing list signatures, and you’ll be able to instantly maximize exposure every time you contact your subscribers.
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.
Tip:Are you graphically challenged? Use a free tool like https://www.canva.com/to design an attractive graphic for Pinterest. You can also use this to create a header graphic for your Facebook group!
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.
Another great way to quickly boost activity and grow your list is by setting up a Facebook Group Only Giveaway. The prize doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should make sense with the overall group topic. For example, if you’re interested in starting a Facebook group geared towards new self-publishers, you might consider an Amazon gift card as a prize.
Just make sure the prize aligns with the group’s focus. Better yet, offer them one of your products for free! As long as its perceived value is high enough to get people excited to participate in the giveaway, it’ll be a success.
Group Launch Pad
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.
To ramp things up, you’ll want to create a free eBook and offer the download link in the introductory/welcome email. Some of the best offers are simple, short, yet informative reports.
You can write a full-length eBook, or just a short report that tackles one main topic in your niche. Just make sure to include the download link in the first email that goes out to new subscribers so that they aren’t left waiting for the product.
eCourse:Consider creating a series of autoresponders that go out every day, every few days, or every week. These automated broadcasts would serve as a sort of training program, providing subscribers with new lessons every week.
Both of those options help foster a relationship between you and your audience, while helping to funnel them into a funnel that’s fully in your control. Facebook groups serve as a great foundation in which you can launch your business. Consider creating a course on Teachable.comor another training-based community and provide access to a secret mastermind Facebook group to those who purchase during launch week!
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 change to interact with them on a personal basis while being entertained for a short time.
Webinars: Webinar’s are always surefire winners, especially if you design it 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 sticky (or 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.
Chats:You can create a live chat that allows members to have real-time discussions within your group. This is a great way to host Q & A sessions and to generate feedback from group members.
Events:Events can foster participation and encourage interaction between group members. Consider the different types of events that you could create, including live chat sessions, organized discussions, key speakers, interviews or Q&A sessions where group members can ask their most burning questions and get the support they need.
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.
You can dig deeper by clicking on the “More Growth Details” link where you’ll find everything from how many comments specific posts received, as well as the days with the highest level of engagement. Pay attention to the big things and the small.
The times of day where 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 maximize your income with a well thought out Facebook group. One thing to consider is that if you initially set up your group to be used as a discussion-only space, and then you switch to direct selling, it could weaken the community overall.
However, 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.
Create a special offer, or offer a product that’s only available to the group. There’s nothing saying you can’t launch it publicly later, but a group only launch campaign is an effective strategy at maximizing sales, utilizing scarcity tactics and keeping group members on their toes.
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. One great way to make money from your group is to take advantage of holidays. It’s a great excuse to run a sale! Everything from “Your Pot of Gold Discount” on St. Patrick’s Day to a 10 Days of Christmas sale are fun and interactive ways to give members a great deal while maximizing sales.
Growing a successful Facebook group isn’t difficult, but it does require dedication and ongoing commitment. Here are a few last-minute 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 work day 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 with 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, SnapChat 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.
To your success!
Here are links to some of the resources found in this guide.
A tool that helps you schedule posts and manage your social media activity.
Free tool that helps you create Facebook group cover photos.