If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve probably got my message that Facebook Groups can do wonders for your social media marketing. But how can you grow a group into a useful place for you and the other members? After all, it’s only by having a great Facebook group that you’ll get sales from it!
Starting a group.
First think of why you are starting the group, what need does it fulfill for you and your potential members?
If you’re doing it solely to try and find a lot of people you can sell to, the chances are that people will find it spammy not great!
Think also about how you personally will help the group members and whether you have the time to spend 20 or 30 minutes day to hang out in the group.
So now you know that you have good reason for setting up a really great group and you know how you want it to help the members how do you get people to join?
Growing a Group
The easiest way is to add people to the group yourself, but just adding people randomly without their permission can cause offence. What I do instead is share a link to the group on my wall or in groups I’m very active in, then tell people just to click like on the post and I’ll add them! Or if they are not a friend I ask them to pop over to the group and request to join and then I’ll approve it when I see it.
I’ll also include info on what the groups about and why people might like to join, not a long message as shorter posts are easier for people to read and act on. In fact here’s an example of a message I posted to let people know about a new ground for devotees of Apple products “Any fellow mac lovers out there? New group here just for us … Full of silly banter and useful tips ”
If I have particular people in mind that I think would like the group and contribute well to it I’ll pop the link on their wall or in a private message to them.
This is all a bit time-consuming I’ll admit, but as good groups should last and grow it’s worth nurturing them at the beginning.
Once you have a few members it is vital to get the chat going and the other members really enjoying the group.
Next get them to add people to the group!
Do your group members even know it’s OK for them to add people? Pop reminders on the wall occasionally to remind them that it’s ok to do so!
Encourage group members to send a quick message to anyone they are adding too, but of course that is out of your control.
But every time someone new is added you can offer them a welcome and encourage them to interact then.
Growing the Group out of Facebook
If you do face-to-face networking too, this can be a great way to grow your group. I always offer to add new people I meet to groups I think will be relevant for them.
You can briefly explain what it is all about and the chances are that if they do physical networking they will jump at the chance to network online too! Doing this has probably resulted in over a hundred members for my Suffolk Networking group, Suffolk Business Stars
You might find it useful to create an elevator pitch for your group – this post shows you how to create an elevator pitch for your facebook page and you could easily adapt it from that.
Promote it on Twitter
All tweeters are looking to connect with people, and most of them have Facebook accounts! So if you have a group of people they are interested in connecting with they’ll welcome that information.
Promote it on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is full of fantastic groups, and if your facebook group has a similar ethos or member base as a group you are part of on LinkedIn in may well be worth sharing it there. Do remember to tell the group members what they’ll get out of joining and what they can expect from the group as well as any guidelines you have.
Promote it using Facebook Ads
Ok so this way isn’t free but Facebook ads don’t have to be expensive and can be incredibly targeted. Anyone that stumbles upon the group this way will probably need a little extra nurture to get the benefit as they’re likely to feel like they are walking into a room of strangers!
Don’t forget that the more friendly and useful a group is for it’s members the more likely they are to introduce their friends and help it grow!
So, over to you … Are you a member or founder of a great group on Facebook? What’s it called? How does it attract new members?