How to Build a Community with Facebook Groups
Last year, Facebook started turning its focus towards the development of Facebook Groups (shifting away from the News Feed.) An average Facebook user is a member of about thirty groups. However, not many groups are providing content relevant and valuable enough to bring these communities closer together. If you haven’t noticed yet, you probably will, because this change will affect how you interact and share with your community and content. It is also relevant for your social media marketing efforts.
To support group owners, Facebook has added some helpful new tools and features that allow them to build and manage their communities more effectively.
The Benefits of Facebook Groups for Businesses
With a Facebook group that you have and manage, you can build an entire community. In return, it will give you many opportunities for:
- Increased website traffic
- Increased industry authority
- Product feedback
- Customer acquisition
- Customer retention
- Customer service
- Direct communication with your target audience
- Increased sales and bottom line
How to Grow Your Facebook Group
When creating your Facebook group, you need to:
- Give it a recognizable name
- Choose its privacy setting (Public, Closed, or Secret)
- Write a group clear and compelling description
- Add a persuasive cover photo
After that, it’s time to start growing it by adding members. You can do that by:
1. Add people from your network.
Start from your existing Facebook connections. Add those that are, or may be interesting, to join your group. But before you do that, be sure to ask them for permission.
2. Invite people from other networks.
Add the link to your Facebook group to your different social media profiles. This way you’ll create a bridge between your Facebook group and audiences from other platforms. Also, let them invite and add their connections. As the group’s admin, you can give other members the power to add people and approve member requests.
3. Send a newsletter or an email to your existing customers and subscribers
If the group you created is Public, send a newsletter or an email to your connections and ask them to consider joining your group. Also, add the link to your Facebook group to your email signature. It’s a CTA for those that you’re communicating with via email.
Ways of Increasing Engagement in a Facebook Group
Expanding your community further is something that should develop into a habit. After you have added enough people, it’s time to facilitate and encourage engagement. With more engagement comes more value.
- Ask, answer, participate
Facilitate engagement in your group by asking specific questions to your group members. You can ask them for their opinions on current industry trends, the issues they’re facing at the time, or for feedback on different products on the market. Remember that all the members of a group share a passion towards something, and that’s what makes your group a community. The focus should be on that topic, and you can quickly start a discussion by asking specific (topic-related) questions.
On the other hand, group members will also start conversations on their own. So, don’t fail to participate in them. Answer their questions, give your best to provide solutions and relevant data sources, and share insights.
- Share content
The content you share, whether yours or from external sources, should be relevant, informative, educational, entertaining, or useful to your audience in some way. Share Q&A sessions, videos, helpful articles, case studies, infographics (an excellent format for boosting engagement), and other types of content. Don’t just share your content, because you will appear too self-promotional and that won’t help you to position the group as a valuable community and resource.
- Give your group members a name
For example, if the group focuses on the motorcycle industry, motorcycle reparation, or two-wheel traveling, you can call your group members Wheelers. Start referring to them with that word. It may sound funny, but it is quite helpful for solidifying that sense of community.
- Share exclusive content
By “exclusive content” we mean material that can be found exclusively in your Facebook group. It’s a great way to reward its members for being a part of the community. That will help prevent people from leaving (because if they do, they’ll miss the exclusive content), but will also boost the value of being a member of your group.
How to Maintain a Facebook Group
A Facebook with a thousand members does mean that you have a larger community and audience, but it is also the perfect place for spam. It is your job to make sure your group is a safe and positive environment where its members will feel supported and comfortable.
Therefore, you should maintain your group by:
- Establishing group guidelines and rules
- Deleting posts and removing users that violate the rules
- Having several group admins or designating a community manager
- Filtering new member requests by using an application form
- Posting friendly reminders
People have always felt the desire to be a part of a community. We managed to survive and prosper as a species by living in communities. Today, technology enables us to be parts of multiple locales simultaneously. They don’t need to be physical or local anymore. With social media platforms like Facebook, we can create or become members of online communities. As for your business, it’s one of the best things you can do to build your reputation, boost your online presence, engage with your current and attract new customers. Also, you can use your group for social listening and improve your customer experience.
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