Having trouble growing your Facebook group? Or are you about to create one, but you have no idea how to promote it effectively? Here we have just what the doctor ordered!
With over 2 billion active users on a monthly basis, 1 billion of which are members of various groups, Facebook is a marketing gold mine. Although having a Facebook page is a must for any marketing company, this social media behemoth has recently been strongly investing in FB groups by introducing various new features and tools that can help you reach new audiences and grow your community pretty fast.
A Facebook group lets you:
- Effectively and quite inexpensively promote your brand
- Reach more people that are likely to become your customers
- Engage your audience on a more personal level
- Engage in personal discussions with members and get valuable feedback
- Gain priceless insights on how to improve your content/brand/product/services
However, merely creating a Facebook group for your business won’t magically attract your target audience and turn them into your clients. This is where implementing the right growth and promotion strategy comes into play.
Below you can see how our Facebook group metrics went up quite quickly:
To do the same with your own kick-ass Facebook community, make sure you read through the following 8 steps carefully and prepare your Facebook group metrics for a serious lift-off.
STEP 1: Determine its Purpose
Nothing in this world should exist without a purpose. It’s the most miserable form of existence, and we don’t want your Facebook group to be miserable, now do we? So, the very first step when creating a community on Facebook is to bless it with a unique goal.
This will help you find your target audience more easily and assist you in determining the exact type of interaction and relationship you want to have with your members, or them to have between themselves.
Only then will you be able to create a purposeful environment wherein like-minded customers can properly interact with one another and work together towards a higher goal – building a better and stronger community.
And to do this, you need to be able to answer some (or all) of the following questions:
- What is your niche?
- Do you want your group to answer certain questions?
- If yes, questions about what?
- Will you use your group to promote a service? Or a product?
- Do you seek feedback from your customers?
- How will you use this feedback to improve your business?
- How do you plan to gain more customers using this community?
So many questions, so little time.
STEP 2: Create the Right Community
Once you know what the purpose of your Facebook group should be, it is time to begin creating the right type of society. First, be sure to choose the type of your group in terms of openness.
Will it be a public, closed or secret group?
This decision will directly be influenced by the previous step, and if you want to truly grow your community the fastest you can, we suggest you go with the public option as this way it will be much easier for your target audience to reach you and, hopefully, join your squad.
You also want to give your Facebook group a cool yet effective name. And by effective we mean well-optimized in terms of search. The best practice is to opt for a keyword heavy name for your community. The keywords you choose should be of high volume because Facebook’s search bar works like a search engine, which means that – depending on the size, quality and location of your group – Facebook tends to make your group more or less visible to users. This is where the right keywords step in to save the day.
STEP 3. Promote Your Facebook Group to the Right People
If you want to build a fast growing community that will be healthy and won’t dissipate over a short period of time, you must have a lot of like-minded individuals interacting with each other, keeping your posts engaged and active. In order to do that, you must be able to find these people and make them join your society.
There are several ways to reach your future members and make them join your society:
Your FB page
If you already have a Facebook page for your brand, the first step is to use that page to advertise your new community. This is one of the most potent and quickest ways to gain initial traction.
You can go old-school and send out invites to the people in your mailing list or your friends list, and ask them to spread the word and promote your page to their friends who might be interested in your brand.
NOTE: This is why you want to make the purpose of your group as clear as possible so your future members know what you’re all about right from the get-go.
Find similar groups on Facebook or other social media platforms and ask them if they are up for cross-promotion. This can be an extremely effective strategy for quickly building your audience, you just need to find the right groups to pitch this idea to.
Always make sure you insert the link leading to your Facebook group in your: newsletters, icon bars, email signatures, LinkedIn bio… wherever you think it might be useful in terms of promotion. Here’s an example of our newsletter that proved to be quite fruitful:
Deploy Facebook Messenger
According to our friends over at G2, Facebook Messenger has a huge client acquisition potential and is being actively deployed by nearly 60% of marketing professionals who use Facebook to promote a product or service. With 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook Messenger is a powerful and rather convenient way for digital marketers to actively engage with their audiences and respond to (and learn from) the valuable feedback coming from them.
Certain FB groups forbid sharing and posting links leading to websites, while sharing a Google doc file is usually allowed. In these cases you will want to take your blog content, modify it so it looks like a help article in Google doc, and insert relevant links (like the link to your FB group) into this document.
It’s a workaround, but it works (that’s why it’s called WORKaround).
Ask Influencers to Endorse you
Find influencers who are extremely relevant in your niche and ask them to share your Facebook group among their many followers. Offer them something in return, of course (your product, services, etc.)
Here are two examples of how this tactic worked wonders with one of our groups:
Make sure you provide rewards for the top users in your Facebook group and each month announce who the most active and most contributing members are. This is an awesome way to motivate your members to participate in discussions, make them support one another and feel like they are truly part of a family, which can eventually turn them into potent advocates of your brand.
Plus, you are collecting karma points! Can’t have too many of those.
Here’s an example of how we take personal care of our beloved members and toll users:
What not to do when promoting your FB page
Promoting your community consistently is a must, but overdoing it can backfire strongly. Over-promotion and spamming are huge red flags for most Facebook users and are main ingredients for the quick failure recipe.
So don’t be Mr. Spamalot.
STEP 4: Content, Content, Content
Quality content should be the fundamental building block of your Facebook group. Only with the right, original content will you be able to build a healthy society that will grow organically, have value and stay engaged.
Creating original content is a must, but make sure you don’t steer clear of posting and sharing attractive and engaging content from other sources as well.
As your group grows, keep track of the metrics, discover what type of content works best for your members and pivot your posts in that general direction. Locating that content sweet spot will encourage conversations and interaction among your group members and will trigger them to share it beyond your community. (But more on this later in the article)
STEP 5: Engage with your Group Members Daily
Find out what time of day is most optimal for your members (when most of them are online) and try to post your best content then. Most FB users are online around 11 am and 7 pm, but this can vary quite a bit, though.
Be sure to stay well-organized and keep your activity consistent by scheduling your posts via Facebook (you can also use one of many social media scheduling tools available online).
Daily interaction is key to keeping your Facebook group alive and growing. The admins of your group should keep the ether packed with regular and positive interaction and engagement. Don’t be too lazy to like and comment on your members’ posts regularly and make sure you answer most (if not all) of the questions they have about your service, product, industry…
This will give them a sense of belonging and will make them feel like they are genuinely part of the community.
People have this urge to feel like they belong somewhere and that they are truly making a difference. It is up to you to use this human trait wisely.
STEP 6: Grow your Facebook Group Using Ads
As Mark Zuckerberg recently said (while he was trying to explain how the internet works to the senators) – We run ads. Targeted Facebook ads are a huge opportunity to easily and relatively cheaply promote your community and reach new members.
Here’s how to do this in 2 simple steps:
1) Go to Facebook’s Ads Manager, choose a fun name for your Facebook ad campaign, and select Page Likes as the goal. NOTE: we assumed you already have a FB page.
2) Set up the unique audience you want to target. This step is crucial as here you are defining who is going to see your ad in their news feed. To set up your unique audience, you need to:
- Input the locations you want to target
- Choose your audience’s interests
NOTE: There are also suggestions for this, which can be a helpful way to come up with interests you can’t think of on the spot
- Click on Save Audience
STEP 7: Word of Mouth & Referral Programs
For those who are tired of ads and wish to promote their product in a more organic way, word of mouth is the next logical step.
According to Viral Loops, “word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions and also it’s 10x more effective than traditional advertising, as people are really sick and tired of being pushed to buy things.”
Virality and referral programs are expected to soon replace paid advertising and rented spaces on the web, and your business shouldn’t be ignoring this marketing trend.
Here’s how to generate word of mouth for your product in 4 easy steps
- Have a great product/service (obviously)
- Explain why your product is so great and define the problems it will solve
- Make sure your customer support always brings their A-game
- Build a family-like environment wherein people will be heard, loved and treated well (humans love that)
If your word of mouth efforts haven’t gained any traction yet, you probably failed to fulfill at least one of the steps mentioned above.
STEP 8: Actively Monitor your Insights with Reportz and Use this Data Wisely
In order to make the most out of your Facebook group and scrape vital metrics that will provide valuable insights into how you can use this data the best way possible, you should start using a potent third-party analytics and reporting tool like Reportz.
You can use Reportz to:
- Find out which posts were most successful ones and had the most engagement
- Monitor the overall success of your campaign
- Keep track of your organic/paid reach
- Review the demographics of your audience
- Keep track of your member count
- Monitor check-ins, impressions, fan ads, page interactions, stories…
- Track the number of unique clicks
- Monitor your CTR
All this in real-time or for a specific/custom time frame of your own choosing.
These nifty insights can help you utilize this valuable data the smart way and figure out what type of content resonates best with your audiences. We highly recommend checking out how the Four Dots agency managed to save 4 hours a month per client on reporting!
The Ball’s In Your Court Now
Creating a Facebook group is the easy part. Making it successful and achieving fast growth is what separates the men from the boys. This is where potent marketing strategy, quality content and innovation come into play. And make sure you don’t give up easily. If your group hasn’t started evolving at the pace you predicted, take a few steps back, revisit all the actions you took and find the culprit.
Trial and error, folks. That’s where the party’s at.