Facebook Groups are a great new way to engage with other Facebook users and increase the reach of your business brand. These groups bring a lot of opportunities, especially for self-employed business owners. They are a great platform to network and meet like-minded individuals, who will help you grow your brand in the long run.
Common features of a Facebook group include: a built-in analytic feature that will help you track the growth of the group; the group administrator(s) has an option of choosing group privacy settings, and allows posting of documents; group chats which let members communicate quickly, and members receive notifications of new posts.
Many Facebook users are already members of a Facebook group. With so many companies and individuals creating their own group on Facebook, the challenge is to generate traffic to your brand. Below are some useful tips to creating and growing your Facebook group.
Creating A Facebook Group
It is important to know why you want a group on Facebook, and the goals you would like to achieve. This will make it easy for you to describe your group, and be consistent in working towards its growth.
1. Choose a Group Name
In the left-hand sidebar of your Home page, click the ‘create’ button, and then click the ‘group’ button. You can also create it through your Facebook page by going to the drop down menu, and click ‘create group’.
Choose a group name, which can be changed at any time.
Add friends by entering their names.
Write down the email addresses of those you would like to invite.
You must invite a minimum number of one person at this stage.
2. Choose the Group's Privacy Settings
There are three types of privacy settings: public, closed and secret.
Public group: any member of the group can invite a new member. Anyone who wants to join the group can do so without being added or invited.
Private group: anyone who wants to join this group must ask to be invited by a member.
Secret: for anyone to join, they have to be invited or added by a member.
Click ‘create’ after choosing.
It is important to note that in a public group, even those that are not members of the group can view the group comments and posts, so if you want a group with more restricted access, then going private or secret is a more suitable choice.
3. Put In Group Information
Give clear and simple information on what the group is about, and how it will benefit the members. This will attract the people you are targeting, and it will be easy for them to find you. Under your cover photo, click the button with three dots, click ‘group setting’ button, and then choose the ‘edit group setting’ icon.
Put in your cover photo.
Choose a group type: this will help new members understand what the group is about.
In the description box, write what the group is about. If you have information you want communicated to the whole group, this is the space to use.
Add a tag for your group. This will make it easier to find.
Add a location. You have the option of adding more than one.
Choose a URL for the group, Make it short and simple as this will make it easy for people to remember.
4. Adding New Members
At the far right of your Facebook group, click the 'add members' button.
If there is a friend you are sure would be interested in joining, simply add their contact, and they will automatically join the group. When inviting a new member, write down their email address. You can opt to make the invitation more personalized by attaching an 'invitation note', simply by clicking the blue button on the right.
If you find this too complex or you simply do not have the time, you can post a project at freelancer.com, and have an expert do it for you at a very affordable rate.
Growing your Facebook Group
A key tool in ensuring the growth of your group is hard work. It requires consistency in posting and engaging with the members.
One way of increasing your group membership is by sharing the group info to your other accounts in various social media sites. More people will become aware of your group, and may decide to join. This can be done by clicking the ‘share’ button under your cover photo. You can talk about your group on these platforms, upload content, and direct people to your group to see more of it.
Another way of growing your group is by linking the group to your Facebook page. Simply click ‘group’ in your Facebook page, and Groups will show up to be linked. Choose the one you want to link, and click 'link'.
Facebook has also recently introduced live videos. Doing live videos is a good way to interact and encourage discussions in the group. A study has recently shown that most people would rather watch a video than read through a post. You can use the live video to answer questions, and respond to comments. It is a good way to establish and maintain trust.
Another simple way is asking members to share information about the group. You can get them to do this by having contests, and whoever brings in most members gets a prize.
Creating an Active Community
1. Post Regularly
Be consistent in posting and starting conversations in the group. You can also ask members to give ideas on topics of discussion. Make sure the conversations are diverse to ensure that most members in the group engage in the conversation. If possible, post daily. Have time to read and reply to various comments and questions.
Having a schedule will help in planning time to post. You can use buffer, or the scheduling feature provided by Facebook. The Facebook group app will also give you prompt notification on new posts.
2. Check how your Community is Growing
You can check growth using Group Insights provided by Facebook. Facebook provides this to groups with more than 250 members.
The Group insight provides information on Group membership, grouping it in terms of age and gender brackets, the cities and town most members are from, the active members in the group, the total number of membership requests, the rate in which membership has grown, the most popular posts and the time when people are most engaged. You can use this information to guide your growth strategy.
3. Hold Events
In events, members of your group meet up, socialize and network. It is the best kind of environment for people to establish stronger friendships and connections. This will help foster and develop loyalty to your group.
4. Have Rules of Engagement
In the group description box, write down rules the members of the group are to follow. You need to be strict in making sure these rules are followed, especially when it comes to spam messages. A group can die if there are continuous irrelevant posts.
You can control this in the group setting, where you can allow the administrator and the moderators to approve posts before they go up. You can even delete posts not conversant to the group. If a member breaks the rules, you can send message them directly. If it continues, it will be wise to remove them. When you do this, you should explain to other members why you did it. Open communication is important, and it will also serve as a warning to others.
Do you have a Facebook group? How has it been growing your community? You are very welcome to share your thoughts below, and do not forget to share this with your friends!