Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Here's 10 things you can do to inject life in to your Facebook Group(s), whether you’re setting up a new group from scratch or reviving your existing communities.
1. Think about your purpose.
Just like creating your social media strategy, the first step should also be ‘why?’ It sounds simple, but so important to know what your goal is. What is reason for setting up the group? How do you want members to benefit from being part of it? Does the group’s name fit?
Tip: The more niche your interest area/subject, the easier it’ll be to have targeted discussions.
2. Optimise your group name and description for Facebook’s new group discovery tab
Choose a descriptive, keyword-rich name to ensure you’re discoverable in Facebook’s newly-designed Groups tab – that is, if you want to be found (and not invite-only). For example, if your group is for women who work as social media managers, instead of just Women in Social Media, consider: Female Social Media Managers: Tips & Support for Women Working in Social Media Marketing. It’s immediately clear who this is for; what you might find in the group; and it ticks multiple keywords.
Tip: Even if you want to be discoverable, make sure your group is ‘Closed’ to avoid attracting low-quality members. You want it to maintain a level of exclusivity, and not let just anyone in.
3. Join and participate in other groups
Trust us, it’s worth it. Not only will you gain the benefits of joining engaged communities around niches related to your industry, you’ll be able to see what works, what doesn’t work, challenges and expectations.
4. Take advantage of the posting features
Post formatting and interactive features give users more ways to interact with the content, and allow for more variety; keeping everything fresh and exciting.
5. Automate as much as you can
It’s a lot of work, keeping a community engaged. As with your page content, PLAN and SCHEDULE, it will keep things ticking along, so your time is freed up to focus on community management.
Top Tips for managing your community engagement:
Welcome new members to the group and ask them to introduce themselves. As with any in-person gathering, people feel more comfortable and are more likely to get involved in conversations when they are introduced to the group. Facebook allows you to create a standard welcome post, and you can also welcome them individually and encourage other members to do the same.
Start discussions, but don’t dominate them. Unlike with a Facebook page, the members of a Facebook group should be largely responsible for dictating tone and content, so the brand shouldn’t always be taking the lead. Don’t feel obligated to chime in to every conversation—you can learn a lot by just listening.
Be responsive. While you don’t have to participate in every discussion, you should be immediately available if someone asks a question or needs help.
Monitor posts and get rid of spam. Almost nothing will annoy your group members more than spammy posts that clog up the group and derail the real interactions that are supposed to be taking place. Facebook just added the ability for admins to contact members directly when their posts break the rules or qualify as spam.
6. Be consistent
Come up with some regular features that people will come to expect. For example:
Monday: Share what your goals for the week are
Wednesday: Introduce yourself!
Friday: What’s gone well this week? What hasn’t?
Your ideas may be different depending on your subject matter, so think about what kind of content could appeal to your audience, create some themes, and test the response!
7. Attract more members with gated content
Just like when you attract email subscribers with a downloadable whitepaper or case study, you can do that in your Facebook Group, too! Just share the content in your FB Group, copy the permalink of the post, and promote the link – in order to access the content, they will need to join your group. Simple!
8. Set clear guidelines
All active and successful Facebook Groups have one thing in common: clear rules and moderation. Without this, it can become a free-for-all for self-promotion or off-topic discussion, and no-one enjoys sifting through all that. Setting clear boundaries and then enforcing them makes for a much happier group in the long run.
9. Promote it
Don’t just expect people to rock up to a party if there’s no invitation! Ensure your group is consistently represented on the following avenues:
Any onboarding messaging
Social media posts
Paid social posts
Customer service team members’ signatures
Existing members – you could even gamify the process so that the highest referring members win a prize.
10. Don’t scrimp on the quality
Just because it’s a closed group doesn’t mean you can get away with posting low-quality content! Create bespoke content specifically for the group – don’t be tempted to only re-share things from your other platforms or FB page all the time or be less creative than you would on your ‘public’ channels. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Use a tool like Canva to create bespoke imagery to accompany your posts.
Tip You can use your Facebook group to:
Make deeper connections with existing and potential customers
Communicate with brand ambassadors and influences
Solicit feedback about specific products or services or your brand in generalr
Learn more about what matters to your customers
Get ideas for blog posts or other types of content
Promote upcoming events
Build brand loyalty
Test new ideas
Share exclusive deals