6 Ways To Develop A Facebook Group To Grow Members From 0-10K
Develop a Group Facebook is nothing new; in fact, they’ve been around for a decade, making them one of the oldest features of the social network. But after a Facebook algorithm update that doesn’t prioritize branded content, these groups have become even more important for connecting with brand followers.
Big brands have enjoyed considerable success creating and growing their own teams, and Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized that he wants them to play a bigger role in the site’s day-to-day user experience.
His focus can benefit you – and it costs you absolutely nothing, this is why you should pay attention to Facebook Groups, as well as how to grow your own without spending any money.
What Are Facebook Groups?
Group Facebook is a place where communities can come together to engage in common interests, to use group discussions about certain issues or activities or events; each member can share views, information, interests or express personal opinions.
They are not like Facebook Pages, which are designed to be the official Facebook presence for any particular entity (like a brand, business, or celebrity).
There is another key difference, while Automatic Pages are public, meaning anyone can view them, Groups can be set up in one of three ways:
[+] Publicly available: Anyone can join
[+] Admin Approval: Admins review applications to join the Group and decide whether or not to approve them
[+] Private: Group membership is only for invite
How To Grow And Increase Your Facebook Group Membership
Over the past few years, I’ve been a member of dozens of Facebook Groups, and I’ve gathered a ton of insights on the do’s and don’ts of running a group:
[+] Offer your members valuable content and targeted offers
[+] Interact with your members and ask questions
[+] Ask your most dedicated fans to help grow the Group
[+] Set clear rules so your members know what to expect
[+] Send a link to the Group to Facebook users you think might be interested
[+] Create strong themes for the content you post
Do not do:
[+] Spam members with continuous discount codes
[+] Post dozens of times a day (you risk getting members to turn off their Group notifications)
[+] Over-managing by trying to handle all the admins yourself
[+] Allow regular rule-breakers to spoil the Group for others
[+] Add people to a Group they don’t know about (or encourage others to do the same)
[+] Make topics and capture irrelevant trends
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re in a great position to shift the focus to growing your membership, follow these tips and there’s no reason why you can’t grow your Group to thousands of members without spending a dime:
Give People A Compelling Reason To Get Involved
“If you build it, they will come” might work for baseball diamonds, but it certainly doesn’t work for Facebook Groups, you can’t expect people to sign up just because it’s there. Fortunately, there are several ways to create compelling reasons for users to participate:
[+] Use the ‘About’ section – at the top left of the Teams page – to explain exactly what makes your Team great
See in detail the purpose of the Group, the type of content you’ll be posting there, and the type of experience users can expect, you only have 3,000 characters to represent, so use them wisely.
[+] Give users an incentive to sign up
I’m not saying you have to give away a discount code or free shipping the second they join, but you should outline your value proposition. For example, let them know if you run weekly giveaways, contests and promotions exclusively for Group members, or promise them a first look at product launches. your upcoming, give them a taste of the variety of content they can find on your Team, including resources like lead magnets, scripts, and templates.
[+] Choose an engaging topic for your Group
One where people will want to talk to like-minded people.
Inform Your Current Audience
Unless you are a completely new brand, you will have some kind of audience, whether it’s visitors to your website, past and potential customers, newsletter subscribers, or readers of your blog.
Let them know that your Facebook Group exists:
[+] Mention it in email blasts, like in the case study I showed you earlier from Bannersnatch
[+] Refer to it on your website and provide a link to the Team
[+] Drop CTAs in your blog posts (e.g., “Like what you read? Be the first to know about our latest tutorials by joining our Facebook Group.”)
[+] Use exit pop-ups to direct users to your Team
[+] Chanty, an alternative to Slack, does this well by asking people who have completed a survey on its website to share more thoughts in its Facebook Group
Getting To Know A New Audience
While there’s certainly value in building a tight-knit community of your brand’s longtime followers, chances are you’ll also want to attract users who aren’t too familiar with you.
When it comes to reaching new audiences, ads can be effective, but if you don’t want (or lack the budget) to run a paid activity, you’ll need to get a little creative. Here are a few ways that I’ve tried and trusted to amplify Facebook Groups:
[+] Guest blogging:
Reach out to website owners with a relevant audience and offer to write about a topic they’re interested in, in exchange for mentioning (and ideally linking to) your Group.
[+] Present yourself as an interviewee:
Ask people to interview you (or some other person for your business) on their blog or podcast, you don’t have to be a big name, you just wanted to say something interesting, just make sure to mention your Facebook Group.
[+] Create webinar content for Team members:
Give your members exclusive access to webinars; promote it outside of the Group – in your newsletters and through your other social profiles – for promotion, for more amplification, invite a co-presenter to join and ask them to promote it to their audience.
[+] Reach influencers:
Identify people with a large, engaged following that operate in the same space as you, and ask them to promote your Group. While you’ll almost certainly need to give them a reason to do so, this doesn’t necessarily mean paying them. If your content is high quality and truly unique, there are chances that influencers will be willing to recommend you.
Leverage Live Streaming To Increase Visibility
Facebook loves videos, it wants to be the number one video platform, but it has stiff competition from YouTube, so it costs users more – and better – video content. Currently, the average engagement rate for video posts on Facebook is 6.01%, significantly higher than posts containing photos (4.81%), links (3.36%) and text-based statuses (2.21%):
Creating a video is more likely to get your Page noticed more naturally, thus giving you the opportunity to promote your Group without spending any cash. That said, not all videos are created equal: People watch live video 3x longer than non-live video.
Live On Facebook
As the name suggests (and you probably already know), Facebook Live lets you broadcast live video to a Group or Page. Seeing as we’re working to grow your Team, you’ll want to go live from your Page.
Struggling for a theme? Get inspired by news and trends that affect your audience, let’s say you are running a marketing agency, create a video to show your reaction to a major industry development, such as a Google algorithm update or Facebook rolling out a new feature. If it makes for a good blog topic, chances are it makes for a good video.
Write down some points that need to be said, do a few exercises and start it. I’ve found that it’s often easier (and less intimidating) if you turn the video into a discussion with a colleague or a fellow professional.
A more recent feature than Facebook Live, Watch Party was introduced to all Groups in July 2018 as a means to bring people together and create conversations around video. Interestingly, during the testing phase, the social network discovered that some Watch Party sessions ran for more than ten hours, with viewership dropping throughout the day.
Since launch, Watch Party has been rolled out to all types of pages and profiles on Facebook, so while this has been an invaluable way to keep your Team engaged, it has also become a useful tool for growing your membership.
The idea of connecting with a large audience through video on Facebook is nothing new. But a key obstacle is the struggle to reach enough users and keep them engaged while watching in a simple way.
How To Increase Facebook Group Members From 0 To 10,000
Growing a Facebook Group with zero budget sounds intimidating; but all it takes is time, patience, and a bit of effort (plus some help from your earliest members).
To summarize, here are five steps you should follow to get your Facebook Group from 0-10,000 members without spending a dime:
[+] Come up with a compelling topic for your Team – something people will want to discuss and you can provide real expertise on the topic.
[+] Give people a reason to get involved – let potential members know about the great content you create and the exclusive giveaways and offers you run.
[+] Let your existing audience know that Groups exist and encourage them to join – people who already follow your Facebook Page, read your blog, or watch your videos.
[+] Reach new audiences through guest blogging, influencer outreach, interviews, and podcasts.
[+] Spread the word “early adopters” of your Team to attract new members.
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