I’m seeing more and more businesses looking at Facebook Groups in order to connect with their community on social media (and there’s a good reason for it, too!). With the changes to the reach on Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups are a good way to still connect with your audience without an ad spend. We’re also seeing that Facebook is paying more attention to groups too, with the rollout of Group Analytics, showing that they’re now a bigger player in the game.
There are loads of benefits to starting a Facebook Group, but setting up the group isn’t enough – you need to put in a lot of work for it to grow. There are plenty of tactics we can consider to help you grow your Facebook Group. Here’s the rundown of opportunities you can take advantage of to build up your Group…
How To Grow Your Facebook Group
Create banners and put in your site and newsletter
Make the most of your owned assets: where can you promote your group on your website and newsletter? Create a banner using a free tool like Canva (affiliate link) and place it everywhere you can – on your site, in blog posts and in your newsletter. Don’t forget to update your Facebook Cover Image and About section with a mention, and throw it in your email signature. It might feel like you’ve posted about it everywhere: but remember your audience won’t be seeing it as often as you will working on it day-to-day!
For example, here’s my
shameless plug banner:
Leverage your friends
Every group has an objective – to engage your target market or industry peers for one reason or another. However, it’s likely you have a whole boatload of friends on Facebook who already are your target market. Have you invited them to join your group? Go through your Friends list and see who you’ve not yet invited – you might be surprised how many people are ready to support you! Don’t forget to add a personal note to your friends inviting telling them why you’ve invited them and that you’d love their contributions and thoughts especially when the group is starting out.
While you’re at it, why not post on your personal newsfeed to let your friends know about your group, too? They might just share it with their industry friends, too!
Link to your page
If you’ve already got a Facebook Page, it’s possible you’ve already got an existing audience. Why not let them know about your group? You can link your group to your Page, so your group is more easily found by your followers. If they are part of your group, will see the latest posts on your page. Here’s how to link them.
Show me the money
Why not run some ads to get your group out there? While you can’t currently run an ad to promote your group specifically, you can post about your group in a status update, and promote that post. Or, you can link to your group in a blog post, and then run ads to your blog.
Start running your ads to people who are your most likely engaged audiences to help build your group numbers and community before running ads to strangers. Consider ads to your Page Fans, your website visitors or mailing list subscribers to get them into your group to build that strong foundation.
Schedule regular promos about it
It can be really easy to build a group, promote it really heavily in the first month or two, and then get caught up with work and forget to promote it. The simple solution is to automate it! Schedule social media posts to go out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (and even ads) – but not just for this week or this month, schedule them for six months away so that you’re still actively spreading the word as it grows over time.
Keywords in your Group description
Keep in mind that when you create your Group you’ve got your group description with plenty of room for keywords.
Load in the description with keywords around what the group does and who your audiences are. Not only will it help people browsing your group before joining about what the group is like, but if people are searching for groups, those keywords will come up.
Consider keywords about your industry, audience, their job title or interests or whatever core community values you’re trying to build.
Encourage group members to invite friends
Where’s the best place to find awesome people like the people in your Group? Well, it’s likely your Group members will have friends who are exactly your target audience. But, sometimes people need a little reminder to take action. You might have active community members in your group, but unless you ask them to invite their friends who would enjoy the group too, it might not occur to them. Every few months, consider adding a post encouraging people in the group to invite people they know who would dig your group vibe.
Share in Groups with similar audiences
Some Facebook groups do have threads where they encourage you to share and promote your group.Make sure that when you post in other groups, it’s with permission based on checking out the group rules first!
If you get involved, don’t just post a link to your group, share who your group is for, the kind of conversations they will have to give people a taste of the passionate community they will be a part of!
When you’re growing your group, make sure you’ve given these tactics a go:
- Use old-school word of mouth (ask your friends, their friends and your audience to invite their friends)
- Let your existing customers know about it (banners on your blog, newsletter, email signature)
- Make it easy to find (Connect it to your page, use keywords)
- Move beyond your existing audience (share on Facebook Groups with similar audiences, run ads to likely audiences).
Have you checked off every item on the list? Or do you have other neat ideas for growing your group? Let me know in the comments!
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.