If you are SOOOO over Facebook’s algorithm changes and only reaching 5 people per post you make from your Facebook business page - I totally get it! But that doesn’t mean you should give up on the platform just yet. In fact, right now if the BEST time to start using one of Facebook’s most powerful (in my opinion…) features: Facebook groups.
Now you might be wondering WHY you need a Facebook group to grow your online business? And is this just another social media time-suck, or will it actually help you see a return on investment in the form of clients and/or customers?
The short answer: YES. And I definitely don't think it's a coincidence that within the same 30-day time span, my private Facebook group hit 1600 people AND I hit my first ever 5 figure month.
But don't worry, i'm going to share exactly how I did it and how you can too.
In this post i’m going to be sharing my top tips for growing an engaged Facebook group, why you should start one (today!), and how Facebook groups can be an incredible asset for your business.
First, if you haven’t joined my private 'Monetized Minimalist' Facebook group be sure to join here!
Now, no matter how you feel about Facebook as a whole, I think that growing an engaged Facebook group is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself as an online business owner.
WHY? It’s just one more place where you can share content, blog posts, videos, etc. with your audience, in one exclusive place - without worrying about how the algorithm will effect your reach. Also, in a Facebook group, your audience not only has access to ask you questions, but this is a place where like-minded people in your community can come together and network with each-other, all thanks to you! That alone is great way to establish credibility and position yourself as a leader or expert within your niche.
And eventually, questions asked within the group can actually be answered by other members who have been a member for a long time, and your Facebook group can really become self sustaining so you don’t have to be in there, moderating, every second of the day.
Also - your Faceboook group is kind of like a second email list - it’s just one more place that you have access to your ideal client, customer, or student, to: #1 get to know who they are and what they need help with, but #2 to share your exclusive offerings and services. Plus, Facebook groups now you have group analytics so you can get insight into exactly who your target audience is: their age, sex, where they live, what time they’re the most active, etc.
Another cool feature is that you can now ask specific questions to every single person that requests to join your Facebook group. This is a great way to find out how people found your group, what kind of info/help they are looking for within your niche, and anything else you want to ask that can give you more insight into what to create for your audience.
To set this up, go into your Facebook group -> click ‘manage group’ -> member requests -> settings
So now that i’ve hopefully convinced you why you need a Facebook group, the real question is...
how do you get people to be active and engaged inside of it?!?
Here are my top tips for growing an engaged Facebook group for your online business:
#1 Get people to join
First things first: you actually need to get people there. So how do you get people to join your Facebook group? NOT by just sending a request to everyone you’re Facebook friends with. This is the quickest way to annoy people and prevent them from EVER joining your group. You can (and should) however, personally invite people who you genuinely think would be interested in your group topic and what you have to offer inside your group.
The best way i’ve found to get people to join my Facebook group is to use it as a lead magnet. Give them a good reason to join (exclusive live workshops, weekly interviews, exclusive podcast episodes, secret blog posts/content) and cross promote your Facebook group from your other social media channels. This is especially great if you have a large instagram following for example, and want to bring as many of those people over to your group as possible. If this is the case, make sure to be talking frequently about all of the awesome stuff that’s going down in your Facebook group on your Instagram stories AND make sure to tell people HOW they can join (link in profile is easiest! Don’t make it difficult or they won’t do it!)
#2 Consistent Branding
You definitely want the branding of your facebook group to match the rest of your business branding in terms of colors, fonts, etc., and the main place to do this for your Facebook group is in your Facebook group header image. (I make all of my graphics in Canva!)
You also want to make it clear who the creator of the group is (i.e. your name & business name if they differ), include a photo of yourself, and provide some sort of call to action or link to your website where they can learn more.
The purpose of this is really just to keep things consistent across all of your social media channels so that your audience starts to recognize your content and branding. It also starts to build trust and create consistency among people who could potentially be your future clients, customers, or students.
#3 Create valuable content for your Facebook group
This could be anything from insightful posts (think of mini-blog posts or from-the-heart messages you wouldn’t share anywhere else), to image graphics, to funny GIFs, to asking thought provoking questions. And remember, this is all in addition to sharing things like most recent blog posts, podcast episodes or videos.
Another type of content that you can do and easily repeat week after week is daily prompts. Things like Motivation monday or Thankful thursday (please get more creative than this, ha!)...whatever is relevant to your niche and your Facebook group. This just gives your audience another reason to stay engaged and involved, and even start to expect certain discussions inside the group and plan for them - this is KEY in getting people engaged.
BONUS TIP: Want to know the #1 thing that has been the most successful for me and helped me to grow my Facebook group to 1600 people in just 2 months?
Weekly live streams.
For example you can host a free live training inside your Facebook group, and people MUST request access to the group in order to view it. This creates exclusivity and gives people a good reason to join your group - especially if your live stream topic is super juicy.
# 4 Go live inside your group!
This tip plays off the last one, but live streams are a great way to go above and beyond with the amount of value you’re providing your audience inside your FB group. It also shows people who you are as the creator/ leader of the group and helps them get to know you. This is important because if you’re not doing live streams regularly, group members might not even know WHO the creator of the group is...and definitely won’t pay as close attention to anything you post if they think you’re just another member.
And if you’re wondering what to talk about during your live streams, you can always repurpose old blog posts, Facebook posts from your business page, or instagram captions that got a good response - but just make sure to elaborate, add more value, personal stories, etc. Basically, add a new spin on an old topic or idea.
Also if people inside your Facebook group keep asking the same questions, or are particularly confused about something, you can use live streams as a way to do a Q&A and address them all at once!
(I’m all about working smarter, not harder :))
#5 Set boundaries/rules for your Facebook group
I know at first you feel like this would never be a problem for YOUR small group, but setting some boundaries and rules in place from the start are a great way to keep the integrity of your group intact.
A great way to do this is to explain what you expect from your members (maybe things like positivity only, no spamming, no self promotion, etc.) in the group description. Or you can always create a post or video with your expectations and pin it to the top of the group so new members can’t miss it.
The main thing that can send a Facebook group downhill quick is a bunch of members trying to share their OWN websites or offerings all the time-rather than just selfless value.
On the other hand, a great way to keep people REALLY engaged is to allow certain day of the week or specific thread for self promotion only. You may just have to monitor this so it doesn’t get out of hand, depending on the size of your facebook group.
#6 Watch the video to find out!
Now, I wouldn’t be taking my own advice is I didn't now invite you guys to join MY private facebook group called the Monetized Minimalist, which you can JOIN HERE!. This is my favorite place to do impromptu Facebook lives, free live workshops, q&a’s and more. It is super active and i’d love to have every one of you there!
Now...go start your own Facebook group and make sure to tag me on social media @rebellenutrition and tell me that you did!