As social media platforms evolve, marketing activity needs to change too. In days gone by, a Facebook page was the best way for a business to have a presence on the platform, and promote their products or services. Facebook favours personal posts – such as friends, family, and groups – over business pages and profiles.
This means companies are turning to Facebook groups as another way to engage new and existing customers on social media. However, this is new territory for many businesses.
So, if you have a group already that you’re looking to grow, or you’re hoping to start a new one, here is everything you need to know to grow your Facebook group!
Incentivise People to Join
One of the key differences between a Facebook group and a Facebook page is privacy. A page is automatically public, whereas with a group you are in control. You can set it to public, private, or to administrative approval. Liking a page is as simple as clicking a button. Whereas joining a group implies some form of buy-in – you’ll only join a group if you’re genuinely interested in the main topic of the group.
This can be a double-edged sword. It can make bringing in new members challenging, but any members you do have are likely to be more engaged with any activity in the group.
So, the key to getting more people to join your group is to entice them into joining. Start with your about section, make sure you give a clear description of the group that will get people excited to join. Mention things like ‘never before seen content’ or ‘exclusive offers’ if that’s something members can expect.
Make sure the group isn’t private either, as this may deter users (unless you offer a good reason).
Look after your existing members
One of the biggest issues that many businesses face is that they fixate on attracting new clients, and neglect the clients they already have. The same can be said of those on Facebook groups. Maintaining a loyal base of followers is essential for the success of your group.
Make sure you continue to provide them with exciting content, exclusive offers, and engage with them on a regular basis. This could be simply liking comments, replying to comments, and shouting out your members with tags and shares.
Use ‘Bring a Friend’ Promotions
Word of mouth is arguably the most effective form of marketing and has been for a long time. Use this to your advantage by allowing your members to bring their friends into the group. Your members have hopefully been singing your praises, so it would make sense their friends would want to join in on the fun!
To encourage this, you could run a limited or continuous referral scheme. Essentially, reward your current members for bringing people in. This could be an exclusive discount code as a welcome and thank you, or some other reward applicable for your business.
Celebrate Your Members
A great way to grow your group is to celebrate your members – after all, you wouldn’t have a group without them. Depending on the nature of your group, this could be sharing milestones of achievement of a certain goal (if you’re in a weight loss group for example), or other moments such as:
- A member’s birthday.
- The anniversary of when a member joined.
- Member of the week/month; This would be where you share a short bio of the member and tag them in a post.
These are simply suggestions – don’t be afraid to get creative. These activities will create a sense of community amongst your group, which will incentivise them to participate further in the group, but to share it with others too.
Bring your existing Audience into the Group
If you’ve established a presence on various social platforms, you’ll have an audience already. These will be people who’ve liked/followed at least one of your profiles, signed up for your email marketing, or who visit your website regularly.
As engaged as these people already are – they may not be aware of your Facebook and the benefits they may be missing. So, make sure to invite your current followers to join the group!
You can do this via an email marketing campaign, having a direct link on your website to join, running pop-ups on your website, and sharing your group on your other social media accounts like Instagram.
The people who engage with these channels are already invested in your business, and are more likely to join your group!
Leverage Other Groups
There is an untold number of groups on Facebook. Many of which contain members looking for more groups, just like yours. This is where the power of cross-promotion can be incredibly beneficial for growing your group.
Do your research, and find groups that are similar to yours in some way. Perhaps you share a target market, have a number of mutual members, relate to a similar topic or issue – essentially, any form of commonality. Once you identified these groups, reach out to their admin and suggest some cross-promotional activity.
This could simply be both of you posting about each other in your own group, or whatever you think will be most effective for your audience. The aim is a mutual benefit – helping each other to grow. Finding members of other groups who understand how they work will be more likely to join a new one.
Member Take Overs
One other tactic is to run a member take over. This is basically when you allow a member of your Facebook Group to have control over the content in your group for a window of time. They can post, reply to comments, and share the content they wish.
Whilst they are in control, encourage them to invite friends who aren’t currently members so they can enjoy when their friend is in charge! You could even set a condition where those wanting to run the takeover must invite a certain amount of new members before being handed the keys.
When it comes to growing your group, the most important thing to remember is balance. You need to strike the balance of looking after your current members, whilst also continuing your efforts to bring in new joiners.
If you swing too far in either direction, you’ll harm your capacity for growth in the long term.