The Top 12 Tips for Engaging Your Facebook Group
For a long while I was opposed to interacting with Facebook. I thought I’d do some research to see if I could make a Facebook Group work for me.
It’s all about creating a system to get visitors back to your site and I’m now convinced that you can use Facebook Groups to start a sales funnel for your business.
In a nutshell Facebook Groups are the top of the funnel where you develop interest in your products and services. Your website becomes the middle of the funnel and your email list becomes the bottom of the funnel leading people to make a buying decision.
Facebook Groups can be an excellent way to find more people who want to engage with your website. By letting Facebook group members know about your website many will visit and interact with your site, sending good signals to Google.
Facebook continues to dominate all other social media platforms. As of February of this year, Facebook had nearly two billion regular monthly visitors. That represents a 17% increase in traffic over the previous year.
Perhaps more importantly, Facebook also has over a billion daily mobile users. Not only is that a whopping 23% increase over last year, but it also demonstrates that Facebook also controls a huge share of the mobile social media market.
Currently, Facebook’s two billion monthly visitors remain unchallenged by any other platform. Instagram has 600 million monthly visitors. WhatsApp has 500 million. Twitter has nearly 300 million.
This means that Facebook’s monthly traffic beats the monthly traffic of the next three most popular social media platforms combined.
No only that, but Facebook users on average spend more than 30 minutes a day on Facebook. And access Facebook multiple times per day.
What all this means to you as a business person, as a promoter or as a social media influencer is that Facebook cannot be ignored. You need to use Facebook groups to your advantage.
If you plan on utilizing social media to advance your interests (and you should), then you need to tap into Facebook’s enormous amount of daily traffic, convert it and then use it to help you get where you want to go.
One of the best ways to leverage Facebook’s traffic in your favor is by using a Facebook group to promote your brand.
A Facebook group has several significant advantages.
First of all, you get to build a community of people who all have the same outlook. Sure, there may be slight differences between them, but overall you are getting to develop an audience that is interested in what it is you’re offering.
Another significant advantage of a Facebook group is the incredible amount of exposure that you get as a group owner/administrator.
Most of the exposure comes from your ability to control the content that the group sees. In a way, you have the potential to speak to an audience of fans.
This means that you can monitor the dialogue, contribute to the conversation in ways that most benefit your brand and if push comes to shove, delete and censor content that doesn’t suit your end results.
You are the ringmaster, the emcee and the bouncer behind a velvet rope of your choosing. If you’re willing to work these roles, you stand to reap some substantial benefits concerning your social media reach and influence.
A final advantage is the simple fact that Facebook commands an audience of billions.
Facebook’s current monthly traffic encompasses a quarter of the entire population of our planet.
That’s an extraordinary number.
Simply put, there are so many people on Facebook on a regular basis that all you have to do in your group is post relevant and valuable content.
Sooner or later, your posts will show up in the news-feed of someone who shares your interests and passions. When that happens, you build trust, build your brand and build your authority with little additional effort or expense.
So, now that you have an idea of the advantages that help a Facebook owner/administrator let’s look at the top ten tips that will allow you to increase the engagement of your Facebook group members.
Taking action on some of these tips can easily boost your membership numbers which allow you to extend the reach of your authority and influence.
It’s Up to You to Add Value
Facebook groups aren’t a hack. They aren’t a get rich quick scheme.
If you believe that any one thing can get you rich quick, you’re mistaken. Facebook groups, like the rest of the real world, require that you invest time and effort for them to work. When it comes to a Facebook group, this means constantly adding value for members.
The more value that you can add to the membership proposition the more likely it is that your efforts will pay off in increased membership
You can regularly give time limited offers for e-books, provide checklist to your audience, coupons, product discounts and offers for online learning.
It’s Up to You to Engage
Reading, writing and commenting are the three pillars of social media engagement. It is up to you to decide how powerful and effective your engagement will be.
It’s not enough to simply say “Great Article!” or “Nice Video!” It is not enough to just regurgitate someone else’s opinion in your comments. It is not enough to always share content. Instead, say why you liked or didn’t like, something someone else has posted. Form your own opinions and support them reasonably. Create or share original content that expresses your individuality. Engagement is not a chore. However, it does take work.
It’s Up to You to Be Visible
The attention span of the average internet user is about eight seconds. The life of an average post on Facebook is about twenty minutes. Social media is essentially, ephemeral, a moment by moment tool.
This means that you, as a group administrator, must remain visible to your members and your audience. You need to communicate with them on a fairly regular basis. It may not be enough to simply drop by your group once a day and call it good.
You will likely need to be active on and off throughout the day. When you put the work into effective engagement, you are also keeping yourself visible to the people who count the most – your group members.
Know When to Let Others Step In
There is such a thing as too much engagement. Have you ever been to a social event and encountered someone who seems to be compelled to dominate every conversation.
If someone tells a story, they have a better one.
If someone has advice, they offer a different opinion. If someone tells a joke, they have a funnier one. Don’t be this person. You don’t want to fatigue your audience.
Know when enough is enough. Understand that there are times to speak and there are times just to listen. Yes, you want to engage and be visible, but you want that engagement and visibility to be positive.
Social media is all about being, well, social! This means that to connect with other people in a manner that is meaningful, you have to authentic.
Your posts and comments in groups cannot be automated or canned. People online are looking for the same things that they look for offline when it comes to friendship – a sense of humor, shared interests and an original point of view.
People are looking for help and wanting to be helpful. Be your best self in your Facebook group.
This means that you have to be you. You can’t adopt a persona, and you can’t be someone else. You have to be real to make your audience feel what you want them to feel.
There are rules of etiquette and acceptable social behavior online just like there are rules of etiquette and socially acceptable behavior offline.
You need to treat your online friendships the same way that you treat your real world friendships.
Just because you are not interacting with someone face-to-face doesn’t mean that you can be rude, insensitive and crude. Look at all of the haters on many of the comments, even in news stories. Would these people act like this with a group of friends?
When you are in a group setting, including your own, observe these rules rigorously. Never spam and never overtly self-promote. Be polite. Give credit and praise where credit and praise are due.
Connect reasonably. Don’t overuse tagging and don’t mass friend entire blocks of people. Never, ever add someone to a group without their permission.
Do expect others to break these rules and when they do, shrug it off. It’s all a part of connecting through social media.
Most all act like a caring responsible adult.
Monitor your Facebook Group Regularly
Much success on social media can be attributed to vigilance, along with a little luck. When it comes to your group, make sure that you monitor postings. Spam, in particular, must be dealt with quickly.
Nothing will kill engagement and activity quicker in your group than spam that is left to fester. This means that you will have to visit your group on a regular basis to make sure that everything is on the up and up.
At some point you may want to look for a group moderator as well. If you see someone who is active regularly and seemingly responsible why not offer them the job?
Additionally, you also need to visit other groups where you are a member on an equally regular basis, especially if some of these groups have a large or active membership.
The longer your reach and activity, the greater your influence. The higher your influence the greater chance a reader will go check out your site. That also means the greater chance of joining your email list
The first post on a breaking subject will get more attention than the second or third. Likewise, the first intelligent or insightful comment on a post will always garner more likes than a comment that is buried in a list of dozens of hundreds.
This means that to get the most bang for your social media buck, you have to stay on top of what is happening in all the groups you are associated with, not just your own. Using social media, like Facebook groups, to advance your brand or interest is effective only if you put the time and effort into making it work.
Promote Your Facebook Group
You should create a Facebook Fan Pages to promote your facebook group. Your Facebook fan page should talk about all of the good things your group is doing. You can encourage people to join the group to get a free benefit like a checklist or similar digital product.
Once they join the group you can direct the new member to your website where they can download the digital tool.
Consider taking out Facebook ads. The people who will see your ads are already on Facebook and are likely using Facebook as their main social media platform. I’ll cover some of the details of using Facebook ads in another post
Cross Promote with other Facebook Group Owners
You will meet other group members and promote their related groups freely in your group. The expectation is they also will promote your groups as well. There are a number of reasons for cross promotion such as contests and giveaways. They need not be expensive. Simple contests could be a half hour skype call to the winner for some coaching or a copy of a new book.
As well as cross promotion by other group owners there are reasons why your current members will promote your group. Say you have a new book coming out. Why not offer a contest for 10 copies of your book to 10 members who post on their Facebook page about the group.
Why not offer everyone who posts about the group an exclusive bit of content you can email them (when they sign up to your email list)
When seeking promotional deals with other group owners you might want to get them into a roundup post where they write a few hundred words about their website and their readership and what their aim is. By offering a free backlink you can get more mileage out of your Facebook Groups strategy.
Connect with Influencers in your Niche
Try to get an influencer to post occasionally in your Facebook Group. Influencers are always looking to promote their agenda
Use Other Social Media Platforms to Promote Your Group
You know there are several social media platforms out there that you may or may not be able to use effectively for your niche.
You can always tweet that you found an excellent Facebook Group for a certain niche.
You can always write an 800 word Tumbler post, Medium post, Hubpages post or a post on other social blogging sites, and at the end include your website and your Facebook fan page. You may be able to link to your Facebook Group.
The idea is to create a funnel to a non-salesy group and then if they want your free information you can direct them to a landing page on your site where you collect their email and return them to your site to see what’s available on your site.
I’ll be talking about interlinking your social media in another post. A few paragraphs here doesn’t do it justice but watching for a future post.
One Final Caveat
You don’t own Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg owns Facebook. Facebook groups are part of Facebook so Facebook can keep their users on their site. That’s so Facebook can display more ads. If Facebook Groups becomes less advantageous for Facebook to offer, they could kill them off.
Facebook can change and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Always be focused on getting group members back to your website. Give away lots of free stuff to build your readership and your email list. As you focus on building your Facebook group always consider how your Facebook group will benefit your website and ultimately your business and income.
Facebook can work when used with a strategy to direct people to your group. You then entice them to go to your website, sign up for your email, develop trust, and then buy your products.
To get people to your group is more social media marketing and some well thought out Facebook ads.
If it is your first time running Facebook Ads consider getting some advice from an agency. Most agencies will work with you if you have a small budget as well. You’re better off using an expert when you’re starting out rather than spending money blindly and losing.
When executed properly and consistently this could be one of the largest boosts you can give your niche marketing business that doesn’t cost a bundle.