Starting and running a successful Facebook Group is an effective way to provide value to your clients, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and strategically promote your products or services.
Starting your own group allows you to create an online community that knows you, appreciates you, trusts you, and will spread the word about you. Your own group also allows you to gain valuable insights about your ideal audience. Understanding what your audience wants and needs versus just guessing will help you grow your email list, create and market your products and services, and gain new clients.
One of the most powerful tools of a Facebook group is the ability to poll your members and find out exactly what they want and need. You can poll your group on everything from names, to free content topics, to product or service ideas.
Types of Facebook Group
There are three main types of Facebook Group:
Free Group: A free community group offers value to a specific audience. This audience represents your ideal client – blog readers, email list subscribers, members in your local community, past and present clients.
You want to make the group “closed” vs. “private” or “open” so that people can still search for the group but can only see content if they are a member. Setting the group to “closed” makes people feel exclusive and comfortable posting in it.
Paid Group: A paid group is an exclusive group for paying your clients.
Pop-Up Group: A Pop-Up Group is a temporary solution, which can be either free or paid, but usually only lasts the length of the current programme which is being offered.
How to start a Facebook Group
1. Create your group
Log into Facebook and click “Groups”, and then click the “Create” button. Fill in the name of your new group.
2. Decide if you want it to be a “closed” or “private group”.
Do not add people to your group without asking them first as this can be very irritating for them. Instead notify them in advance and promote it in such a way that they will want to join your new group.
3. Create a description for the group and include any rules you want to set
Describe the group, sharing a little bit of information about who you are, and also any rules that may be applicable to the group e.g. no spamming or promotional posts.
4. Fill in any other relevant information
Use “Edit Group Settings” to add any other relevant information pertaining to the group. For example, you could add your location if it makes sense.
Allow others to post in your group, so it feels like a proper online community, sharing and discussing ideas together.
5. Admin Settings
When editing group settings, look for sub-heading “Web and Email Address” and click “Change Address”. Now change the URL of the group so it matches the group name. Otherwise, it is just automatically filled in with a bunch of numbers and letters.
Also, it is recommended that you choose ““Any member can add members, but an admin or a moderator must approve them.” That way you can be selective on who gets into your group.
6. Add a cover photo
Upload a cover photo. A program like Canva, for example, provides many free examples, and offers a Facebook cover template.
7. Write an intro or “pinned post”
Facebook allows you to “pin” a post to the top of the page. This is an ideal place to provide a welcome video, greet new members and share anything else important. Also consider offering some sort of “freebie” as an incentive for people to join your group.
8. Plan your posts and schedule them to appear four or five times a week.
Make sure that you provide regular new content at each week. Use a tool like Google Calendar to remind you at the same time every day to post (even if you create the content at a different time).
In terms of post topics and tips consider the following:
Lifestyle and “How-to” posts: Lifestyle and “how-to” posts get more engagement on Facebook than any other type of article or topic. That is because people are always looking for tips on how to enrich their lives. Furthermore, such posts tend to be more concise and easier to digest than long reads. In addition, if you can link your posts to your products or services e.g. using this will solve this problem, so much the better.
Ask conversational or controversial questions: Asking questions is always a good way to invoke a response from audience members. However, be careful not to pose questions that are derogatory in any way; they can provoke a reaction from some but are more likely to lead others to disengage.
Welcome new members to the group: When new members join, ask them to introduce themselves and share one thing with which they are struggling. This allows you to get to know your readers and their problems better. You can then make a list of all the pain points and create a poll within the group to determine what freebie, product, or service might interest them.
Provide Training and Facebook Lives: Provide training and Facebook Live videos helps group members get to know you better. Ideas include Q&As, tip sharing or mini coaching sessions. Facebook prioritises video and Facebook Live, so these are really good ways to ensure group members get to know your group and your face.
9. Create social media images
10. Share and promote your group
Use every opportunity to share and promote your group, so that people want to join it.
Social Media: Share your group on all of your social media channels (include images – they get more engagement).
Personal Facebook Page: Post to your personal Facebook page and tag people who may be interested in joining.
Website: Put a link to your Facebook Group on your website home page.
Blog post: Write a blog post about your group and include a pinnable image.
Guest posts: If you do any guest posting or podcast interviews, share the group there.
Email link: Include a link to your group in your email signature.
Facebook ads: Run Facebook ads to your group (if you are prepared to spend money).