Facebook groups are an asset to any business, and knowing how to grow a group can be a key aspect of developing a real community. While starting a group isn’t required, it can be incredibly helpful in taking your relationship with your audience to the next level.
Groups are an intimate space where you can be real with your audience and create authentic conversations between you and your community as well as between community members.
For example, the Millennial Money Man group has begun having meetups that are initiated within the group, even when I am unable to attend.
We have leveraged Facebook groups for our own individual businesses and also for Laptop Empires. The cultures of each group are different and are reflections of our own personalities and businesses. Our Laptop Empires group is a combination of both of our styles.
Your Facebook group members will become a core focus within your audience and will be the people most likely to feel a personal connection to you. They will also be the people who are most likely to purchase your projects.
This personal connection develops through their access to you and through the “next-level” content and personal stories you will share with them in the group.
While the benefits are endless, the focus of today’s post is to be a practical guide to teach you how to grow a Facebook group.
Understand the Level of Involvement
When you are launching a new Facebook group, the level of involvement required will be high. You will need to engage within the group regularly, initiate the conversations to set the tone of the group, engage on threads started by group members, and like or comment on replies.
Initially, this will require daily effort, although it is not a very time-consuming activity. Once a group is more established and has a larger, more engaged audience, your involvement will be required less.
In the Millennial Money Man group, there are nearly 10,000 members, so I no longer need to engage daily. The group is active on its own, although I interject my thoughts periodically with the group.
Regardless of how many other group members are engaging in the group, it is always important for you to participate and be seen in your group. You can do this by starting topics, liking comments, replying to threads, etc.
Some group owners have huge memberships and rarely engage personally until they have something to sell. This is likely much less effective for them because although they own the group, they are not present and are not a regular part of the conversation.
Best Practices to Grow a Facebook Group
Once you understand the commitment you’re making, there are other essential steps to follow when figuring out how to grow a Facebook group.
1. Know When To Start
It’s important that you don’t start a group until you know you can get a good number of members to join at launch. It is not ideal to start a group and have a limited number of participants.
Engagement will suffer if you have fewer members, and the level of effort to maintain the group will be higher as your own input will be required more often. Not having an audience will also negatively impact you when it’s time to sell or announce new offerings.
Wait to get started until you have a large enough audience that you can convert it to group membership.
For example, when I launched the Millennial Money Man Facebook group, I was able to grow it to 1,000 group members within the first week. I announced the group’s launch through email blasts and blog announcements, so the audience was there from the day of launch.
This strategy of growing your audience first is key. If your blog or email audience isn’t large enough to support a good Facebook group launch yet, focus on growing your audience first.
We recommend leveraging paid traffic to support growing your blog audience and email list.
Listen to Podcast Episode 32: Is Paying for Traffic Cheating for more tips.
2. Establish Expectations, Culture, and Tone
Set the group’s tone from the beginning and demonstrate what the group’s vibe should be like. You don’t have to set harsh ground rules, but you can establish the culture by contributing to the group.
When new people join your group, they won’t know what to do. They will look to you to see how the group works. If you want a positive group, set the positive tone through the way you interact and support people as well as by the topics you support.
The cultures of the Millennial Money Man group and the Laptop Empires group are somewhat different, but there are similarities as well. Both are positive environments with a lot of GIFs because that is the way we like to interact.
The Millennial Money Man community has a lot of threads, with specific scenarios members are facing plus requests for advice and support. It’s a good resource for people to seek out different ideas and opinions about their situations.
The Laptop Empires group is a little different since all of the group members are there because they have taken one of our courses. This means there are fewer posts asking for information because everyone already has access to the information in the courses.
Instead, the posts are more about troubleshooting challenges, asking for clarification about topics, and seeking support.
Both groups celebrate the wins of the members. With Millennial Money Man, there are debt payoff stories and money milestones reached, and with Laptop Empires, there are posts about an ad performing well or someone landing a new client.
We love celebrating wins, and it’s awesome to see someone post a win and then have 100+ awesome GIFs to celebrate.
3. Know When to Ban People
While having open dialogue and differing opinions is key to a highly engaged group, you should be firm about removing people from the group who are not engaging correctly or following the group rules.
You have to set the expectation that you will ban users when needed and follow through with it when necessary.
The group takes on the personality you present. If you allow negativity and insults without punishment, the group will become negative. If you want to build a positive and supportive community, ban people who don’t support this, even if they are big contributors to the group.
You can use discretion on whether or not to offer warnings to individuals first, but our approach is to remove people who can’t follow the rules.
4. Establish Clear Goals
We had long discussions about our goals for our community before launching it. Like any business decision, you need to evaluate WHY you are doing it.
For us, our groups are about offering support, building community, having deeper relationships with our audience on a more personal level, and having an engaged group of people who are interested in the products and services we offer now or will offer in the future.
Your ‘why’ will guide the type of content you share, the way you engage with the group, and the effort you put into it.
5. Participate Regularly
It is critical to show up every day. Engage with your people by interacting in the comments and starting conversation topics regularly.
Themed days are another great way to help with daily posting. The consistency will help you develop topic ideas and allow group members to learn exactly what they can expect from you on a daily basis.
If you don’t do this, you risk not being associated as the face of the group or, even worse, the group dying altogether.
This can take a lot of time at the get-go, but if you are just showing up periodically for the group, it won’t work long term.
6. Be Yourself and Get Personal
Share insights into your life by posting about personal topics in the group — the highs and the lows. Letting people see who you really are creates a stronger connection with your audience and cultivates a more vulnerable environment for everyone.
When you go deeper, others will feel comfortable doing the same.
7. Give Special Access To You and Exclusive Content
Group members can truly become the biggest fans of you and your work due to the access they have to you on a personal level.
Give them access to you and your exclusive content they can’t get elsewhere. Think about special content not available on your blog or swag like tee shirts and mugs. This is about taking your messaging to the next level, not just sharing your latest blog post.
Consider giving away something within your group that is so valuable you could sell it. Maybe it’s a live training on a topic of interest to your audience.
8. Use Entrance Questions
Be a little bit selective about who joins your group. We recommend using entrance questions.
A few good options to consider are:
- How did you find out about this group? This helps with identifying which traffic sources are working for you.
- A fun question to understand their personality and sense of humor.
- Inquire about what they need help with from the group so you can get ideas for content.
- Ask if they would like a freebie, like a training or a guide, and then request an email address to send it to them. This is a great free way to use your group to build your email list as well.
Want to learn even more about growing a Facebook group? Listen to Podcast Episode 26: How to Grow a Facebook Group.
How to Grow a Facebook Group by Getting People to Join
Taking steps to grow your Facebook group requires getting people to join. There are some easy ways to do this.
You can start by going to Google Analytics to find your top 10 highest-performing blog posts and adding a call to action to join your Facebook group there. It’s preferable to put the call to action near the top of the page for the highest conversion rates.
Take other existing sources and filter them to the group. For example, use your email welcome series for new subscribers or your social media accounts. You can include a link to join your group on the “thank you” screen after someone signs up for your email list.
Another great option is when someone signs up for a freebie to subscribe to your email list, don’t include the link to the Facebook group in the email with the freebie. Instead, send it 12 minutes later saying, “Thank you for downloading X. Join my free Facebook group here.”
Your highest email open rate is on day one, so if you send a second email the same day but just a few minutes later, the likelihood of someone opening it and joining is much higher than if you do it later.
The Final Word on How to Grow a Facebook Group
As with many of our guides, we ultimately recommend you focus on finding people who need your help and helping them. A Facebook group is a great way to do this.
Be a good human being and focus on providing value, and you will do well.