You’ve set up your Facebook Business Page, and you are ready to create your Facebook Group – but: What should I call it? How do you get members? What do you post about? Should the group be public, closed, or secret? How do you prevent trolls? Should I set rules or questions to join the group? All great questions, and things you need to consider before you get your Group off the ground.
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Before you launch your Facebook Group – you should determine what the primary goal of your group is. Yes, the ultimate goal is to increase sales for your business, but people won’t join your group if they think it’s just a continuous sales pitch. Many businesses create Facebook Groups as a place to share some free advice and tips and tricks. It’s a place where you can be seen as an expert so that eventually the group becomes a feeder for your sales pipeline. SO, choose a name that conveys what your group is about. No one will join a group that is the name of your business. Name it something that relates to the topic or theme of what you want your group to be. You can incorporate the company name if it makes sense, but it doesn’t have to be included. Once you determine what you want the look and feel to be, pick a cover photo, create your description, etc.
You also want to determine if your group will be public and anyone can join, they need to request to join, or it’s by invite only. Public groups are great for certain things, but if you only want your ideal clients or target audience in the group – I’d suggest a private group where you must manually accept requestors. There are a few instances where secret groups make sense – but those are usually part of a paid membership offering.
Many private Facebook Groups require members to answer a few questions before they can join. This is a great way to learn more about your members. Some sample questions may be: How did you hear about this Group? Have you viewed our free training or downloaded our Free XXX workbook? This helps you weed our spammers or trolls as well. They typically won’t take the time to fill out questions. BUT it allows you to get some insight into how much your audience knows about you, if they’ve viewed any of your lead magnets (free downloads or trainings) or any other info you want to gather.
It’s important to set the stage from the launch on the Group expectations. Create a pinned post at the top of the page so that the first thing new members see are the rules and expectations of the group. A few good housekeeping rules to post are 1. Keep things courteous – be respectful to others in the group. 2. No spam or plugging your business. (You will get trolls who try to join every group and post about what they are selling.) 3. This is your group too, please engage, ask questions, etc. 4. Give value – post things relevant to the group and its members. 5. Be open and share your own personal experiences, struggles, suggestions, etc. If you come across a troll or all around rude person, it’s ok to delete them.
Gaining a following in your Group can take time. Don’t get discouraged and give up. It’s important to get the word out about your group. Some easy ways are inviting people you are already connected to who might find interest it in. You can also send out an email to your list of contacts to see if they have any interest in joining. Why not add a link in your email signature or on your website as well? If people don’t know about your group – they can’t join!
Lastly, and probably most importantly, is posting engaging content. Get the engagement started with some posts of your own related to the Group topic. Don’t post salesy stuff about your own business. Share some of your own wins or loses, ask questions around areas that you may have personally struggled with. Share some 3rd party articles you found interesting or infographics. Once you get the ball rolling, others should follow.
As your group grows you may want to enlist others that you know to help moderate the page by making them an admin. It’s important that someone is always watching the group, letting in the right people, and encouraging participation.