How To Network, Join, Run And Grow A Facebook Group

 I am still surprised by the sheer number of Facebook users I find that are not using Facebook groups!
From Business to Candle-making, there is a Facebook group for everyone. If you are a business-owner, social media influencer, or have something to share and want to get noticed in some of the bigger groups, this is for you.
Stick it out to the end or simply scroll on by for BONUS tips on Starting, Polishing, and Promoting your OWN Facebook Group.

The BIGGEST Benefit of Facebook Groups?

Networking.
 

But Wait… Why Network?

I am so glad you asked! Even if you do not have something to market or share, you should be using Facebook groups! Here is why…
  • Building trust and a relationship with people is the MOST important aspect of social media. Hands down.
  • Facebook groups are an easy way to reach the inboxes of like-minded people with similar interests.
  • They are a free way to create a personalized marketplace for buying, selling and sharing.
  • You have the ability to interact with people from all over the world with similar interests, without being forced to befriend thousands of people. Group conversations can be private and separate from your timeline feed that friends will see.
  • Easy access to documents curated by groups. There is a GOLD MINE of information in the “Files” sections of groups and extremely under-utilized in my opinion!
  • You can make some amazing real life friendships ♥

Sounds Great! I’ve just requested to join 100’s of groups, Now what?

Slow down there, partner! There are a couple of things you need to know before diving in. I promise you will have less headache in the long run…
What to look for in a Facebook group:
  • Active, engaged members, no matter how small or large the group is. A group is pointless with 100,000 members and zero posts or 10 members with hundreds of posts with no replies.
  • Respectful admin are super important to group atmosphere. Organization and group management is key!
  • A sense of community. My favorite groups are where members refer to each other as “ers” of the group name.
  • Level of privacy. Is it a public group, or secret? In a public group, posting to the group is essentially posting for everyone on Facebook to see. Closed groups require approval to join, but once approved, only members can see actual group posts. Secret groups are just that, a secret.
  • Clear rules for participation. Most groups will have some kind of “pinned” post or document outlining “rules” for the group. These vary greatly from group to group, but no matter what, you must follow the rules. Period. If you do not like the rules of a group, it is best to speak privately with admin or simply leave the group.
  • Very-little-to-no spammy posts. There should be some conversations going on. Groups are about giving, not receiving.

 

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.
 [Click to Tweet♥]

 
So, let’s say you found a perfect group that fits your interests. No matter what the group is about, there are some general guidelines to follow to help you get noticed by others in the group.

Facebook Group Posts Do’s and Don’ts

DO:
  • Read pinned post and group files.
  • Be funny or light-hearted.
  • Be helpful.
  • Be relevant to the conversation.
  • Follow group rules.
  • Be positive.
  • Use emojis. It is hard sometimes to covey emotion through text, emojis eliminate the guessing game.
  • Use common courtesy and etiquette.
  • Spread the word! You can add friends to groups. (Make sure you have a friend’s permission before adding them!)
DON’T:
  • Be Spammy. Ever. Never Ever.
  • Offend people. Opinions are fine as long as they are not offensive.
  • Be negative. If you are having problems with the group, you can message admins privately to discuss.
  • Post unrelated materials that do not add to conversations/discussions.
  • Block admins. They WILL find out and more than likely remove you from the group.
  • Post an “exit speech” when leaving. Just kindly tap out. 🙂
Ready to put your networking skills into action?
After you have found some groups you really love, are interacting with members and are posting using the guidelines above, you may notice a few things….

1. Your notifications will drive you crazy!! You can adjust the notifications of each group by click “Notifications” in the top right. From there, you can select:

  • All Posts: You’ll get notifications any time members post in the group

 

  • Highlights: You’ll get notifications for posts with lots of likes and comments, and friends’ posts

 

  • Friends’ Posts: You’ll get notifications whenever your friends post

 

  • Off: You won’t get notifications when members post

You will want to take care of these ASAP. As soon as joining a group, decide on your notification preferences. 

 

2. Groups Need to be managed. There is a Facebook app just for groups now that you can download and easily manage your Facebook groups.  I use this app daily and it has changed the way I interact in groups. You can find it for Android or Apple.

Now, it is time to GET NOTICED!

As I mentioned earlier, Facebook groups are amazing for networking. If you are in a group of people who you want to mingle and network with, it is best to GIVE something to members. Even if the only thing you have to give is inspiration, the #1 rule of groups is that you cannot hop into a group and have expectations of friends and connections raining down from the Heavens… it just ain’t happenin’.
When writing posts, try to follow this model (or something along these lines.)
Anatomy of an eye-catching post:

Hello Fellow “Groupers” (Introduce yourself if you haven’t already)
Tell a quick story/give brief background.
Make a joke/Be inspirational.
Offer/Ask for Help.
Insert related (eye-catching) image.

 

Thinking of starting your own group?
It is a lot of work, but can be so so so rewarding (in more ways than one!)

Ways to ROCK Your OWN Facebook Group:

Reasons to Start:

  • Customer Support and Feedback- Cut down on email clutter. Customers will also be able to help each other out, so it may even take some work off of you. Your Facebook group will act as a free, easy-to-manage forum.
  • Give VIP Access to Secret Groups– Nothing says VIP more than their own VIP lounge! Give your customers a sense of exclusivity with their very own group. Offer coaching through the group as you can easily and quickly support them. You will get notifications the second something is posted, instead of responding to an email “when you get to it.”
  • Build Trust and Authority– Rule #1 here is not to sell directly. People HATE being sold to. Instead, share your expertise with people who care. This gives members a sense of community and allows you to remain the trusted authority figure because it is your group.

Steps to take to Start Your Own Group: 

  • Make sure you have a solid understanding of how groups work by joining and interacting in many different types of groups.
  • Decide if you want your group to be Public, Closed or Secret.
  • Write out a group description and set clear rules. The group description should be short, to-the-point and SEO friendly. Include keywords in your description.
  • Pin a welcome post to the top that helps new members. You can also add links to this post that point to files, FAQ and your website for more information.
  • Upload files to the group. The type of files you upload depends on what kind of group you are running, but some examples are a location document (where everyone lives), a blog document (where everyone blogs), list of resources, frequently asked questions, social media roundup, etc.

Now to Polish Your New Group:

  • Use a social scheduler like Hootsuite to schedule posts to the group.
  • Make sure you have a descriptive, catchy name that makes your group memorable.
  • Create (or have one designed) a stylish icon and cover image that represents your group and the community you would like to build.

Actually Running Your Facebook Group:

  • Collect Email Addresses- If having a contact list is important to you, I recommend collecting the email addresses of all new members just in case Facebook changes, you do not want anyone else to hold the keys to your castle. You worked hard on the community, don’t lose it!
  • Tag new members and rule-breakers in documents or pinned post that outline what is allowed/expected in the group. Clear expectations are extremely beneficial to a group.
  • Introduce new members to old members. If a Facebook group is the party, you are the host. Make new guests feel welcome and they will bring their friends…
  • Add your group to the tippy-top of your favorites and monitor notifications.
  • Dedicate certain days of the week for certain topics. It doesn’t have to be a “strict” schedule, but having promotional days and discussions days allow members to share with each other and they end up looking forward to promo days.
  • Talk the Talk- One of my favorite groups for support and encouragement is The Badass Solopreneur Society. The members (and admin!) are so sassy and fun! There is a “High Five” thread where we can give each other props for kicking ass! 🙂 Create a fun environment for your members.
  • Encourage group members to contribute content!!!! (More on this later.)

How to GROW Your Facebook Group:

  • Invite Friends and people already close to you in your network.
  • Invite major social influencers to help recruit other members and their contacts.
  • Hint to your group in blog posts, social media, newsletters.
  • Have a blogging friend (or ten) write about your new group.
  • Make your group launch an event! Publicize with Facebook events. (No one wants to join a party with no people!)
  • Offer something exclusive to members… anything really! A pdf, ebook, mp3, or whatever works for your type of group.
  • Advertise your groups in Forums that you frequent, bonus points if the forum specifically relates to the topic of the group.
  • Share the link to your group everywhere! In your website sidebar is a great place to start.

When growing your new group, it seems that for most groups, when you hit the 500 member mark, the group seems to grow organically on it’s own, but never stop TRYING to grow it.

Quick Tips for Group Interaction: 
  • Tell a story. Make it funny, inspiring or helpful. Add your personality because no one else is just like you and connections matter. People love seeing behind the scenes, so you can start with that.
  • Post quotes. I don’t care who you are. People LOVE quotes. It has been proven time and time again. Use them 🙂
  • Run Contests. They get MY attention every single time. Recognize the winner publicly.
  • Spotlight Members. I have been a featured blogger in a group a time or two and guess how it felt? Friggin’ amazing!
  • Discussion threads. Decide a topic and get people talking super easily. Bonus points for a branded image with a short phrase that you will use each time you hold a discussion.
  • Ask where everyone is from. Members always love this kind of post and can see who might live local to them for meetups and networking.
  • Ask Get-to-know-you questions. People LOVE to talk about themselves… Give them an opportunity.
  • Host Group-Exclusive giveaways. The member’s excitement will be tangible!

 

 
I only hope that this post helps you effectively network within Facebook groups and (if you are so inclined) help you start, run and grow your own. 
Running your own group and participating in multiple groups is a TON of work, but is the perfect way to represent yourself as an authority figure.
Did I miss a tip you think is useful? I would love to hear it!

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