~by Haley Lynn Gray~
If you are a business owner, you should really consider starting a Facebook Group. This can work well for a lot of different types of businesses, including anything like coaching, services that people use over and over again, or products such as make up or home decor. The options are limited only by your own imagination. Since Facebook has decided to only show your content on your page to a very few people, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get the reach that you want, so a group is a perfect option.
A few rules of engagement in your Facebook group, though.
1. The ‘Invite a Friend’ button adds them to the group. If you add someone to your group without their permission, then you could face some very unhappy friends. Friends don’t randomly add friends to all sorts of different Facebook groups, as it can really make them mad.
2. Set your Facebook group to ‘closed’ for most cases. You want people to have to apply to get into your group. This prevents people you don’t want from getting into the group. It also means that information you post in the group doesn’t get shared with everyone and their cousin without someone intentionally sharing the information.
3. What happens in the group should stay in the group. That means you don’t copy the contents onto other people’s walls or share information that they haven’t given permission to have shared.
If you want to have a group that is going to be large, loyal and your biggest fan base, then you’ll need to do a few things to nurture the group. You have to feed and water the group regularly, so that it continues to grow, and people feel like there’s a reason to come back, and get value from the group. Treat this group as if it matters to your business, and be prepared to put some hours in to get it going.
Follow these 11 steps to get your group to start interacting, and keep it interactive:
1. Post quality content in the group every day. You’ll want to put content in the group multiple times per day. Vary the types of content: questions, blog posts, videos, and graphics. I like to use a combination of automated messages and messages that I hand-create. Then I come in and interact in the group several times per day. This gives the appearance that I’m always in there, when I may, in fact, be at another Karate tournament with my daughter.
2. When people post content in your group, make sure you like and comment on their posts.
3. When there are comments on your posts, thank people, and comment on their comments.
4. Make each member of the group feel like a valued and important contributor. When they do something you want them to do, give them attention and praise them.
5. Develop your own ‘promo/no promo’ policies and be prepared to enforce them. There will always be people who just join the group to post and dump in your group. Those people are best culled out quickly. They don’t add anything to the dynamic, and are only in it for themselves. And there’s always the possibility that their content could discourage others from engaging in your group.
6. Start challenges in the group that are a week, two weeks, or a month in length.
7. Run Contests in your group for small prizes. Make sure that you advertise them and ask people to share with their friends.
8. Ask people to invite their friends to the group.
9. Hold open office hours from time to time, and announce them in advance. Allow people to ask your opinion on certain topics. This will give you the opportunity to build your expertise and show people who you are.
10. Ask your friends to help you out by commenting and posting in the group from time to time. It’s amazing what having a couple of people chattering will do to help the overall interaction in the group.
11. Make it fun. If it’s not fun, people won’t want to come and get involved.
To get people to join your group you can do a variety of things:
1. Paid ads on Facebook. If you get someone to download a free item, then ask them to join your group, you can get plenty of people through paid ads.
2. Unpaid ads. Some groups allow you to promote in them, and you can post ads in those groups to attract people to your group.
3. Run webinars or mini classes for free. You have to give people something of value, and in return, they will give you their email address. They might even join your group.
4. Message your friends and ask them if they’d like to join your group.
5. Make it fun. The more fun you make it, the more people will want to add their friends to the group.
6. Start running challenges in your group, and tell people that they’re only available to members of the group. This also works as a way to get people onto your email list.
7. Advertise your group on your Facebook Page.
The more you can get your group to interact and be a community, the more it will grow, and more people will find it.
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
- Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haleygray