Getting your Facebook Business page up and running is one thing, but many small business owners struggle with their private groups.
What’s the point of these pages? How do you get engagement out of your group members? And most importantly, how do you entice new clients to join your private group?!
In reality, creating an active, engaging private Facebook Group is more important than you might realize. When you do it right, it creates a sense of community between you and your clients that keeps them coming back for more!
Now, let’s discuss all things Groups — how to cultivate a sense of community, drive engagement up, and grow your group like never before!
What’s the Point of a Facebook Group?
Most people join Facebook Groups for a more personalized experience than what they get with Business pages.
Your Group is definitely somewhat of an extension of your Business page. But remember — people don’t join private groups to be marketed to.
While your Business page should be “strictly business,” your private group should create a sense of community-based on a common interest. You can foster this sense of community through personable content that shows clients who exactly you are. The key is to break the ice and get people talking!
How to Grow Your Group’s Engagement
Have trouble getting your members involved with your Group? You’re not alone! Luckily, there are a few techniques that can help you not only get more engagement out of your current members but also gain more members in the long run!
To get started, we’ll talk about:
● Going live
● Member spotlights
● Engagement questions or prompts
Let’s dive in!
I don’t know about you, but I love polls! Any time I see one posted on social media, I take a couple of seconds to respond and see how my answer stacks up against the popular vote.
You probably know all about adding a poll to your Instagram Story (if not, check out my blog on Instagram Stories), but did you know that you can create a poll on your Facebook Group too?!
Whether they’ve engaged with your posts in the past or not, there’s a good chance your Group members will stop to answer a quick poll. It’s a quick way to grab your clients’ attention, and if the question is intriguing enough, they may even leave a comment!
If you’re not familiar with creating polls for your Facebook Group, here’s a quick tutorial.
Go to your Group page and head over to the section where you’d create a post like usual. Under the text box, you may have an option that says “Poll.” If you see this, click on it.
If you don’t see this option, click on the text box to begin making a post like normal. In the new window, you should see a box that says “Add to Your Post,” and three dots all the way to the right. Click these three dots.
When your list of options pops up, choose “Poll.”
Now, a new window should pop up. Type in your question and add different response options. If you’re asking a “this or that” question, including a photo or two is a big plus! Once you’ve finished crafting your poll, hit “Post.”
You can state your own opinion in your post, or wait for someone else to comment and respond with your opinion! No matter what, respond to any comments in a way that keeps the conversation flowing and encourages others to comment.
While in-person events only apply to clients in your local area, anyone can attend a live virtual event! These lives could be personal “get to know me” discussions, exclusive product shows, or tips and tricks workshops. No matter your format, it’s a great way to encourage conversation!
The best way to host a live Group event is to schedule it ahead of time and personally invite all your group members. Here’s how you can do this:
Visit your Group’s page and choose “Events” in the top bar.
Under “Upcoming Events,” click “Find Events.”
A new window will pop up with the option at the bottom to “Create Event.” Click on this.
On the new page, you’ll be able to choose an in-person or online event. Since we’re creating this event for a live show, you’ll choose “Online.” Under Event Type, choose “General.”
Now, you can begin filling in your event’s details. Choose an enticing name that describes what you’ll be discussing during your live, and pick a convenient date and time that’s likely to work for most of your Group members. Under privacy, make sure to restrict the event to members of your Group.
Press “Next” to move on to the Location page. Choose “Facebook Live,” then press “Next” again.
On this page, you’ll add a description of your event. You could include a general description, or you could outline your entire itinerary. Whatever you do, make sure it sounds fun and exciting!
On the final screen, you can adjust your cover photo and other additional details for your event. The most important step is to check the box that says “Invite all members of [your group’s name].”
Now, you can create your event and get ready to host!
Part of being a great group leader is showing appreciation for your members. What better way to do this than by highlighting a Member of the Month?!
There are a couple of ways to decide which member you’ll spotlight each month. Choose a new member, someone who has been especially active within the group, or create a post asking your members to nominate themselves or one of their friends for a member spotlight! But, before choosing a member to spotlight, message them privately to ensure they’re comfortable in the limelight.
Your Member of the Month award could be nothing more than bragging rights. Or, as long as your contract allows it, you could offer a small prize! Great examples of member spotlight prizes include:
● A free product
● Gift cards or codes
● Discounted products
When you spotlight your Group members, they’ll feel appreciated and included within the community you’ve cultivated. Plus, the possibility of a spotlight is a great way to encourage people to start engaging with all the different posts in your group!
Engagement Questions or Prompts
Most people who join your private Facebook Group do so because of a common interest. While this common interest will likely be the majority of what your members discuss, there’s nothing wrong with taking things to a more personal level!
If you want to get to know your clients better and let them learn more about your life, use some engagement questions and prompts. Sharing information about your life, followed by open-ended questions your Group members can answer, is one of the best ways to foster a sense of community and get people talking.
Every prompt should be centered around a specific question, with a short blurb of information leading up to it. Seem confusing? If so, here’s an example of an engagement prompt from my recent blog post, May 2022 Group Prompts.
“As much as I’d love to start every morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes my way, there are some days when I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
But, even when nothing else seems to snap me out of my bad mood, there’s one thing I can count on - going for a quick jog down the road! As cliche as it sounds, nothing can take me from a sour mood to a great mood like exercise.
Any time I’m struggling to find the motivation to tackle my daily workload or errands, I throw on my sneakers, put in my headphones, and let the fresh air do its job. How about you - what’s one thing that can instantly take you from a bad mood to a great mood?!”
Now back to our golden rule — whenever you post engagement questions or prompts, the most important thing to remember is to respond!
Your group members are taking the time to read about your life and choosing to respond with their own experiences. Show you care by promptly replying to all their responses and asking a follow-up question!
How to Grow Your Group and Get More Members
To recap, we’ve now covered:
● The difference between a Facebook Group and Business page
● The purpose of private Facebook Groups
● How to increase engagement from your current Group members
Now, we’ll talk about the question on everyone’s mind: how do I get more people to join my Group?!
Let’s start with the obvious — people can’t join your Group if they don’t know it exists! So, make sure to advertise it wherever you can.
Remind your clients of your Group’s existence on your Business page. Every one or two months create a post for your clients highlighting the benefits of joining your private Group. You could advertise it as somewhere to get exclusive information about new products, or a place where women can come together to discuss a common interest and meet new friends.
If you have an email marketing list, use it to invite new members to join!
If you host in-person events or have a storefront, consider putting up a sign with information about your Group!
You could even put the information on a business card to give to clients whenever they make a purchase!
Whenever you’re advertising your Facebook Group, be sure to make the benefits of joining obvious.
Do you host exclusive live events?
Will they be invited to sample sales or other in-person events in the area?
Make sure your clients know about any special perks!
Facebook Group Do’s and Don'ts
We’ve now covered nearly everything you need to know about increasing engagement and getting the most out of your private Facebook group! Before you go, I’ll leave you with a list of Facebook group “do’s and don’ts”:
DO respond to EVERY comment to keep the conversation flowing.
DON’T leave any comments unanswered. Would you continue posting in a Group if no one acknowledged your thoughts? Probably not.
DO encourage others to post, even if it’s a little bit off-topic.
DON’T discuss anything controversial. This is a place for people to feel comfortable and included. Leave politics, religion, etc. out of it.
DO sprinkle some promotions in. After all, you have a business to run!
DON’T bother your members with constant advertising. Keep that for your Business page.
DO post often. You don’t want new members to join your Group, only to find out the last discussion happened over a week ago!
DON’T post too many times per day. It’ll clog up your members’ feeds and could discourage others from posting.
You have all the tools to grow your Group as much as you’d like to at your fingertips — all you have to do is put them to work!