Does your business manage a Facebook group? Wondering how to build an engaged group that supports your business goals?
In this article, you’ll find five steps to create a Facebook group that members will return to and engage with. You’ll also get examples of posts you should be using and discover three types of posts to ban from your group.
To learn how to develop a loyal Facebook group community, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:
#1: Decide What Type of Facebook Group Community You Want to Build
Start by determining what kind of Facebook group community you want to create. Think about your favorite places to visit in your local community—the gym, park, movie theater, or local pub. There’s a certain way that people act and engage in those spaces. Your Facebook group works in much the same way.
You need to define the atmosphere you want to create in your group, the kind of people you want to attract, and the types of conversations you want them to have.
#2: Create a Sense of Close Connection
Once you’ve decided what kind of community you want to build, think about how you can create a sense of belonging in your group. You might be thinking, “Do I really need to? My Facebook group is for business and I’m just trying to create conversations around one particular topic.” The reality is that if people don’t feel a sense of connection to your group, they aren’t going to be loyal members who come back day after day.
The easiest way to figure out what kind of belonging you want to cultivate is to fill in the blank in this statement: “You’re not crazy, you’re brave when you ______.” Some examples of this may be “train for a marathon,” “foster eight dogs at a time,” or “quit your job to travel for a year to experience the world.” The idea is to create a sense of belonging that says, “The outside world might not understand you, but we do, so hang out with us.”
#3: Set Clear Rules and Boundaries to Guide Conversations and Behavior
Establishing rules and boundaries is also important for building an engaged group. You might be tempted to just go with Facebook’s rules templates—you trust your members after all. But setting rules for your group has nothing to do with trust. Setting good boundaries conveys to your audience how you want them to engage in your group.
While each Facebook group is unique in its purpose, there are some best practices for setting rules. Your rules should help discourage surface-level engagement and encourage deeper connection. To that end, consider these rules:Don’t allow motivational posts. Generally, people don’t engage with these posts. If they do, it’s typically just to say, “That was a great quote. Thanks for that.” Don’t allow teaching posts. People don’t want to be talked to—they want to have an actual conversation. Don’t allow prompts. You don’t want group members to start broad prompt conversations that aren’t focused on the topics at hand.
Establish these basic rules and any others you feel are necessary for your group. Read this article to learn how to set up rules for your Facebook group.
#4: Ask Simple Questions to Generate Engagement
Facebook group members want to know that their opinion matters so ask them engaging questions. I like to think of my Facebook group as a think tank or focus group where I can get answers and better understand my audience and business.
When you ask questions in your group, keep them simple. Most people will be interacting on the go from their phone so they should be able to answer your questions in 10 seconds or less.
To discover four types of questions that will generate engagement in your Facebook group, read the text below or watch this video:
Ask for Feedback and Guidance on Your Decisions
“Decision support” questions help guide your choices in your business or life. For instance, you might ask group members to weigh in on design, content, or timing choices. Ask them which cover for your book they like best, which podcast episode they want to hear, or which color scheme you should use at your event. These questions not only prompt engagement but also help you make business decisions.
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Additionally, these questions give your audience a voice—although just make sure you’re prepared to listen. You’re asking your audience to tell you what they love and it won’t always be your first choice.
Opinion questions are more open-ended, giving group members an opportunity to tell you their favorites or recommendations, or share what they wish they could have. You might ask them what books they love to read, one thing they never leave home without, or what they recommend you do in a certain situation. Just make sure they can answer your question in 10 seconds or less.
Prompt Members to Answer Questions
Prompt questions are broader so they’re a good way to engage more of your group at once. Some of the best prompt questions are about the future. You could ask group members to share one word they’d love their kids to use to describe them they’re older, where they’d like to retire, or how they’d spend $500 on their business.
You can also use prompt questions to call out individual segments in your group. For example, ask, “Where are all my teachers?” This is an easy way to get a large segment of your group engaged quickly.
Allow Members to Promote Something
“Share” questions work best if your Facebook group is for business owners. These questions invite people to share their profiles, podcast episodes, podcast name, YouTube channel, or another asset. This gives them visibility and you’re helping facilitate that.
Every person who listens to their show, reads their blog, or likes them on Facebook or Instagram is a connection you helped facilitate and they won’t forget that. This creates engagement and loyalty in your group while allowing people to feel as though their voice is being heard.
When you set up rules for your group, you’re not going to allow members to openly promote themselves and their business. But by asking share questions from time to time, you offer a facilitated and hyper-focused way for them to promote aspects of their business. It’s done in a way that you can easily manage and it doesn’t clog up your feed.
#5: Lead and Facilitate Your Facebook Group
You need to be a leader and facilitator in your Facebook group. That means it’s not your job to be active in the group 24/7 or the only one posting or commenting. Rather, you want to let your group organically assume roles and connect with each other.
Alternate between giving group members permission—and creating a sense of belonging—and doing training. So weeks 1 and 3, you could tell stories that make members feel like they belong in the community. Then in weeks 2 and 4, do your training. Show your expertise and teach members how to do something.
When you go live once a week in your group and alternate your focus as discussed above, you can build not only a sense of belonging but also authority and clout.
Community is vital to the success of your business. You need people to connect with you and each other. That’s why having an engaged Facebook group can be so beneficial to growing your brand, business, and network.
Here are a few additional tips for building your group:Choose your members carefully. You may be tempted to say yes to everybody who asks to join but having the right people in your group is more important. If somebody doesn’t have a profile picture and hasn’t posted anything on Facebook in the last 6 months, odds are they’re not going to be an engaged member of your group. Ask prospective members to submit their email address when they join your group. This will allow you to communicate with them outside of Facebook. You can request their email address in one of the three questions you can ask when setting up your group.
What do you think? Which of these tactics will you try in your own Facebook group? Share your thoughts in the comments below.