Facebook Groups can offer exceptional benefits, but you need to nurture your community to get them! Check out these five tips to keep your Facebook Group engaged and thriving.
Facebook Groups are a sure-fire way to build your community, allowing you to establish stronger relationships with clients and offering them more value regularly.
They also help your brand stay relevant and beat the algorithm, as Group content has significantly better reach than Page posts.
However, Facebook groups can be a little tricky to manage. You don’t just start a Group and watch all the engagement come pouring in.
You need to work to keep the group exciting and valuable for your group members. Doing so will take a lot of time and effort, but the results are worth it.
1. Engage Facebook Group Members with Short-Term Challenges
If you want your group to stay active, you need to give people a good reason to tune in.
One of the best ways to engage your group members is to utilize short-term challenges in your favor.
Short-term challenges will be the key, or long-term challenges with weekly check-ins. Shorter is better because it’s easier to keep people involved for brief time periods. If challenges go too long, people lose interest (even if they commit up front).
Tamara Knight Photography, for example, has created a supportive group for women in the community and hosts weekly challenges. The barrier of entry is low (just be slightly more active than normal and share your progress). And the message is positive and something that most people would want to do already.
In this case, she isn’t offering a reward … and that’s OK. It’s just about doing this challenge together as a community.
I’ve also been in a small marketing group in the past that had a three-week-long challenge to create a campaign that topped their personal high return on ad spend.
In some cases, challenges will offer rewards or prizes. For example, users are asked to create a recipe, and the winner walks away with some cash.
But the rewards aren’t necessary.
2. Nurture That Exclusive Feeling
If people are in your group and not just on your Page, they’re already part of an exclusive, niche group.
That exclusive feeling is a good one that you can leverage in your favor. People feel a special connection to your brand and each other, and that also makes them more likely to engage.
You can capitalize on and exaggerate the exclusivity that comes with being in your group by:
- Asking for people’s opinions and taking the time to consider them seriously
- Having staff members engage on a more personal level with the members, allowing customers to see the faces behind the brand
- Answering questions and encouraging them to be asked, which will show that you can and increase the likelihood that they’ll feel comfortable doing so in the future
A great way to do this is to host a Facebook Live just in the group tailored to their specific needs. People are much more likely to be comfortable asking for questions here than they are on a public Page, meaning the engagement will be better. Everyone ends up getting more out of the Facebook Live.
Mastering Your Freelance Life with Laura is a closed group for freelancers wanting to build their businesses. Group admin Laura regularly goes live here in the group (as opposed to just a Page) to answer questions and share extra tips. It’s valuable in general, but the fact that it’s so personalized to her audience makes it even more so.
3. Have Regularly Scheduled Events or Discussions
Some sort of group event or even regularly scheduled discussion is the way to go.
A great example of this is “Hurtin’ Thursdays” in the Copywriter Club, where members are encouraged to ask for whatever they need, whether it’s advice or a second look at something they’re working on.
Regular discussions will keep people coming back regularly to engage, without you needing to lay out the ground rules or explain what’s going on.
When you want to push out content regularly, remember that you can take advantage of Agorapulse’s Facebook group scheduling tool. You can create, proofread, and schedule content far in advance and never worry about it going live on time.
I use this feature all the time with my fellow admin for a group we created. For anything big or important, we create the post in advance and submit it to the other for approval, all through Agorapulse. Once it’s set, we schedule it and just get ready for the comments when it goes live.
4. Stay Diligent About Facebook Group Moderation
Want your group to thrive? You need to stay on top of group moderation.
Moderation involves generating discussions and nurturing those that are happening on their own. Answer questions, ask questions, and engage meaningfully. People will typically keep coming back and responding and sharing if they feel something comes out of it, after all.
Moderation doesn’t mean that you need to make your presence known on every single post. But you’ll want to be around in a friendly, non-obtrusive way. You don’t need to get involved in sub-threads that have nothing to do with you because you want relationships to start to form on their own.
Group moderation is a big task, especially if you have one or more experts who are expected to address questions relatively quickly.
5. Get Niche-Specific
It’s hard to not want our groups to immediately explode and be as big as they possibly can be. While it seems counterintuitive, niching down and focusing on quality over quantity in members really is the way to go when you want to build a strong group community.
Think about what exactly you want your group to offer and what you want to do differently.
Who do you want to reach, and what relationship do you want to have with them through the group?
AdEspresso, for example, has a group for their customers only. Instead of offering general marketing advice, they’re niched down to Facebook ads and support.
Purple Carrot has a group for anyone who wants to join, where vegan cooking and what people are doing with their vegan subscription boxes are the focus.
Sometimes, niche interests can really help bond people together, which will make the overall community much more valuable to them.
Be specific about what you want the group to offer and how exactly it will tie into the brand.
You don’t need to have the group centered around the product like Purple Carrot, but staying in the general field of interest is a good call. The brand doesn’t have to be the center of attention as long as it’s relevant.
Keeping your Facebook group alive isn’t really something that just happens on its own. It requires constant engagement, careful moderation, and some tender love and care.
With the right strategies and tools in place, however, it will make your job as a moderator or admin much easier.