(This post is part of our Unconventional Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups for Business. If you want to get your hands on all the chapters, click here!)
Real talk: If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that Facebook Groups are one of the easiest ways to build a loyal community around your brand.
I mean, the connection you can build with your members…
The intel you can gather from your group…
The two-way dialogue you can foster…
The brand awareness you can grow…
It is straight up unparalleled!
And perhaps what I love most about them is that they can convert lurkers into loyal and loving lifers.
Now, speaking of lurkers…
One of the biggest concerns I hear from people wanting to start a Facebook group is that they’re worried that they will create the group, no one will engage in it and they’ll be stuck with a group full of crickets.
And I get it!
That was hands-down my biggest fear as well before we started our first group back in 2015!
And if I’m being honest, I’ve seen it happen.
I’ve watched group owners flounder because they aren’t sure how to get people talking.
(Wanna avoid that? Check out this killer step-by-step training we created with David Siteman Garland!)
I’ve watched them stress out thinking THEY must be the reason their members aren’t engaging.
But here’s the thing…
People’s newsfeeds are full of noise and congestion, and it can be hard to stand out and make a splash.
That is, until now…
Because after creating, growing and engaging TWO free groups, I’ve learned what works when it comes to building Facebook group engagement.
So allow me to share 5 of my no-fail strategies.
Best of all, these 5 tips will show you exactly how to coax those silent lurkers out of the shadows and turn them into interactive, engaged and noteworthy lifers.
(Wanna ditch the guesswork? Take a spin through this step-by-step training and use it for your own group!)
Create An Introduction Thread
This one is haaaaa-UGE!
Because an intro thread is one of the best ways to give new members a warm welcome into your group, allow them to introduce themselves and give them a feel for what they can expect inside the group.
You can do this however you like.
We used to do it through a pinned post that stayed at the top of the group day in and day out.
These days though we’re starting to create custom introduction threads each week that welcome all the new members that joined in the last 7 days.
What’s more is because we’re getting crafty with our Join Questions (which I mentioned in Chapter 3), we are including links to the different free resources we have that cater to the challenges members mentioned in their join requests.
Not only does that help us introduce them to the Screw brand, but it allows us to build our email list, our webinar registration list (as we mention our Free Traffic Workshop in each intro post) and our website traffic by driving people to relevant blogposts and podcast episodes—ultimately building up assets we own and not relying on “rented land”.
From there, we prompt them to comment on the post and tell us about their business—ultimately boosting up the engagement for that post and getting it into the newsfeed in a bigger way!
Now, do you have to create custom introduction posts?
You can create a simple pinned post that welcomes new members.
Or you can schedule a welcome post to go out each week.
Or you can shoot a quick video.
Whatever feels best to you!
Just make sure you’re not “setting and forgetting” these introduction posts.
Instead, be sure you follow up on these posts regularly so new members feel like they are being seen, heard and acknowledged.
This sets the tone for the group right off the bat and gives them a glimpse into what sort of interaction they can expect.
As a group admin, this is yet another stellar way to learn about new members and connect them to current members who could help them out.
For example, if “Courtney” is new, starting a personal training business and knows she needs to create catchy workout videos you might think to connect her with “Stephen” who is your go-to guy for all things video related.
It creates the perfect storm for member connections.
By taking the time to get to know your members strengths, weaknesses and needs, you can better serve your group.
And for the love of gawd, ask questions.
Where do you live?
What’s your favourite emoji?
What are you struggling with?
People love to talk about themselves, and it’s a great way to break the ice and add some firepower to your engagement and reach.
Themed Posts for Facebook Groups
Themed posts for Facebook groups are one of my go-to ways of increasing member participation.
Simply put, they are posts created with the intention of sparking meaningful conversation and coaxing lurkers to participate.
They provide your group with a loose structure that guides conversations and tempts people to take action.
You may think that a rotating shift of the same old boring questions will be enough to keep your members chatting, but I beg to differ.
In fact, I think the more the merrier. Aim for 30 days of themed posts.
Maybe this sounds overwhelming, but I promise you it works.
Because new people are always coming into your group and going beyond a week's worth of themed posts allows you to mix things up and keeps things fresh.
Now if you’re wondering how the hell you will ever come up with 30 days of ideas, start by looking to other groups for inspiration.
Browse like-minded groups for inspiration, hit up Pinterest, scroll through your Instagram or better yet, take a spin through this killer deep-dive training we created where we give you our EXACT Facebook Group Management Procedure (a.k.a our “secret weapon”).
Remember, each themed post doesn’t have to be crazy detailed or over the top. It can be something as simple as “What’s your office view today” or “What is your #1 goal this week?” or “Using gifs only describe your weekend plans”.
Hell, some of our best engagement posts were straight up silly posts like “Share a pic of your furry co-worker!”.
And if you’re worried about how long it will take, don’t stress.
I batch my 30 days of conversation starters in a few quick and concentrated hours.
From there, we schedule Facebook group posts using the native scheduling app which is built into the group platform. This scheduler allows you to schedule posts to a specific date and time.
Best part is it’s free!
You can use third party apps like MeetEdgar (more on that in Chapter 7), but if you’re on a budget we use and recommend the built in scheduler.
How To Use Facebook Live In Groups to Build Engagement
There is nothing I love more than communicating with Scroupies in real time.
If you’re an FB Live virgin, then allow me tell you all about the birds and the bees.
Facebook Live is a a live video streaming app built right into Facebook. You can use your personal account, business page or facebook live in groups on your mobile phone or desktop.
You can broadcast on the go or from the comfort of your home.
So how do they increase engagement?
What’s so amazing about Facebook Live in groups is that you can connect in real time with your members, build rapport and get instant feedback on whatever you’re livestreaming about.
Not only does this allow your members to get to know the real YOU more, but it encourages them to engage and take part in things like themed posts or just chiming into conversations in general.
It’s a great way to bridge the gap between anonymous computer use and genuine interaction.
If you ask a question you can get instant feedback and answer all their Q’s. It’s a great platform for AMA-style (ask me anything) sessions, free training or just to check in and touch base in a more authentic, transparent way.
So where do you begin?
Log into your group and click Create Post.
Write a little somethin’ somethin’ about what your FB Live is going to be about and when you’re ready to start streaming click on the “Live Video” button below the text box.
Struggle with creating eye-catching headlines that make people want to tune in?
This is my favourite tool for creating headlines that get noticed!
Once, you’ve got your headline and description sorted, tap Continue to bring you to the “Go Live” button. Once you click that little sucker you’ll be streaming to everyone in your group.
Once you are done streaming you will have the option to save your livestream. If you choose to save it (and why wouldn’t you!), you can find the saved version in your Facebook Videos folder. This way if any members missed your broadcast they can catch up at their convenience.
Want to get even more strategic with your FB Lives?
Stream from your Facebook Page and share it into your group!
Anyone in your group who watches your video for more than 3 seconds will automatically be added into your “video views” audience which you can use to target with FB ads.
And since you currently cannot target your group members with ads (yet!) this is an smart and stealthy workaround that allows you to get your group members into your ad audience in an engaging and non-pushy way.
How To Use Facebook Group Events to Build Engagement
Part of the allure of Facebook Groups is that they can feel like secret societies.
They are more “exclusive” than Facebook Pages, especially if your group is Closed or Secret.
Because you have to be invited or allowed in.
This small yet mighty distinction can be used to your benefit especially when it comes to creating your first ever Facebook Group event.
Unlike events created on your personal profile or business page, facebook group events are only open to your members.
Which means you can really leverage this exclusivity to entice others to join your group and further stimulate your current members engagement.
It’s simple really.
In our free Screw community we have used Facebook group events to host meetups all over the place—from in person member meetups to cyber-jam sessions.
What we love so much about them is how they bring our community together.
What’s more is you can use the events tool for just about anything!
From building up your webinar registrations to building anticipation for your upcoming FB Live…
In-person meetups to live events to hot seat sessions and masterminds…
The sky is the limit and you are only bound by your creativity!
So, how do you set one up?
How to Create a Facebook Groups Event
- Click the Events tab located right beside the Members section.
- Click on the Create Event button. This will open a lightbox where you can name your event, enter specific details and set the privacy. By default your privacy is set so that only members can join the event, but if you want to expand your horizons feel free to tinker with these settings.
- Next it’s time to invite some people because what fun is an event if no one’s invited?
- Once you’ve entered all your down and dirty deets, click Create.
- To ensure your members see this event, I highly recommend pinning the event post to the top of your group.
Facebook group events will always show in the right side menu of your group, but it doesn’t hurt to give it some extra exposure with a lil’ pin action.
Now, if you’re using your event to draw in a large crowd, going through your group may not be the best option as groups are still ad-free zones.
If you want to boost registrations for your event through paid ads, create your event through your page and promote it in your group through sharing the event, doing some FB Lives and creating posts that lay down the benefits of attending!
How To Use Facebook Group Polls to Build Engagement
Facebook group polls are another easy way to boost member participation.
In fact, they are one of my favourite go-to strategies for not only engaging the group, but pulling out some serious intel from our members.
Best of all, FB rolled out GIF-supported poll capabilities at the end of 2017 making asking questions more exciting than ever!
Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good GIF!
Creating a poll is ridiculously easy.
You can click the “Write Post” button or simply click on the “Poll” button below the “What’s on Your Mind” section and start creating your poll options for people to choose from.
What I love so much about this function is that it is a built in function in groups, which means you aren’t taking people away from your group with a third party tool like Survey Monkey.
What’s more is it ups your reach, builds engagement and gives insight into what your group members really want.
Which is what these groups are all about anyway!
So how exactly do they increase engagement?
For starters, Facebook group polls require little to no effort on the participants side.
It literally requires one click of a button.
Meaning even the laziest of lurkers is likely to get down with a poll.
The best part about polls is that you can use them for just about anything!
We’ve used them to uncover:
- Sales funnel topics
- Webinar topics
- Ideas for our blogposts and podcast episodes
- Preferred content mediums (podcasts vs videos vs livestreams vs blogposts)
- Ideas for new offers (it’s how we came up with our 90 Day Traffic Plan and our Perfect Sales Funnel programs)
- The specific stage of business our members are currently at
Hell, we even polled to find out what time people prefer for our FB Lives!
Yeah. We loooooove polls.
Craving more engagement strategies?
Using Facebook Group Insights To Find Your Top Contributors
In the New Screw Community we use the Insights for Facebook Groups to identify our top contributing members and then use that data to shine a spotlight on those members who are constantly adding value to our group.
Here’s how we are starting to do this…
Each month we identify the top contributor and feature them and their business inside the group.
Why is this a big deal?
Because we don’t allow any self-promotion inside our group, making these spotlights and features extra valuable as it helps position that member as someone to watch.
And that? Makes people feel seen, heard and acknowledged inside a large community and (hopefully) ends up netting them an extra client or two!
What’s more is we’ve found that by nurturing those who put in the effort, it entices other members to show up more, ultimately adding to the value of our free community.
Why is that important?
Because without your active members, you would have a lifeless group. Active contributors breathe life into your group and stoke the fires of conversation.
Simply put, without them your group would be nothing.
So why not do something extra special for them so they feel appreciated?
It’s all about that give and take, baby.
And when it comes to smart business, giving accolades like this is bound to offer one helluva ROI.
Speaking of smart business…
Now that you’ve got some of our best engagement posts and strategies up your sleeve and you know how to turn those lurkers into lifers, let’s talk about how you can market and sell inside your group…without sacrificing your community.
I’m breaking down some of our go-to strategies inside Chapter 6.
Craving more in-depth FB Group strategies that are having a monumental impact on our Group and business?
Take a spin through this page and get access to our most up-to-date and advanced training on Facebook Groups packed with strategies we haven't taught anywhere else online!
The other (cheekier) half of Screw The Nine To Five + a diehard traveler with our little guy Kai.