How to Grow a Thriving Facebook Group

education, elementary school, learning, technology and people concept - group of school kids with teacher looking to tablet p
education, elementary school, learning, technology and people concept - group of school kids with teacher looking to tablet pc computer in classroom

Building a Facebook Group is a relatively new way to grow your business. Build it from the ground up, attract groups of your ideal clients, bunch them together, get them talking, and then sell to them. Sounds super easy and ideal, right? Well, it is and it isn't. Many people get into it not realizing how much they have to advertise and promote their group, or how much time it can take to feed and water it. If you do it correctly though, it's fairly painless, and you can truly build your business this way.

I've built my own group to over 2200 members in just under 12 months, so I'm going to share some of the lessons I've learned along the way.

  1. Invite all of your friends, but do not automatically add them to the group. The proper way to do this is to send them an email or a message on Facebook asking them if they'd like to be a part of your group. Once they agree, you can add them to the group.

  • Find a wingman or three to help you manage your group. It's OK if you don't pay people, you can just get some good friends who will help you keep the group under control and monitor interactions. They can also approve membership requests and help add content to the group.
  • Make the group closed, unless you want endless quantities of drive-by spammers in your group. Those are people who just come in, post their spam for their business and leave, with zero intentions of actually interacting in the group. Delete those threads and remove those people from your group.
  • Create a promotion policy. Decide what kinds of content and how often group members may post. Decide what kinds of promotions are allowed and when they can post promotional content.
  • Post in the group 5 times a day, sometimes more. You will absolutely find yourself talking to the walls at certain points. That's OK and to be expected. In fact, you may find yourself talking to the walls for a couple of months. Post a variety of content and be creative about it. There are a number of places online where you can look for ideas for posting on Social Media to get people to interact, and then use those ideas to make the group more interesting and engaging. You may decide that using automation like Edgar (meetedgar.com), or a similar service, is beneficial so you don't have to be online all the time. You can just fill in a few more posts by hand.
  • Make sure you respond to every post in your group, big or small. You want to reward people for posting high quality content into your group, so reward them by commenting and letting them know how much you like what they're posting. Think positive reinforcement here.
  • Promote your group on all of your social media accounts, including other social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course Instagram. You don't have to be obnoxious about it, but certainly do let people know about it!
  • Link to your group from any sales funnel pages you have, as well as from blog pages, and other marketing content. You want to find every way possible to funnel people back into your group so that you can interact with them.
  • Make occasional offers to your group and give them what they want. You'll be surprised at how being of service will build your client base, no matter what your business is.
  • Ask people what their needs, wants and desires are, and structure your posts around that. The more you can fill a need, the better. The more you can be of service, the better. Let people know what you do and show off your expertise so they will want to work with you.
  • Notice that I said very little about promoting yourself. The truth is that people go onto social media to relax, enjoy and recharge their batteries. People will likely do business with those they know and trust, so this group you are building is an excellent opportunity to build a ton of brand new relationships with people. Treat it in that vein, and you will do very well in deed.

    You can find me online at my own Facebook Group, the Women's Entrepreneur Network,
    LeadershipGirl.com, on Twitter as Darthastewart or on Facebook at LeadershipGirl.
    Follow Haley Lynn Gray on Twitter: www.twitter.com/darthastewart