Last week, I showed you how to start your own Facebook group.
This week, I’m going to show you how to grow your group into a thriving community of like-minded people.
But first, a word of caution: do not add your friends to the group without their consent. As easy as it is, and as tempting as it looks, don’t do it. That’s not one way to build your image as a spammer, and I’m sure you don’t want that.
You’ll just annoy your friends and drag down your group’s engagement rate. After all, if your members don’t want to be there, they won’t participate.
I’ll start off this guide with the easy steps then we’ll move on to strategies that might take a bit more time to implement.
7 Easy and Low Budget Ways to Promote Your Facebook Group
1. Invite People from Your Email List
Send an email to everyone in your email list to announce your group’s launch. Tell them what the group will be about and include a link to it.
The email doesn’t have to be long or complicated either. It could be as simple as:
I’m happy to have you here on (website name).
I just launched a new Facebook community for (who your target audience is) and I’d love for you to join us.
Group members will have exclusive access to strategies, tips, and training offers we have. You’ll also have a chance to ask us questions and network with other group members.
Here’s the group link: https://Facebook.com/Groupname
See you there!”
2. Add an FB Group Page Link to Your Website
If you have an existing Facebook page, I’m sure it’s linked to your website or blog. From there, just switch the link to your Facebook group.
3. Invite Your Facebook Friends to Join the Group
Spend a few minutes selecting friends and connections who might be interested in your group. Then write a message and send it to the people you selected in bulk.
If the group is for people working in a specific industry, you could use that as a hook for inviting people to join. The same applies to hobbies and other interests. Doing an outreach like this is a natural way to network and build authority in your personal network.
You can’t message people from the group. So you have to do it using your personal account. Just click the icon for ‘new message’ then start typing the names of people you want to invite.
Once they agree to join, you can manually add them to the group.
4. Do a Targeted Giveaway
Notice I wrote “Targeted” giveaway, not just any giveaway. Many marketers raffle iPads and of course, everyone wants the chance to win one.
You might get a lot of entries but at the end of the day, some of those entries won’t be from your target audience. They just want the iPad; they’re not interested in the community you’re building.
If you have a product, raffle two to three items. You can also raffle subscriptions, consulting sessions, or an e-book. You can even do what lots of travel and food bloggers do, ask sponsors for something you could giveaway.
Since your Facebook group doesn’t have enough members yet, you can announce the giveaway on your website and existing Facebook page, then put the contest and mechanics in your group. Because your group is closed, people will have to join to see it and participate in your contest.
In some cases, you don’t even have to host the contest yourself. Katrina Howe, for example, often posts links to contests held by different travel brands and gears on her group, Two Monkey’s Travels Forum.
5. Promote Your Group on Similar Facebook Groups and Pages
There are millions of Facebook groups out there, so it’s not impossible to find groups related to your own.
This strategy will only work if you have enough active members, at least 100, otherwise other group admins won’t even take notice of you.
First, find the following:
- 20 groups with at least 100 members that are also similar to yours
- 20 groups with similar members but slightly different topic. For instance, a group for social media managers might also be interesting to bloggers, SEO experts, and online business owners
Then join the group and start adding value. Answer questions that come up, link to giveaways they might be interested in, and ask questions yourself. An indirect bonus of doing this is you’re also building your authority in a new group.
After a few days, send a message to the group admin and ask if they’d be open to cross promotion. They promote your group on their group, while you promote them to your group. It’s a give and take.
6. Reply to Posts and Comments
No one will want to join a small Facebook group if even the admin isn’t active. You’ll really have to up your game in initiating conversations and replying to posts when you’re just starting out.
In the world of social media, replying to a member’s post is one of the best ways you can acknowledge them for being part of your group.
In the Facebook group The Careful Cents Club, group owner Carrie encourages new members to introduce themselves so members know each other. She also welcomes newcomers herself.
When other members see Carrie’s response, they see that it’s a welcoming community. Whatever hesitations they had about introducing themselves or asking questions will be gone.
7. Use a Challenge or Event to Group
Jeff Goins created the 500 Words Challenge to encourage people to write every day. Participants receive a daily writing prompt, and they can join the Facebook group he created to post their results and encourage each other.
This strategy grows both his Facebook group and email list.
Experiment with Other Strategies
You can use Facebook ads, Facebook live, and so many other strategies to grow your group. The ones I discussed here are the tried and tested—and low budget hacks though. Try these for now and experiment with other strategies later once you have a couple of members.
Next week, I’ll show you how to keep your group active and spam free.