Use Facebook Groups to Grow Your Followers
If you have ever invested time in networking, you've probably seen how beneficial it can be for your business. When you are networking in a group that has people who you could help and you spend time getting to know people, being helpful, offering free tips you're likely to get increased brand recognition, people talking about you and your business, increased clients, and more referrals. Now take that mindset and apply it to Facebook Groups.
Disclaimer: networking is time consuming. That doesn't change when you're doing it from your computer or your device - it just means that you don't have to have makeup on or be wearing pants. So if you're going into this thinking it's going to save you a ton of time, stop thinking like that right now. Doing anything online is not a shortcut - it's just a way to reach people outside of your immediate travel area.
So don't go overboard and join 100 groups. You'll quickly get overwhelmed and won't be able to keep up with any of them. Start with just a few and then add more as you find more time or get more traction.
Prep Your Personal FB Profile
You join a group as yourself, not as your business page, so you may need to do a bit of housekeeping on your personal profile.
- Use a nice headshot. Those profile pics are tiny. It doesn't have to be a professional photo, but a nice closeup, maybe with a splash of colour to make it stand out. Make sure this is the photo you want long term, because if you change it often people will forget and lose track of who you are
- Add a link to your business page & job title under Work
- Explain what you do in your Intro section
- Optional: make your personal cover image related to your business
These are things that people may see when they hover over your name, so it's a simple way to get them to find and like your business page.
Find Relevant Groups That Are Fun & Active
This section was almost just titled 'Find Relevant Groups' but you know what I've found over time? There could be a group that is full of your ideal clients but if there are few people posting or very little engagement it's probably not worth your time. On the other hand, the group could be very active but the vibe might not be great - like lots of people complaining constantly about a product or service. I'd avoid those too.
Find a space that is active, where the people are happy to be there and like engaging with each other. These kinds of groups are where you're going to get the best return. And yes, if the group is private, you will have to join before you can see the activity - if it's not what you were wanting you can unfollow or leave the group.
Now when I say 'relevant', I'm talking groups that are relevant to your ideal customers. So if you sell coaching to mompreneurs who are wanting to turn their side-hustle into big bucks, you want to be looking for groups for mompreneurs, not groups for coaches.
Tips for Finding Groups
- If you have any Facebook friends who fit the profile of your ideal customer, then check out what groups they are in
- Do a keyword search for potential groups
- Look at what groups Facebook is recommending for you
- From a group page, view the 'Suggested Groups' in the sidebar - these will generally be related to the same topic or be relevant to a significant portion of group members
- Google it - someone may have already compiled a list of relevant groups for your niche
Dear Lord, Read the Group Rules
Most groups are for engagement, education, entertainment, and support. They are not a promofest. If the group has rules, read them! Some groups don't allow members to post any promotional links. Some groups allow them only on certain days. Some groups allow links if you are looking for feedback or showing an example. Some groups...well, you get the idea.
If you break the rules the mods will delete your posts. And if you persist, you will get kicked out.
You may scoff, but I'm serious. If you were attending a networking event in your city, it would go on your calendar, right? So here is what I want you to do:
- make a list of your groups (add them to your group shortcuts too for easy reference)
- note which ones have promo threads and what days those are - create to-dos to remind you to promote on those days
- set aside X number of minutes per day or per week to engage in the group - create to-dos to remind you
- stick to your allowed time - very active groups can suck you in and next thing you know you've spent hours in the group and your newsletter or blog post is late being published.
Engage, Engage, Engage
When you join a group, it's often encouraged to introduce yourself. Tell people what you're about, why you decided to join, and any fun facts about yourself or your business that may elicit some likes or comments.
After that, spend time engaging with other group members. React appropriately to their posts. Offer helpful advice and support. When allowed, comment with links to your content if it will help the poster. Post about anything fun or amazing that happens in your business, anything that you come across that could be helpful to the group members.
If the mods are encouraging people to do live video for any reason, do it. If people see your smile and hear your voice you will be way more memorable than just that little profile pic.
Many groups will have specific promotional threads where they encourage members to post links to things like free offers, blog posts, other social media profiles, and even paid offers. Take advantage of those!
Tips for Promotional Threads in Facebook Groups
- read the promo rules - sometimes the mods don't want people promoting other Facebook groups directly and that is their prerogative
- tell people why they should take action on what you're posting - just popping the link up there with no explanation can look lazy
- try your damnedest to find other commenters to engage with - even if it's something you don't want or need yourself, maybe you could share it?
- tell the commenter if you've shared/downloaded/signed up/etc. - they might reciprocate just out of goodwill
- when you're done engaging, turn off notifications for that post so you're not overwhelmed - don't worry, you'll still get notifications if people respond to you directly
- thank everyone who comments that they've shared/downloaded/signed up for your thing
This is the only strategy I've been using recently to grow my Facebook Page (and also my Instagram account) and I've been very pleased with the number of followers I've gained, but also the quality - they are people who followed me because I was doing something of interest to them. This has also been super helpful in growing my email list too . . . just saying :)
If you'd like to join my Facebook Group that's awesome - you can sign up for membership (it's free) right here.