It’s become a lot harder to reach your audiences organically as a business on Facebook. Even your most engaged followers may miss posts on your business page, because they’re not given priority by the feed algorithm. One great way to really get your followers engaged is to invite them to a Facebook group related to your business.
However, simply creating the group won’t necessarily mean you’ll get engagement. How many Facebook groups are you a member of that are totally dormant? Here are 5 secrets to keeping your Facebook group dynamic and active.
1. Choose the topic, title, and privacy level of the group carefully
Let’s face it, the only people who are going to join a group that’s just about how great your business is are close friends and family who are trying to support you. If you want total strangers joining and becoming active, the group needs to contain content and discussions on topics that are important to people who don’t necessarily know you.
For example, a life coach can create a group for motivation and personal growth, encouraging members to share their struggles and help each other with solutions. A psychologist who specializes in children with special needs can create a support group for parents of children with special needs. A yoga instructor can create a group with a daily 5-minute yoga video, encouraging members to motivate each other to practice yoga every day.
The title of your group should reflect what it can offer members so people know what to expect when they join. If you want your group visible in searches, be sure to use searchable keywords in the title.
Another thing to consider is whether the group privacy level is appropriate for its content. Public groups will show up in searches and have wider reach, while private groups provide intimacy and a safer environment for private sharing.
If you already have a group and your engagement isn’t where you want it to be, consider polling your members about what they like and don’t like about the group. This will help you figure out how to cater better to their interests.
2. Institute a regular group thread
Posting regularly is a pretty universal rule when it comes to social media, and Facebook groups are no different.
With a Facebook group, though, you can take this a step further by instituting regular threads. For example, a support group might have a weekly check-in thread where you invite members to share how their week has been going. Providing a regular, reliable framework encourages a lot more of this type of sharing, and the more reluctant members are likely to step forward when everyone else is participating.
Some additional ideas:
- A weekly meme or joke thread
- A gratitude thread
- A Throwback Thursday thread
- A weekly “bragging” or celebration thread for sharing accomplishments and good news
- A random-photo-from-your-camera-roll thread
- An advertising thread where followers can post about their own businesses
- A weekly game thread
Pick one that suits the purpose and character of the group.
3. Ask questions and give prompts
Nothing gets a discussion going like a good question.
When asking questions, keep the following in mind:
- Open questions (as opposed to questions with simple “yes” or “no” answers) are more likely to inspire involved answers.
- For “yes” or “no” answers, consider posting a poll.
- People love to talk about themselves. Ask your followers about their opinions and personal experiences.
- Posting an image along with your question will boost the post in your followers’ feeds.
You can also prompt your members to share stories or thoughts on a certain subject.
4. Interact with your followers live
People respond a lot more directly to live broadcasts, because it’s almost like you’re standing right in front of them. Facebook Live has been popular for a while, and Facebook also recently added the “Watch Party” feature, where you can watch pre-recorded videos together with your audience and discuss them in real time. The algorithm prioritizes these posts and even notifies some of your followers about them, making them a lot more visible than non-live posts.
Speaking of real time, you may even want to consider the old-fashioned way of interacting live with your followers: in person! If a significant contingent of your followers is located nearby, consider organizing meetups and events where you can interact with them face-to-face.
Followers who have interacted with you live are more likely to feel invested in you and interested in staying engaged, even long after your broadcast is over.
5. Encourage your followers to adjust their follow and notification settings
This may seem embarrassingly simple, but not everyone is familiar with the way Facebook’s notifications and algorithms work. Consider reminding your followers that they can adjust their settings to receive notifications of new posts (all posts, posts from friends, or highlights only), and to ensure that the group shows up in their feed.
These settings are located at the top of your group page. Clicking “Joined” will open a menu that has an option to “Unfollow” or “Follow” the group. Clicking “Notifications” will allow you to select what notifications you’d like to receive from the group.
A gentle reminder will ensure that people interested in seeing the content and discussions on your group will actually see them!
- Evaluate the title, main discussion topic, and privacy level of your group, and consider adjusting them to suit your followers’ needs and interests.
- Institute group thread traditions, such as weekly check-ins or celebration threads, and stick to them!
- Broadcast yourself live via Facebook Live or a host a Watch Party.
- Organize an in-person meetup or event for followers in your area.
- Gently remind your followers to adjust their settings so they’re more likely to see posts and discussions on your group.