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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Facebook groups are some of the most beautiful communities. Nearly 1.5 billion people are using them every month. They’re also a great space to build brand awareness, share exclusive offers and events, and create lasting relationships with your audience. The best part is how simple they are to grow and monetize.
A few housekeeping items before we discuss the growth strategies that I used to grow my group to 4,000 members. If you plan to monetize your group, make it private. This allows you to capture emails of new members to continue the conversation on other platforms and learn more about them so you can engage in more meaningful ways.
You’ll also want to give it a clear, descriptive name. My group follows the naming convention [adjective] [adjective] [noun], but other successful groups have used name formats such as:
- [adjective] [noun] [verb]
- [noun] [action] [desired transformation]
- [action] [adjective] [noun]
Once you name your group, it’s important to complete your description, create some group rules, write a welcome post that sets expectations and encourages engagement, and design some weekly recurring posts to ensure there is always content shared in the group so the algorithm doesn’t forget about it — and neither do your group members!
In the beginning, set aside at least one hour per week to invite new members in and share the group, testing different messaging. Set aside another hour each week for posting and engagement. Once you grow, your time commitment to the group will significantly decrease, and the group will become self-sustaining, especially if you use software to automate your weekly recurring posts.
Now that your group is officially up and running, your next step is to launch it!
Choose a compelling reason to join
When I launched my group, I chose to offer free marketing trainings for entrepreneurs. I would search for posts in other Facebook groups where I could share the trainings for free, guest speak on podcasts, create posts about the training topic to generate awareness and excitement, and invite anyone I met who struggled with the training topic.
Your compelling reason may be to create a safe space for like-minded people to connect, or you may choose to host giveaways, competitions or events. The more exclusive to the group the reason is, the more likely people will be to join and stay.
Tell everyone you know (and don’t know yet)
What you focus on, you attract. If you’re mentioning your Facebook group everywhere from email to your website, blog, groups, social media and beyond, there are bound to be people who desire to join. Make your group an intentional part of your funnel, not an afterthought.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Add the group to your email signature.
- Speak at a summit and share the group.
- Share the group in other Facebook groups.
- Host a free or paid workshop in the group.
- Swap socials with a friend to promote the group.
These are just a small collection of actions you can take to share your group. Get creative with this process and always do more of what’s working instead of reinventing the wheel! The more you share it, the more members you’ll get. Also, Facebook takes note of fast-growing groups, so after you hit about 1,000 members, your group will begin to grow based on your actions and Facebook recommending it to members you may have never met!
Evaluate and ask members for feedback
If you truly desire members to join, stay and help you grow the group, make it a space they love to visit. The more they engage, the better. By evaluating your activities in the group, like which posts get the highest engagement, the better you can make the group. I like to set aside time every week to evaluate my actions and results. It doesn’t take much time, and practice will only cut down how much time it takes.
Once your group grows to a certain size, invite some of your most engaged members to be moderators to deepen those connections and reduce your personal workload. This is especially helpful when it comes to post approvals — which, in my opinion, should always be on to protect the quality of the group.
Where are you in the process of growing a Facebook group? Are you gathering ideas for a group, in the midst of creating your group or already in the growth phase? Based on where you are, go back through the article and decide to take one of the actions mentioned within the next 48 hours. Clock’s ticking — and have fun!