Facebook groups can be a great resource, a place to build community and a way to provide information to a large group of people.
You are most likely in multiple Facebook groups and you know which ones are annoying and which ones are beneficial. Raise your hand if you turn off notifications! * all raise hands * EXACTLY!
If you haven’t read my bio, I work as a designer in a PR and marketing firm. Part of my job is known as “user experience”. I take a step back and find the best solution for the user. I step into their shoes, understand how they think and create a design, a website, etc. that works the best.
When I began hosting my own Facebook group, I went through the same steps. I asked questions like, “Why do I want to use a Facebook group?”, “Why would I choose mine over others?”, “What resources does Facebook provide that I can use for my group?” and “How can I make this run on its own?”
How did it turn out?
Keep it closed.
Don’t create an open group. It is important to know who you are inviting into your community. You don’t want spam accounts that post inappropriate videos. If you are hosting an essential oils Facebook group, make the first 10-15 people you let in also be admins. They will add their downline and it is less work for you. They can also help keep the group running for you.
Not 300. Not 100. Make about 5 easy to follow rules so that everyone knows what is allowed to happen in the group. Setting boundaries and giving guidelines, hopefully, limits the amount of unwanted posts. This is important and you’ll find out soon that there will be the “rule-followers” of the group that will help you screen posts. There is an option to approve posts before they are live, however, that creates another step in the process and we want this to run as smoothly and easy as possible.
Remember, you’ve already approved or disapproved who is in the group. You let them in because you want them there. Let it be up to them to decide what they post or don’t post.
People work really well with schedules. Some of the most successful groups I am a part of have scheduled call-to-action posts that invite members to ask certain questions, provide helpful information, etc. This also create engagement and get people talking, building your community.
For example, on Monday you may post “Today is share day. In the comments, provide one link to a social media account you are trying to build. Follow ALL others who comment”. Once people get used to this, they won’t post “HEY! Follow me new Pinterest board” randomly on a Friday. They will post on that Monday thread. They know it’s coming. This will limit the amount of unwanted wall posts that make people silence your group.
For my essential oils account, I post a scheduled question like this 2-3 times a week. One post is, “What is in your Essential Rewards order this month?”. Another post is, “New to the group? Introduce yourself!”
I literally schedule these posts using HootSuite. This is a social media scheduler tool that allows you to also schedule tweets. You can schedule Instagram posts too, but you have to approve them first. I use HootSuite to schedule my Facebook Group posts. You can see the whole day/week/month/year laid out. I have all of my Facebook group posts scheduled for the next 8 months. It took me an hour and now I don’t have to worry about it.
Posts that include a photo or graphic have more appeal to your users. People are more likely to stop and read the caption if there is something visual attached.
I understand that not everybody is a graphic designer but there are a lot of tools out there that can be helpful. I use Photoshop, but I have heard great things about Canva. You can also google images. My favorite free photos come from Pexels.com.
Use Albums & Documents.
The albums and documents features in Facebook groups can be great ways to organize and provide information. They are easily found in the tabs at the top of the group. Instead of scrolling through all the posts, your user can simply head over to the tabs and find exactly what they are looking for.
In my essential oils group, I have albums called “Start Here!”, “After the Starter Kit”, “Essential Rewards News”, “Stock Photos” and “Other Resources”. Each of these albums hold images that are helpful resources for my team. My “Start Here!” album has 15 graphics with details about each of the oils that come in the kit and other helpful tips with becoming a new member of the group. It is SO easy to message a new member and say, “Check out the ‘Start Here!’ album”. Older members know exactly where to find information on the Essential Rewards for the month.
Same with documents, if you have written content that is useful to your group, add them. All documents can be seen in one place.
You can automate a lot of what goes on inside a Facebook group but it also important to keep up and read comments just like any other social media platform. Having a presence and being a leader is crucial to having a successful Facebook group. Even if it is just liking a post by someone, you are showing that you are present and value other’s contributions.
Remember, Facebook groups can be extremely useful when done professionally. They can be intimidating but can be a huge part of keeping your business engaged. Let me know if you implement any of these tips! I’d love to hear how it turns out.
Thanks for reading!