Did you know that nearly 80% of small businesses market themselves on Facebook? But a much smaller percentage of businesses use Facebook groups specifically. It’s a huge opportunity! Whether you provide a service, you’re an online coach, or if you are an aspiring or an existing entrepreneur who is looking to build a true sense of tribe and community, a Facebook group is one of the most effective ways that you can gather a group of people together and build that true sense of community around your brand.
Here are the 5 golden rules for building an engaged and effective Facebook group that serves not only as a community for your movement but also as a customer funnel for you:
1. Give your group a clear purpose.
Just like in any other marketing capacity, people won’t take action if they don’t understand why they should be taking it. If the purpose of your group and the rules of engagement aren’t blatantly obvious, you’ll find members much more hesitant to dive in, engage, and contribute. Clearly explain in your group description what you do, who you are, and how you can help your people. And most importantly, make it clear why they should join that group.
2. Set up pre-qualifying questions.
You want to qualify your leads, just as if you are working with a client privately or in a mastermind capacity. We want to make sure that we are preventing people who shouldn’t be there from joining like spammers and fake accounts, More importantly, build in questions that help you gather important information about what your audience is most struggling with so you can respond to those needs in content and programming. Make sure your group is set to closed and people have to request to join. You do want people to be able to find it, but you want the ability to join to be a privilege.
3. Focus on growing community, not just numbers, and incentivizing engagement.
There are a lot of Facebook groups on the Internet, and the most successful groups are not just marketing dumping grounds but actual communities where members cultivate real relationships. To create a group with this energy, it’s imperative that you, as the leader, infuse your unique energy, your zone of genius, or your flavor inside of it. You need to do whatever you can to give your group something they can’t find anywhere else. This is important because people, as Maya Angelo once said, won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. Build a genuine community that lets your people feel welcome, celebrated, and like they belong. Focus on building genuine relationships first and sales will always follow.
4. Engage with your group.
This should be a no-brainer, right? We create this group. We put stuff out there and we think, well, everyone’s supposed to line up and think this is the best thing ever. They will just join and be super active. Wrong. You need to engage with your group on a consistent daily basis. People are watching you. You are setting the tone by the way that you engage, the way that you show up and the way that you build relationships. It’s essential that you’re consistent with engagement and that you give your group time to actually grow and develop. It can take months, but eventually, people will start engaging more, inviting their friends and word will spread.
5. Be patient and consistent.
I know I touched on this a little bit in that last point, but it does not happen overnight. I see you way too many extraordinary groups fizzle out because the owner of the group, the founder of the group gets discouraged, gets this heart and thinks this isn’t happening fast enough. Building a successful community online is just like building a financially sustainable business in that you need to be willing to be patient. You need to be willing to grow it. You need to be willing to look at where you can optimize and improve the group.
Remember, in order to be successful, the group doesn’t have to be huge, just engaged. And over time, as it builds, it will become even more valuable. If you are looking to build a Facebook community, there are no real shortcuts. Follow these golden rules, be authentic, patient, and engage with your Facebook group regularly and you will be on your way to building a priceless marketing tool that will allow you to directly reach your customers.
About the author
Cait Scudder is a TEDx speaker, host of the Born to Rise Podcast, and CEO of a 7-figure company—and she’s on a mission to reach and empower ten million driven, bold-hearted women so they can uncover their zone of genius and use it to create profitable, purpose-driven businesses that change the world. You can follow her on Instagram @caitscudder.