How to build an engaged community in your Facebook Group
Having an engaged community can help strengthen your community members’ relationship with your brand. This brand equity can then influence their decisions on purchasing from you.
Besides branding, a community can contribute to many areas of your business such as customer support, acquisition, and product innovation, according to CMX Hub’s research.
Here are some tips you can use to build an engaged community in your Facebook group:
1. Engage with your members regularly
Initially, when the community is small, there might not be many posts from your community members. It can be helpful to seed some relevant, helpful conversations on a consistent basis; perhaps two to three times a week.
For example, David Spinks, Founder of CMX, welcomes and invites new members to introduce themselves every Monday. He also regularly initiates discussions on topics in the community-building space.
(CMX Hub Facebook Group is a great group to join if you are hoping to get help on community building. Facebook Group Admins Facebook Group is another great one.)
A thoughtful way to go about this is to plan your posts in advance; perhaps with a calendar (you can grab a template here). For example, you could welcome your new members every Monday, initiate a discussion on every Wednesday, and invite members to share their achievements on Friday.
Most importantly, I would recommend commenting on every post and answering every question in your Facebook group (at least initially). This helps to make sure your members feel heard and that they are getting value from the group.
This is a strategy that solopreneur, Daniel Di Piazza, used to grow his Rich20Something Facebook group to more than 17,000 members.
“I purposely create conversations all day on Facebook and I pretty much respond to everything. I do miss some for sure, but even if it’s something as small as an “awesome” or a ‘Like’ – That totally makes a huge difference,” he explained on our Science of Social Media podcast.
2. Use analytics to inform your strategy
Once activities in your Facebook Group pick up, you might want to know how your community-building strategy is performing and how to improve it.
Here’s some great news for you: Facebook is rolling out Group Insights (Facebook Group analytics) to Groups with more than 250 members.
Group Insights can be accessed by clicking on “Group Insights” on the left sidebar.
Here, you can find out insights such as how your Facebook Group is growing, when your members are most engaged, and who your most engaged members are.
Here are the metrics and insights you can get from Group Insights:
- Total members and members growth
- Membership requests
- Posts, comments, and reactions stats
- Active members stats
- Popular days and times
- Top posts
- Top contributors
- Age and gender breakdown
- Top countries and cities
Use these metrics and insights to inform your community-building strategy. For example, you could post on days and times when engagement is high, track active membership growth, and thank top contributors.
3. Host regular events
Hosting events is a great way to get community members involved (and maybe even attract inactive members back to the community).
In-personal meetups help to reinforce the connections made online, making the relationships more meaningful.
Here are some online and offline events you could host:
- AMAs (Ask-Me-Anything) with a community member or industry expert
- Q&As with someone from your company
- Talks and panel discussions
- Mastermind sessions or community discussions
- Casual get-to-know-each-other gatherings such as brunch, picnic, dinner, etc.
Once you have planned your event, create an event in your Facebook Group and invite members to attend.
To create an event, click on “Events” on the left sidebar and then “+ Create Event on the right”.
Fill out the basic information of your event to let your members know what the event is about and when it is happening. You can send an invitation to all your members (for groups smaller than 500 members) by selecting the option “Invite all members of (your group name)”.
After you have created the event, you can invite more friends by clicking on the “Invite” button.
If you would like to learn more about engaging your event attendees before, during, and after your events, here’s a guide on event marketing on social mediaby Eventbrite.
4. Form a group chat
(Update April 4, 2018: It seems that Facebook has removed this feature from Groups.)
Sometimes, you might want closer communications within your community. Posts in Facebook Groups are good for asynchronous discussions but less suitable for real-time, back-and-forth chats.
For example, you might want to discuss a particular post with the other admins and moderators. Or you want to let the group know you have reached your event’s meeting point.
You could form a group chat using Facebook Messenger for real-time, quick chats.
This is generally more appropriate when you have a small group (and intend to keep it small) than when you have hundreds to thousands of members. Alternatively, you could form a group chat just for the admins and moderators.
To create a group chat, click on the three-dots option below your cover photo, and then “Send Message”. Select the members for the group chat (or “Select All” to select every member) and click “Start Chat”.
5. Set guidelines and moderate discussions
Here are some of the things you can do to keep your Facebook Group conducive for your members:
Set up guidelines. You can either write them in your group description, create and pin a post, or create a Facebook document. You can include things such as the actions that are encouraged or should be avoided and the names of admins and moderators.
Edit your membership and posting settings. In your “Group Settings”, you can set permissions for new membership and posting. For example, you can set permissions such as if only an admin or a moderator can approve a new member and if all posts must be approved by an admin or moderator.
You can also learn more about new members by requiring them to fill up a short questionnaire before joining. You can ask up to three questions, and they’ll have up to 250 characters to answer each question.
Remove posts that violate the guidelines. You or your moderators can remove posts and comments on posts. I would recommend stating clearly in your guidelines the type of posts that are not allowed such as self-promotion and hateful posts.
You might want to consider removing and blocking repeat violators from your Facebook Group.
Share your Facebook Group with us!
And that’s it! Those are the things you can do to create a Facebook Group for your brand and build an engaged community.
We are excited for you to create your Facebook Group and would love for you to share in the comments section below a link to your Facebook Group and a brief description about your group.
Image credit: Unsplash, CMX Hub
Article originally posted at The Complete Guide to Facebook Groups: How to Create a Group, Build a Community and Increase Your Organic Reach by Alfred Lua