How is your Facebook community management going? Does it need a little love? A little kick in the…
By the end of this post you will be a better Facebook group manager. And if you’re not, you can always hire us.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about creating and managing a successful Facebook Community.
Background For The Facebook Groups Manager
As marketers, we all know the importance of Facebook.
It has an undeniable reach (1.28 billion active users), and unlike some of the newer platforms (I’m looking at you, Instagram), it reaches across demographics. In fact, 71% of the adult online.
But to reap all its benefits, brands need to reach beyond a business page.
Which is where Facebook Groups come in. These groups can provide a number of benefits not typically seen on pages. Benefits such as:
- More engagement
On Facebook Business Pages, the conversation is often one-sided. The brand does the talking, and it can all too easily fall on deaf ears.
Groups, however, drive interaction. The keyword here is community.
We call groups Facebook Communities because they create the feeling of connectivity. While someone may be hesitant to post to the masses on a business page, they’re more likely to interact when they feel part of a group.
It also offers a more personal experience. You’re not just your business page, but the voice behind it.
- Build trust
A Facebook Community is based on private conversations – assuming you’re running a closed group. Only members post or see the conversations, which gives brands a valuable opportunity to get to know their group members, and vice versa.
If members don’t feel like they can trust you, they’ll be less likely to engage or comment. But by providing high value content, opinions, and posts to your group specifically, you’ll be able to build that trust much more quickly.
- Focus on your ideal clients
When you think about, a Facebook community is a win/win for everyone. You have the power to choose who to invite and who gets in, and only those truly interested in your product would want a part of it in the first place.
You’re exchanging time and attention in return for theirs. It’s a free platform to share ideas and collect feedback from those that matter the most to your brand.
- Social proof
By definition, social proof is “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
In layman’s terms, it means we mimic the behavior we people like or respect, or adopt the opinion of the masses.
It’s the principle that makes you think if everyone is doing it, maybe you should too.
So if people see your brand runs a popular Facebook Group with a big number of active members, they’ll unintentionally assign more authority to your business.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the picture: Facebook Groups are good for business.
How Facebook Groups Manager Can Build a Facebook Community
We’ve covered why you need a Facebook Community, now let’s take a look at how you build one.
The actual set up process is fairly straightforward, but before you begin you need a clear purpose for your group.
Naturally, this will be determined by what your product or service and your target audience.
To do so, you need to understand who the group is far (i.e. your target audience).
For example, if you’re a digital marketing consultant who works primarily with small startups, you’ll want your group to be dedicated to providing valuable tips about how to grow an online process, brand yourself, and create brand awareness.
Next, you’ll need a name. This does not need to be your business name; in fact, your community can live entirely outside your business.
Instead, it should address and describe the focus of the group. For example, you’ll see names like “The Badass Solopreneur Society.” Already, you have a good idea who the group is for and the kind of tone it’s trying to set.
Create Your Facebook Group
With those aspects decided, it’s time to create the group.
Naturally, it begins with logging into Facebook. From there, you’ll click on the down arrow on the far right of your screen and select “Create Group.”
A screen will pop up with asking you to name the group, invite a member, and specify your privacy settings. If nothing else, remember that you want to create a closed group.
Remember, we’re going for exclusivity and trust here. Not only will it feel more like a private community, but it will give users an added incentive to join so they can access your exclusive content.
You will also have to add a member at this stage, but don’t sweat it. Simply add one of your existing friends and keep going.
The next step is to select an icon for your group. If you’re undecided or don’t feel any are particularly relevant, Facebook will assign the generic group icon.
And that’s it for the set-up basics. But of course, you’ll want to customize it a bit.
Head over to your Group settings and click edit. There, you can add a cover photo that relates to what your group is about (remember, this can be updated as your group grows).
You’ll also want to add a clear Group description. This is what users will see when you group pops up, so make sure it’s relevant. Consider answering the following questions in the description:
- Who you are
- Who the group is for
- What the group is for
- Any rules or expectations
- Any weekly or daily events or discussions
Next, you’ll add up to five tags to help users find your group. These act as keywords on Facebook search, so if I search for “digital marketing” various groups dedicated to digital marketing will pop up.
Your finishing touches are to pick a group type (Facebook supplies a list of options here, but if none of them fit you can select “custom”), and add a location if you’re trying to attract members from a certain area.
Facebook Groups Manager: How to Grow Your Group
Once you’ve created the group, it’s time to get it off the ground.
There are a number of ways to build your community. Here, I’ll cover a few.
- Share your group on social media, your blog, your newsletter – everywhere
Put all of your accounts to work here. Promote your new group through pinned Tweets on Twitter, boosted Facebook posts and Instagram images.
Include a mention in your blog post and make an announcement in your email newsletters. Simply put: promote, promote, promote.
- Run ads on Facebook
This is one the easiest ways to promote your group to those specifically in your target audience.
To do this, you can use Facebook’s extremely detailed targeting. For example, you can choose to model your audience after a competitors. Just choose the brand or company who has a similar audience and target their followers.
Or, you can target audience based on their interests and hobbies.
- Invite your friends, and ask members to invite theirs
Inviting your own friends is the easiest place to start. But be careful here; you need to invite the right friends.
Don’t send an invite to your entire list; after all, it’s likely that close to half won’t be interested. Only invite those you feel will be a worthwhile addition to the group – anyone in the same industry or with the same interests.
If you happen to be friends with anyone influential in your industry, even better.
Then, as your number of loyal group members grows, ask them to invite any friends they think would find and provide value for the group.
- Run an event or giveaway
Events and giveaways are gold when it comes to boosting numbers and engagement.
Pick something of interest to your target audience, and turn it into some kind of contest or giveaway. Then, promote it using all the methods mentioned above.
Facebook Group Community Management: How to Manage a Community
At this point, you may think the work is over. But the thing is, it’s really just beginning.
Now that you’ve established your group, you have to turn it into a community by appropriately managing your members and discussions.
- Establish Guidelines for the Group
Your group isn’t a free-for-all, and that needs to be established right up front.
Let your members know exactly what kinds of conversations are expected and encouraged and which aren’t. Do this either in your description or a pinned post – you want everyone to see these before requesting to join.
But do it carefully. While creating an expectation of behavior is essential, you don’t want to do it in a manner that feels negative. So focus on guidelines, not hard and fast rules.
Here’s how Digital Marketer Engage did it:
They established what would and wouldn’t fly in a way that doesn’t seem intimidating or overly restrictive.
- Moderate the Group
Now that you’ve set the tone, you have to enforce it.
It’s your job to make sure that guidelines are adhered to and all conversations are group-appropriate. Because if you don’t establish some sort of control, you’re likely to lose it altogether.
Avoid that by doing the following:
- Check your page consistently – a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s easy to fall behind
- Delete any posts that break the rules – this could be an obviously inflammatory post or one that simply doesn’t apply to the group in a positive way. Whatever the case, you want to delete these as quickly as possible to protect the health of your group and its members
- Add additional admin members – it’s always good to have a little backup, and letting a few other team members in will allow them to help you moderate more efficiently
- Send private messages when needed – case in point: a deleted post. If you do delete someone’s post, it’s best to explain your reasoning through a direct message. This also applies to any in-group conflicts or sensitive issues that may be brought up in the conversation
- Removing members when needed – if you encounter a repeat offender, it may be time to remove them from the group. More on this later.
- Engage Consistently
Make sure you stay an active participant in your group. When your group is still small and a little light on posts, help it along by starting relevant conversations a few times a week.
As the group grows, make sure you’re engaging with members and offering helpful solutions and connections. For example, if someone asks a question that relates to a blog you’ve written, post it the comments.
Be familiar enough with your own products and content that you can point members in the right direction.
Facebook Groups Manager: What to Post
The trick here is to approach your group like you would your other marketing channels: provide content that’s relevant and valuable to your target audience.
The great thing about groups, though, is that it represents an opportunity to do it in a more personal way. Remember, your members are interacting with you, not your brand.
Also keep in mind that your intention is always to spark interest and conversation. Do so by incorporating some of these content types:
- Native content – don’t immediately start sending members to your blog or website; instead, create and curate content especially for the group. This will help you gain their trust, and be more receptive to any promotional content in the future
- Polls – polls are great for participation. Run a local bakery? Try a poll that asks for favorite sweets. Own a travel site? Ask people to vote for their favorite adventure destinations. Even better – ask them to leave a comment explaining why they voted the way they did
- Live Q&As or AMAs – Q&As and ask me anything (AMAs) tend to be fan favorites – especially in larger groups. These were particularly well if you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, so consider hosting one once a week to promote engagement. Remember, always come prepared with questions and prompts to get the ball rolling
- Facebook Live – live video events are an undeniable hit (in fact, 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook live). And now, you can broadcast directly to your group. This is an excellent way to host events, tutorials, or announce giveaway or challenge winners. It also gives you a chance to promote the event to your members – and encourage others to join the group for access to exclusive video content. Keep in mind, by default members will be able to post live videos as well. For added security, change the Facebook Group posting permissions so the admins can approve the video before it goes live in the group
- Host Events – these could be Q&As with industry experts, how-to’s, tutorials, webinars – anything relevant to your group. The point is to further the feeling of community by providing exclusive, members-only content. Once you’ve planned it, you can create the Event in Facebook and ask members to attend.
Facebook Groups Manager Post Examples
- Give your member’s direction
Freelance to Freedom is a group dedicated to freelancers and solopreneurs, designed to help them build a community and network, ask questions, and receive solid advice.
In the group description, the moderator assigns specific topics and promotions for specific days, ensuring the conversation and support will keep rolling.
- Ask for member participation
Not sure what you’re members want to hear? Ask ‘em!
They’ll like that you turned to the community for input, and you’ll like the influx of new ideas.
- Announce group events
Set membership goals for your group, and when you hit them, give something back to the group.
Take a look at how The Socialite Suite did it:
- Ask questions
Encourage your members to engage by asking them questions, like blogging.org did here:
Not only did he ask for answers, but gave himself a way to jump back in the conversation in a valuable way.
Facebook Group Community Management: Membership Requirements?
Just because someone requests to join your group doesn’t mean you should let them in.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you see that they already belong to dozens of groups with no common threads or topics, they probably won’t be adding a lot of value to yours.
It’s a good idea to outline your approval process with your other admins; or, use Facebook’s recently released questionnaire.
Using the form, you can require potential members to fill out specific questions before joining.
To access, go to the Members section, and then click Member Requests. You’ll find the option “Ask Pending Members Questions.”
You can ask several questions here, such as:
- How long have you been in the industry?
- Why do you want to join?
Keep them reasonably simple – members only get 250 characters to answer.
How to Deal With Conflict As A Facebook Groups Manager
It’s inevitable – at some point, every group admin will encounter a rule-breaker.
It’s important to address any issues quickly and directly – remember, your group is a reflection of you and your brand, so don’t be afraid to take action when needed.
I touched on this earlier, but the best way to deal with any inner-group conflict is through direct messages.
This includes any time you delete someone’s post. Always approach the issue openly. Be kind, but be clear.
For example, if someone’s trying to promote their own product, simply message and tell them it was removed because you do not allow self-promotion in the group. Ask if they have any questions, and thank them for understanding.
This also goes for any members who are arguing publicly in the group. Send them a chat outside of the group and ask that they resolve their issues there.
When to Boot Someone From the Group
If you encounter a repeat offender, it may be time to simply show them the door.
Bootable offenses include:
- Violating group guidelines (send them a message first, and if they don’t comply or violate again, tell them goodbye)
- Spamming the group
- Abuse towards other members
- Inflammatory or inappropriate posts
To remove them, find their name in the Members screen, click the settings wheel next to their name, and click Remove From Group.
Removing them allows them to rejoin your group later, and can be used as a punishment or suspension in some cases.
If you want to remove the member permanently, block them instead in the same settings area.
How to Keep Your Community Engaged As A Facebook Groups Manager
Remember, the key to keeping your members engaged is to provide valuable, thought-provoking content that can spur conversations.
One way to do it is to vary the types of content you offer. Remember to include images and videos in addition to your text posts.
Another way is to directly ask for feedback. Whether you run a poll or ask outright in your post, people are generally happy to share their opinions, and it will further the trust in your relationships by making members feel that you value their opinion.
Ask open-ended questions. Not yes or no questions, but ones that require a real answer. And like in the example above from blogging.org, offer ways you can help.
And of course, post and respond consistently. If your group is lagging, throw in a question or designate a topic to get the conversation back on track. Keep in mind, you’re in charge, and members will follow your lead. If they see you’re engaged, they’re likely to be more engaged as well.
How To Look At Group Insights As A Facebook Groups Manager
Once you’ve established your group and have some consistent activity, you’ll gain access to your Group Insights.
This is a recent addition available to groups with 250+ members which supplies metrics to group administrators, similar to those of a business page.
They can be accessed on the left sidebar, under “Group Insights.”
The metrics include:
This will display your total group number and how much your group has grown over time, as well how many memberships you’ve accepted and denied.
Using these, you can evaluate how quickly your group is growing. If it appears stagnant, you may want to consider putting more work into recruiting and promoting your group.
This is a big one: it shows you all the stats for posts, comments, and reactions, active members, the most popular days and times to post, and what your top posts are.
These will help you build a more sound strategy based on when your audience is most engaged and the types of content they react best to. If you find your engagement rate is lower than you’d like, you’ll know to put more effort into incorporating some of the content we talked about above.
These stats display your top contributors, as well as member demographics like age, gender, and location. With that information on hand, you can better decide on the content that’s most relevant.
Wrapping Up Facebook Groups Manager Tips For Today
Starting a group and growing your community adds undeniable value to your business.
It’s a great way to interact with your customers, generate new leads, and add a voice to your brand. Get started today!