How to Grow Your Facebook Group
I want to show you how to grow your Facebook group.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that social media is rented space. It’s true. If Facebook decides to shut down groups, you’ll likely lose your group, and there isn’t much you can do.
So, starting an online community that you host yourself might be a better route if you worry about the future of social media groups.
However, Facebook has invested a lot of money into its groups feature. It is one of the most popular features on Facebook. It is unlikely that groups are going away in the future. If you don’t have money to spend on your own platform, Facebook Groups is a good free alternative.
I have a Facebook Group. It recently hit 30.5K members. That’s right, over 30,000 members strong. Real members, too. I don’t allow fake accounts and spammers to join. I’m very thorough about who can and can’t join.
But I’ve done many different things and tactics to get 30K+ members, and in this article, I want to share with you what I’ve done and help you grow your Facebook Group.
Choose a Niche to Grow Your Facebook Group
Without a niche, it won’t be easy to grow your Facebook Group.
You need to choose a niche so that you can have a direction. With a niche, you have an idea of what kind of content to publish. It gives you an easier opportunity to create a strategy for your group.
A niche is a topic or industry that you focus on. It should be something you have a deep interest in, such as a passion or a hobby.
If you choose a niche based on trends or popularity, but you know nothing about it, expect it to be very difficult to grow your Facebook Group.
I went Locally Focused
The best thing for you to do is niche down. What do I mean by niching down?
I mean, you choose a specific topic you want your group to cover. For me, it was hiking and outdoor recreation. Then, you get more specific as much as you possibly can so that you can really target an audience.
I went from “general hiking and outdoor recreation” to “Southern Illinois hiking and outdoor recreation.” I niched down to a specific local target market. Choosing a local market works if your end goal is to target the local market.
There was already a large group focusing on the market I was geared towards. However, they used specific wording that made it focus entirely on the National Forest in the area.
My group uses “Southern Illinois,” which can be referred to focus on the National Forest, Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, and other natural areas not specific to any designated public land. My group name includes all nature in the area.
If you can find a way to tighten your niche up more, you’ll be able to market your group better.
Post the Best Content Possible
In order to grow your Facebook Group, you’re going to have to have a big focus on content.
People are looking for value and resources. Simple posts are often not enough to get new members and engagement going in your group. There are way too many groups on Facebook that are like that. You won’t be able to compete with all of them.
Instead, you need to focus on delivering content that creates value for those who consume it.
Your content should tell stories, problem-solve, and answer some of the toughest questions around the topics within your niche. If consumers can leave with new knowledge, you’ll have succeeded, and you’ll be able to grow your group to significance.
Content is only king when value and usefulness are infused into it.
Content should be Engaging and Frequent
The best way to grow your Facebook group is to frequently post engaging content.
You need to be able to retain members and make people want to engage with your content. Your group needs to be set to public so that non-members can see the content inside of it. It needs to resonate with guests so that they join the be a part of it.
Post frequently – post every day if you’re able to. Post multiple times a day. The goal is to publish fresh content every day, multiple times a day so that members and potential members have something new to visit and see.
But your content must be of a quality form that is engaging. Engagement means that the content will get members to talk about it.
Posting content that includes questions or topics that will encourage a conversation is a good way to engage your Facebook group.
Take advantage of automation, too! I have it set to post questions about what members did outdoors during the weekend every Monday. I also have one post that asks them about their weekend outdoor plans every Friday. Both posts typically get hundreds of engagements on them. People look forward to posting on them.
If you engage with your audience on a frequent basis, you’ll always give them something to talk about so that you can continue to grow your Facebook group.
Promote Your Group Daily
In order to grow your Facebook Group, you need to promote it as much as you can.
If not daily, try to promote your group a few times a week.
There are many methods for marketing your Facebook Group. Some are free, and some cost money. You can use free ones if you can’t afford the paid ones. But if you can use paid options, they tend to be better.
Just try not to promote in unethical ways such as spamming; if you spam, you risk losing your group, as Facebook will likely shut your group down if you’re found in violation of their policies against spam.
The only way people will know about your Facebook Group is if you tell them about it.
Invite Everyone and Ask for Invites!
When you first start your group, invite anyone and everyone that you think would enjoy it on your friends list.
You should also be asking for others to invite their friends.
Other groups on Facebook might allow you to post inviting their members to your group, even groups that are competitors. You might have to advertise their group on your group in return. Make sure you ask permission from group admins before doing this.
Each time a new member joins your group, send them a direct message thanking them for joining. Ask them how they are and what they think about the group. Start a relationship with them. Then, ask them if they would consider inviting some of their friends to the group.
Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to grow your Facebook group.
Start Building Backlinks
When it comes to Facebook groups, much like any online community, SEO is a difficult task.
This is because most of your content is user-generated. Your group members aren’t going to understand how to create content with SEO in mind. And you don’t want to try to enforce that because it will likely scare most people away.
So, what do you do?
Backlink building! Backlinks are created when other websites link to your group. If the website is related to your niche and has a good history, Google and other search engines will see it as an endorsement to visit your group. This is a big SEO strategy for search engines and has been for a long time.
Building backlinks is a lot easier than trying to ensure all content meets SEO standards.
Ask for Local News Stories and Cross-Promote
My best methods of getting more members in my group have been through news and cross-promotion tactics.
For the news – it’s simple. Contact your local news station and tell them about your group. It’s best to contact them on Facebook. Ask if they could potentially feature a story about your group and your efforts to grow it. The worst that can happen is that they say no or nothing at all.
My group was featured on the local news (television and social media) on National Get Outdoors Day. It helped bring in quite a few new members.
For cross-promotion, this is effective if you have other related groups, pages, and external sources. I have a Facebook page that features my videos about local hiking. I can advertise my group on that page and get quite a few new members. I also have other outdoor-related groups that I can cross-promote with. And I have a website and blog that I can use to promote the group.
Focus on backlink sources that actually get a lot of attention to get the best results.
Utilize Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are a good option to use to grow your Facebook Group.
For the most part, you shouldn’t invest a large budget into advertising unless you have an objective to earn more in profit from what you’re advertising versus the amount you’ve paid in advertising costs.
But if you want to pay to gain attention and membership to your group, Facebook ads might be the best way to go.
Your audience is already on Facebook, and they’ll most likely know how Facebook works. Facebook also loves when people stay on their platform, so theoretically speaking, you’ll probably get more views than most because your objective is to get people on your group, which keeps people on Facebook.
If you use the ad feature the right way, it can be a great tool for getting more views and potential members of your group.
Invest $20 to $100 into Ads for a Month
One way to grow your Facebook group is through purchasing ads on Facebook.
I’ve applied two different methods of budgeting for ads on Facebook. I use a very low-budget budget solution-spending, $20 a month here and there. I then spent $20 every month and got better results. I tried spending $100 here and there, and when I did it monthly, I got even better results.
The trick to using Facebook ads for your group is to use them on a consistent basis.
Not everyone wants to fork out $100 each month on ads for a group, especially if you’re not making more than that as a return. In most cases, you’re not making any of it back.
You’re simply paying for membership.
But you should have some kind of consistent monthly budget. It should be a budget that rises instead of falls. Increase over decrease when it comes to spending money on ads.
$100 a month will give you very good results in most advertising campaigns. However, $20 a month can also work wonders if you consistently budget for it.
When it comes to using ads for your group, you’ll get what you pay for.
Run Some Contests
Contests are a great way to grow your Facebook Group.
Especially if you create contests that are easy to enter and win with, for the most part, a giveaway is going to be your best bet.
Don’t create a contest that’s going to take too much effort. It scares people away. Your goal is to get quick attention and membership. So, you need to make the giveaway as simple and as quickly as possible.
Give something away that’s related to your niche, and that is nice. This way, you’re targeting your audience and avatar of the type of member you want in your group.
Run these giveaways often if you can. It will usually make people engage more and visit often to see what’s new.
Make It Easy to Win and Grow
Your contest should be very easy to enter and win, but it should have a goal to help you grow your Facebook Group.
Too many group owners fail at utilizing this very powerful marketing tool because they aim to make the contest more challenging in order to make it fun. The problem is that a challenging contest isn’t all that fun when people have a lot of things to do.
So, you need to create a contest that’s easy for people to participate in while still aiming to give you growth.
There are many types of contests you can do on Facebook that are easy for participants but great for membership growth potential. Some of these include:
- Photo contest
- Fill in the blank contest
- Photo Caption contest
- Selfie Content
- Poll Voting Contest
- And others (use your imagination)
Facebook does frown when you create certain rules for contest participants. This includes requiring content to be liked and shared and page following. You can definitely require a participant to be a member of your group, though. However, the goal should be to increase membership and engagement rather than vanity metrics like likes and invitations.
Consider running a contest to help grow your Facebook group at least on a quarterly basis or more.
Membership growth isn’t the only important factor of your Facebook Group.
Engagement is also important. You could have 10,000 members, and it be an inactive group because no one knows what to say. However, if you had 1,000 members and 800 of them posted on a daily basis, that group would be better than the one with 10K members.
Engagement is way more important than group membership amount. Without engagement and activity, you really don’t have an online community.
It’s important to focus as much effort on building an engaging group as it goes hand in hand with your membership marketing strategy.
Welcome New Members and Post Often
You can create a highly engaging Facebook group using two methods: Welcoming New Members and Posting as often as possible.
When a new member joins your group – welcome them to the group with their own post. Invite them to tell everyone about themselves and their relationship with the niche of your group. Do this for each individual member with their own post while your community is small. However, once it grows larger, it will become apparent that you’ll have to mass welcome recent new members. Luckily for you, at the time, at least, Facebook provides such an option.
Another way you can grow your Facebook group with engagement is to be the one who posts the most. Most of the time, your members are too shy to post new content, or they don’t know what kind of content you want posted. You can help them by posting often. Post the kind of content you’d like to see on the group. Just make sure you include engagement triggers such as questions and shareable content.
The more often you welcome new members and post engaging content, the more often your group members will be active in your group.
My group has over 30,000 members. Drama almost never occurs in the group. How do I prevent drama in a group with 30,000 members?
By enforcing my rules!
Creating rules and enforcing them is an essential effort in your ability to grow your Facebook group. We call this moderation, and it’s a tool for reason. Without it, your group could result in complete and utter chaos.
Unmoderated groups often result in cliques and toxic environments. Most people don’t want to be around those types of environments these days. If you don’t mitigate that kind of behavior in time, you’ll end up losing most of your ability to stop it in the future.
It’s important to grow your Facebook group with moderation in mind.
Create a Fair Set of Guidelines and Enforce Them
Your first step to ensuring proper moderation on your Facebook group is to create a fair set of guidelines. Your second step is to enforce your guidelines.
If you don’t make any rules for your group, you can expect a negative outcome. Facebook might even enforce rules that you haven’t been enforcing. Too much of that and Facebook will automatically close your group down and prevent you from being able to get it back.
So, play it safe and smart by creating group guidelines for your members to follow.
Your guidelines should be fair to all types of people. They should include the normal stuff like prohibiting abuse, harassment, spam, illegal activity, and behaviors that most online communities prohibit. You should add any special guidelines that might apply to your niche. For example, in my group, I’ve made it against the guidelines to harass public land management officials because my group’s mission is to support those agencies.
It’s important to create guidelines based on the goals and objectives of what you want your group to become.
After that, you simply focus on enforcing your guidelines. It’s important to investigate violations to make sure that violations actually happened rather than honest mistakes. But you should always enforce the guidelines the same for everyone, including active members. Sometimes, simple comment closures and warnings are good enough, but sometimes, you have to issue suspensions and even permanent bans.
If you create a set of guidelines, make sure you actually enforce them for everyone, including you.
And that’s my strategy on how you can grow your Facebook group to 30,000+ members. You have to be patient, of course, but it’s quite possible to do it. It helps if you dedicate a lot of time and effort to making the group active and popular.
If you find this post to be helpful, please share it with your friends and leave a comment. Consider following me on social media, at X, and LinkedIn for more tips and resources. My main niche is blogging, and if you’re a blogger or an aspiring blogger, consider joining my online community, Blogging Collective, which is free for everyone who wants to talk blogging.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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