Congratulations! You’ve created your very own Facebook Group. Your community are slowly joining, but all you’re hearing are crickets. Sound familiar?
Don’t beat yourself up about it. It will take some time, but with a few tips listed below, your group will start to engage, share and become part of your thriving community.
1. Establish Rules or Guidelines
If you have created the Facebook Group and value your time, you will need to establish rules. Whether we like it or not, everything has rules, guidelines or terms and conditions of use – websites, libraries, government buildings, even Grandma’s house had rules. Why? Rules or guidelines:
- outline the purpose of your group,
- outlines how your members are expected to engage with your group – can they promote their products/services freely or only on specific days, can they direct message other members of the group or do they need to ask first?
- Makes it easier for you as an Admin to deal with members who don’t follow the guidelines
- Members can’t claim ignorance if your group guidelines are clearly outlined and pinned to the top of your group as well as saved as a file in the ‘Files’ section of the group.
2. Create Theme Days
Theme days are useful for starting conversations. Remember the sound of crickets? Well, you need to prompt your members to start conversing otherwise they won’t know what to say. You are the group owner, so take the lead and set the example by starting conversations with your community using theme days. Many groups I’ve managed and am currently part of do this extremely well. Brainstorm ideas that relate to the purpose of your group and of interest to your community. Some examples of theme days could be:
- Motivation Monday
- Tech or Tool Tip Tuesday
- Wednesday Winsday
- Throwback Thursday
- Blog Post Friday
You get the idea. You can create images for each of the theme days using Photoshop, Canva, PicMonkey or something similar, or you can just use them as hashtags at the start of each post eg: #motivationmonday. Whatever works. It’s your group, do what works for you and your community. Once you’ve created the post, continue to lead by contributing yourself. So if you have #techtuesday then be the first to comment and share your favourite tech tip or tool.
This doesn’t mean that all posts from you or your community only need to be about the specific themes, but this helps to get things going, and your community will start to interact more without your prompting.
3. Use Apps to schedule theme days
Let’s be honest, it’s going to take a lot of your time to manage your group. It is common practice to automate theme days in groups and more importantly, a wise use of your time. Check out the following apps to see which suits you and your business:
There are many more, but have a look at these to start with. Each app will allow you to create recurring posts so you don’t have to manually post to your group everyday.
If you can’t afford to pay for the apps mentioned above, set a reminder in your google calendar to prompt you to post to your group.
4. Provide good content
This is just as important in a Facebook Group as in your blog or Facebook Page. If you read an interesting article, share it with your community and ask their opinion on it, rather than just dropping the link with no other comment. If you find a new app that could benefit your community, ask them if they have tried it and what they think of it.
Communities now expect that if you create a group, you will be promoting your own content, programs, products or services, but don’t bombard them with it. Provide them your best content that will benefit them. If you don’t know what type of content they are most interested in, ask them. Your community will always let you know what they need help with, so listen to them and give them what they need.
5. Be consistent
Again, this is true with every aspect of your business. Your Facebook Group will be no different. Be consistent, show up every day, and support your community. This doesn’t mean you have to be chained to your group 24/7. But you will need to schedule some time every day to check in with your group and answer any questions. If you can spare an hour a day, schedule it out over the entire day. You could schedule 15 mins, 4 times a day to check in with your group.
Consistently supporting your community will show them you care, and they will be more willing to support you when needed. Groups that have consistently engaged admins/owners will thrive more than ones whose admins are hardly around or completely absent.
6. Engage, Engage, Engage
This is extremely important, especially at the start of your group. If someone asks a question, reply to them. If you don’t know the answer, let them know and offer suggestions where they can find the answer.
Reply to every comment, even if it’s just to thank them for leaving a comment in your group. Your community want to know you are listening so reply to everything.
Running a Facebook Group isn’t easy, and will take up a lot of your time. Set it up right and follow the tips above and you will be well on your way to running your very own successful Facebook Group.
Do you have your own Facebook Group? I would love to hear your experiences and if you have any other tips you have. Please let me know in the comments below.