You’ve done the hard yards, your business is up and running, you’ve got great clients who are raving about you, and now you’re ready to take it to the next level. It’s time to create my own Facebook Group. You’re in the right place. Read on to get your group up and running and looking fabulous before your members arrive.
Step 1: Identify the goal of your group
Ask yourself: What is the goal of my group? Is it for my existing clients? Is it for my existing clients AND anyone interested in my area of expertise (potential clients)? Is it for my staff?
This will determine the type of group you set up and the privacy settings you set.
In the group settings, Facebook offers 4 goals:
- Connect & Share
- Get Things Done
- Buy & Sell
- Collaborate with Co-Workers
Choose which of these goals best describes your group.
Step 2: Name your group
This is important (obviously). Really take your time to come up with a name that best describes your group. You can change the name of the group later, but this can confuse your members. Also, if your group grows to more than 5000 members, it becomes a long t process to change the settings. So try to get it right at the start. If you are setting up your group to support existing clients or customers who have purchased a program, the obvious choice would be to name it after your program.
After you name your group, you will be asked to add a member before you can create it. It is best to add someone who knows you and knows your business. Ideally this would be your VA, but if you are just starting out, I would suggest adding a family member such as your other half or Mum, after you have asked them of course!
Step 3: Set some privacy
How private do you need your group? Refer to Step 1 where you identified the goals of your group. Is anyone allowed to be part of your group or do you want to approve selected members eg. Customers and clients who have paid for your programs? Facebook offers 3 privacy settings:
Public – anyone can join, no restrictions. This type of group is harder to manage and often attracts spammers.
Closed – Essentially this is a private group. People can find your group by searching on Facebook, but they will need to request to join the group and you or your delegated Admin will have to approve them. Don’t be fooled by this being a closed group. People who are not in this group can see who is part of the group, so while the content is not visible to those not in the group, the members are visible. This group is easier to manage.
Secret – This is super private. These groups are not searchable on Facebook and members have to be added personally. Possibly only used for super-sensitive type businesses where you don’t want others knowing who is in the group.
For the more comprehensive version of group privacy settings check out Facebook’s definitions https://www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465?helpref=search
Step 4: Choose an icon that represents your group
Facebook have a variety of icons, choose the one that represents your group the best (if possible).
Step 5: Create a cover image for your group
If you don’t have the funds to get a graphic designer to create a professional cover image for you group, there are a number of alternatives such as Canva and PicMonkey, or for the more advanced – Photoshop. The dimensions for your image need to be 400 pixels wide by 150 pixels high. Refer to the goal of your group to determine the branding of your cover image. If the group is set up to support your program, it is best to keep the same branding and not confuse your members.
Step 6: Create a description of your group
This is where you can lay the groundwork of who your group is for, how members are to behave, and what they can expect from you. Will you have theme days? Include them in the description. Will you allow promotional posts from members? Let them know in the description. There is no character limit here, so get as detailed as you want.
There is also an option to include tags for your group, so add any keywords that identify your group to help if people are searching for groups about certain topics.
Step 7: Check your group settings
Once you’ve made it this far, you will be able to start posting in your group. But, before you do, please check your settings. You will be given a range of other settings to edit such as Group Type, Membership Approval, Posting permissions and you will also be able to customise your group web address. Go through these settings and make sure they are set according to your group goals. Save any changes.
Now you are ready to start posting in your group.
It’s always a good idea to create a welcome post and pin in to the top of your group. This allows new members to understand the purpose of the group. If you have established rules for your group, include these here.
To help you set up your group correctly, I have created a Facebook Groups Set Up Checklist for you to download. Simply download and check off the tasks as you do them.