Quick show of hands, how many of you are in a Facebook Group? I saw those hands. They were all over the place. I admit I’m in one. . . . or two. . . maybe three. . . possibly more.
Some of mine include dirt track racing, copywriting, freelance writing, WordPress, marketing, SEO, local groups, and one family group.
With so many of the world on Facebook, it can be pretty easy to build a tribe, a community, on the platform using their group’s feature. Here, we dive into using Facebook Groups for WordPress business.
Caveat: closed or public?
The first thing you should address is if you want your Facebook group to be closed or public. Closed means that an administrator approves requests to be in the group and that only members of the group see the posts. Additionally, you can make your closed group secret. Secret closed groups are not included in searches
A public group means that anyone can join and that discussions are publically available.
More Info >>> How to set up a Facebook Group
Ivica Delic, who runs the MainWP Users Facebook Group, runs 22 total groups. His advice?
Find a hell of a good & reliable co-admins/moderators to help you out in admining or you will be drained out very soon
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Adding new members
Adding new members to a closed group is not as hard as it may seem. One of the reasons you may have a closed Facebook group is to build your own community. Even though your group is closed, as long as you don’t make it “secret,” people can still find your group in the searches.
What will your flow be? Some people will make the Facebook group be at the bottom of the funnel. For example, after you are on an email list or join an online course.
One my favorite examples is the Unstoppable Basecamp group by Erin Flynn. Erin has this group for those WordPress designers who have registered for her courses.
Can you use a Facebook Group for website design clients? I think you can. Your group will need be designed for your target audience. This may work, for example, if you are website designer for a group of Doulas. In this case, you would create a Facebook Group for online marketing for Doulas. If you have a defined target audience, it will really help.
If your target audience is more geographic, you can build a Facebook Group for that as well.
Make sure you pre-qualify those that join. Lee Jackson, who runs WP Innovator, told me,
My take is control who enters carefully with prequalification. Also don’t feel like you need to respond to everything. Setup an expectation that it’s a community so we all pitch in to help where we can. The community owner is not the one person to be harassed.
He adds about the prequalification questions,
The pre questions are very basic but if someone can be bothered to answer then it’s very likely they will contribute or not be a spammer.
Five ways to add members
Invite those you know and who may already be your customers. You can directly invite people to join your Facebook Group.
2. Through your website
If you aren’t reserving group membership for those who join a course or some other kind of service, you can advertise your group on your website.
3. Through your email list
Inviting people through your email list is a very logical step. In fact, if you segment your list, you can invite those who are in the most active segment to join.
4. Through mutual connections
Mutual connections and others can really help move engagement. Recently, Kim Doyal put out a request for more members. As a result, several new people joined her group Content Creators.
5. Through Search
People often search for groups to join. Some will find you through search.
Leave a welcome mat – sets expectations and welcomes
It is good practice to set expectations when people join your group. In email copywriting, it is called an onboarding sequence, and we have talked about onboarding your clients here on this blog. This is the same philosophy.
Writing at Blogging Wizard, Daniela Uslan says,
When it comes to setting expectations, be deliberate. I’ve found that adults in Facebook groups are worse than 3rd graders with pushing boundaries. They will misuse the group as much as you let them.
If you don’t want promotions, put that in the group description. If you want people to share freely, let them know. Be as clear as you can in defining what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.
Also, create a pinned post where you welcome new members and invite them to introduce themselves.
Most people who run a business centered group like to limit promotions from other people. You really have to, because people will take advantage. It is your choice to ban people once they have broken one of your rules. You can decide how many chances you give. I have seen group administrators ban people on the first offense.
Even a more hobby-based Facebook Group doesn’t want endless self-promotions.
Uslan talks about leaving a pinned post at the beginning setting expectations. Most administrators make this a regular practice, and some will even upload documents of resources.
One of the best examples of resources in a Facebook Group is the one that Ivica Delica has on his WordPress Speed Up Group.
All of the groups in which I participate will invite new members to introduce themselves. Kim Doyal is one of the best I have seen for inviting introductions in her Content Creators group.
Get them on your email list
How do you get people in your Facebook Group on your email list? It can be a little tricky really. After all, they can join your group without joining your email list.
A couple of things you can do are request or entice people to sign up straight from your group. You might give a specific opt-in gift just for FB Group members and explain they are complete “all in” in your tribe. Uslan recommends a landing page to tell them they need to sign up for the email list to be a full member.
Another option she mentions is to do a webinar where you gather emails,
Another way to get group members to join your email list, and to demonstrate your expertise, is to give them a chance to sign up to attend a live webinar. By offering webinars once a month or so, you’ll collect many email addresses of people who neglected to officially join.
It is a good idea to have regular engagement with your group. This is important. You can ask open-ended questions such as the ones that Jorden Roper does in her group for freelance writers, or Facebook Live videos, post object lessons, and case studies.
When I asked the CopyMonk, Danavir Sarria his tips, he told me,
Be there every single day, focus on engagement, respond to every single person. And use the analytics tool to find out what’s working best.
Recruit power users
A Facebook Group can fall flat if you don’t have help with engagement. I think one of the best things you can do is to recruit power users. These are people who will engage no matter what. They are more than your ambassadors, they help keep the conversation moving. They would be the ones you might choose as administrators if you didn’t already have an administrator.
You need power users, not power rangers — via GIPHY
Make sure your power users are those that are familiar with the space you are supporting.
Allow sharing at appropriate times
While you may not want endless self-promotion from users, it is good to let people share wins, and in doing so, they will share their content.
People want to share their wins and allowing them to so will help them be more active. Also, encourage them to share other people’s content for the benefit of the group and support each other.
Sell your products and services
Selling your products and services can be tricky. While it is your group and you are the owner, no one wants hard selling all the time. Treat like an intimate email list.
What are Facebook Groups you a part? I am part of several with several different topics. Some are business related. I like that it has become the de facto water cooler for those of us remote workers.
Let us know your favorite business Facebook Group in the comments. I have a few myself.