A little over a year ago, I created my first Facebook group, ClickThrough.
At the time, I’d just started building a community-based platform for digital marketers. Whilst in development, I decided to use the Facebook group as my MVP.
I planned to grow a community of passionate digital marketers, all willing to share as much value as possible with each other.
Communities are a valuable way to drive meaningful engagement.
With engagement rates decreasing across Facebook pages, and users seeking more private and meaningful interactions, groups have become ubiquitous over the last few years.
As their popularity increases, Facebook continues to add new features and functions to help foster communities.
Although a modest group, ClickThrough has allowed me to learn first-hand how to organically scale and engage a community.
A year after starting the initiative, I’d like to share some key insights from my experience with Facebook groups.
Before kickstarting a Facebook group, I’d recommend taking some time to develop a name that’s both relevant and discoverable.
Similar to a website, your group name will help improve indexing for relevant Facebook searches.
Your group name should include a summary of the topic content, as well as some pertinent keywords.
The initial stages of a group are by far the most stagnant. With no members, it’s difficult to provide users with a reason to join the community.
When starting a group, I’d recommend utilising your network to encourage early-adopters.
With a familiar community, these users are more inclined to share content and their thoughts.
I’d also recommend configuring the group to be a closed community.
This will gate content and provide an incentive for users to join.
It’s also important to moderate the quality of members joining your community.
By creating mandatory entry questions, it will help identify the most authentic users.
I’d recommend only asking some basic, non-personal questions at this early stage.
If your onboarding experience requires too many details, it can create a greater barrier to entry for new members.
When it comes to acquiring users, there’s a myriad of ways to scale your community.
You could use paid ads, community members as influencers, or even collaborate with other group admins.
I found the most effective measure of scale to be through my own network.
As my audience resides on LinkedIn, I’d distribute content on the platform, then refer members back to the Facebook group.
Each post from the ClickThrough LinkedIn page would include a CTA driving users to join the Facebook community.
After publishing a post on the ClickThrough LinkedIn page, I’d then engage with the post, or even share it directly to my network – adding my personal thoughts as additional value.
I’ve also found using other platforms like Quora, Twitter, and Product Hunt to be effective at driving users to the community.
Driving Community Engagement
After acquiring new members, it’s just as important to maintain engagement throughout the community.
One of the bigger challenges I experienced was driving engagement during the initial 100 members.
As a new community, members were hesitant to lead new conversations. They weren’t familiar with the community lexicons or content formats.
To help create a benchmark, I made sure to consistently publish content in the group each day.
Although this content had low engagement, it helped establish the style of posts users were encouraged to publish.
I also found it effective to ask questions within the community, allowing members to share their unique thoughts and experiences.
Tagging users in questions is also an effective way to drive these members directly to your post.
Another key feature within Facebook groups is the ability to create a post and tag new members who have recently joined the community.
This format of post will prompt members to give an introduction of themselves to the community.
As a group moderator, it’s important to continually add as much value as possible to your community, regardless of the size.
Although Facebook groups offer a variety of useful features, you should be aware that your group will have to abide by any relevant Facebook changes.
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I’m a twenty-three-year-old Digital Marketing & Conversions Specialist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for all things digital and tech, I aim to connect and learn from as many like-minded digital enthusiasts as possible. If you have a passion for emerging technologies and digital practices, I’d love to connect and hear your story.