This post was written by guest author Melissa Beyers, founder of the Facebook group Mompreneurs Find Your Groove.
Most of the things that I consider important to running a successful Facebook group I have learned through experience.
When I first decided to run a group I was a newbie and in the beginning I very actively had to promote my group in order to get a constant influx of members.
But over time my group has grown and now every day I get many requests to join my group with no effort at all.
It does come in time but you need to know some of the important tips for running a Facebook group that will get you off to a head start from the rest!
So just for you I have written down my 15 best tips that will put you well on your way to having a successful Facebook group!
1. Understand Your Goals For The Group
What are your reasons for starting a group? Are you doing it because of your strong sense of community? Is it because you like networking and connecting with new people?
Do you want to help and/or offer assistance and support to other people in some way? Is it to promote your business?
Clearly there can be many different reasons for starting a group.
Personally I wanted my group to be a place that would offer help and assistance to parents trying to work from home.
I wanted it to be a place where they could start making an income from home and also connect with other like-minded individuals.
2. Decide on Your Group Type (Open, Closed, or Secret)
Well I’m sure you can figure out that if your group is open anyone can find the group and see the posts.
If it is closed anyone can find the group but only members can see the posts.
Then there’s the top secret kind of group where only members can find the group and see the posts and with that kind of group you would have to be specifically invited to even see it.
I chose my group to be closed because I wanted to create a tight-knit community where I didn’t want non-member ‘lurkers’ just hanging around reading all the posts but not contributing to the group discussions.
It’s a matter of personal choice really what level of privacy you want you and your members to have.
For the most growth potential go with an open group, just be prepared for the plenty of spammers who will join just to post unrelated promotions.
3. Choose a Group Name That Stands Out
If you want your group to stand out choose a group name that is catchy and draws people’s interest.
If there are a lot of groups that have a similar theme or topic as yours then you will need to have something that makes yours stand out from all the rest!
Since my group centers around moms, parents and entrepreneurship I chose “Mompreneurs Find Your Groove” in order to catch people’s attention enough so they will want to join!
Garin Kilpatrick, founder of fbPower and this blog, calls his private group the “Facebook Marketing Mastermind.”
What you decide to call your group is up to you but I recommend getting some brainstorming in so you can come up with something memorable/
4. Have Group Guidelines
If you don’t have rules or guidelines you will have very little control over your group and it can turn into a free for all.
You need to write up these rules and guidelines and place them somewhere where they will be seen such as in a document in the Files section or right under the group description.
When new group members come in emphasize the importance of them reading this information so they will have a great experience in the group.
Some groups are very strict on rules and they need to have a lot of admins to basically police what is going on in the group.
5. Be Open to Input
You start off having a clear idea as to the purpose of your group and how it should be run but what do you do if things don’t go exactly as planned?
If you think some fine tuning must be done to your group or you just think that you need some new, fresh ideas then then simply ask your group members what they would like to see in the group.
For my group I found there were too many self-promotional posts and not enough networking. Make your rules clear and kick out those who violate them.
You are the admin of the group so in the end the decision is yours but there is nothing wrong with hearing what your group members have to say.
6. Welcome New Members Into The Group
You want to make people feel at home in the community that your group has formed so when they join you can post a brief welcome for each member.
Most people really appreciate this and will thank you for it!
After you approve people into your group where the number of group members is listed click on the number of new members on the right side of the screen at the top and a drop down menu will open with a space to write in a comment to welcome the person.
Once you do this for each person and hit enter that welcome will become a post in the group!
7. Have New Members Introduce Themselves
It’s great for networking when new members join to ask them to post a little introduction about themselves in the comments section of their welcome post.
I think this is a great way for everyone to get to know new members and when new members do this I make it a point of thanking them for taking the time to introduce themselves. Also, if you have a few admins ask if some of the other admins can say a little hello or welcome in these posts as well!
8. Share Resources With Group Members
Give your group members value and a reason to come to your group, and keep coming back!
If you have things that you want to share with your group members that you think will be helpful to them then upload these things to the Files section of your page so all of your group members will have access to them.
These could be articles, pdf’s, cheat sheets, training, videos and much more.
In the banner for my group I have in the image an arrow pointing down to the Files tab where it tells people to “Click Files for great info!” as I think this is something that everyone will notice if it is right in the banner for the group.
Try to add new things regularly which will keep people coming back to your group often!
Perhaps you even want to consider allowing some of your group members to add things to the Files section if they have something of value to share.
I think your group members would be happy for the opportunity to do this if this is something that you choose to do.
9. Publicize and Get Your Group Seen
Find other groups that have a related niche or topic and post links for your group in those groups to help get your group seen.
Also using tags for your group will also help people to find you and will send more people your way wanting to join.
Tags for your group are entered under the group settings and you can enter a maximum of 3 tags.
It’s sort of like keywords where they serve to identify your group and the categories it falls under.
For my group for example I have the tags network marketing, internet marketing, and work from home.
10. Network, Network, Network
Find people in related groups that you think might be interested in yours and strike up a conversation!
When you network with new people simply tell them about your group.
Don’t just send them the link but if it comes up in discussion mention it and see if they would be interested in joining.
Do NOT just add people to your group without their permission!
Most people find this annoying and even possibly rude according to Facebook etiquette (if there is such a thing) which is another topic in itself!
11. Write Posts That Encourage Engagement
Write posts where you ask open-ended questions that will encourage people to participate or ask people’s opinions on a topic or discussion.
Better yet, ask them something that will reflect on their own lives as people are more likely to participate when they can relate to the topic based on their own personal experiences.
Make sure you participate yourself and encourage members to comment on each other’s posts to keep the discussions going!
12. Use Visual Content Marketing
Adding a nice photo in with your posts makes others more likely to notice the post and participate than when a post is straight text and boring.
After I think of an idea for a post I then search for an image that portrays the idea of my post and what point(s) I want to get across.
You can also use photos to post subtle reminders about group policies for the people that may not have read the rules as you need to get the message across somehow.
There will always be a few regulars that comment frequently on your posts but try your best to encourage others.
13. Give Your Group a Variety of Topics
Try to get fresh, new ideas for your posts each and every day!
I myself draw inspiration for posts from motivational quotes and find these often give me great ideas for posts in the area of entrepreneurship and network marketing.
I am sure you can find something similar for you own niche … a source of inspiration that gets your creativity going allowing you to write things on various topics.
14. Allow Group Members to Share Their Content Multiple Ways
Add posts into the group regularly on different topics that allow group members to share things such as their blog posts, fan pages, videos and much more.
This is another way group members can participate in the group and it brings variety to the group for everyone to see posts on these different topics and on what everyone has to offer.
An example of this would be “Facebook Page Friday” where group members can share a link and talk a bit about their Facebook page.
15. Make Good Use of Your Pinned Post
You only get one pinned post so it’s very important what you choose to put there.
A lot of people will put their group rules or guidelines in the pinned post and that is a great place for them.
I chose to put my group rules and guidelines under the group description so that I could put the pinned post to another use.
I use it for a daily networking post and since I am highly promoting networking I want this post right at the top each and every day so people can find it easily.
In an idea world we could have 2 or 3 pinned posts but unfortunately that is not the case!
If you want other posts to stay near the top you simply have to encourage people to comment on them which will bring that post to the top each time.
So as you can see there are a lot of things to consider when running a successful group on Facebook.
Do you currently run a Facebook group or are you looking to start one?
Think about what challenges that you face or will face with your group and implement some of the tips I have given above as I am sure you will see results!
I am always open to questions and feel free to share with me your own tips if you have them.
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