Are you struggling to get more eyes on your blog? Trying to grow your audience and make new relationships? Using a Facebook group to grow your blog can not only help you build on blogging relationships, but it can also help you to grow your business.
One of the first things that I did when I started my blog was to create a Facebook group geared towards helping other women bloggers grow their blogs together. Blogging is such a community-driven business and having a dedicated group, with like-minded entrepreneurs like you, can push your blog into a new level.Having a Facebook group can provide insight into your reader’s struggles and can help you secure your spot as an authority on your blog topic. #facebook #blogging #blogtips Click To Tweet
Why should you start a Facebook group to grow your blog?
I often get asked if it is worth the time and effort to run a group. I can understand why someone would ask. I have seen lots of groups that require a lot of moderation. But, if the direction of your group is clearly identified and you set it up correctly, the benefits can be tremendous. So, if you aren’t using a Facebook group to grow your blog and your business, I highly recommend that you start asap.
In this post, I will share some ideas for getting your group set up, how to get new members, some ideas for content to post in your group and also how you can use it to build your business, create new valuable blog worthy content and get more eyes on your blog.
First, Decide What Kind of Group it is Going to Be
There are all kinds of groups on Facebook. Some are centered on support, some are about teaching and some are focused on helping to grow and share their businesses.
The important thing is that you decide who your audience is early on so that you can focus your content on helping them with their struggles.
In the beginning, my group, Blogging Babes Collective was solely about support and learning to blog together. But soon after, I had requests from the group to add threads for sharing their blog content. This had a tremendous impact on the amount of engagement and new members and was definitely worth the addition of share threads.
Once you have decided what the direction of your group will be, it is a good idea to write out what your goals and focus are for your group in the short and long term. You should also decide who you are gearing the group towards- who is your audience. Doing that process will help keep the group’s goals in mind along the journey.
How to Create a Group on Facebook to Help Promote your Business
Creating a Facebook group is super easy. Just click on the “Create” button on the top toolbar and then click on “Group”. Facebook will walk you through a few questions about your group and you can even set up your header and group description. Make sure to use keywords in your group description to help connect your group with the right audience. Think about what you might search for to find a group like yours.
Facebook has also just announced during an annual conference that it will be focusing on groups with it’s a new design. They have made groups and connections their forefront, which can help people more readily connect on group platforms based on their likes. So using the right keywords in your description can help facebook connect your group with new members on a regular basis.
Post Relevant and Engaging Content in Your Group
Depending on the kind of group you are creating, you will want to be sharing content on a regular basis to make sure that your members know that they should be checking back for more.
Regular and relevant content will help to show your members that you are serious about what you do and that you are their go-to when they have a question about something. Some things that you can post are:
- inspiring messages
- tips and techniques
- valuable resources
- share threads (if you are in a blogging niche)
- shout outs
- live videos
- thought-provoking questions
- posts that can help your audience (especially your own!)
How to Market Your Facebook Group to Attract New Members
Marketing your group can be tricky sometimes. If you are in other groups that are similar to yours, you may come off as slimy if you are pitching your own group with the same idea behind it. If you are sharing in a group, make sure that the group rules allow it and follow any additional instructions about promotions.
Outside of promoting in other groups try these additional ways to market your group:
- Create a catchy pin that links directly back to your group
- Write a post about being involved in a Facebook group for growth and collaboration and provide a link to join
- Create a graphic and post in your sidebar with a direct link to your Facebook group
- Create a Facebook ad that is tailored and directed to your audience
- Create a button from a live video on your business page while talking about your group (start live on a desktop only, click on groups icon, select your linked group and the button will appear automatically in your live video)
- Link your Facebook business page to your Facebook group and make your link button set up to go directly to your Facebook group
How to Keep Your Facebook Group Members Engaged
It’s one thing to create a group, but it’s entirely another to keep your group engaged and growing in the direction you intended it to.
I absolutely love an engaged group. When I come back to a group and there is lots of interaction and information, I will pin it to my top groups so that I make sure never to miss updated information.
One of the best ways to keep your group engaged is to lead the group. Most groups won’t lead themselves, so providing prompts and resources that are valuable are key.
Make sure they have a reason to return so they view the group as an invaluable resource. Create recurring themed posts that they can count on to bring their questions or find answers and engage your community with daily threads, live video, and thought-provoking questions.
I personally try to comment or answer every question that is posted in my group- or chime in on a thread. I don’t have to know all the answers but I can generally take the time to link to another post or resource if I don’t have the answer.
The idea isn’t to know everything, it’s to be a helpful resource.
How to Use Facebook Group Insights to Grow Your Group
One of my favorite things is using Facebook group insights to see growth details, see when your group members are engaging and also see who are the top post and comment contributors in your group.
You can find Group Insights in the sidebar on a desktop or under under the admin tools by clicking on the badge icon on the top right of a mobile device.
This is a great way to offer recognition for helping your group to grow and will encourage your group members to participate more often. Use it to create shout out posts for contributing members or highlight something valuable they have done in the group.
Giving back to my community on a regular basis is super important and goes a long way in creating long-lasting relationships.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Using Your Group
Using Facebook groups can have a crazy impact on your blog traffic. As the members in your group grow to trust you and you build those all important relationships, your content that you can share to your group will become part of their resources that they can count on to help them.
As an administrator, your job is to provide value to your members. This is not something I take lightly. My group was intended to first provide value and community to my fellow Blogging Babes and second to grow my own blog. One naturally followed the other. This must also be your intention, or the system will see through that.
I am dedicated to helping every single blogger on my group who reaches out for help, even if I have to refer them to someone who better knows the answers. And because of that, I have- better yet, WE have created an amazing and supportive community that has also allowed my own blog to grow.
My members’ needs are at the forefront of every post I create for my group.
How Your Facebook Group Can Help You With Blog Content
What I had not considered after starting my Facebook group was how it could help me with my blog content. Being in a group full of members who are all looking for advice on growing their blog is like my own personal market research platform.
When I see questions about the same topics over and over, I add those to my content calendar as a draft item and know that finishing that post will add value to my audience. And this doesn’t just help out a blogger who blogs about blogging.
Say you have a blog about sewing athletic apparel (I used to do this lol), and you create a Facebook group all about sewing tips and techniques. You keep seeing the same comments and questions about what is the best serger to buy for getting started. BINGO!
Now, all you have to do is some research, add your own personal experiences, maybe even sign up as an affiliate to offer a link to purchase and all along, you’ve created value for your reader and given them an answer to their questions.
It’s what blogging is all about. Creating solutions for your readers.
PRO TIP: Facebook groups are a great way to find these questions (even if they aren’t your group!) Watch for recurring question and topics in the niche groups you belong to.
Tips for Having a Successful Facebook Group
Here are some simple tips to help grow and nurture your own Facebook group!
Create membership questions – Membership questions can help you quickly filter out spam requests by using filters for those who answered your questions to be accepted quickly. You can also use it as an opportunity to provide a link to the group rules.
Personally welcome all new members – I have personally tried to welcome each and every member of my group each week. It’s something that I hope to continue to do for a long time (even when we lots of new members). At almost 1000, I am still overwhelmed by the new members we have and value each and every one of them and want them to know that right from the start.
Have some rules – Some rules suck. But group rules are a must and they make sure that everyone knows what the expectations are and what happens if they are broke. I’m not talking about being a group Nazi, just about setting some guidelines. In BBC, belittling, haters and rude comments are not tolerated and the group member will be removed. This sets an environment that is caring and positive, which is the whole aim.
Create a strong community culture – Fostering a strong and supportive community is the most important thing in making a group effective. If your members feel valued, they will return and even refer others to your group as well. Show up every day and engage with the members who are there and looking for value.
Use the built-in scheduler – The Facebook group post scheduler is free and easy to use. This is especially handy if you work full time. You want to get as many eyes on your posts at the best time, which you can easily find in your Group Insights.
Add other moderators to help – Once you get too big to manage the group yourself, you may want to ask one of your high interacting group members to help you moderate it.
Personally approve all posts – every group does this differently and if blogging is your full-time job, you may be able to catch all the spam and garbage. As this is my side-hustle, I would prefer to make sure that the posts that are being seen by my members won’t hurt the group and so I personally approve each post. Sometimes the posts are benign in nature and I will ask the member to make adjustments and repost, which is easy enough to do.
Use the mentorship program (if available) – Some groups have access to mentorship programs where members can sign up to be a mentor and members can sign up to be paired with a mentor. This might be a great resource for new members trying to navigate the group for the first time.
Quickly handle conflicts – Conflicts can be tricky to deal with but they should be handled so that they don’t affect the overall feel of the group. Try to comment from a neutral standpoint or message each of the members regarding their comments to see if it can be resolved. At the end of the day, if a resolution cannot seem to be achieved, your job is to protect the integrity of the group and you may be better off removing them.
Do you use a Facebook group to promote your business or blog? Do you find it has helped you? What are your favorite groups? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!