I’m talking about Facebook groups, which are now being used by 1 BILLION people each month. I’m not talking about your Facebook PAGE, although that’s super important too!
Facebook groups are a fantastic way to provide value to your audience, while growing your traffic, email list and sales.
They provide a more personal, interactive environment where you can:
- Promote your stuff: blog posts, products, services – you name it!
- Become a trusted expert in your field.
- Give advice on common problems or issues related to your industry.
- Connect your customers or clients with one another.
But while Facebook groups can be amazing brand-building tools, getting people to actually JOIN them can be a challenge.
I will give you 10 quick and easy ways to start growing your Facebook group today!
1. Make sure your group name and info are optimized for Facebook Search
You will be asked to come up with a name when you first start a group. This is where your optimization starts.
Choose a keyword-rich and descriptive name if you want people to be able to find you via Facebook’s search function.
If your group is for moms who want to start a business, instead of a name like “Business Moms”, consider a more descriptive name like Moms In Business: Advice For Women Entrepreneurs (there are 4 keywords in stead of two: moms, business, women, entrepreneurs).
Same goes to your group description: choose keywords you think people will use to find your group. Use every character available to your (the current limit is 3,000). Before you start writing, you may want to come up with a list of words or phrases you want to include. Some basic keyword research will come in helpful here.
Another way to optimize your group is to use tags. Facebook lets you choose up to five tags or “keywords” you want your group to be found for. Be sure to use all five!
2. Link your Facebook group to your Facebook page
Chances are you already have a Facebook page for your business. But have you linked it to your Facebook group?
This is a relatively new feature, and one that many business owners have missed.
Here is how to do it:
You can go to settings at the top right of your Facebook page, then select Edit Page. Scroll down and under Groups click Settings. Make sure the toggle is turned on.
Next, go back to your page and click on Groups on the left side of the page. You will now have the option to Create Groups or Link Your Group.
Assuming you already have a group, choose a Link Your Group, then select the groups you want to link to your page.
Otherwise, you can create your group directly after clicking the Create Group button.
Your group will now show up when people click on the Groups tab on your page, or as a “linked group” when people see your page in search.
3. Add a group link to your social media profile bios
Your Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest bios are prime locations to promote your group. When you connect with someone new on any of these sites, your bio is the first place they’ll look to learn more about you.
Again, be clear about what is in it for them, let them know exactly who your group is for and what benefit it offers.
4. Create a custom URL and/or use URL shortener that you can use to drive traffic
When telling people about your group, it’s super helpful to have a short and memorable group URL.
Fortunately, it’s easy to change your URL to something that’s easy to remember. Go to the button at the top of your group that has three dots, and then click Edit Group Settings.
Next, scroll down to Web and Email address. Click Change address, and then create an alias for your group. Whatever you choose will be part of your customized group URL.
And if you’re looking for an even shorter and more memorable URL to use when sharing your group, remember you can always use an URL shortener to create super-short URLS. These tools also let you track the analytics on your shortened URLS, which is a great bonus!
5. Add a link on your 404 pages
Normally we don’t think of 404 pages as a good thing, since they indicate that your website visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for.
But, since 404 pages are one of those inevitables in life, why not make the most of them?
Do this by including a call to action inviting people to join your Facebook group.
Point out to your visitors that while the page they requested in no longer available, there’s plenty of help and information available in your group!
6. Use an eye-catching graphic in your sidebar
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t offer any plugins to help you promote your group on your website (they have these pages, just not for groups).
However, that shouldn’t stop you from promoting your group on your website or blog. One of the best ways to do this is to create an eye-catching graphic to use in your blog’s sidebar.
7. Add an invite on your thank you pages
Your thank you pages are another great place to promote your group. After people have purchased a product, booked a service, or joined your email list, many will simply leave your site without taking any further action.
Rather than lose out on an additional opportunity to connect, use a strong CTA on your thank you page to entice them to check out your group.
You can even use the graphic you created in #6 to really grab your visitors’ attention!
8. Invite new email subscribers to join your group
Hopefully you’ve already set up an autoresponder series that goes out to your new email subscribers. I use Getresponse, you can read my review here.
This is a prime location to let people to let people know about the value you offer through your Facebook group. You can dedicate an entire email to your Facebook group, or even just include a link to your group, or an invite as a “P.S.” at the end of your email.
Again, whatever you decide, be sure to let your new subscribers know exactly what benefit they will get out of joining your group!
9. Mention your group in interviews and guest blogging bios
Interviews and guest blogs are a great way to extend your reach outside your usual audience. Make the most of these opportunities by mentioning your group wherever relevant.
This could include mentioning something interesting that happened in your group (respecting your members’ privacy, of course), or talking about the personalized advice you offer through your group.
And don’t forget about linking to your group in your guest blog bio! While getting a link should never be the goal of your guest blogging efforts, it can help with getting traffic – and even increased search engine rankings – for your group.
10. Use calls to action in your blog posts, podcasts, webinars and email signatures
You have to remember that your group is probably one of the primary places where you’ll offer advice and support to your audience. So don’t be afraid to promote it everywhere!
Use calls to action (CTAs) to join your group wherever it makes sense: in the content of your blog posts, at the end of your posts, in your podcasts, in your webinars and Facebook Lives, and in your email signature.
Remember also to tell your audience why they’d want to join… in other words, make it very clear what’s in it for them!
11. Bonus strategy: Link to your group in your website’s navigation bar
Your navigation bar is prime real estate, so why not use it to grow your Facebook group? Create a button or menu item that promotes your Facebook group; you could call it “support”, “community” or of course just “Facebook group”.
Then be sure to link that button directly to your group (or to a landing page that tells people a bit more about your group).
Between your navigational link, the graphic in your sidebar, and the links on your that you pages and blog posts, your visitors won’t stand a chance of missing out on your group!
Why It’s Important To Grow Your Facebook Group
Facebook groups are a powerful tool for almost any kind of business, but many business owners are still stuck on only having a Facebook page. If you’re looking for more personal interactions with your audience, and would like to build traffic, trust and sales, building and promoting your own Facebook group is a fantastic option!