Engagement in social media can help strengthen your brand’s value to people. When people form a community, you gain new and loyal followers who can ultimately help you achieve your business goals. Building a community is only the first step, though. Increasing community engagement is absolutely crucial. People engage in a community that they’re passionate about and later on, produce tangible results for the brand. Engagement is so powerful that it can pave the way for opportunities that generate leads, drive conversions, and deliver profit. Let’s talk about your private Facebook group and how you can make the most of it.
Private Facebook Groups: A Platform to Gather a Community
Private Facebook groups are a great marketing strategy for businesses. One can’t underestimate the importance of building a community and sharing information about a business to increase engagement.
Facebook defines groups as “…the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”
After Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in 2018 that Facebook had overhauled its interface to prioritize “meaningful interactions” between friends and family, its features then shifted to encourage organic engagement. Businesses, since then, have had to evolve tremendously to fall in line. Those who did were able to continue leveraging the platform and its many benefits. Those who didn’t saw their organic reach, views, and engagement hit a new low.
When it comes to Facebook (really, social media in general), cutting corners will cost you dearly. One feature of the almighty platform that you simply can’t ignore is private Facebook groups.
Let’s dive in a little more.
How to Build a Powerful Private Facebook Group
Simply having a group isn’t going to get the job done. Plan to invest time and resources into helping it flourish. Here are a few strategies to manage your private Facebook group better.
1. Be Consistent With Your Content
Consistency is the key to building interaction. Remember — your group exists to evolve into a great community of individuals who share a passion for one common goal. This goal should resonate with all of the content that you post.
Too many businesses fail in this area as they are more focused on promoting their products and/or services rather than delivering a consistent message. The result? The group becomes a ghost town. You can’t be selling to your members 24/7 — they don’t want that. Brands are selling to them all day, every day. How will you stand out? Furthermore, how will you give them a reason to even care about your private Facebook group at all?
A surefire technique to avoid this disaster is to assign a specific theme to each day of the week. Yes, at least one post every single day. Your members need to know that they can expect new and fresh content from you on a regular basis. You can automatically schedule your group’s daily theme posts and even schedule them out ahead of time using e-clincher so you don’t miss posting anything.
Once the community reaches a certain level of engagement, it will take on a life of its own as members are compelled to connect and engage with each other.
When you get in the habit of (a) posting regularly and (b) consistently sharing new and unique things (read: not strictly selling), the platform will reward you with a private Facebook group that never stops growing.
2. Set Rules and Enforce Them
It might not seem like an issue when your group is still relatively small, and maybe it isn’t, but take note. As groups get bigger, things can easily get out of hand. Opinions collide, people butt heads, and arguments break out in the comments section of well-meaning posts.
This is where your private Facebook group rules will come in.
Group rules help create a well-rounded community. With far too much hate and bashing going on inside of Facebook, you need to create a safe space where members feel that they can grow and thrive. Rules might including banning profanity, bullying, discrimination, and any other language that might make people feel uncomfortable.
Aside from laying down the rules, it’s equally important to dedicate time to enforce these rules. Regularly remind your members of what they can and cannot do, and make them aware of what happens if they should break a rule. For example, will they receive one warning? Be removed/banned from the group?
You can also pin your rules to the top of your page so that new members (and even current ones) can see it right away when they visit your page.
Don’t be afraid to lay down the law. It’s for everyone’s own good, and it’s quite necessary. As your group grows, you might consider bringing on a few extra moderators (a role you can assign to people within groups) to help you manage posts and comments. This way, the responsibility isn’t yours entirely, and you’ll have a little extra help.
3. Ask Questions and Participate in Discussions
It’s a good idea to ask questions that encourage members to participate. Let the members know that you’re not the only person in there. Make an effort to participate while discussions are ongoing.
You can’t just post a question, walk away, and leave the members to respond. Build a rapport and get to know your members on a deeper level. Respond to their comments and really have a conversation with them. If you’re posting just for the sake of drumming up superficial engagement, your members are going to see it, and they’re not going to fall for it.
You can ask for their opinions about trending topics or business-related matters, tips and advice, product reviews and preferences, or even daily challenges. You can also run polls to receive their feedback and thoughts. This is a powerful way to learn more about your target audience and their wants, needs, goals, and pain points.
When you create authentic, organic relationships with your members, it makes them feel less like they’re in a stranger’s group, and more like they’re part of a community belonging to someone that they have something in common with.
4. More Visuals, Less Text
Consider adding images to your posts. Research studies in social media marketing show that posts with images receive more likes, comments, shares, and clicks than posts without images. More specifically, according to an article from Buzzsumo, posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than the average post.
Any content can be boring when it’s not presented in a visually-appealing and eye-catching way. Come to think of it — why did Facebook add a feature that enables text status updates with colored backgrounds? Simply because it increases engagement!
You might also consider playing with social media videos, which can convert even better than images. Video breathes life into something that would otherwise come across as very one-dimensional. Especially when the video features you (or the people behind the brand, in general), it puts a face to the stranger behind the computer screen. People might like brands, but they like people much more. Humanize your brand, and your group will grow as a result of it.
Live Q&As are another powerful way to increase traffic and engagement. When you notify people that they can speak directly to you but only when you go live, they’ll have a reason to show up. Make yourself available to them, but only at certain times. It’s a way of increasing urgency a bit.
5. Share Exclusive Content
If it’s content that everyone can see, then it’s nothing special. Your private Facebook group members need a reason to want to be a part of your group. That means you need to offer them things that you aren’t offering anyone else.
Sharing content that you don’t publish anywhere else online is a great way to reward the members of your group. Not only does this allow members to get to know your business really well, but it encourages them to participate and revisit the group often.
Facebook Live video, for example, is an amazing tool to interact with your members in real-time. In fact, live streaming videos on Facebook get six times more interactions than traditional videos. It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t shy away from going live on social media. It can really work wonders.
You can also share free downloadable files that members can’t get anywhere else such as guidebooks, e-books, datasheets, spreadsheets, how-tos, and so on. These incentives can convince members to stay and entice others to join. It also helps establish your position as an authority in your field, since your files teach them something new.
Another idea is to offer “first looks” of products or services not-yet-released. You can also provide discounts and coupon codes to members of your group. It’s a nice way to thank them for being there.
The Key Takeaways
Deliver value by building trust.
Don’t make a group about your brand and pushing products. It won’t get you too far.
Marketing strategies are the most effective when they offer real value. Once you start building mutual trust and fostering relationships within your group, your business will reap the greatest rewards in the long run.
All of the details can feel overwhelming and like they’re a lot to manage — and they are. That’s why you need the right tools and resources to handle your social media efficiently and productively. e-clincher makes it fast and easy to schedule social media posts out across various platforms. You can accomplish this all from one dashboard, making it possible to shave hours off of your social media responsibilities.
Ready to take the next step? Start your 14-day free trial today and see what all the fuss is about.