If you’re marketing a business online right now, you’ve probably noticed that Facebook groups are all the rage. Why? There are a few good reasons, but here is the most important one in my opinion:
They are the single best way (at the moment) to build a community around your service or product, nurture them, and inspire to take action with you.
But how do you grow a Facebook group in which you can actually see a return on your time investment? I’m glad you asked. 😉
Here are my Top 10 Organic Group Growth Methods (in no particular order)…
1) Leverage an Existing Audience
One of the simplest strategies to organically grow your Facebook group is to leverage an already existing audience. Start with your own, for instance. Where else are you active online?
Tell your Facebook friends, Instagram followers, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, LinkedIn connections, and anyone else you can think of that you’re starting a group (or that you have one). Not everyone will be in your target audience, but you’re planting seeds and word-of-mouth is still profoundly powerful.
Next, reach out to other experts in complementary niches and industries to yours. Are there any podcasts, Facebook groups, or blogs you can ask for an interview? Likewise, you can see if they are interested in a collaboration or a joint venture with you.
You can also contact blogs with the right target audience, and see if you can do a guest post for them. Aim for blogs with a high readership, and again, in a complementary niche or industry.
Networking and forming partnerships are some of the best ways to get in front of new audiences, and they can lead to some of the most mutually beneficial business relationships. Try to do an interview, guest post, IG takeover, or some other kind of “collab” 3-4 times per month if possible to maximize your reach.
2) Leverage Other Facebook Groups
Let me be super clear from the jump on this one. Do not, I repeat – DO NOT – go into other people’s Facebook groups that they’ve worked hard to build and try to poach their audience. Not cool. Don’t be that person. It’s a bad look on anyone.
Here’s what you can and should do, though…
- Hang out in targeted groups that have a large, engaged audience with your ideal client in them.
- Spend about 15-30 minutes at a time, up to 3 or 4 times per day, engaging with & posting content that is extremely helpful, funny, or polarizing. (This equates to 45 minutes to two hours per day depending on your current goals. However, you can totally spend more time than that if your main goal is growing your group for a launch.)
- Don’t link drop in someone else’s group, but instead, have your Facebook profile funnel set up.
When you strategically post and comment, other members will definitely visit your profile and join your group or send you a friend request if they feel like they want to take the next step and connect with you.
3) Your Magnetic, Branded Facebook Profile Funnel
Make sure your personal Facebook profile is set up like a branded funnel that drives traffic to your group, whether through a direct link, or a landing page where they can sign up for your workshop, challenge, bootcamp, etc.
Here are a few more quick tips:
- Your profile image should be a nice photo of your face (not necessarily professional),
- Have a branded cover image promoting your group (or lead magnet that leads to your group), and make sure your link is “above the fold” so they don’t have to click “see more” to get to it,
- Make sure you have one featured image promoting your group that matches your branded cover,
- Link to your group in your profile details,
- Your bio should be succinct & descriptive (they only give you 101 characters).
If you’d like a little extra guidance with this, you can grab my handy-dandy, free Facebook profile funnel planner & checklist right here. (You can even print it out to write your own notes on if you like!)
4) Email Campaigns
Got an email list? If you do, leverage that bad boy to grow your group! Send out an email campaign of 3-5 emails each week to your existing list letting them know you have a group and what you’ve got going on in it.
You can also use your repurposed content from your weekly livestream in your email campaign to entice people to join so they can watch your training sessions live in your group. Hit them with that FOMO. And don’t forget to email them about 15-30 minutes before each weekly livestream.
5) Facebook & Instagram Stories
Stories are great because your friends &/or followers will get a notification when you create one. Use them to promote everything that’s happening in your group, from your weekly livestream to your live conversion events, interviews with guest experts, and everything in between.
You can also share testimonial-type posts from group members. Just grab screenshots of their comments on your livestreams and value posts to upload as stories with their permission to show potential members the benefits of joining your group.
6) Facebook & Instagram Direct Messages
There’s something so powerful about human to human connection, especially right now, so don’t be afraid to get in people’s DMs. I mean, don’t slide in there creepily with an immediate sales pitch or anything, but also don’t hesitate to reach out to your ideal, soul client. The etiquette is slightly different on Facebook and Instagram, though, so be aware of that.
On Facebook, leverage other groups as mentioned above by answering questions that are within your area of expertise and establish you as an authority. Once the person has interacted back with you on their post, send them a friend request.
On Instagram, find your ideal clients in hashtags and competing & complementary experts’ comments, or on their followers list. Once you find them, visit their profiles, take a few seconds to interact with their content, and give them a follow if it’s a good fit. There’s a good chance they’ll follow you back.
Once you’re connected to someone who looks like your ideal, soul client, whether you follow each other on Instagram or are on each other’s friends list on Facebook, send them a friendly DM to thank them for connecting with you.
Ask them about their business or the project they’re currently working on. Show a genuine interest in helping the people you’re talking to, not just in selling to them. They can feel the energy you’re coming at them with. Remember that your main goal on social media is building relationships.
7) Referral Campaigns & Contests
Use contests & referral campaigns to grow your group and to promote your launches & programs. These are awesome ways to get your community involved and generate a buzz about what you’re doing.
Offer your existing members prizes that are relevant to them for inviting the most friends who are in your target audience to join your group.
Here are a couple of tips:
- Ask them NOT to use the invite button within the group but to DM the link with an explanation to their friends & ask that they answer your membership questions,
- This is a contest so there have to be qualifying guidelines met for leads to be eligible,
- Provide the copy & images your members can use when inviting their friends, followers, & connections.
8) Branded Social Posts & Clear Content Strategy
Stand out and become recognizable to your target audience by utilizing branded social posts. This means using the same colors, fonts, messaging, language, design styles & principles in all of your posts on all of your platforms. Your clear content strategy comes from your weekly livestream (your foundation content), repurposed content, engagement posts, & offers.
(This will be covered in more detail during my free 5-day Monetize & Magnetize Your Group Bootcamp from 6/8/20 to 6/12/20, so please sign up for that if you’re not making the money you want to be making with your group.)
9) Update Social Media Covers & Banners
Swap out your cover and banner images on your social profiles during your workshops, challenges, program launches, etc. Keep all of your images fresh with up-to-date information about what’s going on in your group. (Refer back to number 3 above &/or pick up my free Facebook profile funnel planner & checklist for more guidance.)
10) Facebook Events
Schedule a new, separate Facebook event for each livestream, workshop, challenge, bootcamp, etc. If it’s your weekly livestream, do it about 4-5 days in advance.
If it’s a series, like a 5-day bootcamp or challenge, be sure to schedule each one individually. A good way to do it is to schedule the next one right after you go live. This helps your members to know what’s coming up next.
Any time you schedule an event in your group, invite all of your members so they will be notified about it. If you also have a Facebook business page, schedule the event there, too, to get the word out to those who are not yet members of your group.
Since so many events are taking place online right now, Facebook has given you the option to select “online event.” Simply insert the link to your group where it asks for the location of the event.
BONUS TIP: You can use software like Streamyard or Ecamm Live to pre-schedule your videos, too, which serves as another reminder to your group members. I recommend doing this 2-3 days ahead of your event and include a call-to-action to boost engagement on the post before you even go live!
There are so many ways to grow your Facebook group organically with zero ad spend. These are just my top 10, but here are a few honorable mentions:
- Upload your livestreams to YouTube and direct people to your group in the description if they want to be able to watch & ask questions live,
- Post your livestreams on LinkedIn the same way,
- Use your images from your repurposed livestreams to promote them & your group on Pinterest.
I hope this article is helpful to you. Please let me know in the comments.
And don’t forget to share this with your network if you found it useful…
If you’d like to join my group to see the livestream this article was born out of, please feel free to send a request to join & answer all three membership questions so I can approve you right away.
What are some of your favorite organic ways to grow a Facebook group if you’ve got some that I missed? Please leave a reply!