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Facebook Groups: How to Build a Large Group

There are over 1 billion groups on Facebook.

This represents an enormous opportunity for marketers who want to network with potential new customers and who want to offer added value.

In case you didn't know - a Facebook group is basically a community within the Facebook platform that has a common interest or goal.

If you know how to create your own successful Facebook group, you will be able to influence a lot of people without putting in a lot of effort - or spending a lot of money.

However, you have to put in some effort to get the Facebook group up and running.

So in this post we're going to take a look at what steps you can take to build your own Facebook group and use it as a means of marketing your offer.

In the end, you will know more than most Facebook marketers about how to create a Facebook group from scratch and turn it into something spectacular.

Let's begin!

Decide who you want the Facebook group to serve

As with all of your other marketing efforts, you will find that the more specific you can be about who you want to help, the better the rest will be.

This is particularly important for Facebook groups.

There are a number of reasons for this.

First of all, if you can precisely define your target group, you will also be able to describe your group more effectively.

And if you can describe your group effectively, you will be able to communicate clearly what your group is about.

This will then lead to the right people joining your group.

For example, imagine you would like to create a group that offers "Dog Training Advice for Labrador Owners".

Which group do you think would your target audience prefer to join?

A group called "Dog Training" or a group called "Dog Training for Labrador Owners".

I bet you picked the second, didn't you?

Namely, the second creates the impression that it is tailored to the needs of someone who has just bought a Labrador and needs training solutions and as if it is deliberately excluding owners of other breeds.

It is likely that the sense of community is higher in the second group because there is simply more to be expected in common. People join groups to surround themselves with like-minded people.

So that's one reason you need to be precise when setting up your Facebook group.

Another reason is that it is easier for people to find your group.

One of the most essential ways that people will notice your group is through the search functionality provided by Facebook.

There are 1.5 billion searches on Facebook every day.

If you give your Facebook group a name that is keyword rich and very descriptive, you make it easier right People to find your group.

By optimizing at an early stage, you ensure that you have laid a good foundation for the start.

Okay, now that we've got that sorted out, let's focus on how you can actually create a Facebook group.

First of all, log into Facebook. Then open the drop-down menu by clicking the down arrow (outlined in red in the picture).

Then choose the option “Create Group”.

Here you enter the basic information about your group.

Give the group a name based on the principles just discussed.

For the sake of simplicity, you could also click on “Add this group to your favorites” (engl. ‘Add this group to your favorites’) click.

In this way you can find the group on the left sidebar of your Facebook profile.

You also want to configure your group as a "closed" group.

This is important because it makes your group a exclusive Group doing.

You will be able to filter the people who join your group and you can make sure that not just anyone can join.

After all, there are around 1.04 billion daily Facebook users, and you can be sure that some of them will join your group just to spam them on.

Furthermore, when you make your group public, you decrease the need for people to join your group because they can see the discussion within the group anyway.

Remember that when you start creating your group, you will need to add a friend.

If you don't, you won't be able to create the group.

The best way to get around this is to just add one of your friends - you can always remove them from the group later.

Good friends, I'm sure, it doesn't matter if you shake hands so you can open your group!

Once you've created your group, you can add more details and further personalize your group page.

First, we need to add a description to the group.

We need to make sure the description is interesting and gives people a reason to join the group.

And here comes what I came up with. .

Then you have to choose an icon for your group.

I chose the “dog biscuit” because well…. Dogs like that.

Then we have to give the group a “cover picture”.

If you don't have a suitable cover photo at hand, you can take a look at Flickr, you will surely find one there.

Look for a picture there that relates to your group.

I searched for “Labrador Dogs” (engl. Labradors) searched.

Make sure you have selected “Commercial Use and Modification Allowed”.

Here is a cool picture that I found.

If you want to download an image, click on the icon in the lower right corner and then select “Original”.

Then upload the picture by clicking on "Add cover picture" (Eng. ‘Add a Cover Photo’) click.

Position it so that it looks good.

Facebook will then tell you that your group is now “100% complete”.

In our case, however, this is not entirely true.

There are actually a few more things we can do to improve the group's ability to be found on Facebook.

First click the three dots next to "Notifications" (engl. ‘Notifications’), then select “Edit Group Settings” (engl. ‘Edit Group Settings’).

Then you see this here.

First we choose a “group type”.

I chose “Custom”.

Then you have to assign some “tags” to the group.

Here are the tags I chose.

These tags will make it easier for people to find your group.

Then click on “Save”.

These are the basics of how to start a Facebook group.

Now let's examine the steps one can take to grow a Facebook group.

Lead the fanpage fans to the group

It can be difficult to promote a group directly on Facebook, so you'll need to come up with some clever ways to get people to join.

One tactic you can use is to build a fanpage and then get those fanpage fans to join your group.

Once your group has a few members, you can get them to help you with some of the organic growth methods that we'll talk about later in this post.

For now, it's important to know how to promote your fanpage so that people actually “like” it.

One billion people visit fan pages every month, and on top of that there are 4.5 billion clicks on Facebook every day.

All you have to do is get a tiny percentage of it.

This will enable you to get your message across.

This works because the friends of the people who liked your fanpage are sometimes notified of the content their friend liked. Quite a few of you will surely want to see what your friend liked and then click on “Like” on your fan page.

If you don't have a fan page, this is a quick way to create one.

Click the "down arrow" on your Facebook profile. This time you choose “Create Page” (engl. Create Page) out.

You will then be guided through the creation process of your fan page.

What you choose on this page, of course, depends on what kind of page you want to create.

For the purpose of this campaign, we will use “Good cause or fellowship” (English ‘Cause or Community’) choose.

After that, we need to enter some descriptive information about the page.

We can just take the description we used for the group and use it here.

If you want to design something different, just remember to do it extensively and with a large number of keywords.

You then have the option of setting a “profile picture” for the fan page.

You should then decide to add the page to your “Favorites”. Again, this is really just for the sake of simplicity.

In the next section we can provide some information to address the target audience.

Here I've just picked a few English speaking countries, and then I've picked a few interests related to the site.

I left the rest with the default settings.

As you can see below, I've entered some interests based on the topics that this site, and the group, will be dealing with.

When you're done, it should look like this.

Now we have to think about what measures we want to use to advertise them.

One of the easiest ways to get people to come to your fan page is to run some ads.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/

Then select the option “Promote page” (engl. ‘Promote your Page’) out.

Then choose your site.

We won't go into too much detail now on how to create Facebook Ads because I've already explained the subject in detail here.

When it comes to target audience selection, the easiest thing to do is to enter a few interests based on what you are promoting.

I chose the following.

You can also target people who like other sites that are on a similar topic to what you want to promote.

It pays to stick to the proposed offer, because this way the right people will like your page.

Then you can get the people who like your fanpage to join your group.

You can do this by mentioning your Facebook group from time to time.

It is essential that in the time between creating your fan page and the moment you start promoting your group, you add a lot of value to those who liked your page.

This proves to your potential group members that you are someone who offers a lot of added value and that you will not spam them once they join your group.

Once your fan page has around 100 fans, you can mention your Facebook group.

When it comes to promoting your Facebook group, you don't want to be overly pushy.

When describing it, be clear about the benefits of the group.

Here is something I came up with.

When I click publish it should look like this.

A small orange icon will appear on the top right of the post.

It appears there because I fixed the post.

This means that the post can always be seen at the top of the page and is not pushed down by new content, which helps increase visibility.

To “freeze” a post, you need to do the following.

Click the gray down arrow in the top right corner of the post.

Then choose "Fix Above" (Eng. ‘Pin To Top’).

You will notice that there is a button at the bottom of the post that says “Apply for a Post”.

There you can promote a specific post to improve its visibility.

There's no harm in experimenting with it, so give it a try.

If you have not created a target group for this Facebook page and have no contact with the people you want to address on Facebook, click on “Create new target group”.

While you are creating your target group, you have the option of setting the targeting.

Here I basically stuck to the same principles that I discussed earlier in the post.

Then you can think about the “budget and duration” of your advertising campaign.

As you can see above, the more you spend, the more people your post will reach.

Now you can decide how long your promotion should last.

You will find that Facebook shows you how much you will pay per day to “promote” your post.

People have different levels of success when it comes to promoting a post on Facebook.

Just try this strategy out and see if it works well for you.

After you've spent about $ 50, you will have a much better sense of whether the strategy is working and whether it is worth continuing with it.

It might even be a good idea to promote some of your favorite Facebook posts and then see if there is a trickle-down effect.

This can happen when people start joining your group because they saw the pinned post that is being advertised with great content when they visited your fan page.

This way you can use a fan page to grow your Facebook group

Let's look at another strategy you can use to do this.

Cross promotion

Another strategy you can use to grow your Facebook group is cross-promotion.

Remember that there are over a billion groups, so you are sure to find some that are similar to your own group.

Everyone wants to expand and increase engagement in their group - and cross-promotion can help with that.

You will find that this strategy works best when you have at least 100 members in your group.

When you have that many members, it will serve as an incentive for other group administrators to spend a little of their time doing publicity for you and your group.

Here's how to do a bit of cross-promotion.

First, find Facebook groups that are in a similar niche to yours.

Staying true to my topic “Tips for Dog Training for Labrador Dogs”, I'll just search for keywords related to that topic.

Then I choose a group that has at least 50 members.

Here, it seems, I came across a pretty popular one.

I would then join the group and add some value to the group members through my posts and finally ask the group admin if they would be willing to do a little cross-promotion.

You don't have to exaggerate your request; just say you want to get involved with the group in exchange for a bit of publicity.

For example, you could run a contest for everyone to join the group and give away some items.

Of course, not everyone will respond to your offer, but questions don't cost anything.

The few who respond to your suggestion will help you to slowly but surely increase the number of members in your group.

Encourage existing members to promote your group

You can also grow your group by encouraging members to promote the group.

There are different approaches you can take to do this.

One way is to hold a competition to see who can encourage the most people to join the group.

In order to make a count, you ask the participants to tag all new members they have invited to the group in a post at the end of the competition.

To provide additional incentive, you could organize a contest for each milestone the group reaches.

So for my group, I could say that for every 100 new members I am giving out promotional gifts in the form of dog items valued at $ 100.

You could also ask members to invite people they know.After all, every Facebook user has an average of 245 friends, and friends tend to have common interests.

Encourage influencers to join your group

Another tactic is to get influencers to join your group.

For some niches this will work better than others.

The basic idea is that you are promoting an influencer's product.

Then tag them in your post when promoting the product.

The influencers will then be notified that you have tagged them and they may look at your group and maybe even become a member.

If other people see that the influencer is a member, they could join the group to see what's on offer.

Your train of thought is that if the influencer is a member then the group must surely be good!

Here you can see how the tactic worked on Ryan Stewart, who managed to get Matthew Barby to join his group.

As I said, he tagged Matthew in a post.

And then later ... Matthew became a member.

If you're not sure how to find influencers, just take a look at the people in your niche who have a large following on Twitter or Facebook.

Promote your Facebook group on other social media platforms

You can accelerate the growth of your Facebook group by promoting it on other social media platforms.

87.1% of social media users log into Facebook at least once a month.

This means that even if people use other social media platforms, many of them are still on Facebook.

So there's nothing wrong with giving them an extra reason to visit Facebook, which is to see what's going on in your group.

You can encourage people whose attention you have caught on other social media platforms to log into Facebook and visit your group by mentioning them on your other profiles.

It can be as simple as a tweet from time to time.

You can also tweet other influencers to let them know that you have a group that might interest their followers.

Plus, if the group is appropriate, you could even mention them on sites like LinkedIn.

If you are having trouble getting people to join your group this way, then maybe consider taking a gated content approach.

In this case, you would not tweet about the group itself, but about some content that can be found in the group.

You let people know that there is great content available there - exclusively for group members.

The content is only made accessible from within the group.

If you want to upload content to your Facebook group, click the "Files" tab.

Then you click on “+ Upload File” and upload the content that you want to advertise.

It is a good idea to mention where exactly the content can be found by creating a pinned post within the group.

The key to group longevity

So far, we've discussed what you can do to encourage people to join your group.

But what is undeniably more important is figuring out how to get people to stay.

If you manage to find out, you will have a self-sustaining group that is therefore easier for you to manage.

The first thing to think about is how to deal with spam.

Spam can kill a group quickly. Nobody likes to receive messages for which they have no use.

Because you've created a “closed” Facebook group, spam shouldn't be too much of an issue.

However, there will always be some spammers who manage to establish themselves.

As a result, you need to keep a close eye on your group in order to intervene if necessary.

If you see members posting things reminiscent of spam, you can send them a PM letting them know that they are violating group rules.

If they continue to disobey the rules, throw them out of the group.

You can create a pinned post that explains all of the group's rules in detail.

Then when people join the group, they have no excuse whatsoever about the rules of behavior within the group.

You can also mention the rules in the description so people know before they join!

Here's another example from Ryan Stewart.

If you do need to kick someone, it may be a good idea to make a public statement as to why you chose this approach.

This will show people that you are fair, but it will also act as a warning to anyone who is up to the same thing.

If you really want to crack down on spam, you can set it up so that every post in the group has to be approved by a group admin before going online.

You can edit this setting under "Edit group settings" (engl. ‘Edit Group Settings,’) to adjust.

While this may sound like a good idea, there is a risk that it could interfere with group discussions and conversations, as everything must first be shared before it can be shared.

Maybe you could hire a moderator to act as admin for your group.

Most of the time there is someone in the group who is happy to take on this role for you.

Finding such a person is a good idea when the group is starting to get quite active because it allows you to focus on your real work, which is to write and provide interesting and useful content for your group.

Aside from successfully tackling the spam problem, there are other things you need to think about in order to turn your group into a “place” where members feel comfortable and enjoy coming back.

For example, one of those things is to encourage engagement within the group

This can be achieved by asking the members a few questions.

If you know your niche well, it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a few interesting questions.

However, if you are new to the niche, you may need a little help designing interesting questions to kickstart and keep communication going in the group and between members.

One tactic you can use is to ask Google to help you with your search.

And you do that as follows

Start a search query related to your niche, but use the word “why” or “are” at the beginning of the search term.

In this example, you can see how it works.

Here you can see the results that came out when I used the word “are”.

As you can see, there are some interesting topics here that I can use to create engagement within my group.

One of my goals is to encourage people to tell their personal stories.

So I could tweak the questions to reveal interesting people's anecdotes.

For example, I could ask my group members - "What's the smartest thing your Labrador has ever done?"

Or "Do you have any funny stories about how crazy about food your Labs are?"

You can also share some of your own stories to keep the discussion going.

By stimulating discussion, you increase the group's chances of becoming a sure-fire success, because people start to get to know each other.

It's also a great way to break the ice.

You can even create some “polls” and use the questions you found on Google as inspiration.

To do that, just follow the steps you would take to write something in the group, but choose the "Create Poll" option instead.

Then create a question and provide some answer options.

This is how it looks finished.

You can also create individual content exclusively for the group members.

This is similar to the approach you would take with gated content, except that you're creating content to improve retention, not numbers.

But that doesn't mean that this type of content can't be used to achieve both at the same time.

Such content could include PDF guides or free e-books that you would otherwise charge for.

You can also host a webinar if that suits you.

Videos do well on Facebook considering that there were 8 billion daily views on Facebook at the end of 2015 (up 100% over a 7 month period).

So it might be a good idea to record your webinars and post them on Facebook so that people can watch them later.

If you're struggling to come up with good ideas for content, why not just ask the people in the group what their problems are.

Then you can create content based on the answers.

You can do this by creating a survey as shown above.

If you want to host other people's content on your blog, encourage group members to share it.

That shouldn't be a huge problem considering 26.7% of US Facebook users hit the share button after reading a blog post they liked.

This ensures that your Friends see the content, similar to what I said earlier when it came to getting people to like your fanpage.

You could also introduce each new member that joined the group this week to the group and ask them to share some information about themselves.

In my Labrador group, I could ask people to share a photo of their beloved dog.

You may also want to promote a weekly or monthly group overview.

Even though there are 1,038 billion daily active users, there are still some Facebook users who only log in once or a few times a month.

These members are unable to keep up to date with the daily discussions, a weekly or monthly summary of the activities would be very helpful for this group of people.

People spend an average of 20 minutes a day on Facebook.

If you manage to create an engaging group, a (very small but engaging) proportion of the 65% who log into Facebook every day will spend a good part of their 20 minutes looking at what's going on in your group.

If your group is really good, you will be part of the reason 56% of Facebook users log in multiple times a day!

Conclusion

A Facebook group can be a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.

If you've ever wanted to build an online community but had no idea how to do that, a Facebook group could be the place to start.

However, you cannot expect that you will set up a Facebook group and then automatically have it done with it.

Most of all, you have to figure out how to make the group easy to find on Facebook.

You also need to know how to encourage people to join your group, even if it doesn't initially have any members.

After that, you can focus on getting influencers to join your group.

After you have done all of this, you have to focus all of your attention on offering and maintaining a high level of communication quality within the group.

You may get to the point where you hire someone to take care of all of these duties as an admin, so that you can free your mind to be creative and create great content for the group.

Now that you've read this post, you have the tools to create a popular Facebook group yourself.

Why don't you just try out all of these tips and see if they serve you well?

Have you heard of any successful tips before, or perhaps even implemented them, on how to create a popular Facebook group?

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