Anyone can start a Facebook Group but learning how to maintain it and keep it growing requires a little bit more effort. This post will give you tips on how to make your Facebook group grow.
Creating A Facebook Group Is Easy
Creating A Facebook Group is easy. Anyone can do it. All you need to do is click the “Create Group” button which is located on the left side of your Facebook home page. You can then give your group a name, add members and select the privacy settings for your group. That’s it! You’ve created a Facebook Group.
How do you make your Facebook group grow? How do you attract new members to your FB group? To answer this question, we will first have to look at the reason why you are setting up the group in the first place. We will also look at the privacy settings for your group. Finally, we will move on to the tips on how to make your Facebook group grow.
Why Do You Want To Create A Facebook Group?
First you have to ask yourself “Why Do I Want To Create A Facebook Group?” In Wikipedia, a social group is defined as two or more individuals who interact with another, have similar characteristics and have a sense of unity collectively. I believe this applies to social media groups as well.
FB groups can be created with family members or friends or even strangers who share interests. You can create a group to talk about your pets, discuss the challenges of looking after a child with special interests or an aging parents. You can create a group about cooking, gardening, gaming, travelling, anything! The more people who share your interest, the higher the chances your group will grow larger.
Some create FB groups to market a product or service or themselves. If this is your intention, then I think it would be better for you to create a fan page rather than a group. However, you can still create a group around the subject which interests others while increasing your profile at the same time. For example, I am a Parenting blogger. I created a parenting interest group not because I wanted to promote my blog but I found that it has increased my profile somewhat and at the same time, it gives me plenty of ideas on what to blog about from the discussion that goes on in my group.
This Is A Screenshot Of My Facebook Group. The Number Of Members Is Circled In Red
Deciding On Your Group’s Privacy Settings
Once you have created your group, you have to decide on your group’s privacy settings. There are just three.
- Secret – Anyone can join only if invited by a member
- Closed – Anyone can request to join but they must be added by a member
- Public – Anyone can join
Obviously type 3 can grow the fastest of all, however it also leads to more spam or fake members.
10 Tips On How To Grow Your Facebook Group
I have a parenting group called the Malaysian Primary And Secondary School Parents On Facebook. I started the group in mid June 2013 with 50 invited members. Over two years later, today my group has 11,200 members. Do note that my group is region specific but if you have a generic group, like a gaming one for example, you can open your group to the whole world.
My group is still growing by about 20-30 members a day. Sometimes I have up to 50 requests to join in a day, sometimes less. My group is a closed group. This is because some of the parents in my group post sensitive information about their children’s school and teachers so I am keeping it closed for more privacy and control. It wouldn’t do to have just anyone who wants to join becoming a member of the group.
This is what I have done so far for the group which worked in helping the group grow.
- Start Your Group Right – This means getting it right the first time. Start with a few invited like minded individuals who share your interest. It is very easy to invite someone to be a member of your group. Just make sure your invite the right persons.
- Get Members To Know One Another – Extend a warm welcome to all new members and encourage members to introduce themselves so they get to know one another. When I first started the group. This was what I did. I got the members to give a brief intro of themselves, how many children they have, what type of school they attend. This set the ball rolling. Unfortunately, now that the group has grown big, I am unable to do that anymore because it takes up a lot of time and effort and welcomes and introductions will fill up your wall posts making it harder for members who want to follow your group for its interesting discussion. However, it is a good idea to start off in this manner while your group is small.
- Have An Identity – One of the very first things you should do is to create a Facebook Cover for your group, one that gives your group the identity that you want. If you don’t know how, get another member or friend to help you out. I made my own group header with a free photo editing online software. If you are making, do check the Facebook Help Center for the current Facebook Group Cover Image Dimensions as they change it from time to time. You should also make sure that it looks well in different platforms. If you find this too difficult for you, get help from one of your members. You can even open up a discussion to get members to participate by sending in their designs and have everyone vote for the best.
- Set Rules And Stick To It – Write a good group description for your group. Make it very clear what is expected of members and what can or cannot be discussed, then pin this description, rules and regulations of your group at the top. You get to pin one post at the top of your wall. For example, in my group, the rules are to be polite and nice, stick to discussing matters about children’s education, do not get into heated arguments or talk about politics and no spamming the wall with ads. It is very important to have rules because members join your group because they are interested in the topic and aim for your group. If you steer off course, it will no longer be beneficial for the members and they will leave. Be very firm with this and don’t be afraid to hit that “Block” button for members who continuously overlook the regulations.
- Get The Discussion Going – Initially, you will have to do a lot of posting yourself to get the discussion going. However, be careful here. There is a fine line in posting frequently yourself. Remember that your group is not all about you. It is for the benefit of the whole group. Of course you will benefit from the discussion too but the discussion should not be mostly about you. You don’t want to come across as arrogant and patronizing. After your initial hard work and finding topics of interest to discuss, you will find that you do not need to spend a lot of time posting once the group has grown. The discussion will carry on without you!
- Share Generously – Why do you join a Facebook Group? I join a FB group because I want to learn something from the discussion. If there is an interesting topic of interest being discussed, I would like to learn from what others share. I continuously share parenting articles, links, videos, posters with members to keep it interesting and beneficial for them to be in the group. Sometimes, I write blog posts on questions that are being asked repeatedly in the group and share it with the members. However, you must be careful about doing this. Share ONLY if it is beneficial to the members and NOT because you want to market your blog so share only relevant articles of interest. Another way of sharing is to create document files containing relevant articles, useful links and information for your members. You can also teach and encourage members to do this too as all members are able to create files.
- Encourage Community Cohesion – Members should feel united as a group so you should encourage this. I do this by creating posters for my group. Whenever a festival, public holiday or school holiday approaches, I will draw posters that read “Malaysian Primary And Secondary Parents On Facebook” wish you a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy School Holidays” message etc. I think that helps to create a feeling of being one and being part of a group. You don’t have to be an expert artist. There are plenty of drawing and poster or card making apps and many of them are free to download and use on your tablet computer. You can create beautiful greeting cards for your members easily and quickly.
- Manage Your Group Discussion – After a while, you will find that new members ask the same questions over and over again. Many do not have the time and do not bother to look at the old posts. This can be very boring and tiring for the older members to sieve through. What you can do is to create specific threads for different types of discussion and make sure that members stick to that thread only for the discussion. I do this by redirecting members to the old threads that have been previously discussed. I also have specific threads for “School Holiday Programs” and other frequently appearing or time specific topics.
- Keep It Engaging And Interactive – To keep the discussion interesting, you can conduct polls, ask open questions and invite everyone to give their views. Everyone loves to talk about something they know well. That is why they joined your group. So encourage them to open up and debate, in a friendly manner of course. Don’t encourage negativity and in group fighting.
- Make Everyone Welcome – Sometimes questions are asked by members and these do not get any answers. Make everyone welcome by acknowledging the member even if you do not have an answer or by redirecting the member to another thread that may help.
If you keep your group active, warm and welcoming, then your members will grow automatically. Good Luck!
A Facebook Group Cover Will Give Your FB Group An Identity
Tip: Your Facebook Group Cover Image Dimensions Are 801 x 250 pixels.
What Else You Should Know About Maintaining A Facebook Group
Here are a couple of other things you should know when your Facebook Group grows.
- Your Group Will Attract Spammers And Fake Accounts – Do not allow these spammers and fake account holders to become members. You can easily spot them. They will either be members to hundreds of groups or their account are just days old. On their wall you may see postings of items they are selling (usually hand phones) and they may use a pretty girl as their cover photo.
- Free Loaders And Link Dropping – Once your Facebook Group grows, you may find some members who wish to take advantage of your free audience for marketing purposes. After all, who doesn’t want a free advertisement to thousands of targeted individuals? DO NOT allow this to happen. Once you do, your page will be filled with spam posts by individuals who are only interested to drop their links for a free advertisement. They are not interested in the discussion for the benefit of the group. They are only interested in how the group can benefit them. Make it clear in your description that link dropping is NOT allowed and be firm with it. If the member repeats the offence after your have sent them a private message, remove that member without hesitation. It is okay to remove even without a private message as the rules are there and they have been pinned at the top for all to read. I believe that members of a group should have the responsibility of reading and following group regulations. However, you must first put up that rule and make it clear and visible to everyone.
- The Question Of Admin – Once your group is of a certain size, you will have to ask yourself this. Do you want to invite other admins? Perhaps you started the group together with several others, in which case you will have several admins. Admins can remove one another. If you are inviting a member to become admin, do pick individuals you can trust. If you have too many admins, you may have problems later on when admins do not agree. You will also need to reach out and connect or communicate with all admins should you choose to have a policy change for your group. So ask yourself that before you decide on more admins.
- There Will Be Copies Of Your Group – Once you are successful at something, there will be others who wish to take advantage of it. How will you deal with spin off groups? I welcome them. There are a few spin off groups in my group. Smaller groups that were created by members for even more specific discussion, for example for different schools. Those are perfectly welcome. However, do not tolerate plagiarizing in any form. I’m really tired of this issue. I’ve had so many of my blog posts and articles copies, even my entire blog. Of course there is no stopping anyone from creating a very similar group to yours but do protest if copying is involved. For example, there was a group which was created which was similar to mine. I found that my group description had been copied and pasted from mine. Even the Facebook Cover Image resembled my group’s cover image very closely. I immediately informed all the members that the group was not in anyway connected to the group. In another incident, a similar group to mine was created but in another language and in both cases, the new groups invited my group members to join the new group. Well, you can’t stop the copying but if you stay true to your group, your members will grow, not leave.
- Stay True To Yourself And Your Group’s Purpose – Lastly, don’t forget to be yourself. Be positive and don’t let negativity creep into the group. Remember why you created the group. Don’t allow discussion to steer away from that reason or the purpose you envision your group will have. It is so easy to stray from the discussion so don’t allow it. For example, in my parenting group which is all about schooling, I have seen discussion on baking, housekeeping which are totally unrelated to the topic. Of course sometimes they are fun and members love to talk about it but remember that not all members will enjoy it. If you allow your group to steer to other topics then the group no longer becomes relevant to its original intent.
The Benefits Of A Facebook Group
What Do You Like About A Facebook Group?
- Active Discussion And Healthy Debate
- Definitely no spam!
- Helpful Articles
- Open Sharing
- Social Interaction
- All Of The Above