In my previous article I wrote about the pros and cons of Facebook Page vs Facebook Group with the purpose of helping you decide which would be more beneficial to your brand.
Let’s say you have decided to take your brand to the next level and create a Facebook Group for your community.
How can you make your Facebook Group stand out from your competition?
How can you make the most out of your Facebook Group?
- Make your group’s members feel special. Offer them exclusivity with pre-launch sales and giveaways;
- Reply to each and every comment even if it’s to say Thank you or Good idea!;
- Reward your most active and engaged members;
- Set up group meetings for coffee or drinks;
- Run ads to build your group as you would for any of your products or services.
These recommendations are all good, but if you really want to build a successful group you must first understand what your group is all about.
Let me introduce you to Tara McMullin and her surprising recommendations on how businesses should build and manage their Facebook Groups.
Tara McMullin is an entrepreneur, podcast host, and community builder. She is the founder and CEO of What Works, a top small business podcast, as well as a community for small business owners.
Tara has been named one of the top 24 female podcast hosts for business owners on Entrepreneur and WhatWorks.com was named one of the 10 sites every entrepreneur should bookmark by The Muse.
3 recommendations by Tara McMullin on how to build a successful Facebook Group:
- Don’t make your Facebook Group about your brand, your product or about you. Make it about your members;
- Facilitate the conversation instead of leading it;
- Create new habits instead of relying on already established habits.
Unfortunately, when access to you or your product is the hook for joining your Facebook Group (or any community space), that puts all of the burden on your brand. You have to show up, you have to create content, you have to drive the conversation.
That’s why your content strategy shouldn’t revolve around providing content but, instead, prompting content created by members.
Instead of member engagement direct all your efforts towards encouraging member contribution. That’s the starting point of all interesting conversations and what keeps members connected. All you have to do is facilitate the conversation instead of leading it.
Make the value proposition of your Facebook Group about your community members. Simply put: do your members consider having access to each other as the main benefit of your group?
It doesn’t matter if your Group or community is free or paid. It doesn’t matter if it’s the product or a perk. What matters is that the Group exists to benefit the member, not the business that runs it.
Create a new habit for your members
Getting notifications on group activity is Facebook’s way to gain our attention.
But ask yourself this:
Would people seek out your Facebook Group if they weren’t getting notifications through the platform?
Checking Facebook whenever a notification icon pops up on our smartphone display is a habit established by the social media platform.
What Tara recommends is to help your members develop a new habit independent of Facebook notifications.
How do you create a new habit? You need to control the context which drives people to seek out your group.
Answer the following questions:
When are people turning to you?
What is the context people reach out to you?
Is there a problem your members need help solving?
Do they have questions related to a specific subject?
Here’s how to create a trigger habit for your members according to Tara:
- Create the context;
- Develop the right trigger;
- Leverage your members – they are your group’s most valuable asset.
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