In this article, you’ll discover how to manage a Facebook group your members will value and engage with.
Build an Inner Circle With Your Facebook Group
Once you’ve set up your Facebook group, it’s time to consider a content strategy. Across platforms, your posts should add value to the news feed. You wouldn’t share the same content on LinkedIn and Snapchat, and you shouldn’t have the same content strategy for Facebook groups and Facebook pages.
Groups are exclusive communities for your most engaged fans, so group content should reflect that exclusivity. Members should feel like they’re getting something special, such as members-only offers and behind-the-scenes access to your brand.
#1: Deliver Exclusive How-To Content via Units
Facebook group units allow admins to organize posts by topic or assign educational course content to members. The Units feature is available in Social Learning groups.
To set your group to Social Learning, click More under the group cover and select Edit Group Settings. Then click Change next to Group Type at the top of the page.
Once you’ve set the group type to Social Learning, you’ll see a Units tab in the sidebar. Open the Units tab and click Create Unit.
Give the unit a name and description. Check the box in the bottom-left corner to make the content optional. Then click Create Unit.
Once you’ve created a unit, you can write a post, upload a file, or create an event.
When members have reviewed a post, they can mark it as complete by clicking “I’m done.” You’ll be able to see completion stats in Group Insights.
#2: Foster Connections Between Influential Staff and Facebook Group Members
Members of your Facebook group should feel like they’re part of your brand’s inner circle with VIP access behind the scenes. Who are your brand’s influencers? Is there someone on your team with whom members would be eager to connect? Leverage your group to foster these connections.
Fitness brand Peloton boasts a thriving Facebook group of more than 100,000 members. The company, which streams fitness classes live to screens on its cardio equipment, involves its fitness instructors in the Facebook group. Admins tag instructors in posts, inviting fans to engage with them.
When the group hit 100,000 members, Peloton celebrated the milestone with a video of instructors recognizing group members who had inspired them.
Pro Tip: Collaborate with your audience. More than any other platform, groups inspire audience participation. To deliver content collaboratively, monitor group discussions and nurture members’ interests.
When admins of the official fan group for the USA show, “The Sinner,” noticed that members were speculating about the main character’s motivations, they changed the group description to “Share your theories about #TheSinner here.” The group discussion is teeming with theories—new posts pop up every few minutes from nearly 8,000 members.
Use Groups Features to Foster Engagement
A few years ago, people used Facebook groups mainly to connect with neighbors, sell trinkets, and promote garage sales. Since then, the platform has evolved into an integral component of social marketing strategies. Facebook has embraced the transition, developing tools to help marketers make meaningful connections with customers.
#3: Broadcast Live Video
Interestingly, in groups, any member can go live, while only admins can access the live video feature on pages. The difference reflects the collaborative culture of groups. While Facebook Live is (relatively) not a new tool, it’s underutilized by marketers. The algorithm loves live video, and it’s a great way to give members a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
It’s easy to start a live video in your group, but don’t dive in unprepared. Post once or twice leading up to the live stream to let group members know that you’ll be going live and give them a reason to watch. Before you start the broadcast, consider your surroundings. Avoid locations with an echo, a crowd, wind, or noise from an air conditioner.
The content of your group live stream should be valuable to your audience. Members should feel like they’re getting something beyond what’s available to page followers. Because the video will reach a select group of fans, it’s a great opportunity to provide educational content in a webinar format.
Going live in a closed group won’t give you the reach that you’d get from your larger page audience, but you’ll trade quantity of views for quality. You’ll make a meaningful connection with a core group of highly engaged fans, building brand champions and increasing the likelihood of conversions.
#4: Hold a Watch Party
Watch Party, one of the newer features in Facebook Groups, allows you to select a series of publicly available, pre-recorded videos to watch in real time with group members. During a watch party, viewers can interact in the comments for a live-chat experience.
As with live video, you’ll want to promote your watch party in advance to let members know when to join and what to expect. To create a watch party post, open the comments box and select Watch Party. Give the event a title and description.
Next, click Add Video to select a series of videos for your watch party. You’ll have the option to search for specific pages or videos. You may also choose from videos you’ve already watched or shared in the group, live videos that are currently streaming on Facebook, or videos that Facebook recommends.
Once you’ve selected videos to screen, begin the watch party. During the watch party, you’ll be in control of the viewing experience. You can see which Facebook group members have joined in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
Engage with viewers in real time in the comments section. If you pause or fast-forward the videos, members will see what you see.
Click Add Video to add more videos to the watch party.
Or click the Videos in the Queue link to change the order of scheduled videos. Then choose Play Now or Play Next.
Watch Party is a great way to build connections with group members or share educational content to establish your expertise. The shared viewing experience promotes a sense of togetherness in a digital community.
#5: Plan a Get-Together
Get Together makes it easy to set up a face-to-face meeting with Facebook group members. To organize a get-together, navigate to the discussion and create a post.
Click on Get Together and then write a brief description, select a time, and determine a location. Group members will be notified of the invitation.
Companies with a physical location might use the Get Together tool to invite group members to a product rollout or sale. For digital businesses, get-togethers create a unique opportunity to make in-person connections with customers.
#6: Poll Members for Input and Preferences
Use the Polls feature in groups to find out what type of content interests your members. To take a poll, navigate to the Discussion tab and create a post. Click Poll and then write a question or prompt and provide a few choices.
From the Poll Options drop-down menu, you can indicate whether you’d like members to be able to add options to the poll and select more than one option.
Polls allow Facebook group admins to make content creation a truly collaborative process, inspiring member involvement, investment, and engagement.
As marketers struggle to reach their audience with Facebook page content, many are turning to Facebook groups to deliver their brand’s message and connect with fans. Many marketers compare Facebook pages to a monologue and groups to a dialogue; while a brand is in control of its page content, group content is typically more user-driven, and that’s a good thing.
This makes groups an attractive option for busy small business owners with limited time to develop social media content. In a group, members do a lot of the work for you.
This also means that users are more invested in the content, spurring meaningful engagement and interaction among group members. As fans connect with one another around your content, you’ll score points with Facebook’s algorithm, as well as potential customers. Many brands have already leveraged groups as a marketing platform.
For example, the popular cooking brand, Instant Pot, has built a thriving community in its Facebook group of more than a million members. The content is heavily member-driven; users post recipes and photos, and request product advice from other members.
The brand occasionally chimes in to promote new products and sales. The exclusivity of the community and high levels of member participation make groups the perfect platform for Instant Pot to nurture a loyal customer base.
The tips above can help you start better serving your own Facebook group members and encourage meaningful interactions.
What do you think? How have you integrated Facebook groups into your marketing strategy? What new tools have you found to be most useful for engaging your audience and building a sense of community within your groups? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.