If you’re a business, you know the value of having an engaged audience who you share a strong connection with. Businesses invest a lot of time and effort in building these communities that will help them to understand their users better.
A Facebook group lets you do just that and connects people with similar interests from around the world. An engaged Facebook community has a culture that just brings its members together to actively participate in discussions and is self-sustainable.
At the very start, your Facebook group is dependent on you to foster conversations. You will have to bring people together and help them connect with each other. Once your group feels comfortable and safe, they will start creating opportunities themselves to connect with other members. Until then, here are tried and tested tactics that will ensure active engagement on your Facebook community.
1. Welcome new members to your Facebook community
When you welcome new members to the group as soon as they join, you establish a connection from day one. This simple gesture makes them feel included and gives them an opportunity to open up and share their thoughts with the other members.
Facebook has made it easy to send a welcome message that helps you tag your new members. When new members are accepted into the group, you will get a notification that asks you to write a post to welcome them. When you click on the button, Facebook will automatically tag all of your new members (in the last 7 days) and all you have to do is write the text for the post. Just remember that Facebook can only tag 100 new members in one post.
You can also simply pin a post on the group for new members to see as soon as they join the group, which welcomes them and asks them to introduce themselves.
2. Create opportunities for discussions
Simple, quick and easy to comment posts work great to get group discussions started. It can also serve you as a bank for things your Facebook community is interested in – giving you information that you can leverage to create content.
Asking simple questions such as ‘what is your trick to get over a creative block?’ give you quick and immediate responses. Not only does it make your community feel heard but it makes room for them to speak to each other in the comments section.
For example, two people with a similar opinion may really hit it off and start a conversation in the comments or someone who doesn’t agree with what is posted will talk about why he feels that way – and just like that conversations are brewing.
You can also use visual elements like an image or video to drive your question. Just make sure that you’re asking them to talk to you and not just reply with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Once you have an actively engaged Facebook community, you can go ahead and ask people for their opinions on more comprehensive topics. These questions should spark debate-like conversations that lets your members open up and get to know each other better. Questions like – ‘Do you think work from home will become the new normal?’ or ‘What are your thoughts on the new XYZ policy’?
3. Use polls, surveys and quizzes
These easy to hook tools are a fun and quick way for your audience to engage with you. You can make a poll on Facebook to get their opinion on trending topics or even use it to understand their preferences.
A survey or quiz is a little more time consuming and so you can offer a gift coupon or prize. You can also use the data from these polls and surveys to divide your content into buckets, ensuring that you serve value to everyone who participates.
4. Create relatable content
Nothing gets more engagement than a post that is relatable. It can be a picture, a quote or even a video. Think about it – what kind of content do you usually share or react to on your newsfeed? It is most likely content that defines us, ideas that we support or valuable and entertaining content. The key is to create images and videos or find quotes that fit the genre of your Facebook community.
Picture quotes and memes are the most relatable forms of content on social media today.
5. Entertain but also add value
It’s great to like and share fun posts but don’t forget that your audience is in the group to gain something. It is important that you have a clear and focused content strategy that is 80% about giving value to those in your group. Make edutainment content that is not only informative but also fun to consume.
6. Use the power of storytelling
A good story stays with people long after they have heard it. When you talk to your members on your Facebook community, feel free to share stories about your experience or lessons that you learned. Your story will most likely strike a connection with the audience, resulting in steps that lead to building strong relationships.
7. Go Live
Facebook Live has become one of the most powerful tools on the internet to reach out to your audience. They can see you and interact with you in real time. It adds a personal touch, making you more relatable to your members.
You can go live to talk about something that’s trending, interview someone who shares the interest of the group or talk about something that will benefit your audience.
To know more about going Live on Facebook, click here.
8. Be sure to post everyday
Being the admin of the group makes you responsible to keep the juices flowing. The ideal frequency for posting is 1-2 posts a day. Making a content chart and organizing your posts in such a manner that you receive engagement every day will boost your groups metrics.
9. Get the timing right
Check the engagement metric to know when your Facebook community is most active. If you don’t post at the right time, your post may drown below members-shared content. Facebook also lets you schedule posts so it can go out precisely when you want it to. To schedule a post for later, click on the clock symbol next to post and select ‘Schedule Post’ – this will allow you to select the date and time of publishing.
10. Like, comment and respond
Remember that all engagement (especially in the first few months) starts with you. When your member likes or comments on a post, reply back and start a conversation. Don’t put off a spark by just liking their comment or saying thank you. Keep the conversation alive by asking them another question or adding something to their comment.
You can also tag another member on the group, someone you have interacted with earlier, to share their opinion and at the same time introduce them.
11. Make members your power partners
There will be a handful of members that are more active and involved than the others. These members can be your power partners. Upgrade them to become moderators and encourage them to post and have discussions more often. Not only does this take off the burden of constantly sharing as an admin but it also increases engagement – with more posts, comments and activities. Make sure your power partners know and believe in the essence of the group.
12. Host events and encourage members to join in
Find new ways to do stuff together online with your members. You can host a group chat, ask-me-anything, go live or organize a Facebook Watch Party.
A Facebook Watch Party allows you to host a live screening of previously recorded videos on your group. It lets you have a shared viewing experience where members can watch and simultaneously chat and comment on the video with each other.
You can find the option to have a watch party along with options like live video, post photo or video, etc on the new post tab. Don’t forget to post and create an event about your watch party so your members know when to join in.
Pro-tip: Create an event on your Facebook community and send invites for members to attend it. It is a great way to get your community more involved and these in-personal events help foster meaningful relationships.
13. Always moderate your group’s engagement
As an admin, it is your responsibility to ensure that your members feel comfortable and safe in the group. There will be instances when you will come across members breaking rules or getting negative. This is your cue to jump in and either stop it, send them a warning or lift it up.
When you take action against something inappropriate it reinforces your member’s trust in you and the Facebook community.
14. Be consistent
The last thing you want to do is leave your Facebook community hanging. You can define your own consistency – whether it is once a week, a month or even every day. Let your audience know when to expect you and consistently show up. Your members should be able to count on you to be there and this trust will translate to business.
15. Read into your group insights
Your group insights are the key to cracking the code with your audience. When you pay attention to the indicators, they will tell you what kind of posts do well, what time slots and days are most active and what gets the motor running for your Facebook community. Use this data to constantly update your content strategy and serve your members better.
We’ve spilled all the beans on engagement tactics but we’re in the mood to give more. Here are 3 common mistakes marketers make in their Facebook communities that drastically drops engagement.
1. Making it all about your business
Even though your Facebook community was built on the idea that you will reach an engaged audience – it doesn’t mean that you keep posting about your business. A lot of marketers also make the big mistake of posting content from their page into their groups – this is a big no no. Always remember, it is not about you but it is about them. Your Facebook community is a space for you to add value to your members. If you have something business related that you want to talk about, find a way to center it around your members.
2. Don’t talk at people – get them involved in the conversation
If your posts are constantly talking to people without making room for them to connect back with you, you’re at the risk of losing engagement.
Your members are not here for a conclave or presentation where you just talk and they listen. It is imperative that you bring them into the conversation. You can do this by asking them questions or to share their opinion. Always turn the mic around and let them be a part of it.
For example, if you published a video on YouTube and posted the link on your Facebook group with a text telling them what the video is about, you are not engaging with your audience. Instead, talk to them about one main point in the video and ask them for their opinion on it – creating an opportunity for them to interact with you.
3. Sticking to one form of content
Facebook groups allow you to share content in multiple forms – text, videos, images, GIFs, polls and more. If you’re sticking to only one or two of these, you’re missing out on fun opportunities to interact with your members.
For example, when you post a question on the group, try asking members to respond with a GIF. You’ll see an increase in engagement because it is taking them away from the usual type-your-opinion and allowing them to have fun with GIFs.
Looks like you’ve got everything you need!
An engaged Facebook group opens many doors for marketers. One of the important ones is generating leads for your business. Did you know that Facebook groups can act as a sales funnel? Read all about that here.