How to grow a Facebook group using content – a step-by-step guide

Posted on July 16, 2018

 

If you’ve been trying to use Facebook to increase your business, you can’t help but have noticed how the reach of Facebook Pages has dwindled in recent months. Once upon a time, all you needed to do was to post something to your Page and a large percentage of your followers would see it. Now, however, you can post great content to your Page and find very little interaction – almost as if nobody cares.

Your content could be brilliant, but due to Facebook’s algorithm change, you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t very good at all. It’s very disheartening.

Don’t worry, though – there’s no need to ditch Facebook as a marketing tool and there’s certainly no need to start doing what Facebook wants you to do and start boosting posts or spending money on Facebook adverts.

No, there’s actually a very clever way to increase your engagement on Facebook and it doesn’t cost you a penny, it just takes a little time and effort.

1 – Where to start

First off, you should have a Facebook Page for your business that has a decent number of likes. When we say ‘decent’ we mean over 1,000. If it’s upwards of 2,000 you’re in a great position. If you’ve got far more than that then great, you’ll really do well out of this step-by-step guide.

2 – Create a ‘linked’ group

From your Facebook Page, you should see a tab for ‘Groups’. This is something Facebook brought in last year, and allowed Page owners to created groups associated with their pages, or to link existing groups to their pages. If you have a group already, then great, if not don’t worry – you can create one now.

Follow the prompts from Facebook to either create a new group for your business, or link to your existing group.

This will have the added benefit of being able to post in your group AS your Page, which means you can separate your personal profile from your business page in your group, and stop receiving those annoying personal private messages or friend requests that should be saved for your business profile.

3 – Populate your group

Nobody likes an empty forum. Invite your friends to join the group, but don’t invite the ones who might be offended by the invite. You’ll find a percentage of people you invite will join just because some people do what they’re asked on social media. Don’t worry if they’re not your target customer, that’s not the point of it. You’re doing it to look busy. Then you share some of your Page’s content in your group, posting AS your Page.

Why? Because people see content posted in groups before they see it posted on pages. By sharing your Facebook Page content in your group, more people will see it, increasing that reach once more.

4 – Harvest your Facebook Page likes

This is something you should have been doing anyway. If not, you’ll like this.

Go back through every piece of content you have shared on your Facebook Page. Click onto it as if you were going to write a comment, but then click the number of ‘likes’ it has received. A box should open showing all of the people who have liked the post. From here, you can ‘invite’ them to like your Page.

Do it. Invite all of them. Many will ignore it, some will obey and ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your Page. In the old days, this would have been enough, as people liking your Page would then see your content, but not anymore. No, now you need to go a stage further. You now need to…

5 – Convert your Facebook likes into group members

Here’s the really exciting thing, and the thing you’re probably reading this for.

With your ‘linked’ group, you’re able to post in your group either as yourself or as your Page. You can do this from the desktop version of Facebook or from the App. Choose to act AS your Page, and you’re now able to invite people to join your group who already like your Page.

Using the desktop, the option is on the right-hand side of the Page. On the app, it doesn’t always appear, so we advise doing this from the desktop for now. There is a heading entitled ‘Suggested Members’ with the text underneath ‘People who like [your Page name]’. There is an ‘Invite’ button next to each name.

Press it. Press all of them. The list should have 10 names on it. As you invite them, they will disappear and more will appear. You should be able to invite around 50 names before they stop reappearing and the list stays blank.

Don’t worry, the list will repopulate the next day. The exact time between inviting people and the list repopulating isn’t clear, but it’s certainly available again the following day – possibly sooner.

By doing this you’re able to build your group with the people who have already liked your Page, increasing the size of your group and then increasing the reach of your content, thus increasing your engagement.

Remember though:

• Keep posting content to your Page as normal, and then sharing that post within your group
• Keep inviting people who ‘like’ your Page content to also ‘like’ your Page
• Keep inviting people who ‘like’ your Page to join your group from within your group

Then, by posting regular content to your Page, you’re able to beat Facebook’s algorithm and use the platform for effective marketing without having to pay for boosted posts of adverts.

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.
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