If you’re struggling with Facebook Group Engagement or wondering how you can increase and raise Facebook Group engagement, you’re in the right place. With Facebook engagement rates at an all-time low, people are searching for more effective ways to build and nurture their online communities.
What is a Facebook Group?
Unlike Facebook Pages which are for existing customers who may already know of your business or offering, Facebook Groups work more like discussion forums with the main goal being to bring people with similar interests together. A Facebook Group can also be used as a space to attract and engage with potential new customers. Facebook Groups can public; open to anyone who wishes to join them, others are private and by invitation only, while a few are hidden from the search results entirely.
You can check out the main differences between a Facebook Group & Facebook Page in the table below:
How to create a successful Facebook Group
Step #1. Make use of the new features
One of the most important differentiators between brand pages and Facebook groups is that the latter aren’t meant to serve as advertising platforms. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still help you increase your reach and build an engaged online community.
Alongside the algorithm updates, Facebook introduced various new features to groups, including educational resources, improved customer support, an updated rules and policy engine, and pre-approval of posts from specific members.
Most important is the ability to pre-approve posts from your most trusted and engaged members, which can save a tonne of time. Another new feature is Watch Parties, which allows you to share live broadcasts, such as online training sessions.
Step #2. Consider making your group invite-only
Facebook group engagement is often lacking on open groups, largely because they tend to get quickly inundated with spammers using fake, computer-generated profiles.
Many brands create open groups to maximise their reach and promote their products and services to as many people as possible. Unsurprisingly, this approach doesn’t achieve much. Since groups are better suited to your most engaged customers for the purposes of things like product ideation, it’s usually better to create a closed group that members have to send an invitation request to.
Another alternative is to create a secret group, but this will require you to send out any invitations, since the group will be hidden from the search results. However, this is often the best option for any internal groups meant for employees only.
Step #3. Get your timing right to achieve maximum visibility
Timing is extremely important in social media marketing, not least because content posted in busy online communities quickly gets buried before many people have a chance to see it.
You need to know when your members are most likely to be online. For example, if you’re a B2B business, chances are your members will be more active on working days, particularly during lunch breaks, early mornings and early evenings.
For consumer-facing brands, weekends and evenings tend to work better. Fortunately, you can schedule posts on Facebook groups by writing them in advance and then choosing a date and time to publish them. Although there are some general guidelines like the ones we’ve mentioned, timing varies enormously from one industry to the next, so you may need to experiment.
Step #4. Create your own community platform
While Facebook group engagement rates are arguably higher than those of business pages, you’re still restricted by the whims of the platform. Facebook is the one in control here and the one making the profit.
This means you have little say in how your community operates, what sort of experience it offers to its members, and no options to monetize your community. The alternative is to take your group out of the Facebook ecosystem, either on a web-platform like a forum or (particularly if you want to charge a subscription) by creating your own community platform.
Top ways to increase Facebook Group engagement
Community leaders who want to step up their content marketing efforts should ideally be posting engaging content on all 7 days of the week. Some of these days can rely on basic content marketing methods such as blog posts or group discussion prompts, but others should be more elaborate. For example, it could be a good idea to announce a number of themed days during which group admins encourage community members to share posts that adhere to a certain topic. The time and effort required by these types of posts can help to nurture a shared sense of belonging among community members.
Here are 13 highly effective ways to increase engagement within your Facebook Group.
1. Say hello to new members
Welcoming in new members to your group with a friendly message is a great way to build rapport and establish a connection from the get-go. When you go out of your way to strengthen this connection, members are more likely to feel included and comfortable with sharing their thoughts and feelings with others in your Facebook Group. A quick way to keep on top of your new members is to review new members on a weekly basis with a customized written message or even a video that you can tag members in.
2. Get the conversation started
Make it easy for your members to connect with icebreakers. Asking people to introduce themselves and where they’re from is a quick way to drive conversations. It’s also a great way for your members to feel seen, valued, and appreciated, and like they’re joining a family instead of feeling like they’re just another number. Another way to make people feel welcome is to reach out to them directly by sending them a private message.
3. Unleash your inner storyteller
Storytelling is a great way to engage your members. This can be through written posts, photos, or videos. You can tell people the story of why you started your Facebook Group, what your mission is and the struggles or challenges that you’ve faced, and which your members will be able to resonate with. People like it when you keep things real, so emphasizing your human side is a great way to strengthen connections with your community.
4. Make use of quizzes, polls, and surveys
People love to feel involved in your community and creating polls, quizzes and surveys is a great way to grab their attention, drive interactions, and keep them hooked. Launching these on a regular basis is an absolute no-brainer for engagement.
5. Be curious
Be curious and ask your community questions. This is a great way to get the ball rolling with conversations and encourages others to quickly jump into the conversations to share their thoughts too. Types of questions include:
- Open-ended questions like “What are you watching on Netflix at the moment?” There isn’t a single answer to this question and people will answer differently.
- Closed questions like “Do you like our new logo?” People will respond to it with a straight ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
- Image-based questions this is where an image is shared with the question so people are able to easily understand the question.
6. Publish photo quotes
There’s a reason why you see so many photo quotes online – because they work and are a great way to drive engagement. Simple photos with industry-relevant quotes or inspirational quotes are a great way to encourage interactions with your audience. Keep your audience in mind when you’re creating them to ensure they’re relevant and be sure to select the right image to make sure it’s appropriate for your members.
7. Post at the right time
Timing is everything. Making sure your posts are published at the right time is crucial to driving engagement. If most of your audience is in the U.K for example, posting when they’re asleep or eating dinner may not drive as much engagement as it would do during specific parts of the day. The same applies to other timezones, if your audience is in the U.S, posting at times that they’re asleep won’t drive results either. Checking what countries your audience is from is a great starting point. You can also use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to pre-plan your posts and test different times to see when you’re getting the most engagement.
8. Make the most of Livestreams
Livestreaming is a great way to drive more visibility to your Facebook Group and increase engagement. When you Livestream on a consistent basis, people are more likely to build a better connection with you and be more inclined to get involved in conversations or comment on your posts. You can also leverage this functionality by regularly offering Q&A streams.
9. Engage with your community
If you want people to engage with you it’s vital that you show up and make an effort to engage with them too. This means liking, commenting, and responding to others. Not only does this help people to feel more valued, but it also lets Facebook know that your post is ‘popular’ and is, therefore, more likely to land onto people’s Newsfeeds.
10. Invite others into the discussion
Asking people for their opinions and inviting them into the discussion is a great way to encourage engagement from other members of your community. It doesn’t need to be difficult, it could simply be by tagging them in posts with questions like the below:
- This is an important question that I’d love your feedback on. Can you leave a quick comment and tell me what you think?
- I know there are some of you who know a lot about this and have something valuable to share. What do you think?
- (Name), I’d love it if you could share your experience with (insert topic).
- What’s your advice for the group?
- What’s your opinion?
11. Create regular weekly posts
Creating regular weekly themed posts is a great way for people to get used to consistency in your Facebook Group. Don’t just repurpose what other people are doing, really think about the needs and pain points of the members in your Group. Maybe it’s motivational Monday, sharing weekly wins, an opportunity to promote a product or service, inspirational Friday to share their most inspirational quotes or reads of the week – whatever you choose just make sure it’s relevant for your members.
Everybody loves to receive something for free and when you lead with generosity, people are more likely to build trust with you and interact with what you have to offer. Giveaways could be discount codes, lead magnets, audios, pieces of video training, or physical products. It’s a great way to reward your members and make them more curious about what you have to offer which will in turn drive more engagement.
13. Let your community guide you
Asking your community flat out what they want to see more of is a great way to spike engagement. Not only are you getting a better understanding of their needs, but you’re also not wasting hours of time creating irrelevant content that won’t land with them. Always be sure to check in with your members to make sure they’re actually getting value from your Facebook Group and being proactive in adjusting your Facebook Group to cater to their needs.
Increasing engagement on your Facebook Group doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you apply the tips and tricks above, you’ll be sure to notice a spike in conversations and interactions. If you want an alternative to social media platforms and to escape the dreaded algorithm, Disciple offers a customizable community platform that you own, manage, and control. Click the banner below to book a demo and find out how we can help you to supercharge your engagement.