Engagement is the key to connecting people through social media, and Groups are great for fostering that connection. Unlike Pages which broadcast messages from a brand to an audience, Groups encourage people to talk amongst each other which offers a better sense of community.
Part of the benefit of having a group is that one person doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. More engagement can inspire more content or content ideas and members can engage in discussions with each other. This means that the group admins don’t have to be the ones to provide all of the value because members will start to provide it to each other.
With Facebook’s recent push to better integrate Groups into the News Feed, more engagement within a person’s groups will help those posts be more visible.
Group insights give you the use of statistics in three different sections:
- Growth: Track membership growth and group membership requests.
- Engagement: Measure posts, comments, and reactions over time. See the most popular days and times for member engagement. Review the top posts in the group.
- Membership: See your top contributors.
Group insights can help admins make decisions about the direction of the group and make the right changes so that people get the most out of the information they share.
Use this data to easily identify and connect with top contributors or schedule important posts for peak days and times for maximum visibility and engagement. Because reports are available for up to 60 days, you’ll be able to track the impact of your actions over time and see what works.
To access these reports, go to the Group navigation bar > More > Group insights, then click on the “Growth details” section. From here, you can adjust to see data from the last 7, 28, or 60 days. Click on “Download Details” to download a more comprehensive report.
The best thing that you can do for your own benefit and that of your members is to plan your content ahead of time using a content calendar. By planning your posts in advance, you can see and ensure that content is spread out for maximum visibility and engagement. You want to create a consistent and balanced posting schedule to maximize visibility and engagement. If a lot of posts are made too close together, they’ll be less likely to be seen and people will be less likely to interact with each post.
It’s also a great idea to mix up the types of posts or content to add variety. For instance, this could look like a meme, a poll, a thought-provoking question, and a call to action spread over a week, then repeated each week.
The group admin or creator doesn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting. In the beginning, the duties of posting & monitoring content & comments may fall to one person, but as members join and become more involved, you might need to bring on some extra help. This person can be responsible for posting content, reviewing comments & posts from members, and responding to questions & membership requests.
This will help to increase engagement because someone from the group can help to keep conversations going, they can provide positive feedback to contributors so that they feel heard, and they can ax negative comments that might make people not want to contribute. Once a group reaches a certain level of activity, it might be hard for one admin to keep tabs on everything, so having another representative from the group is strongly recommended.
You can add someone you know or is part of your organization to be a moderator, or you can use Group Insights to see a list of your most dedicated members and ask them if they’d like to help.
There will be conversations that naturally develop around the content that you post but it’s a good idea to spur it on a little by asking direct questions to your members. Stay away from uninspired ones like “Your thoughts?” and instead opt for ones that make people think. If you do ask their opinion, ask for details or to explain why they think that way. Ask for tips & advice, reviews of certain products or services, or for people to share a personal anecdote. One-word answers aren’t helpful to anybody.
It can also be a good idea to ask questions that get members to ask questions. Asking people to tell the group what they don’t know or don’t understand within your industry can be a great opportunity to not only provide direct answers to add value, but it can also be a great inspiration for future posts and other content. Each question that a member asks is an opportunity to create a post that answers it for everyone because other people definitely have the same questions.
Use Different Posting Features
Facebook provides so many options to post more than just text, pictures, and videos. Use these features to provide more to and get more from your members.
- Watch Party
- Tag Friends
- Ask for Recommendations
- Check in
- Get Together
- Tag Event
- Support Nonprofit
Each of these different types of posts are useful in different ways. You can use polls to get people’s opinions on something outside the group or to help you make decisions. Posting or replying using GIFs can be a lot of fun. You can organize a Watch Party to increase the sense of community within the group by everyone watching and commenting on the same video at the same time. Asking for recommendations can not only be valuable to other members, but it can provide exposure to other Pages or businesses.
Groups also offer an Announcements section at the top of the page, which is essentially a pinned post with important information that everyone should see. You can use this for posts that won’t change regularly, like rules & regulations for the group, or you can change it every week depending on the group’s focus. The point is that it’s different and will get better attention, so use that to your advantage to get people to interact with it.
Groups allow admins to upload different types of files that can be downloaded by members. This might include e-books, workbooks, plans, guides, spreadsheets, brand assets, etc. This provides an option for groups to deliver extra items of value that they’ve created and can refer new members to or can refer back to at any point.
Not only is downloading these files a form of engagement, but they can also get their own conversations started. Members can engage with you or with each other to discuss these files (whatever they are) and talk about what they got from them, what they learned, maybe what they’d change, how they’d use them, etc.
Engagement is the bread and butter of Facebook Groups. Not only does it help the group get more exposure, but it helps the members of the group because they can provide value to each other through recommendations, advice, tips, tricks, and feedback. One person managing a group can’t provide the same level of value that a bunch of members can. Everyone has different experiences and knowledge and can provide different insights, so encourage your members to engage and see how it improves everyone’s experience.
p.s. if you are a social media manager living the agency life, we’d love for you to join us there!