How is your Facebook community management going?
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about creating and managing a successful Facebook group for your business.
By the end of it, you’ll be a better Facebook Group manager.
What We’ll Cover:
- The benefits of managing a Facebook Group
- How to create a Facebook Group
- How to grow a Group
- How to manage a Group
- What to post
- Membership requirements
- How to manage conflict
- When to ban someone from the Group
- How to maintain an engaged community
- Group Insights
According to a new report by NYU’s The Governance Lab, nearly 2 billion people use Facebook Groups every month. More than 70 million admins and moderators run active groups on Facebook. More than half of all Facebook users belong to five or more groups.
The study also found that:
- It’s possible to develop a sense of community in a virtual group even when people are physically distant.
- Online groups often attract marginalized people.
- Virtual communities generate leaders who know how to moderate controversial chatter.
- For the most part, Facebook Groups admins do their work for free.
In fact, more than 400 million of Facebook’s user base belong to a group that they find meaningful, according to a recent post on FB’s official blog (via The Verge).
Do you want to change things up since Facebook is redesigning its mobile app to focus more on groups – which are one of the few of FB’s many features that a lot of people actually use on a regular basis?
Good news: you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in.
Facebook Group Manager: How to Manage
As marketers, we all know the importance of Facebook.
It has an undeniable reach (2.41 billion active users), and unlike some of the newer platforms (I’m looking at you, Instagram), it reaches across demographics. In fact, 71% of the adults online around the world are on Facebook, so being able to connect with your audience on Facebook is an essential capability for any digital marketer.
But to reap all its benefits, brands need to reach beyond a business page.
Which is where Facebook Groups come in. These groups can provide a number of benefits not typically seen on pages. Those benefits include:
- More engagement
On Facebook Business Pages, the conversation is often one-sided. The brand does the talking, and it can all too easily fall on deaf ears.
Groups, however, drive interaction. The key here is building a community of like-minded people on Facebook that helps them connect to others who are interested in the same things, local events, and content that is meaningful to them.
We call groups Facebook Communities because they create a feeling of connectivity. While someone may be hesitant to post to the masses on a business page, they’re more likely to interact when they feel part of a group.
Also, Facebook itself is moving away from the standard Newsfeed and focusing more on the content that people actually want to see – which makes FB groups an especially valuable tool for social media managers and marketers.
Facebook Groups also provide a more personal experience. When you are managing your FB group, you are not just your business page, but the actual human voice behind it.
- Build trust
A Facebook community or group is based on private conversations – assuming you’re running a closed group.
Only members post or see the conversations, which gives brands a valuable opportunity to get to know their group members and vice versa.
If members don’t feel like they can trust you, they’ll be less likely to engage or comment. But by providing high-value content, opinions, and posts to your group specifically, you’ll be able to build that trust much more quickly.
- Focus on your ideal clients
When you think about, a Facebook community is a win/win for everyone. You have the power to choose who to invite and who gets in, and only those truly interested in your product or who are actively involved in your industry or vertical would want a part of it in the first place.
And as an admin, remember that you’re exchanging your time and attention in return for theirs. It’s a free platform to share ideas and collect feedback from those that matter the most to your brand.
- Social proof
By definition, social proof is “ the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
In layman’s terms, it means we mimic the behavior we people like or respect, or adopt the opinion of the masses. It’s the principle that makes you think if everyone is doing it (or buying something, etc.), maybe you should too. It’s the core principle of how online influence works.
So if people see your brand runs a popular FB Group with a big number of active members, they’ll unintentionally assign more authority to your business and be more likely to interact with your company and ultimately buy your products.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you get the picture: Facebook Groups are good for business.
How to Create a Facebook Group
We’ve covered why you need a Facebook Community, now let’s take a look at how you build one.
The Facebook group management tools make the actual work of setting up a group easy, but before you click “create” you want to have a clear purpose for your FB group.
Naturally, this will be determined by what your product or service is, the industry you are in, and your target audience.
For example, if you’re a digital marketing consultant who works primarily with small startups, you’ll want your group to be dedicated to providing valuable tips about how to grow an online process, brand yourself, and create brand awareness.
Next, you’ll need a name. This does not need to be your business name; in fact, your community can live entirely outside your business.
Instead, it should address and describe the focus of the group. For example, you’ll see names like “The Badass Solopreneur Society.” Already, you have a good idea who the group is for and the kind of tone it’s trying to set.
With those aspects decided, it’s time to create the group.
Naturally, it begins with logging into Facebook. From there, you’ll click on the down arrow on the far right of your screen and select “Manage Groups.”
Once taken to the management section, you’ll have the option on the left to “Create Group.”
A screen will pop up asking you to name the group, invite a member, and specify your privacy settings. If nothing else, remember that you want to create a closed group.
Remember, we’re going for exclusivity and trust here. Not only will it feel more like a private community, but it will give users an added incentive to join so they can access your exclusive content.
You will also have to add a member at this stage, but don’t sweat it. Simply add one of your existing friends and keep going.
The next step is to select an icon for your group. If you’re undecided or don’t feel any are particularly relevant, Facebook will assign the generic group icon.
And that’s it for the set-up basics. But of course, you’ll want to customize it a bit.
Head over to your Group settings and click edit. There, you can add a cover photo that relates to what your group is about (remember, this can be updated as your group grows).
You’ll also want to add a clear Group description. This is what users will see when you group pops up, so make sure it’s relevant. Consider answering the following questions in the description:
- Who you are
- Who the group is for
- What the group is for
- Any rules or expectations
- Any weekly or daily events or discussions
Next, you’ll add up to five tags to help users find your group. These act as keywords on Facebook search, so if I search for “digital marketing” various groups dedicated to digital marketing will pop up.
Your finishing touches are to pick a group type (Facebook supplies a list of options here, but if none of them fit you can select “custom”), and add a location if you’re trying to attract members from a certain area.
Facebook Groups Manager: How to Grow Your Group
Once you’ve created the group, it’s time to get it off the ground.
There are a number of ways to build your community. Here, I’ll cover a few.
- Share your group on social media, your blog, your newsletter – everywhere
Put all of your accounts to work here. Promote your new group through pinned Tweets on Twitter, boosted Facebook posts and Instagram images.
Include a mention in your blog post and make an announcement in your email newsletters. Simply put: promote, promote, promote.
- Run ads on Facebook
This is one of the easiest ways to promote your group to those in your target audience, and the quickest way to build your group.
To do this, you can use Facebook’s extremely detailed targeting.
For example, you can choose to model your audience after a competitors’ audience, which could be a good route. Just choose the brand or company that has a similar audience and target its followers.
Or, you can build a custom audience based on demographics and interests. You can even build a Lookalike Audience modeled afer your custom audience to reach as many like-minded people as possible.
- Invite your friends, and ask members to invite theirs
Inviting your own friends is the easiest place to start. But be careful here; you need to invite the right friends.
Don’t send an invite to your entire list; after all, it’s likely that close to half won’t be interested. Only invite those you feel will be a worthwhile addition to the group – anyone in the same industry or with the same interests.
If you happen to be friends with anyone influential in your industry, even better.
Then, as your number of loyal group members grows, ask them to invite any friends they think would find and provide value for the group.
Also, keep in mind that your group top contributors can make all the difference in the success or failure of your group, so consider them carefully. Not everyone should get an automatic in, and it’s okay to screen potential members.
- Run an event or giveaway
Events and giveaways are gold when it comes to boosting numbers and engagement, and your FB group management tools will help you set these things up.
Pick something of interest to your target audience, and turn it into some kind of contest or giveaway. Then, promote it using all the methods mentioned above. This is where your Facebook Group admin tools or Facebook Group management software can help you keep things organized and under control.
Facebook Group Community Management: How to Manage a Community
At this point, you may think the work is over. But the thing is, it’s really just beginning.
Now that you’ve established your group, you have to turn it into a community by appropriately managing your members and discussions. Good moderation is the key to developing any type of online community.
- Establish Guidelines for the Group
Your group isn’t a free-for-all, and that needs to be established right upfront.
Let your members know exactly what kinds of conversations are expected and encouraged and which aren’t. Do this either in your description or a pinned post – you want everyone to see these before requesting to join.
But do it carefully. While creating an expectation of behavior is essential, you don’t want to do it in a manner that feels negative (but feel free to remove members who are definitely detrimental to the group’s health – e.g. they are abusive to other members).
As a good Facebook group manager, you should focus on guidelines and creating a positive space for discussion, not just maintaining hard and fast rules.
Here’s how Digital Marketer Engage did it:
They established what would and wouldn’t be appropriate in a way that doesn’t seem overly restrictive or complicated, or would dissuade people from joining the group.
- Moderate the Group
Now that you’ve set the tone for your Facebook group, you have to enforce it.
FB group admin tools or Facebook management software tools can help you keep things under control, but at the end of the day, nothing replaces the human touch and watchful eye of an FB group manager and their top contributors.
It’s your job to make sure that guidelines are adhered to and all conversations are group-appropriate. Because if you don’t establish some sort of control, you’re likely to lose it altogether.
Avoid that by doing the following:
- Check your page consistently – a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s easy to fall behind
- Delete any posts that break the rules – this could be an obviously inflammatory post or one that simply doesn’t apply to the group in a positive way. Whatever the case, you want to delete these as quickly as possible to protect the health of your group and its members
- Add additional admin members – it’s always good to have a little backup, and letting a few other team members in will allow them to help you moderate more efficiently
- Send private messages when needed – case in point: a deleted post. If you do delete someone’s post, it’s best to explain your reasoning through a direct message. This also applies to any in-group conflicts or sensitive issues that may be brought up in the conversation
- Removing members when needed – if you encounter a repeat offender, it may be time to remove them from the group. More on this later.
- Be Consistently Active – make sure you stay an active participant in your group. When your group is still small and a little light on posts, help it along by starting relevant conversations a few times a week. As the group grows, make sure you’re engaging with members and offering helpful solutions and connections. For example, if someone asks a question that relates to a blog post you’ve written, post it in the comments.
- Engage Consistently
Make sure you stay an active participant in your group. When your group is still small and a little light on posts, help it along by starting relevant conversations a few times a week.
As the group grows, make sure you’re engaging with members and offering helpful solutions and connections. For example, if someone asks a question that relates to a blog you’ve written, post it the comments.
Be familiar enough with your own products and content that you can point members in the right direction.
Facebook Groups Manager: What to Post
You should approach your Facebook group like you would your other marketing channels, meaning your goal should always be to provide content that’s relevant and valuable to your target audience.
The great thing about FB groups, though, is that they represent an opportunity to do it in a more personal way. Remember, your members are interacting with you, not your brand.
Also, keep in mind that your intention is always to spark interest and conversation. Do so by incorporating some of these content types:
- Focus on native content. Don’t immediately start sending members to your blog or website; instead, create and curate content especially for the group. This will help you gain their trust, and be more receptive to any promotional content in the future.
- Use FB Polls – polls are great for participation. Run a local bakery? Try a poll that asks for favorite sweets. Own a travel site? Ask people to vote for their favorite adventure destinations. Even better – ask them to leave a comment explaining why they voted the way they did. Your software or Facebook group admin apps can likely provide you with some group screening question examples to use.
- Live Q&As or AMAs – Q&As and ask me anything (AMAs) tend to be fan favorites – especially in larger groups. These work particularly well if you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, so consider hosting one once a week to promote engagement. Remember, always come prepared with questions and prompts to get the ball rolling and even consider asking regular users to help get things started.
- Host events – these could be Q&As with industry experts, how-to’s, tutorials, webinars – anything relevant to your group. The point is to further the feeling of community by providing exclusive, members-only content. Once you’ve planned it, you can create the Event on Facebook and ask members to attend.
- Go Live – speaking of events, live video events are an undeniable hit. With over 2 billion users and counting watching FB live, there’s no reason not to take advantage – and Facebook group management software makes it easier than ever. And now, you can broadcast directly to your group.
Broadcasting directly to your group with FB live is an excellent way to host events, tutorials, or announce giveaway or challenge winners. It also gives you a chance to promote the event to your members – and encourage others to join the group for access to exclusive video content.
Facebook Group Manager: Examples of What to Post
- Give your member’s direction
Freelance to Freedom is a group dedicated to freelancers and solopreneurs, designed to help them build a community and network, ask questions, and receive solid advice.
In the group description, the moderator assigns specific topics and promotions for specific days, ensuring the conversation and support will keep rolling.
- Ask for member participation
Not sure what you’re members want to hear? Ask ‘em!
They’ll like that you turned to the community for input, and you’ll like the influx of new ideas.
- Announce group events
Set membership goals for your group, and when you hit them, give something back to the group.
Take a look at how The Socialite Suite did it:
- Ask questions
Encourage your members to engage by asking them questions, like blogging.org did here:
Not only did he ask for answers, but gave himself a way to jump back in the conversation in a valuable way.
Facebook Group Community Management: Membership Requirements?
Just because someone requests to join your group doesn’t mean you should let them in.
There’s a good rule of thumb when you’re deciding whether or not to let someone into your FB group: check out what groups or pages they are already part of. If you see that they already belong to dozens of groups with no common threads or topics, they probably won’t be adding a lot of value to yours.
It’s also a good idea to outline your membership approval process with your other admins or to use Facebook’s poll or questionnaire options. Chances are the Facebook group admin app or other software or tools you are using can help you automate this process.
Using entry questions, you can require potential members to fill out specific questions before joining.
To access, go to the Members section, and then click Member Requests. You’ll find the option to “Ask Pending Members Questions.”
You can ask several questions here, such as:
- How long have you been in the industry or interested in the topic of this group?
- Why do you want to join this group?
- What do you hope to gain from becoming a member of this group?
Keep them reasonably simple – members only get 250 characters to answer.
How to Deal With Conflict As A Facebook Groups Manager
It’s inevitable – at some point, every Facebook group admin will encounter a rule-breaker.
It’s important to address any issues quickly and directly – remember, your group is a reflection of you and your brand or your company, so don’t be afraid to take action when needed.
I touched on this earlier, but the best way to deal with any inter-group conflict is through direct messages because those are private and won’t be as likely to set off a more public argument.
This includes any time you delete someone’s post. Always approach the issue openly. Be kind, but be clear as to why you took action.
For example, if someone’s trying to promote their own product, simply message and tell them that their post was removed because you do not allow self-promotion in the group. Ask if they have any questions, and thank them for understanding why you deleted their post.
This also goes for any members who are arguing publicly in the group. Send them a chat outside of the group and ask that they resolve their issues there.
Many Facebook group admin apps or management tools can help you stay on top of moderating your group.
When Should a Facebook Group Manager Boot Someone From the Group?
If you encounter a repeat offender in your group, it may be time to simply show them the door and remove them for the sake of the overall community.
Bannable offenses include:
- Repeatedly violating group guidelines (send them a message first, and if they don’t comply or violate the guidelines again, tell them goodbye)
- Spamming the group with commercial posts or products for sale
- Abuse towards other members
- Inflammatory or inappropriate posts
To remove them, find their name in the Members screen, click the settings wheel next to their name, and click Remove From Group.
Removing them allows them to rejoin your group later, and can be used as a punishment or suspension in some cases.
If you want to remove the member permanently, block them instead in the same settings area.
How to Maintain an Engaged Community As A Facebook Groups Manager
Remember, the key to keeping your members engaged is to provide valuable, thought-provoking content that can spur conversations.
One way to do it is to vary the types of content you offer. Remember to include images and videos in addition to your text posts. Work with the top contributors of your group and take advantage of the Facebook group management software at your disposal in order to stay on top of active discussions and ensure that valued members stay engaged.
Another way is to directly ask for feedback. Whether you run a poll or ask outright in your post, people are generally happy to share their opinions, and it will further the trust in your relationships by making members feel that you value their opinion.
Ask open-ended questions. Not yes or no questions, but ones that require a real answer. As in the example above from blogging.org, offer ways you can help prepared to actually follow through on that help!
And of course, post and respond consistently within your Facebook group. If your group is lagging, throw in a question or designate a topic to get the conversation back on track. Keep in mind, you’re in charge, and members will follow your lead. If they see you’re engaged, they’re likely to be more engaged as well.
Facebook Groups Manager Tools: Group Insights
Once you’ve established your group and have some consistent activity, you’ll gain access to your Group Insights.
This is a recent addition available to groups with 250+ members which supplies metrics to group administrators, similar to those of a business page.
They can be accessed on the left sidebar, under “Group Insights.”
The metrics include:
This will display your total group number and how much your group has grown over time, as well as how many memberships you’ve accepted and denied.
Using these analytics, you can evaluate how quickly your group is growing. If it appears stagnant, you may want to consider putting more work into recruiting members and advertising or otherwise promoting your group.
This is a big one: it shows you all the stats for posts, comments, and reactions, active members, the most popular days and times to post, and what your top posts are. These are perhaps the most important aspects to track when you are managing a Facebook group.
This is because these metrics will help you build a more sound strategy based on when your audience is most engaged and the types of content that get the most positive reactions. If you find your engagement rate is lower than you’d like, you’ll know to put more effort into incorporating some of the aforementioned types of content.
These stats display your top contributors, as well as member demographics like age, gender, and location. With that information on hand, you can better choose the content that’s most relevant.
5 Facebook Group Management Tools You Need
1. Ask Pending Members Qualifying Questions
This is a great way to filter members who want to join so you have the creme of the crop.
It will foster engagement and make sure those in your group fit.
2. Remove Problem Members
Make sure the Facebook group is a healthy and safe place for all who join.
Check out who has been flagged and who is disruptive and remove them.
3. Improve How Discoverable the Group is
This can be achieved my adding a location, up to five to tags, group type, and a description.
4. Schedule Posts
If you want to increase your efficiency scheduling posts is an excellent way to do it.
Facebook has it’s own tool to help achieve this and you can load them in and watch as they get send out when you want them to.
5. Learn From Group Insights
When a group has more than 250 members you can track analytics about the group’s activities.
You can also view your group’s rate of growth, post engagement, and member demographics.
The Growth drop-down menu can be used to see the total number of members and membership requests over a span of 28-60 days
Wrapping Up Facebook Groups Manager Tips
Starting a group and growing your community on Facebook adds undeniable value to your business. What’s more, you can likely extend your FB group to Instagram and other platforms via the Facebook group admin tools and software that you’re using.
The biggest takeaway for a business owner or social media manager who wants to better understand how to manage a Facebook group? Remember that groups in Facebook are a great way to interact with your customers, generate new leads, and add a voice to your brand.
Get started today! The right Facebook group admin tools and software make it easier than ever – and if you’d rather outsource the role, you can always hire us!