April 7, 2023
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Facebook wants to amass 1 billion meaningful group members. While more than a billion users are using groups, “meaningful” groups are communities that become a critical part of a user’s experience. In concert with its goal, Facebook frequently enhances group and admin tools. Arguably, groups are one of the main reasons users return daily.
Years ago, I saw the potential of Facebook Groups. So, I created a community for instructors to promote their online courses. My group grew to 40,000+ members, enabling me to generate passive income and drive traffic to my website. I was also able to build relationships with like-minded individuals. I liked owning my group so much that I purchased two more and grew my members under management (MUM) to 125,000. The other two groups focused on marketing and ecommerce. My goal was to reach half a million MUM.
Efficient group administrators know that managing members can be time-consuming. That became the case for me. I could have hired a community manager from a freelancer marketplace to run my groups, but I didn’t. So instead, I sold my groups to focus on growing my website and agency.
Interest continues to grow due to the many ways to make money with Facebook groups. On the one hand, you can start a group and scale it over time. Your group’s focus and marketing activities will determine its growth rate. On the other hand, attracting enough members to realize your goals can take years. Thus, you might purchase a group to accelerate events. Let’s cover how to buy and sell groups, but discuss risks next.
Buy & Sell Risks
Facebook’s ambiguous TOS bans selling administration rights to community groups. If Facebook finds out you have bought or sold a group, it might suspend or terminate your account.
People use Facebook for all sorts of reasons. My reason was to make money, and owning groups supported that objective. Other aspects of Facebook didn’t interest me, for example, posting random nonsense on my profile. I considered the potential outcomes for buying groups and was prepared for the worst-case scenario, i.e., account termination without notice.
Suppose you mainly use Facebook to run your business ads or post affiliate links on your page. Both activities help you achieve your revenue goals. Alternatively, you might use Facebook to arrange social events. Given those hypotheticals, would purchasing a group while potentially jeopardizing your account make sense? Before proceeding, you should carefully assess your situation.
The surest way to remain on Facebook is not to buy or sell a group. However, it’s a risk-reward decision you must evaluate. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, is all about taking risks. He’s no stranger to unethical hacking, deception, and schemes to get what he wants. In many ways, he doesn’t “play by the rules.” Therefore, risking your account to acquire a group would be very Zuckerberg-like and could pay off over the long term.
How to Buy a Facebook Group
- Define your goals and requirements
- Search, join, and review prospective groups
- Message group owners
- Agree on a price and transact
- Leave no trace behind
Define Your Goals & Requirements
Your goal is the reason for wanting to acquire a group, for instance, to promote your website, sell advertising, or grow your email list. You can have multiple objectives.
Your requirements define the type of group you want. For example, you wish to purchase an English language group with 25,000+ members and one admin. In addition, the group must have a business or marketing focus because you will relaunch it as a Shopify e-commerce group.
- Groups with less than 25,000 members aren’t worth your time or the hassle unless you can acquire them for a low cost and quickly.
- It’s better to approach groups with one admin/owner because dealing with one person is more efficient than negotiating with multiple stakeholders. Also, there is less risk and time wasted figuring out who has the final say.
- Groups without customized URLs are more valuable than those that have them. Unfortunately, Facebook allows admins to customize URLs only once. After that, they’re stuck with whatever they choose. So, prioritize groups with generic URLs.
Example of a generic URL: facebook.com/groups/1473701362936588
Example of a customized URL: facebook.com/groups/bobsmarketinggroup
Search, Join, & Review Prospective Groups
First, search for groups by using different keywords. Secondly, join and review groups to understand what they’re about and how admins manage them.
- Beware of groups that have a lot of spam. Spam is difficult to reign in and devalues a group.
- Assess the engagement and activity levels of admins. Disengaged and barely present group owners are good candidates. They could be open to offloading their groups for the right price. A pinned post over six months old is a telltale sign that an admin is disengaged. Conversely, highly engaged and omnipresent admins are less likely to sell their groups because they benefit somehow.
Message Group Owners
Message group owners and say something like,
How are you? I came across your group and am interested in buying it. Is it for sale?
- Understand your budget and how much you’re willing to spend before contacting anyone.
- Anticipate replies and your responses to them.
- Be patient, as replies may take a while.
- Follow up with a second message in a week or two to remain in a position of strength (you don’t want to appear desperate).
- Don’t send a bunch of messages all at once. Instead, limit yourself to three to five messages daily to avoid Facebook spam radars.
- Ask the owner questions to learn more about their group. Also, you might want to request specifics from Group Insights, which provides group metrics. However, the admin might decline your request.
- Don’t waste your time with admins who quote high and ridiculous prices. For example, an admin quoted $20,000 for a group with 200,000 members.
Agree on a Price & Transact
Agreeing on a price to achieve a win-win outcome won’t be instantaneous. Instead, some back and forth will ensue until both parties agree and are ready to proceed.
How much is a Facebook group worth? To formulate a price, you can assign a cost to a member and multiply that value by the number of members. In my experience, members are typically worth a penny or less. For instance, let’s say a group member is worth $0.01. One cent multiplied by 40,000 members yields a price of $400.
Another pricing method is to conduct price experiments by asking around. For example, you might offer different amounts until you understand what a buyer or seller will accept. Lastly, consider how long it will take to recoup your expense. For example, if you pay $100, your goal should be to earn that amount back within twelve months.
- Inform and confirm with the owner that they will have no rights or administrative privileges after the transaction.
- Limit your group purchases to two a month to avoid the Facebook police. Gaining too many groups too fast might attract attention.
- Don’t get “zucked.” You don’t want to pay only for the admin, not to transfer her group. The group owner doesn’t wish to make you an admin and not receive payment. One solution is to use Escrow.com. It’s an excellent platform to transfer, buy, and sell digital assets, such as domains and websites. If you deal with good-faith actors, you should be fine. PayPal and Wise are other options, but only for sending and receiving money.
- Improve your negotiation skills. Coursera has several online courses to help you. Also, Amazon and YouTube have many books and videos on the topic.
Leave No Trace Behind
Once you fully possess your community, update the title, description, cover, and metadata. Make the group yours! There’s no need to announce new ownership, but that’s your call. The less info you provide, the quicker you can move on with your goals and group makeover.
- Consider how you’ll respond to questions about the new ownership. For example, you could say, “The previous admin no longer wanted to manage the group, so I took it over.” End of story.
How to Sell a Facebook Group
- Search for prospective buyers
- Message prospects
- Agree on a price and transact
- Leave no trace behind
Search for Prospective Buyers
Internet marketers, content creators, and group admins are good prospects. Of course, active members in your group are good candidates as well.
Message prospects and say something like,
How are you? I’m considering selling my group because I want to focus on other projects. Any interest in taking it over?
Leave No Trace Behind
Review and delete your posts/activities in the group before transferring them.
A Facebook group is excellent for marketing, sales, and relationship building. Starting and benefiting from a group can take months or years, so buying one might be more beneficial. However, risks are involved because it’s against Facebook’s TOS to transfer administrative rights. Perhaps one day, there will be a marketplace for exchanging groups.
Many users want to buy and sell groups. Therefore, it’s only a matter of finding legitimate parties to execute. If you want to buy or sell a community, be discreet and fly under the radar to avoid hassles later.