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Facebook Groups provide a space to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything—your family reunion, your after-work sports team, your book club—and customize the group’s privacy settings depending on who you want to be able to join and see the group.
Facebook Groups are critical to Facebook’s long-term success. Facebook has a five-year goal to amass 1 billion meaningful group members. (There are already 1 billion group members, but “meaningful” groups are communities that become a key part of a user’s experience.) For many years, Facebook didn’t improve groups or support admins on a consistent basis. However, to align with its growth targets, it rolls out new features and improvements regularly. It will also remove features that don’t gain traction, for example, group stories have been terminated. Updates and enhancements are announced at developer conferences and on Facebook Newsroom.
In 2014, I created my first group, Free Online Courses, which grew to 40,000+ members (my good buddy Ali Mirza now owns the group). The group helped me to expand my online reach, connect with like-minded people, and generate passive income. I liked groups so much that I acquired two more. At one point, I was managing 138,000 members.
Facebook Groups Monetization
Many Facebook group owners monetize their groups, which is legal. You can earn money from a Facebook group as an admin, moderator, and member. For example, you can charge a membership fee to profit from your group. Secondly, you don’t need to own a group to make money. However, owning a group has many benefits, including the ability to control settings, activities, and announcements. By contrast, when a user posts in a group he doesn’t own, his efforts could be wasteful. For instance, some group admins monitor and approve/decline every post. In those groups, users are subject to delays and declines. Lastly, Facebook Page owners can use their pages to manage groups. Not only will this help grow their pages, but they can use chatbots like ManyChat to automate their marketing and ecommerce activities for additional sales.
Ways to Monetize a Facebook Group
- Sell products and services
- Charge membership and subscription fees
- Monetize how-to content about Facebook
- Promote products and services
- Promote your website, products, and services
- Direct members to a landing page
- Earn advertising and sponsorship revenue
- Earn money as a community/group manager
- Search for customers, clients, and partners
- Buy and sell groups
- Collect donations
Sell Products & Services
Admins can create “buy and sell” groups by choosing it as a group type. Buy and sell groups come with different features compared to regular groups. For example, a post will display sale and price details, and the post may appear in Facebook’s marketplace.
A buy and sell group paired with the right niche could yield profits for you and your members. Suppose you’re interested in buying, selling, and trading Hollywood movie memorabilia. You could create a buy and sell group for that objective or join a group to sell your products and services.
Charge Membership & Subscription Fees
My groups were free to join, but many content creators and marketers run private groups for paying customers. A private group could offer exclusive content, live video, events, and webinars, Q&A sessions, and direct access to the admin/owner. You could charge monthly fees of $0.99 to $9.99 and offer a discount for annual payments. Various software applications enable users to collect recurring fees. Separately, Facebook is piloting group subscription features for admins.
Monetize How-To Content About Facebook
Facebook’s help center provides mostly generic information about groups and their platform. As a result, content creators can make money by creating insightful how-to content about groups, pages, profiles, and other aspects.
This post is about Facebook groups, and hopefully, it will generate money for me in one way or another. I have a video on YouTube about monetizing Facebook groups, which generates advertising revenue. I previously offered an online course, which made close to eight hundred dollars.
Promote Products & Services
One of the most practical ways to make money with a Facebook group is through affiliate and referral marketing. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing activity. An affiliate promotes a product/service online and receives compensation for achieving a specific objective or action. A merchant or advertiser specifies the goal, which is usually a valid sale. For example, a merchant will pay the affiliate a 30 percent sales commission. Learn how to promote affiliate links on Facebook.
My group dealt with free access to online courses, so I promoted free courses and trial affiliate programs from Coursera, Pluralsight, and CreativeLive. I occasionally promoted products/services that could help members such as Fiverr, which is the largest online freelancer marketplace.
Where some affiliates go wrong is by promoting items that have minimal or no relation to the group’s objective. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to promote flight deals in a group about app development.
Promote Your Website, Products, & Services
Social media marketing is an excellent way for individuals and businesses to reach prospects and customers. People use social media websites and networks to promote their companies, brands, products, services, and crowdfunding campaigns. Facebook groups are one more promotional channel to market yourself for revenue and income purposes. I promoted my blog and YouTube channel regularly, which led to ad revenue, affiliate commissions, and ecommerce sales.
Direct Members to a Landing Page
Many admins and marketers direct members to opt-in and lead generation landing pages. A landing page is a standalone web page that is used specifically for marketing and advertising campaigns. There are many free and paid landing page software providers, for instance, Thrive Themes (WordPress) and Leadpages.
A typical landing page strategy encourages a visitor to submit his or her email address for a gift or “exclusive” content such as a checklist, video, webinar, report, or e-book. Landing pages are also used to generate leads by capturing a prospect’s contact details, including her full name, email address, phone number, company name, budget, and other desired details.
Group members that convert into subscribers/leads enter your marketing and sales funnel. A sales funnel seeks to convert a prospect into a buyer through a series of stages. For example, I created this landing page for free through MailerLite, a top-rated email marketing service. New subscribers will receive three emails over several weeks. These emails are sent automatically through an autoresponse sequence. My emails discuss who I am, what I offer, and the products/services I use. The goal of my autoresponse sequence is to generate affiliate commissions.
Earn Advertising & Sponsorship Revenue
Admins of sizeable groups, 10,000+ members, can solicit advertising and sponsorship revenues. I would pin posts to the top of my group and generate advertising income from instructors and marketers with posts like this:
Advertise in This Group
– Online course
– Blog or YouTube video
– Opt-in or landing page
– $25 for one week
– $40 for two weeks
– $60 for one month
Your advertisement will appear as a featured announcement/pinned post.
Private message me to arrange. Your campaign is subject to approval.
Earn Money as a Community/Group Manager
Groups need managing and time is money. Combine these two realities, and you can earn money as a Facebook community/group manager. To gain work, you would inquire with group admins. I recommend contacting admins who manage large, active groups, for instance, 25,000+ members. Also, you could list your services on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork. Alternatively, you can get a non-paying admin or moderator role to gain privileges and influence like the right to post content or affiliate links daily. Admins and moderators have different rights, so you should understand them before becoming a community manager.
Search for Customers, Clients, & Partners
Engaging and contacting members are promising ways to fill your sales pipeline. How might prospecting work? Suppose Joe and Thomas belong to the same WordPress group. Joe posts a question about SEO plugins. He wants to know what SEO plugin he should use and why. Thomas, an SEO consultant, comments on the post and recommends a couple of plugins. Also, he sends Joe a private message. In the private message, James introduces himself, his services, and provides a link to his post about the best SEO plugins.
Facebook groups are excellent for developing relationships with like-minded people, and many people use groups to find business and marketing partners. I developed several relationships with marketers that lead to joint ventures.
Note: If you send a message to someone who you’re not connected with on Facebook, your message will be filtered and appear as a message request. It will not go straight to the user’s inbox. Therefore, you should tell the person that you’ve sent him or her a private message in the comment thread. You might also contact the person through a different channel like LinkedIn.
Buy & Sell Groups
Although Facebook bans the sale of groups, its TOS is ambiguous. (Even if it was crystal clear, users would still buy and sell groups without Facebook’s permission.) Do your own research and if you proceed, keep the details between you and the buyer/seller private. Also, it makes sense to avoid discussing matters on Facebook platforms like Messenger.
Building a large group can take years in which case, you might consider buying a group. Conversely, you might want to sell your group. You would start with contacting users to see if they’re interested in selling/buying. You can use Escrow.com to complete your transaction.
How to Buy a Facebook Group Step by Step
How much is a Facebook group worth? To come up with 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. You might offer different amounts until you understand what a buyer or seller is willing to accept. Lastly, consider how long it will take to recoup your expense. If you pay $100, your goal should be to earn that amount back within three to twelve months.
It’s unlikely that donations from members will earn you enough to retire early, but you can ask users for contributions and use a link from PayPal or TransferWise to facilitate money collection. In fact, peer-to-peer (P2P) financial aid groups are growing.
Transparency is critical in online marketing and ecommerce. It helps to create a fair marketplace and educate consumers. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines about affiliate marketing, ecommerce, disclosures, hashtags, and social media posts. For example, it recommends adding “#Ad” to posts containing affiliate links.
Be mindful of your activities on Facebook and include relevant details, disclosures, and disclaimers in posts. In my group description sections, I informed members that posts containing “#Ad” represented the use of affiliate links. The more above board you are, the more users will trust you. Also, you’ll avoid hassles and legal liabilities from Facebook and others.