Last updated on September 21, 2020 by Chad Tennant
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Facebook Groups provides a space to communicate and share interests with like-minded people. You can create a group for almost anything and customize your group’s privacy settings for visibility and member selection.
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 vital part of a user’s experience.) Updates and enhancements to Facebook Groups are announced at developer conferences and on Facebook Newsroom. Also, Facebook offers education and monthly workshops for admins.
For many years, Facebook didn’t improve groups or support admins consistently. However, to align with its growth targets, it now rolls out new features and improvements regularly. It will also remove features that don’t gain traction; for example, group stories were terminated.
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 my group so much that I acquired two more. At one point, I was managing 120,000+ members.
How to Make Money With Facebook Groups
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 group membership fee. 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. Let’s review ways to monetize your Facebook group and how to grow your community.
Sell Products (Ecommerce)
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 sales and price details, and it 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 purchasing, 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.
For Facebook users with ecommerce Facebook pages, a group can be used to cross-promote and build a community. Also, page owners can use their pages to manage groups. If you want to sell products from a Facebook page, Shopify is an excellent solution.
Promote 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.
Promote Affiliate 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 advertising model. An affiliate (publisher) promotes a product/service online and receives compensation for achieving a specific objective or action. A merchant (advertiser) specifies the goal, which is usually a valid sale. For example, a merchant will pay an affiliate a 30 percent sales commission. A merchant may use one or multiple advertising pricing models, for instance, cost-per-action (CPA), cost per sale (CPS), cost per lead (CPL), or pay per lead (PPL). Learn how to promote affiliate links on Facebook.
My group targeted free access to online courses, so I promoted free classes and trials from Coursera and Pluralsight. I occasionally promoted unrelated goods that could help my members, such as TubeBuddy, which is a top-rated YouTube tool for growing channels.
Where some affiliates go wrong is by promoting goods that have minimal or no relation to the group’s objective or theme. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to promote flight deals in a group about app development. Furthermore, overpromoting an item can decrease interest and appear spammy.
Grow Marketing & Sales Funnels
Many admins and marketers direct members to their websites and landing pages. A landing page is a standalone web page that’s typically used to capture contact information, including a person’s name, email address, phone number, company name, and so on. There are many free and paid landing page software providers, for instance, 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. You could also promote contests and giveaways. For example, I use this landing page for free through MailerLite, a top-rated email marketing service. New subscribers will receive four emails over several weeks. These emails are sent automatically via an autoresponse sequence. My emails discuss what I offer, my favorite affiliate programs, and the products/services I use. The goal of my autoresponse sequence is to generate affiliate commissions.
Group members that become leads and subscribers enter your marketing and sales funnel. A sales funnel seeks to convert a prospect into a buyer through a series of stages.
Facebook Group Members >> Website/Landing Page >> Marketing & Sales Funnel = Revenue
Get Customers, Clients, & Partners
Engaging and contacting members can help 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, and many people use groups to generate new business and find marketing partners. I had developed several relationships with marketers that led 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 website, e.g., LinkedIn.
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 streams, events, webinars, Q&A sessions, and direct access to admins and guests. You could charge monthly fees of $0.99 to $9.99 and offer discounts for annual payments, for example. Various apps and plugins enable you to charge and collect recurring fees. Alternatively, Facebook has a subscription group feature, but it’s only available to some groups in certain regions.
Monetize Facebook Group How-To Content
Facebook’s help center provides mostly general 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 that made close to eight hundred dollars.
Earn Advertising & Sponsorship Revenue
Admins of sizeable groups, 25,000+ members, can solicit advertising and sponsorship revenues. I had pinned posts to the top of my groups and generated 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 Group Admin
Groups need managing, and time is money. You can combine these two realities to 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 could 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 controls, so you should understand them before becoming a community manager.
Sell Your Group
Although Facebook bans the sale of groups, its TOS is ambiguous. (Even if it were crystal clear, users would still buy and sell groups without Facebook’s permission.) Do your research, and if you proceed, keep the details between you and the buyer private. Also, it makes sense to avoid discussing matters on Facebook platforms like Messenger. I recommend using Escrow.com to process your transaction.
How much is a Facebook group worth? To come up with a price, 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. 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 willing to accept.
Buying a Group
Building a large group can take years, in which case, you might consider buying a group. You would start by contacting users to see if they’re interested in selling their groups. Secondly, consider how long it will take to recoup your expense. For instance, if you pay $100, you should want to earn that amount back within three to twelve months. Read How to Buy a Facebook Group Step by Step.
No matter the group, users will stumble upon posts about the latest and greatest money-making opportunities. Ninety to ninety-five percent of these posts direct members to scams and get-rich-quick schemes. However, 5 to 10 percent of these business ideas are legit and could make you money. If nothing else, they might be worth exploring to see what else out there or get your creative juices flowing.
It’s unlikely that member donations will earn you enough to retire early. However, many users request contributions from others and use links from PayPal and TransferWise to facilitate money collection. Also, you can promote your crowdfunding campaigns to raise money.
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, I had 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 issues from Facebook and others.
How to Grow a Facebook Group
Making money with Facebook groups is possible once a community becomes large enough. Some groups will grow quickly on their own, whereas others will require marketing to speed things up. Marketing includes those activities that help to get your group more visible and discoverable by users.
Facebook is a search engine, so it’s helpful to understand search engine optimization (SEO) fundamentals. Furthermore, groups are indexed and appear in Google search engine results. Before you begin marketing your group, you should optimize its metadata including the title/name, description, and keyword tags. Your group’s name should contain at least one keyword to improve your search ranking and visibility. Separately, you should update your group’s cover/background with an image that’s appealing and modern. It can also help to attract and convert users.
If you haven’t already, make your group’s URL SEO-friendly. You can change the URL only once, however, so you’ll want to give it careful consideration before proceeding. Avoid bizarre and personalized URLs that will devalue your group and make it potentially hard to transfer/sell later, for example:
- facebook.com/groups/chadsmarketinggroup88 (not SEO-friendly and impractical)
- facebook.com/groups/marketingtips (SEO-friendly and practical)
You can shorten your group URL for free with Hootsuite and Bitly (and customize it for free with Bitly, e.g., bit.ly/fbmarketing). Shortened links are much prettier and convenient for marketing. For example, you might add your group’s shortened link to your Twitter bio.
There are many ways to grow your group. I’ve listed a mix of pull/inbound marketing and push/outbound marketing strategies below. Some methods are efficient and leverage marketing automation while others are less efficient, tedious, and manual. Social media marketing software, like Hootsuite, can save you time and help you automate your promotional activities. For instance, you could automate tweets to run 24/7 on Twitter. Keep in mind, however, that too much automation done incorrectly will appear spammy.
If driving traffic to your website is more important than growing your group, you should link to your site where fields are limited, such as Instagram. Naturally, you don’t have to implement every idea, only those that excite you and align with your objectives.
Social Media Networks
Facebook Page & Profile
Promotional methods include:
- Post details about your group periodically, such as weekly or monthly.
- Mention your group in the about section.
- Pin a post on your page.
- Link your group to your page.
- Pay to advertise your group on Facebook.
- Use a chatbot to automate messages through your Facebook page.
- Create and share “stories” about your group. (You can also create stories elsewhere, for example, Instagram, Messenger, etc.)
- Post friendly reminders for members to share your group.
- Post group news, milestones, and events, for example, “Hey! We’ve reached 10,000 members.” Updates can prompt others to share on their timelines.
- Link your groups so that they appear as recommendations.
- Promote your group in similar and other groups (check the group’s rules about promotions or ask the admin directly).
- Build relationships with other admins to cross-promote your group, for example, each of you will pin the other’s group for a week.
- If you own multiple groups, include the details in their description sections.
- Pin info about your other groups.
LinkedIn Groups are terrible despite LinkedIn’s efforts to make them better. Everything about them produces low engagement. Facebook Groups have the edge, so it’s possible to drive LinkedIn users to your group.
- Post details about your group periodically.
- Mention your group in your about/bio section.
- Add a link to your contact info.
- Add a “Community Manager” position and group’s info to your work experience.
Twitter & Pinterest
Twitter and Pinterest have millions of users. Neither platform is as robust as Facebook for groups and communities, however.
- Post group info periodically and include relevant hashtags.
- Pin a post about your group.
- Link to your group in your about/bio section.
- In the website field/space, link to your group.
- Pin details on group boards.
Instagram is a link-unfriendly platform, but there are opportunities to promote your group.
- Post group details with eye-catching images and videos.
- In the website field/space, link to your group.
- Use a multiple-link landing page tool such as LinkTree, LnkBio, and Shorby to direct traffic to your group. Alternatively, you can design your own multi-link landing page with GetResponse and MailerLite.
Tik Tok is another link-unfriendly platform, but you can still promote your group.
- Promote group details with videos.
- In the website field/space, link to your group (Tik Tok is testing profile links)
YouTube is the second most visited site and search engine globally (after Google). Having a presence on YouTube is seldom a bad thing because of how much traffic the platform attracts. If you have a channel, consider these ways to grow your Facebook group.
- Create a video about your group. You can also feature the video on your channel’s homepage for new visitors and returning subscribers.
- Add group info to your video descriptions and about page.
- Link to your group in the channel links section.
- Create a landing page about your group and link it to Cards. (You can’t link to Facebook directly because it isn’t a YouTube approved site).
- Promote your group on your channel’s community tab.
- Leave and pin comments about your group for each video.
- Leave comments on other videos/channels (without being spammy).
Website & Blog
Your website is an excellent place to market your Facebook group because of the control you have.
- Write a post about your group and share it.
- Link to your group in primary and footer menus.
- Use a smart, notification, or page header bar to draw attention to your group.
- Design a promotional banner/image for your group to use on pages and in widgets.
- Callout and link to your group at the end of each post.
- Use a popup to promote your group.
- Mention your group in your author bio and about page.
To grow my email list, I create opt-in forms with Bloom (Elegant Themes). Opt-in forms, paired with email marketing, can be an effective promotional channel.
- Create an opt-in form specifically for your group.
- Create a signup offer like “Free SEO Ebook and Access to the #1 SEO Facebook Group.”
- Most opt-in form services allow you to redirect new subscribers in which case you can redirect traffic to your group (evaluate the pros/cons and your priorities). For example, Bloom allows you to redirect users to a custom URL after they subscribe to your list.
Email marketing is a surefire way to market your group. Many email marketing companies offer free plans, including MailerLite and AWeber.
- Send an email to your subscribers (one-time, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) about your group.
- Add group info to your autoresponse sequence.
- Add group info to your email footer and signature.
Web Push Notifications
Web push notification apps allow you to send brief messages that pop up on a device such as a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.
- Send a notification to your subscribers (one-time, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) about your group.
- Add group info to an automated message sequence.
Digital Media Products
Promote your group in your online courses, books, digital media, and info products.
- Online course: add a video and link
- Ebook/book: add a description and link
- Instructor/author profile pages: add group info and link
- Amazon Author Central page: add group info and link
- Message your contacts about your group and encourage them to share it. Use Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other messaging apps to get the word out.
Other Ways & Websites
Promote your group on other platforms, including:
- Crowdfunding sites
- As a guest blogger
- As a webinar host or guest
- As a podcast host or guest
- As an event host, speaker, or panelist
- At networking and social events
- On live streams