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Facebook is undeniably the winner of the social media wars. Although it’s under constant scrutiny, its platforms attract billions of dollars in advertising revenue. A bright spot in the Facebook ecosystem is Facebook Groups, which allow users to discuss shared interests like sports, politics, philosophy, and science. There are millions of Facebook communities spread across open, closed, and private/secret groups. Arguably, groups are the most valuable function on Facebook and the glue that keeps users coming back.
I have owned and managed multiple Facebook groups. The experience was gratifying and profitable. Of the many ways to make money with Facebook groups, I generated income mainly through affiliate marketing and advertising revenue. I was able to monetize my groups because they had thousands of members, for instance, 25,000, 38,000, and 60,000 members respectively. I grew my e-learning group from zero to 38,000 members. I had acquired the other two groups, which can be a quick and efficient way to scale.
Facebook is also 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 promoting 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 will also help to attract new members.
If you haven’t already, change your group’s URL to something search-friendly. You can change the URL only once. Avoid bizarre and personalized URLs that will devalue your group and make it potentially hard to transfer/sell, for example, facebook.com/groups/chadsmarketinggroup88. After you save your URL, you can shorten it with Hootsuite and Bitly and brand it for free with Bitly, for instance, bit.ly/gearheads. Shortened links are much prettier and convenient for marketing.
There is a myriad of ways to promote your group. I’ve listed a mix of pull/inbound marketing and push/outbound marketing strategies. Some methods are efficient and leverage marketing automation while others are less efficient, tedious, and manual. Naturally, you don’t have to implement every idea, only those that excite you and align with your objectives. If driving traffic to your website is more important than your group, you should link to your site where space/fields are limited like on Instagram. Social media marketing software, such as Hootsuite and Agorapulse, 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.
Ways to Promote Facebook Groups
Facebook Profile & Page
Promotional methods include:
- Post details about your group periodically, for example, 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 promote your group.
- Create and share “stories” about your group. (You can also create stories elsewhere, for example, Facebook Groups, Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Post friendly reminders for members to share your group monthly.
- Post group news, milestones, and events like, “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.
YouTube is to video content like what Facebook is to social media. YouTube is the second most popular 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.
- Create a video about your group. You can also feature the video for new visitors and returning subscribers.
- Add group info to your video descriptions.
- Add group info to your about page.
- Link to your group in the channel links section.
- Create a landing page about your group and link to it with 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 comments about your group for each video.
- Pin comments about your group for each video.
- Leave comments on other videos/channels without appearing spammy.
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 profile intro.
- Add a link to contact info.
- Add a “Community Manager” position and group info to your work experience.
Twitter & Pinterest
Twitter has over 300 million MAUs, and Pinterest has over 250 million. Neither platform is as robust as Facebook for groups and communities.
- Post group info periodically and include relevant hashtags.
- Pin a post about your group.
- Mention and 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 like LinkTree, LnkBio, and Shorby to direct traffic to your group (You can design a multiple link landing page too).
Website and Blog
Your website is an excellent place to market your group because of the control you have.
- Write a post about your group and share it.
- Link to your group in primary, footer, and widget/side panel menus.
- Use a smart, notification, or page header bar.
- Design a promotional banner/image to use on pages and in widgets.
- Callout and link to your group at the end of each post.
- Mention your group in your author bio and about page.
- Promote a contest, for instance, “Join our Facebook group to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Details are inside the group.”
Opt-in Forms and Landing Pages
To grow my email list, I create opt-in forms with Bloom (Elegant Themes). I can design and activate forms in minutes. Landing page builders like Leadpages enable you to capture email addresses and nurture new leads with email marketing automation.
- 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.”
- Add group info to the new subscriber success page.
- Most opt-in form services allow you to redirect new subscribers in which case you can redirect traffic to your group (evaluate the pros and cons). 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, and I use MailerLite.
- Send an email to all your subscribers (one-time, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.).
- 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 all your subscribers (one-time, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.).
- Add group info to an automated message sequence.
Promote your group in your online courses, books, and digital media.
- Online course: add a video and link to your group.
- Ebook/book: add a blurb and link.
- Instructor/author profile pages: add group info.
- Amazon Author Central page: add group info.
Messenger, WhatsApp, and Direct Messages
- Message your contacts about your group and encourage them to share.
Other Ways and Platforms
Promote your group on other platforms and tie it in with other activities.
- 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
- During online events
- While live streaming on Facebook and YouTube