Friday, 23 September 2016

Tips to help create a popular Facebook Group

You can have a group total of thousands and yet it's as quiet as a mouse and the opposite is also true, have a low member count, but have a really good interactive vibe going on in a group

I think most group owners have experienced the dreaded tumble weed moment after what was in their opinion a great post! It happens...but as the owner it is up to you to get the conversation started and to keep it rolling. Here are a few tips to help you to do just that...

Facebook games:
  • Don't discredit the forum game (I did!) now I see the hidden value in them. 
  • They're a great conversation starter.
  • A fun way for members to interact with not only you but also with each other. A chance to get to know one another, which is how a community is formed and grows.
  • Games increase your group's visibility. Every time a member participates in a post, FB uses that information to make that content (your group) more prominent in their news feed, therefore creating more group engagement.
Keep your post short and to the point. Don't post a thousand page essay. People automatically dismiss it and scroll on past your post.

I understand the need for rules, but again use bullet points and not a mass of text. People do not have the time to sit and read paragraph after paragraph of dos and donts, before even looking at the group content. After all isn't that why they joined and not to be met with a rule book. 

I connect real life to the virtual, walk in a shop and immediately be handed a dos and dont list, thou shalt not steal, thou will conduct yourself appropriately whilst on these premises and so on. You'd go to the next shop, muttering under your breathe  "I only wanted to look at the dress in the window." You'd feel unwanted and not welcomed.

People join for a specific reason, allow them to browse the group, settle in and make themselves at home. As in real life, we know how to conduct ourselves in public and people know how to conduct themselves online, If they're unsure, they will ask. This will be the time to direct them to your rule post.

Keep it Real...

One of my members has a very dry wit, at first her comments seemed odd. Initially, I didn't respond to her first comment. I left it a while, went back later and got the humour contained in the comment. I responded in kind. Recently, she shared a post that she was experiencing grief of a loved one and knew that when she first joined my group she'd found a friend, because I'd responded to her with humour. I felt touched by her post and I look forward to receiving her comments very much.

Members are real people, therefore be real and converse with your members as if you were having a face to face conversation. Respond to every comment and try to refrain from posting a sticker. Put some thought into your response as people like to receive one. Make it worth reading. People log on to facebook with the mindset to participate in a community website, therefore use the opportunity to create one.

Initially, I created my group to promote and sell my artwork. I never anticipated that I would actually form friendships with my members and that I'd come to care about them. If I've not seen one of them post online, then I find myself wondering if they're OK. Now, my focus is on building a community, because a group is not just about me and my wares, it about each and everyone of us, a place to share and inspire each other.

I really hope you find some of this information helpful. If I've missed out something please feel free to share your experience in a comment, as a group owner or member.

Barbara, proud group owner of Art by Barb