CREATE | OPTIMIZE | STACK & PROMOTE
You’ve decided to set up your new group. You know what your purpose is, who your ideal customer is, what you’re going to call your group and you’re ready to create it.
Don’t be overwhelmed, Facebook makes it pretty easy to set up! Choosing the Right Name for your Facebook Group is the first step, then open up your laptop or turn on your desktop – you don’t want to do this from your phone – to get started.
Ok! Let’s do this!
STEP ONE: CREATE THE GROUP
From your Business Page (do not start from your personal profile), click on the “Groups” tab (this may be in the drop-down under “more”).
Next, click on “Create a Linked Group” and follow the prompts:
Group Name: Type in the name you’ve chosen.
Privacy: Choose “private” if you wish to create an “exclusive” group or “public” if you want it open to the masses. You can still control who enters your group – the privacy option just determines how much the general public will see if they are not yet a member. If you choose private, select “visible.” This will only make the group name visible in searches; it will still keep the posts and all other information private.
Page Fans: Invite YOURSELF. Don’t skip this step. You want to be a member of your group. This will make both “your page” and “you” members. Click on “Create Group”
STEP TWO: OPTIMIZE THE GROUP
Creative: Choose a recognizable cover photo that is sized correctly. Your cover photo should tell the story of what your group is about. It should be eye catching and engaging to your visitors. And size does matter, so THIS CAN HELP if you don’t have design experience. You may also want to check out CANVA if you need an easy to use program for creating graphics.
Background Info: Click on “settings” from the left menu and complete one section at a time.
Name: The “name” can be the name you already chose for your group, or it can be something even more specific. This is the name people will actually see when they are invited to your group, or when they log into your group. The main group name you already chose will be what shows in the URL. For example, maybe the main group name you chose is “XYZ Realty Insiders”, the more descriptive name could be “XYZ Realty Insiders – Your Local Real Estate Connection”.
Description: Tell people what to expect from your group. This description will show under the “about” section in your group. SAVE your updates.
Privacy and Visibility: Leave alone, unless you wish to make changes.
Location: Click to add as many locations as you serve. You can enter whichever cities and states you provide services in. You can also just list “US” or other countries, but it is still a good idea to select the areas you serve the most.
Customize Group: Click to “edit” the web address. Clear the numbers following the “/” after the word “groups” and type in your main group name here. This will be the URL for the group page.
Group Color: Simply a design function. Choose something that looks appealing with your cover photo.
Badges: Individual decision on whether or not you think this will add value to your group. Click to review options.
Add Extra Features Group Type: The two most popular options are “general” and “social learning”. General should work for every group type and the social learning option gives you a section called “units” which is a helpful tool to organize information. It allows you to create categories (called “units”) to help your members find specific information in the future. Read more about units here.
Rooms: Option for members to connect via live video in a “private room.” Individual decision on whether or not you think this feature will add value to your group.
Mentorship and Social Units: Individual decision on whether or not you think these features will add value to your group.
Manage Membership, Manage Discussion and Advanced Settings: Review and select options that make the most sense for your group and save your changes. Some additional features can also be found on the left menu under “admin tools” that you can use to help you better manage your group. Review and utilize the ones that make the most sense for you.
Here are some highlights:
Automatic Member Approvals: Follow the prompts and set up your requirements. This will allow people immediate access to your group if they meet your requirements. This will save time for both you and your members.
Membership Questions: This is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about your members.
Post Topics: Great tool to make it easier for your members to find topics that interest them the most. Take the time to create the topics, and then click to add topics when you create new posts.
Group Rules: This is a helpful option to clearly state what is expected of members.
STEP THREE: STACK AND PROMOTE YOUR GROUP
Stacking the Timeline: Bulk up your group page with some valuable posts BEFORE you invite people to join. Create at least 5 – 10 visually appealing and value driven posts BEFORE inviting people. They need to know what’s in it for them, or they won’t stick around. Create a welcome post and pin it to the announcement section, welcoming visitors and telling them what to expect in your group. Videos and photos will gain the most attention, so be mindful of your visitor’s experience when you’re creating content.
PRO TIP: Record a video for your welcome post!
Promoting Your Group: Decide if you want to grow organically or through paid ads – possibly a mix of both. It’s always a good idea to start with your personal connections to gain some traction. You can simply use the “invite” button on the group page, but you can also create a post to share on your personal profile telling your friends that you’ve launched a new group. Tell them what they can expect to find there and how it will benefit them to join.
PRO TIP: You can only invite “friends” or “page fans” to join your group. To invite “strangers” you can share the URL to the page – this can be shared in posts to your personal profile, in groups you belong to if it’s allowed, or sent via messenger or email. This will allow the “stranger” to request to join.
You set up your Group. Now What? Groups are not a “set it and forget it” marketing strategy. They are a living and breathing platform where you need to consistently show up in order to get the best ROI. When done right, your group can become a place to nurture existing customers while attracting new ones.
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“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.”