15 proven elements the best groups have
As many of you know, I’m the little Woff supporting the mighty Toon online. And let me tell you – we’ve learnt a lot from each other.
But a major part of what I do is help her run her online Facebook groups, both private and public. I also hang out with a few other Facebook groups that are industry related as I love having a tribe around me.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that all groups aren’t created even. There are times I wonder why the heck I belong to some. But for the entertainment factor, I hang around…
So, today, I thought I’d share with you the 15 essential elements I’ve seen the most successful (and kind, caring and loving) groups have in common.
Here’s what all amazing Facebook groups have in common
1. A wicked cover photo gets your attention:
Your cover photo/image is often the first impression someone will make about your group. You need to include your branding and make it ‘pop’. It can be your first and last impression.
2. They keep out the bad eggs:
You are going to want control over who joins your group so make sure you’ve got it set to make people request to join. Ask them a few questions to suss out the troublemaking bad eggs (yes, some people do join groups simply to cause waves). You want to create a close-knit community.
3. Days are broken into themes:
To help create an interactive group, make theme days (e.g. Tech tip Thursday, Celebration Friday, Share your promo Saturday etc.). This helps members feel comfortable to post as they know what’s expected. Schedule a post for each of the days to go out in the morning, announcing the day and encouraging people to comment. Hint: if you have a promo day, make it clear that people who post ONLY on promo days will be removed – you want genuine connections.
4. Hashtags are used:
Hashtags are a MUST. Give your members a list of examples such as #Question, #Referral, #Help #CheekyCheckin #TechIssues. Hashtags allow crazy-busy people to see summaries of posts before investing their time reading them. It’s also helpful for you and admin staff to search through content to find areas you need to assist in. E.g. #TechIssues may mean you need to fix things on your membership site.
5. The pinned post shines with personality:
A pinned post is a fun way to show your personality while laying down the ground rules. This will be the first thing people read, and it’ll help weed out people who don’t like you or your style. Take your time to get this post right.
6. The owner is honest and present:
The more well known you become, the more people will want to hang out with you. They’ll join your group because of YOU. So, you need to be there! The whole ‘feel’ of the group will come from you. Make sure you check in with tips and tricks and little insights into what’s happening in your world. Keep it real – people will relate to that.
7. They relate to their audience with Facebook lives:
You’ll need to get over being camera shy. People want to see you. Check in with live videos weekly or when you need to discuss a matter affecting the group. It’s the fastest way for people to get to know you. Encourage your members to give it a go too.
8. They organise online events:
Use your network connections and ask guest speakers do a ‘live’ with you for your members. Or share webinars, podcasts or interviews you’ve done with others to give value to your members.
9. The owner knows their community:
The whole point of having a Facebook group is to connect with your members. Find out what they need – what are the challenges they’re facing? E.g. if they’re struggling with networking, have a #NetworkingChallenge where you encourage members to introduce themselves or share something about themselves. If they’re struggling with an online tool, do a quick demonstration video. And so on.
10. The branding is clear and consistent:
Every time you’re online, you must make sure your brand is popping. Be consistent with your colour, style, fonts and language. This will create a safe zone that will begin to feel like home.
11. It’s a safe place to share the icky stuff:
You’re dealing with humans. Most of us connect with someone if they show a vulnerability rather than gloating about a win. Show that you’re not always Wonder Woman or Batman. If you have a day where you’re Oscar, the Grouch – show it. BUT, don’t be constantly negative or the group vibe will dim.
12. It’s well managed:
Be prepared that managing a group can zap your time. You’ll need processes in place, and you could consider outsourcing this side. Your priority should be creating value and being present, not doing admin – letting new people into the group, post scheduling, graphics creation, online meeting setups, email correspondence from member and so on.
13. Polls are run to gain insights into the community:
When you’re up and running and have traction, run some polls. You’ll be surrounded by people who are likely your ideal client, so do a little market research now and then. You can use polls to boost your marketing or to measure group satisfaction and ideas to make things better.
14. Communication is clear:
Make it obvious who your members can email if they have an issue. Give them a clear process to follow and tell them what they can expect for turnaround time. Unfortunately, people almost want instant action these days, so if you don’t have these rules set, you will get Facebook or Instagram messages all night long.
15. It’s an easy to find group due to Facebook ads:
Don’t be scared to back yourself and do some paid Facebook ads. It can be a great way to get your group in front of your ideal audience. Measure your spend and your results and if you have no idea how to do this – get help!
What are your favourite Facebook groups and why?
I’d love for you to share the Facebook groups you love hanging out in. What makes you stick around? Why is the group special? What do you look for in a Facebook group? Please comment below.