Community CPR: Breathing New Life into Your Dying Facebook Group

Is your Facebook Group dying? Is your online community on life support, barely hanging on by a thread?

Maybe you’ve neglected your group or lost motivation because you got tired of being your own best member.

Either way, the Community CPR Method can bring your group from the brink of death back to the land of the living—and it will only take 30 days.

The Community CPR Method is a three-step system: Check In, Polarize and Resource.

Community CPR Step 1 – Check in With Your Members

The fastest way to get your group out of a coma is to perform mouth-to-mouth. Or, in this case, public check-ins.

🎯 Goal: Make your group members feel seen and valued.

🛑 Limitations: Tagged check-ins are not practical for groups with more than 500 members. Two posts a day, 12 hours apart, tend to work best. And most groups will enjoy these check-in posts for up to five days in a row. More than that feels tedious.

💡 Tactic: Create a series of posts (no more than two per day) with up to 50 members tagged in each that asks members to offer an update. Use a GIF that fits your group personality. The idea here is to be personal, not polished. You want your members to see that you genuinely care about them and their lives or businesses. Watch me debrief this tactic for my private group, The Secret to Thriving Online Communities. The debrief starts at about [9:00] in.

Examples of Check-In Posts:

  • First post: I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling a little disconnected recently. I miss you! What have you been up to? I’ll be checking in all week to find out what’s new with you. If you’re tagged here, share your latest project. Feel free to drop a link in the comments so I can check it out. I really want to see what you’ve been doing!
  • Second post: I’m having so much fun reading everyone’s updates! If you’ve already shared your update, thank you! If you’re tagged in this post, I’m ready to hear from you. 😊 What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments. Add a link or screenshot so everyone here can see it, too!

Community CPR Step 2 – Post Polarizing Questions

Like chest compressions keep a person’s blood moving, polarizing questions strike at the hearts of your members.

🎯 Goal: Give your members the opportunity to express strong opinions or passionate feelings.

🛑 Limitations: The goal here isn’t to tick off your members. Remember, people seek out social media to escape or be entertained. They don’t want their blood boiling. This is also a tactic that you want to use carefully. Too many polarizing posts can backfire.

💡 Tactic: Post a question you know your audience has strong feelings about but won’t put them in direct conflict with one another. For best results, you want a question that is easy to answer. Use either a colored background for the post to draw attention to the question or a photo that’s a natural complement.

Have fun with it!

Example Questions to Consider:

  • If you could only use one social media channel for the next year, which would you choose: Instagram or Facebook?
  • Cilantro – Love it or hate it?
  • Recommendations wanted: Best planner you’ve ever used?
  • Coffee or tea?
  • eBooks or Print?
  • When taking notes, do you prefer pencil or pen?

Community CPR Step 3 – Resource Your Members

Once you have your members talking, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back to the group. Resources are something that bring value to your group and help your members build a closer connection to you as their guide.

🎯 Goal: Give members a reason to visit and establish goodwill by creating a valuable group experience.

🛑 Limitations: The resources need to be low effort on your part and have a high impact on your members.

💡 Tactic: The easiest way to resource your members is by going live in your group every day for a week. Live video tends to be easy to produce and consume. Facebook will notify your members that you’re live in the group, and members will feel comfortable interacting with you through the video. If live video isn’t your thing, or if you live somewhere that lacks the signal strength to support live video, you can upload recorded videos or downloadable resources.

Types of Resource Videos to Add Value to Your Group:

  • Live coaching
  • Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions
  • Group town halls
  • Tutorials/how-tos
  • Types of Resource Downloads to Add Value to Your Group:
  • Journal pages
  • Activity calendars
  • Motivational quotes
  • Templates

Nurture Your Group to Keep it Going

Now that your group is surviving, it’s time to help it thrive by maintaining the momentum you’ve created for your members. When you’ve brought a group back from the brink of death, it’s going to take a bit of rehab to get it to full strength.

Have an engagement plan in place that will keep your members coming back and connecting with both you and one another. If you need a strategy to get your group to thriving status without leaving you DOA, I’m here to help. Schedule Your Borrow My Brain Session to find out what kind of plan makes sense for your group.

Building an Online Community: 5 Ways to Increase Group Engagement

Want to take your Facebook Groups from crickets to connected?

Not sure how to increase engagement on Facebook?

Did you create your online group with hopes of vibrant interaction only to find it’s one more place online where it’s just you and the sound of your own voice?

You wouldn’t be the first, and you’re probably not going to be the last. It takes art AND science to create a real community online.

Some people get lucky. They thrust the right message to the right audience at the perfect time, and people jump on it. But most of us have to work to build a thriving online community.

I do. So do my clients.

How to Increase Facebook Group Engagement

But there are some tactics you can use right now to give your group engagement a boost. Do them consistently and you’ll find your group thriving right in front of your eyes.

Step 1 – Verify your Facebook group engagement is as low as you think it is.

Facts and feelings are two different things. If you think your group lacks engagement, the first thing you need to do is check your data to see if it’s true.

If your group is more than 30 days old and has more than 50 members, Facebook makes it easy for you to check your engagement data. Visit your Group Insights and look for the number of Active Members. This is the number of people who, according to Facebook, have visited your group and interacted in some way in the past month.

Once you have the number of Active Members, divide it by the number of total group members. The resulting number is your group engagement rate.

Example: 328 active members / 422 total members = 78 % engagement.

If you’re at 25 percent, consider yourself average. The ideal is above 40 perfect.

Though your group could always have greater engagement, you definitely want to improve your group engagement if it’s below 40 perfect.

Is your engagement rate higher than you expect?

Take a quick look through the posts in your group. If your group is average, you’ll find posts have a higher number of reactions than comments. Even though comments are more meaningful in terms of making a group feel like a community, reactions count as engagement according to Facebook. Take that into consideration when evaluating your engagement rate.

Another consideration is the age of your group. If your group is still young, you might be in the growth phase — which can be a slow process at the beginning while members feel their way around. This article focuses on the group that is at least three months old and either has weak engagement or has experienced a recent reduction in engagement. If your group is new, you’ll want to start with the Suit Up, Show Up, Speak Up method found here.

Step 2 – Confirm that you’re fulfilling your commitment to your group members.

Once you get a data-driven assessment of your group’s true engagement rate, it’s time to evaluate your delivery. Are you living up to the promise you made to your group members as their leader?

People look to Facebook to fulfill two desires, escape and entertainment. Are you delivering either or both to your members? Is your group a place where they can get away from what troubles them to connect with like-minded individuals who understand their plight? Is it a fun place to unload the pressures and expectations of people who don’t get it?

Even groups focused on serious matters can provide escape and entertainment to their members. The key is to tell members what you’ll do for them and follow through in the group.

Step 3 – Send personal messages to members who have reacted to posts.

You might want to grab a paper bag for this one. It’s OK…I can wait.

If you know your engagement is low and you’ve confirmed you’re fulfilling your group promise, the next step is personal outreach. But don’t reach out randomly. Be strategic in your efforts. Reach out to the members who have reacted to posts in the group. If they’ve reacted (likes, loves, cares, wows, etc.), you know the content has connected.

What I want you to do is reach out to them individually via Messenger with a quick note of gratitude.


Hey there, Suzy! I’m the leader over at [insert group name here] and wanted to drop by to say thank you for being a member of our community. My goal is to provide [group promise] to [ideal members]. Please let me know if there’s anything I could be doing to make your group experience better. Looking forward to connecting in the group! [Your Name]

If you’re not Facebook friends, your message will end up in their Message Requests folder and not in their Messenger inbox. Even though they might not see it immediately, do it anyway. The goal here is to help your members feel seen and heard. How would you feel if you received a note of thanks from the leader of a group you were in? You are spreading goodwill. The side effect is that it might give you insight into how you can better serve your group members.

Step 4 – Show members how to manage their notifications.

When a group’s engagement drops, it’s safe to assume members aren’t getting notifications from the group.

One tactic to help members see posts and updates in the group is to teach them how to manage their notifications.

Create a tutorial showing members how to manage their notifications at the group and post levels. Loom is a tool that can help you create screenshare tutorials for free or a low price, depending on your needs. You can download the videos and upload them to your Facebook group so everyone can view them conveniently.

Step 5 – Welcome new members by name and tag them in the posts.

If you don’t already, tag new members in welcome posts at least once a week. Facebook makes it easy to do this and you can welcome 100 members per post. This is a great opportunity to make a great first impression and let your new members know how to get the most from their group experience.

Tagged welcome posts are the best opportunity you have to teach members your group’s rules of engagement and help them instantly feel connected to you and the group. If you manage a larger group, tagging members in welcome posts gives them the opportunity to know who you are and how you can help them.

To Build an Online Community: Show Up Consistently

When it comes to re-engaging a quiet or disconnected group, consistency is important. Whichever engagement tactics you choose to use, make sure you can do them consistently. Online communities need to be nurtured to thrive.

If you need help figuring out how to consistently care for your group so you can keep your members active and engaged, let me help. You can borrow my brain for 20 minutes. Schedule your session today to find out what makes sense for you and your group.

Read more about Social Media Community Engagement Strategy

10 Rules for Social Media and Christianity to Avoid Negative Impact

3 Easy Ways to Save Time on Social Media Without Sacrificing Results

You Have a Facebook Group, Now What?

Build it and they will come…

That’s what everyone seems to say about Facebook Groups.

But is it true?

If the group you built is far from your field of dreams, you’re not alone.

It’s the No. 1 complaint that leads writers and business owners to seek out my services.

“I have a Facebook Group – Now what?”

The answer to “now what?” is my three-step framework: Suit Up, Show Up and Speak Up. Read on to find out what that looks like for you as a new group owner or aspiring group owner.

Suit Up — Set the Stage for Group Success

Setting the stage for a Facebook Group’s success requires that you prepare the way for the people you hope to welcome into your community.

Thriving online communities start with solid group structure. There are foundational elements that are critical to a group’s early and ongoing success.

You’ll want to carefully consider the following elements:

  • Your Facebook Group’s cover image
  • Your group description
  • Your group rules
  • Your group’s screening questions

These elements are your group’s calling card to your ideal group members. Make each one count by being intentional about how you use them.

Cover Image

The cover image is like a bumper sticker, calling out to people all over Facebook. You want a cover image that grabs attention and clearly communicates what your group is about.

Group Description

Whether your group is “public visible” or “public invisible” (levels of group privacy on Facebook), everyone on Facebook will be able to see the description. This space is valuable real estate when it comes to helping people appreciate what your group is about and who it serves.

Group Rules

Community culture is made up of the collective rules of engagement for a group. This is how you help people understand what is and is not appropriate for your group, and how you create a structure to protect the members of your group.

Screening Questions

Facebook allows you to ask prospective members up to three questions when they request to join your group. Questions can be open-ended or multiple choice. How you use these questions is up to you and depends on what you think matters most.

Show Up — Make Time to Help Your Group Thrive

Showing up for your group is one of the most important activities you can do to ensure the success of your community. To show up consistently, though, you have to make time to be in your group.

Starting a Facebook group — or any online community — takes a significant investment of time. If you invest the time well in the beginning, however, you will find that the amount of time needed to maintain your group diminishes over time as the group becomes self-sufficient. Self-sustaining groups are healthy groups.

Speak Up — Make Yourself Known

As a Facebook Group leader, your greatest power is your voice and you need to use your voice to help your group stand out. The first thing you need to do is decide what sets your group apart from all others, and help others to appreciate your differentiating factor.

Understanding what makes you and your community unique is the only way you’ll be able to clearly communicate who should join you and why. Once you do that, you’ll be able to promote your group in a meaningful and effective way.

Find Great Examples to Follow

If you have a group and aren’t yet sure the best way to carry out the advice above, seek out examples of groups run well. If you need help — or a community of fellow online group owners — check out The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, my free Facebook Group that blends the practical with the ideal so you can grow your group without losing your mind. It’s one of the nicest communities on Facebook filled with leaders strive to serve their groups well.

The Best Way to Engage Your Facebook Group (Especially if it’s Small)

I believe in people over process, which means I take a personal approach in my work.

And in the age of scaling and automation, my style makes me a bit of a unicorn.

Look no further than my private Facebook group for proof.

My group, dedicated to online community managers, hit the 300-member mark early this year.

(cue the confetti)

celebrate group engagement with confetti

It was the perfect occasion to check in with everyone — so I did…

…By posting messages and tagging members.

Since Facebook limits posts to 50 tags each, that meant several posts over the course of a few days.

Looking back, it was A LOT.

There is no easy way to tag that many users, but the results were worth it.

Members who haven’t posted in ages, and some who had never posted at all, responded and shared updates with everyone.

One member just finished chemo and is getting ready to start radiation. Several members are finishing up book proposals and manuscripts; a couple are launching books in the next month or two. We’ve heard stories of starting groups, starting memberships and finally committing to taking social media seriously.

Personal updates, professional updates, high points, low points and midpoints — all of them were truly a joy to read. It connected all of us in a way that I don’t think any other tactic could have.

It’s an impulsive decision I’m glad I made, but it’s not one I’ll likely be able to make again.

This kind of attention can’t be sustained as the group grows. In fact, 300 is probably the cap. Sure…I could get assistance in creating the posts — or do what other group managers do and write one post with 50 tags and then add comments with 50 tags each until the whole group is covered. But that feels contrary to my hyper-personal style.

So, this is a stunt that’s most likely one-and-done. But I have no regrets. I have loved reading and re-reading every comment and response.

If you manage a group with fewer members, it’s a stunt to consider.

And though you can’t get around all the typing required to insert those tags, I do have a hack to make it a little easier.

Just because you’re one of my VIPs, I have a quick video to show you how it’s done.

If you decide to follow in my footsteps and try this type of activity in your group, let me know. I’d love to hear the response you get and how you felt about the experience for yourself.

Tonya Kubo believes in people over process and uses a personalized approach to help writers leverage the power of social media to launch books, online communities, membership programs and brands. She is the founder of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook groupSecret to Thriving Online Communities Facebook group and Clutter Free for Life membership program. She is a frequent guest on the Clutter Free Academy and Communicator Academy podcasts, has been featured on the Biz Mavens podcast, and has taught at Leverage: The Speaker Conference.

Facebook Group Etiquette: The Two Deadliest Sins

Online communities are my passion, and Facebook is where I spend a lot of my time with those communities.

Facebook Group etiquette, as a result, matters A LOT to me.

I consider online communities so important that I host a Facebook Group devoted to sharing the best of my knowledge on the subject and mentoring others who seek to have successful online communities. This is because I know how overwhelming it can feel to build an online community. But the people who manage online communities aren’t actually my top priority.

I consider the collective community and its members to be my No. 1 priority. And if you’ve been in any group I’ve managed, you know I’m fiercely protective of group members.

I’m also a compassionate group leader who is mindful of the learning curve new members go through. It takes time to acclimate to a group’s cultural norms. My compassion — and patience — wear thin fast, though, when I discover someone is in the group with darker intentions.

There are two tactics that I find to be most egregious when it comes to online etiquette, and I call them baiting and fishing.

Baiting in Facebook Groups

You may not be familiar with the term, or call it by a different name, but baiting is the practice of creating a vague post that somewhat connects with the group topic. It’s vague enough to prompt curiosity from others, who might leave a reaction (thumb’s up, heart, etc.) or a comment. That’s when the offender pounces. Typically, the next step is to privately message everyone who interacted with the post with a soft-sell sales pitch.

Real-life example from a group on clutter: A member posted a selfie, stating she’d been on a mission to declutter her body and shared how much weight she’d lost and how great she felt as a result. Members who interacted with the post soon received private messages saying, “I noticed you liked my post in [group name] and wanted to say thank you and to let you know it’s all because of [product name]. I’d love to send you a free sample. Are you interested?”

It took about 24 hours before my notifications went crazy with members reporting the activity to me. They took the bait, but they avoided the hook.

Trust in the online space is hard to earn and way too easy to lose. Click To Tweet

Fishing in Facebook Groups

Fishing is sneakier and maybe even slimier than baiting. Someone joins a group and instantly starts assessing the list of members, looking for the best catches. What follows is a methodical and intentional process. The angler might start by sending friend requests to their targets. If the friend request is accepted, a message comes next with a pitch:

Real-life example from a lifestyle group: Within just a few hours of joining a group, the angler started sending friend requests. Upon accepting the requests, people started receiving messages inviting them to join a different group.

It only took 12 hours for the activity to rub folks the wrong way and trigger reports to the admin team.

Tonya Kubo quote on trust

Why is Facebook Group Etiquette Such a Big Deal?

To be clear, the issue in these examples is not that someone is trying to sell something or trying to grow their groups. We can’t blame people for wanting to earn a living or expand their own platform. The issue here — and the reason these individuals were evicted from the groups — is a matter of trust. Trust in the online space is hard to earn and way too easy to lose.

Activity like baiting and fishing destroy trust and affect the feeling of safety and security thriving online communities have cultivated. If you lead a community, you have to protect your people from predators.

Facebook Group etiquette isn’t snobbery, it’s part of the proper care and feeding of groups you manage and groups you join.

The best practice is zero-tolerance.

Remove the group member.

Message them if you want but consider whether the outcome will be worth it. I’ve never seen an angler accept responsibility for their actions and often see them trying to project the blame on their targets in the following ways: “I was only trying to help because members seemed interested in how I lost my weight” or “I was careful only to approach people who were friends with me outside of the group (ignoring the fact the friend request came moments before the pitch).”

How to Handle Baiting and Fishing in Your Group

It’s almost impossible to prevent predators from joining your group. Paid memberships and private groups offer some protections, but if people have bad intentions, they’ll find a way to act on them. That doesn’t mean you’re defenseless. You can make preemptive strikes by setting clear standards for your community, enforcing those standards consistently with care, and explicitly telling the group what to do if they think others are violating those standards.

It takes time and effort to protect your community from predators, and your people are worth it.

But a word of caution: Don’t go through life, or community management, assuming the worst of people in your groups. If anything, assume the best. More people are out to do good than to do harm. Be one of those people and work to attract those people — and your community (whether it’s on Facebook or not) will be better for it.

What Do You Think?

Have you had these types of experiences in the groups you lead? What have you done? How has it affected you and the group as whole?


Tonya Kubo believes in people over process and uses a personalized approach to help writers leverage the power of social media to launch books, online communities, membership programs and brands. She is the founder of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook groupSecret to Thriving Online Communities Facebook group and Clutter Free for Life membership program. She is a frequent guest on the Clutter Free Academy and Communicator Academy podcasts, has been featured on the Biz Mavens podcast, and has taught at Leverage: The Speaker Conference.

Live Video Content is a Savvy Communicator’s Secret Weapon

I’m a vocal proponent of using live video content to connect with your audience. I believe that live video isn’t optional for communicators who want to grow their platforms, get booked and publish books.

Done well, live video is almost magical in how it develops and strengthens relationships online. Click To Tweet

I know it can be intimidating to go live. Many savvy communicators worry about what to say and whether anyone will even pay attention. You worry whether you’re saying the right thing on the right channel. It feels like you’re at war with an invisible enemy, and you never quite understand whether you’re winning or losing. But live video isn’t the enemy. It’s your greatest ally.

Live Video Content Connects

When you create live video, you connect with your audience on a level that’s just as deep as if you were right there with them in person. Done well, live video is almost magical in how it develops and strengthens relationships online.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Live videos get 10 times more comments from viewers than other types of posts.
  • Every social media channel that offers live video prioritizes it over other types of content.
  • Audiences watch live video three times longer than pre-recorded video content.

I went live on Facebook for 12 days in a row and tracked my results. I know this works. But if Facebook isn’t your thing, you still have options. You can broadcast live Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. And though there are slight differences among each channel, a savvy communicator follows these three universal steps:

  1. Present a distraction-free viewing experience
  2. Create content that connects
  3. Suit up and show up – again and again

Want to know more? Visit the Communicator Academy blog, where I unpack how I use live video step-by-step. If I can do it, so can you. All you need are the right resources and support.

Tonya Kubo helps communicators build close, connected relationships online by leveraging the power of social media.Tonya’s goal is to make social media less overwhelming and more sustainable for communicators at every level. She manages online communities, book teams and offers coaching/consulting services. Subscribers receive a FREE download on top-performing live vide topics to improve their audience engagement immediately.

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