Want to take your Facebook Groups from crickets to connected?
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.
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 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.
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.