There’s nothing more frustrating than running a Facebook group where no-one engages.
You’ve spent time creating a safe space for members… Poured your heart and soul into creating amazing content… Then barely a single like or comment for your efforts.
It’s enough to make you throw in the towel, right? And it’s why there are countless closed and abandoned Facebook groups around.
But it’s such a shame because groups are a great way to grow a captive audience.
Just imagine holding a space for thousands of people that get excited about everything you have to say. And when you have something to sell, they’re ready to jump from their seat and pull out their wallet to buy from you.
That’s the reality of growing a well-engineered Facebook community.
So how can you get that engagement up if things have gone stale?
My Club members asked me this exact question. That question is the inspiration for this blog post and the Facebook group training that now sits in the Pet Biz Thrive Online Club.
So without further ado, here are a few tried and tested tactics to ponder.
Your Facebook group
To really benefit from the tips below, it’s best if you have at least 200 members in your group. That will start you off with a decent audience to interact with and convert.
Because keep in mind, not every member will engage and buy from you! It’s just a numbers game.
Even better if you have 500 members. That’s the magic number. At 500 members groups tend to grow more organically. People request to join without you having to promote it constantly. At this point, members also start interacting with each other without you having to post every day.
Welcome new members
One of the best ways to get people involved from the start, is by sending a personalised welcome message. Whenever someone joins your group, tag them in a welcome post and ask them to introduce themselves.
You could do this for each member, or welcome in a bunch at the beginning of each week. Bonus points if you can welcome them in with a video.
Make live videos a part of your Facebook group strategy. Lives are brilliant engagement drivers. It removes that barrier between you and your audience. Plus, members get notified when you go live. It’s free advertising from Facebook!
Aim to go live regularly to provide value to your audience. Once a week is ideal. Talk about your top tips on one big problem or challenge your audience faces. Members are far more likely to interact when it’s real time and they can see you in the flesh.
Super simple, but super effective. Ask questions to encourage a direct response from your audience. Try to ask open-ended questions to get that conversation flowing. For example: ‘Where are your favourite spots to walk your dog in London?’
This will take your audience beyond a simple yes or no answer so you can get to know them on a deeper level.
Ask for a response
After publishing your post, always tell your audience what you want them to do next. If you want them to leave a comment to share their own thoughts or experiences, tell them so.
For example, say you’ve shared a video on how to teach an obedience command. End the post by asking your audience to share a video of them teaching the command to their own dog. Or ask them to pop back in and share how they got on.
Hold regular events
Schedule monthly events to give your audience something to look forward to. This could be a Facebook live where, for example, you’re teaching the ins and outs of grooming a schnauzer at home. Or maybe you could run a 5 day challenge where you’re teaching an obedience command a day.
Schedule it within the events tab in your group and create buzz around it in the lead up. By holding a special event, it’s also a great way to bring new people into your group. It gives them a good reason to join. Share the event far and wide on your other social profiles and in other people’s groups. But always get permission from the group own first.
People love a good poll. Everyone likes to share their opinion and it’s quick and easy to participate. Start thinking about the common topics of conversation in the pet industry right now, and create a poll based around that.
Polls are a great way to use closed questioned and it doesn’t require much effort for your audience to get involved.
Inject a little humour into your strategy with gifs. Like polls, people love a good gif! So for example, you could post a gif to represent your lazy Sunday afternoon. Then encourage engagement by asking members to share what their Sunday afternoon looks like with a gif. Simple, but effective.
Strike an education and entertainment balance
Play around with the tone of your posts with a good mix of educational and entertaining posts. That way your group will be both valuable, and a great place to hang out.
Do make it a place to post your tips and solve your reader’s problems, but sprinkle in those posts that will delight your audience too.
Think funny pet images, inspiring image quotes, quizzes and off-the-cuff videos.
Ask members to turn on notifications
We’ve all heard about those dreaded Facebook algorithms. It means only a small percentage of people actually get notified about your group posts.
So unless your audience is actively making an effort to come into your group each day, the majority are likely missing all that great content.
But there is a work around.
Every so often remind members to turn on notifications for your group. Because when they do that, they’ll get notified whenever you share something new.
This could be a simple post saying: ‘If you guys want to make sure you’re seeing all our new tips and tricks in this group, be sure to switch on your notifications. Click on ‘notifications’ under the cover photo, select ‘All posts’, and you’re done!’
Respond to others
You need to lead by example and take the initiative if you want to see engagement in your group.
That means leaving no comment unanswered.
Make the effort to respond to other people so they feel valued. Soon other members will start to feel comfortable interacting, and engagement will happen more naturally.
Over to you. Which key tips will you take away today and apply to your own group?
If you’d like support to help you grow your own engaged group and learn how to turn those members into paying customers, then come and join us inside the Pet Biz Thrive Online Club.
You’ll get immediate access to the Facebook Marketing module with the training on how to grow a successful Facebook group, and so much more!