One of the hottest topics within the online marketing space today is whether Facebook Groups are on the rise or headed for the gutter. Let's talk about it some more.
On the one hand, Groups have become these micro hubs of people with specific interests coming together to network, learn and share. This is obviously positive: it creates an opportunity for collaboration, friendship, growth, and sales. At the same time, many groups have become digital dumpsters, full of cheesy sales pitches and robotic requests. This is obviously negative: who wants to participate in a group that regularly gets bombarded with links that read "Book a free call with me to see how I can help improve your credit score!"? Yuck.
And as a Facebook Group owner amongst many Facebook Group owner friends, I know we all have the same question - who are these people joining our groups, and what are their intentions?
Are they here to spam us?
Hijack our audience?
Break the group rules?
Pretend to "just be adding value" yet slyly (but to us, obviously) trying to sell?
Unfortunately, this trend is so common today that a lot of Facebook Groups are cracking down on this outdated trend. Yup, that includes my own.
But the truth is that, it is possible to be a great group member and bring positive exposure to your brand. Yet for some reason, most people are going about it wrong.
Here are my best tips for being a beloved Facebook Group member - without being a despised cheeseball.
1. Contribute...a lot
If you're a part of my Facebook group, you see that I post valuable content every single day. In fact, most of the time, I post up to four times a day. Why? On the one hand, I'm really talkative and love to start a good conversation, but on the other, I know that repetition gets attention.
If I posted once a week, no one's going to see that or remember me - they're not going to get used to my content in their newsfeeds and look forward to seeing what I have to say. If I only share once in awhile, people will scroll right past me, not even recognizing my name.
If you want people to actually start noticing you in groups, comment on other people's posts all the time. And not just "Great work" - actual, thoughtful posts that will stand out.
Ask thought-provoking questions. Share something you learned recently that you think is relevant to the group. And don't just do it once in awhile - do it every day if you can. After a week or two, people will start to look forward to your posts. They'll recognize your name and be curious about who you are. They might even go as so far to link back to your profile and check out your website (I do this all the time).
So start interacting with others and engaging in conversation all the time. Very few people do this, but the ones who do become the "popular kids in the group" and grow their businesses along with them.
2. Make an effort to build a relationship with the group owner
If you join a Facebook Group that clearly has an active Group owner, reach out to them one-on-one and build a rapport.
Why? Because we're real people who are allowing you into our communities, so the least you could do is introduce yourself. IImagine if you went to a birthday party and you didn't thank the birthday girl for inviting you, but instead went right for the cake. Rude, right? Same goes with Facebook Groups.
If you can build a relationship with the owners, it can go a long way - they can give you shout-outs in the group, do co-livestreams with you, enable you to promote your product once and awhile, and give you priority when they're running give-aways or special offers.
You want the group owner in your corner, so prioritize building this relationship.
3. Stop talking about yourself
When someone joins my group and says "Hey fellow Go-Getters! I'm a copywriter, I offer ___ and ___ and ___! I'm happy to be here!" I want to throw up. Why? Because 99% of the time, you'll never hear from that person again unless he has another opportunity to talk about himself even more.
In order to avoid being that guy, ask other people about their lives and businesses. Comment on other people's content. Ask them about their experiences. Give advice specific to them.
I'm blown away that so many people use Facebook Groups to solely talk about how vain they are. It's not an anonymous forum, guys - it's a public Facebook group built for conversation. Stop making it you-oriented make it group-oriented.
4. Don't be a troll
For some reason, people can get really aggressive in Facebook Groups - they love hating on other people's posts and leaving unnecessary, snarky comments for no reason at all.
This should go without saying, but be nice. No one wants to go to a party when they know the grouchy drunk guy is going to show up and scream at everybody.
It doesn't matter if you're actually trying to prove a good point and are suggesting something thought-provoking, if you say it in a rude, aggressive way, no one wants to hear it. So enough with the trolls and bring some positivity to the table. Or else, get ready to be blocked.
See, guys? It is possible to be a positive, interesting, popular group member while still growing your business. And it isn't even hard. So stop wasting your time try out these tips instead - you won't be disappointed.