Our team has just finished watching this video of Pat Flynn’s from earlier this year. It’s all about using Facebook groups, and he shares 27 different tips and hacks for Facebook marketing within your groups.
We think it will give you a lot of great ideas for your own Facebook group. It even prompted us to reflect on how we use Facebook groups at ProBlogger.
Pat’s Facebook business group tips are for how to:
- Grow your group
- Increase engagement
- Make money from it
Check out all of his 27 tips and hacks here:
For the first six tips (‘Growing your group’), I’ve outlined what it looks like for us at ProBlogger.
Growing your group:
1. Make joining part of a step-by-step process (0:51)
Unlike Pat, we don’t send first-time visitors to the Facebook Group from our Start Here page. Instead we use it to help new users navigate our site, and prompt them to sign up to ProBlogger PLUS.
2. Put a call to action to join in your email signature (1:23)
This is such a simple thing to do. But only a few of our team members use signatures, and none of us have a link to the group in it. Laney is one team member who doesn’t use them, and this has prompted her to set hers up.
3. Create a handy short link for your Facebook group (1:44)
On ProBlogger our short link for the ProBlogger Community Facebook group is problogger.com/group instead of https://www.facebook.com/groups/probloggercom/.
4. Mention that short link organically in your content (2:05)
Having a short link makes it easy for Darren to mention the group in the podcast, and for people to remember it.
5. Link multiple Facebook groups together (2:23)
We hadn’t done this before now, and it took all of 30 seconds to link our new 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Course group to our main group with a note of how to sign up for the course. We may get an influx of people requesting to join, but you need a password to be accepted into the group (which you get when you sign up for the course).
6. Feature community members outside the group (2:51)
We’ve previously featured community members on the podcast (check out our Start a Blog series) and the blog (Caz McCulloch, Amelia Lee, Laura Trotta, and Sharon Gourlay).
And right now we’re in the process of inviting our community to be on the ProBlogger podcast in a series about “blogging breakthroughs”. (You can submit your breakthrough story here.)
I encourage you to go through the rest of Pat’s 27 tips and hacks to improve your own group.
Here are some more tips from the way we use groups, as well as reiteration of points Pat made.
How ProBlogger Uses Facebook Groups
Rules and Engagement
In our ProBlogger Community Closed Facebook Group (which has more than 10,000 members):
- We ask a few questions of aspiring group members applying to join:
- What is your blog’s URL? How long have you been blogging?
- Why do you want to join the Problogger Community group?
- Do you agree to abide by our group rules outlined in our description?
- We use hashtags to direct discussion so it’s constructive and positive as possible for members, and to make threads easier to find
- We post our group guidelines on our About Page, and expect members to read and abide by them so everyone can come away feeling a step closer to building a successful blog
- ProBlogger Darren Rowse usually does a Facebook Live video tutorial in the group once a week (Tuesday 10:30am AEST, Wednesday 5:30pm PT, Wednesday 6:30pm MT)
Groups for Support and Feedback
We used a Facebook group to launch our Ultimate Guide to Start a Blog course in January this year for more than 1,000 enrolled students to provide us with feedback on the course.
We also have a Facebook group for a Mastermind group for people to connect before and after a live event to share ideas and expertise.
Social Learning Groups
Right now we’re most excited by our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog course Facebook group, which uses new ‘Social Learning Group’ functionality.
Facebook’s Social Learning Group type has only been released in the past couple of months. We decided to try it after one of our ProBlogger Community members Melanie Surplice of Surplice of Spirit originally mentioned it in a group discussion. (How handy are groups?!)
Apparently Facebook first trialed a feature called ‘units” last year without announcing or publicizing it. Units are incorporated into this social learning group, which is just like a regular group except:
- Admins can organize posts into units, and change the order they appear in
- Group members can click ‘I’m done’ to let the admin know they’ve interacted with the unit
- Admins can view group insights and see details on unit and post completion.
We’ve set up units to match each day of our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog course. For each unit we have:
- an image that relates to the day/topic of the course
- a call to action for students to share their results or comment on the learning outcome of that day
That way, students can easily find the discussion for the particular day or topic of the course they’re up to and interact with their fellow students and the ProBlogger team.
Although our courseware has forum functionality, we’ve switched it off in favor of using Facebook. Our students prefer the more open, social nature of interaction on Facebook. They also get Facebook notifications, which provide another touchpoint to check back into the course and keep progressing.
Do you have a Facebook group for your blog? Which tips do you think you can use straight away?