After more than thirteen years running a private discussion forum, I moved my community over to a Facebook Group in early 2017. I call it Business is Better Together. At the time of answering this question, I have just shy of 600 members. Growth has been steady and engagement has been quite good.
I've observed some other new Facebook Groups growing faster and I'll admit, I get a little green with envy! I remind myself in moments like that how important it is to build a targeted community – having a smaller group of my perfect target market is better than aiming for high numbers alone.
If you want to know how to make your Facebook Group grow, you'll want to start by identifying a clear purpose for the community.
Answer this: What need do you plan to meet for people & what will they experience as a member? People like to join groups that fulfill a need they have, whether that is to learn or feel a warm sense of belonging.
What Will You Call Your New Facebook Group?
The name you choose for your group is important and so in the description. It's the first thing potential members see. I don't know about you, but I'm not terribly attracted to Facebook Groups named for the group host. I'm intrigued by groups named for the culture or purpose of the community.
When you ask how to grow your Facebook Group, keep in mind that energy and engagement in a group is key.
It's your role as Group Leader to bring positive energy, start discussions and provide value. Recruit a few good friends to help you set the tone for your new group. It really helps to have multiple voices involved. It makes others feel comfortable jumping into the discussion.
I Create Energy & Conversation In My Group In Positive Ways:
- Every new member is greeted with an image of their profile and an invite to share about their business.
- I don't have a lot of rules about what you can post. I believe lots of rules can stifle the community.
- I open discussions in helpful ways.
- I show appreciation when other members do the same.
- I provide ‘get started' advice for new members.
A Quick Note About Public VS Private Group Settings
If you have an existing community, perhaps on an email list, or on a forum like me, you probably don't need help from Facebook in growing your new Facebook Group. If you prefer to have a private community, go ahead and use that setting.
There's an advantage to having a public or closed group that's not hidden though. As soon as Facebook sees your group becoming active, it will actually help you grow by suggesting your group to others based on similarity of content and interests.