There are a lot of decisions you need to make when you create a Facebook group. Although you can always change your Facebook group name, it’s important to make a great first impression, get people into your group and choose the right privacy settings.
Choosing a Name For Your Facebook Group:
Naming a Facebook group is almost as hard as naming a baby! The difference is, if you don’t like your Facebook group name, you can always change it — that is, until you reach 5,000 members. Even so, there should be a lot of thought that goes into this decision, because the answer might not be as simple as it seems.
As entrepreneurs or representatives for bigger brands, we are so involved with day-to-day operations that our instincts say the group’s name must relate to our business. Often times, that might not be the ideal scenario.
You will want to take into account the type of group that you are running. Is it …
… a short or long-term group?
… around a product or service?
… interest or problem-based?
This answer will help you determine the direction to go with your group name.
Who are your group members?
The next thing to consider is your group members themselves. You will have a much better chance at participation if the members feel like the group is about them, and not about you or your brand of the company. They want to feel like their participation matters and that they belong.
Making the name about something that you are helping them with, that defines who they are (or want to be), or an affiliation of some kind is always the best way to go. Just like in sales and advertising, we need to make it about the group members … not the brand.
Take a look at those who are doing it right:
A great example of this is the Social Media Marketing Society. Sure, the first three words are tied to the brand, Social Media Examiner … but the word “society” clearly indicates a large group of people coming together. This is a great way a brand has blended with their audience.
Mari Smith’s Leading Entrepreneurs is another group name that is a fabulous example of how a brand (Mari) blended her Facebook group with a cause making it about the members, by defining them as the “leading entrepreneurs.”
Choosing The Right Privacy For Your Facebook Group:
There are three different types of privacy settings that you can choose for your group. The easiest way to select a privacy setting is to consider the type of group you want to build.
Secret Facebook Group
A secret Facebook group is exactly what it sounds like:
The general public will not be able to look it up. Only members can find the group, see who is in the group, and what they post. You can not add people who are not your friends because when you send them the link, the group will not show up. If you have people you want to add who are not your friends, it is best to start off with a closed group and once you have everyone inside, then change it to a secret group.
Closed Facebook Group
In a closed Facebook group, anyone can find it via search, but only members can post and see who posts inside. These are the most popular types of groups as they offer the privacy for the content while allowing outsiders to see who is in the group itself.
Closed groups are ideal for discovery because you can tell who makes up the community if your friends are in there, or people you don’t want to associate with. On the flip side, closed groups theoretically allow people with bad intentions to ‘poach’ group members for their own gain, and users that don’t want everyone knowing they are a member will be less likely to join your group.
Public Facebook Group
In a public group, anyone can find the group, see who is in it and what members post — but outsiders cannot post. A brand might use this as a strategy to get seen in the News Feed if their group has a lot of engagement.
Public groups might not have very sensitive information and want to encourage participation. In my experience, I tend to advise against Public groups; having to be a member to read what is being posted offers more of an advantage and desire to be a member of the group.
Build Your Group By Inviting Members
Getting people into your group isn’t as tough as most people think. Imagine your Facebook page and website as the front lawn of your house, while your Facebook page is like the back yard.
You only allow those you like into your back yard and when they are back there you try to make them feel as comfortable as possible, right?
A Facebook group is no different. When you are building your group you have to keep in mind that you are not just inviting people into a group where they just stand there and do nothing.
You have to hand them a drink. Invite them to cool off in the pool, play a game of bags, and offer them a burger from the barbecue.
When we have something to entertain them with, it makes the inviting that much easier. “Join our FREE Facebook group where you get …
– Behind the scenes insight?
– Weekly Facebook live coaching sessions?
– A group of people who understand you?
– Your personal attention?
– Free gifts and surprises from the brand?
– Place to network and learn about a topic?
Everyone’s “backyard” is going to be different, but if you have an attraction it makes the inviting even easier.
Your Facebook Page:
From the front of your business Facebook page, you have an option to have a call to action. If you use the “Join Group” feature this will really help direct people to sign up with you. Again, they are standing on your front lawn — while the real party is in the back yard.
From the front page of your website, you can invite people to join your Facebook group. Again, knowing the “attraction” is going to be key but it is a great place to invite people to join your Facebook group. If your website is set up with a side bar that is present on every page, this is a great place to invite people to your group as well!
Think about how many emails you are sending every day. What if there was a call to action where you were inviting people to join your Facebook group in every single email? That could be powerful and an easy way to attract more people to your Facebook group.
If your brand is on YouTube, this is another great place to solicit more Facebook group members. You can do this on your featured video, or on the ending bumpers of your video. Chances are if people are watching your videos, they would love to be in your group.
What Type of Facebook Group Do You Want To Have?
Now that we know how to create and build a Facebook group, we can see how important it really is to have a plan for how you want this group to help your brand. Determining what place it will have in your business, and what the attraction will be, will help you determine the privacy and name, and set your group up for long-term success.
Bella Vasta is a Keynote Speaker, Author, Podcast Host, & Consultant. Since 2002, she has coached clients to excellence in their small businesses through using Facebook groups. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or book her to speak at your next conference.