The Power of Facebook Groups
If you love to crochet, be sure to join my Facebook group The Friendly Crochet Club!
I tell people all the time that along with starting my Friendly Newsletter, having a Facebook group is the best business decision I ever made. Starting a Facebook group is relatively easy, and if you do some small things consistently over time it can have a huge payoff!
Why should you start a Facebook Group?
People love being part of a community. Facebook groups are designed to bring people of common interests together. This is excellent for niche blogs or brands! Members can easily interact with you and each other, and that means they will hang out there!
It is a great place to send questions. Sometimes I can't get to someones questions right away. Instead I like to direct them to my group. Other members may have the answer they are looking for. That saves me from having to answer it, the questioner gets the answer quickly and the community builds! If it isn't answered right away, I am still more likely to see it there anyway.
Establish yourself as an authority. For me, my absolute favorite thing is to see someone post something they made with my crochet pattern and say something like "This was such a great pattern! So easy to follow, and now I have 3 more requests!" Right away that tells other people that I put out quality patterns, that they had no difficulty following the instructions, and that it is popular. And usually, if they belong to my group, they belong to other similar groups and share the same thing. I am also very active in the group. I answer questions, I drop links, I share what I am working on. People know that I am the admin and that makes me and my site "legit."
A group is great for contest/challenges/giveaways. It is pretty easy to set up some kind of community event in a group. I use my group to host a Crochet Along, where I release a pattern in parts and we all work on it together. People like to see how others are doing, they can ask questions, and share their finished project. My traffic sometimes quadruples during a Crochet Along and it is mainly marketed in my group.
MORE TRAFFIC! Like I said, a group is a great way to drive traffic.
How to Get the Most out of your Facebook Group
Like most social media, you have to be active. I ALWAYS comment when someone shares a picture of something they made from my pattern. I try to like as many posts as I can. I answer questions, share patterns, etc. The more I do in the group, the more people see my own posts.
Use the poll feature. This is only available in Facebook groups. It is such a nice way to get feedback from the members in the group!
Have a goal- what do you want? (More subscribers, more traffic, more sales...) Then make a point to promote it. I've been promoting my newsletter in the group. I share a picture of something that hasn't been released yet, asking for help to name it etc. then leave a link to my Newsletter. "Sign up if you want to be the first to hear when this is released!" Killer results every time.
Host a Challenge or Group Activity- I mentioned my crochet alongs, but it is great to do small challenges too! Make something using a theme, have a virtual craft night, host a no sugar month challenge, a buy no more yarn until I use what I have pledge... The community that works together, becomes way more engaged and loyal together.
Use it for market research. You can ask for it, or just see what is going on in the group! If there is a question asked over and over, write a post about! Is something trending? Jump on the trend! There are YOUR tribe, so what they are talking about matters to YOU!
Share your Facebook Page's post into the group= more views and more traffic. I have a smallish page and get way more reach than I "should." I credit this ALL to my group.
Tips on Running your Facebook Group
Watch out for Spam/Click Bait posts. It hasn't been horrible to keep up on them, but you do need to. Ask for people's help to report or tag you. For me it is an automatic delete and block.
Know what type of group you want (Public, Closed, Secret). Public allows people to share posts from the group and anyone can find it. Closed allows people to find the group, but they have to be approved to join and only members can see the posts in the group. Secret groups have to be shared with a link or an invite and only the people can see it. I personally have a closed group. I like to make sure there aren't too many crazies, people can post in the group without annoying their non-crocheting friends, and they like that the baby blanket they are making can be showed off before the baby shower.
Make sure you add the keywords when you create the group. Facebook suggests groups to other people that say they have the same interests. It's about the only time Facebook is ever helpful so take advantage of it!
Write up your Rules and share in the about section. Remind the group every once in a while! I am very blunt and follow through every time. If someone isn't "friendly" they are immediately removed and blocked. I make this VERY CLEAR and don't allow for exceptions or second chances. Everyone knows this and it has really helped! I don't have time for conflict management haha.
Add an extra admin for help. Someone that works for you or even an active member in the group!
To make sure your stuff is being seen, pin it to the top (this may be the announcement section) or make an event for the group. Changing the name of the group sends out an alert to everyone as well.
Get people to join your Group
Ask them to join EVERYWHERE
Offer them something that is only available in the group (discount code, special post, etc.)
Run a special event and ask them to join as part of it
Add it to your posts
Thank you for reading this whole thing! Hopefully it was helpful. Let me know if you start your own group!