what should you post in your Facebook Groups

My Biggest Facebook Lesson

The biggest lesson that I learned during my year-long Facebook experiment was the power of Facebook Groups.

Facebook Groups put the social back into social media marketing. It’s the place where you’ll meet other people doing what you do or needing what you’re selling. It’s the place where you can see big results from spending a little bit of time participating in these groups.

Facebook Groups work because of this basic reason – people like to spend time with other people who have a common interest. It’s why we go to our college’s sporting events. Why we spend time looking for meetups with people who want to go running or want to learn to paint or whatever else interests us outside of our work.

And these groups work because people are already using Facebook to check in with their friends and family. It’s not that hard for them to click on the group in their favorite’s list and see what others are sharing. They don’t have to log into a forum on a separate website and click into a category to see what everyone’s talking about.

Before I really knew what I was doing, I joined a whole bunch of Facebook Groups. Some of them were connected to a program that I purchased online and others were ones that I heard about on a podcast.

I’m not active in all them, even the one where I paid money for the program. There’s just not enough time in my busy schedule to go into every group, read every post, comment or ask questions.

So I had to figure out which groups made the most sense for me to add to my weekly to-do list.

Every time I joined another Facebook Group, I spent time in that group to get a feel if this Facebook Group is a good fit for me. I read posts and asked myself, “Is this information important for me to know or learn?”

I watch the interaction with the group. Were people asking questions and helping each other? Or were they just dropping a promotional link and running to the next social hit?

And seriously, there’s nothing wrong with the promotional types of groups. I think it’s great that there are Facebook Groups out there that let us share our services and products with others. You just have to decide if that type of group is the place for you.

How Do You Find the Right Facebook Groups?

The easiest way to find a Facebook Group that makes sense for you to join is use Facebook’s internal search. At the top of Facebook is a blue bar. This is the Facebook search feature where you can find your friends, fan pages and yep, find Facebook groups.

Just type in your keyword into the search link and then Facebook will pull up a list of groups or fan pages that have that keyword in their group name. The first few groups you’ll see will be ones that your Facebook friends have joined, which is a pretty cool feature. You can message your friend and ask about the group and her experience before you even ask to join.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, click on the See All Results button and then hit the Groups button right under the search bar. You’ll see a list of potential groups you can join.

You can actually join up to 6,000 Facebook Groups. I think that number is pretty crazy – I mean, seriously, who has time to be in 6,000 groups?

I suggest you look for 6 – 8 groups that you can focus on in Facebook. Most likely, you’ll find that 3 – 4 of these groups will give you what you’re looking for – the right people to connect to, information that you can use in your business or a great place to ask questions when you need some help.

Before you join a group, you want to make sure that it’s a good fit for you. Take a look at how active the people are in the group and read the Description section to see if they’re discussing the topics you want or if their just a group where people like to post up inspirational quotes.

Unfortunately, if it’s a closed group, you won’t be able to see anything but the Description about the group until you join. If you decide to join and later notice that the activity level is down or the stuff they’re talking about isn’t for you, you can always leave the group.

I’m in the Facebook Groups, now what?

You’ve found your groups, started reading posts and maybe hit the Like button on a few of those messages. Alright, now what?

Most of the Facebook coaches will tell you to post in 3 – 5 times a day in each of your groups. The idea is to build up the frequency of people seeing your name and your profile picture to learn more about who you are and what you do.

Yes, I said 3 – 5 times A DAY. In all of your groups.

That just seemed like an awful lot of postings and even more work to find the stuff to post that much! How was I going to fit this into my already overcrowded to-do list for the week?

So when I decided on my 4 top groups, I created a master list of the groups and listed out their guidelines. A couple of them didn’t allow for self-promotion except during their weekly prompts. I made notes about which ones let me share my links on what days.

And then I went into my groups where it’s more of an anything goes situation, I studied what other people were sharing. Which posts were getting the most Likes and comments? Did they ask questions, tell a story or post up an image quote?

I saw loads of promotions of programs, webinars, Blabs and Periscopes. There were stories of people who were broke last year and now they’re making 6 figures. There were quotes reminding me to get over myself and get to work { hey, thanks for caring! }. And then there were other posts asking questions about challenges in our businesses.

And most of them had a link to to try to sell me something.

I couldn’t help but wonder – do these personal stories and questions about my business really work?

Yes and no.

I say Yes because there are those moments when the content and the story connects with you and gets your attention. You’ll hit the Like button or comment on the post, opening the door to a conversation with the real person behind that story.

And then there’s the No part of that answer – so many stories about how someone did this thing and that one and now their life is so amazing. It makes you wonder if it’s real or are they just trying to sell me something by tugging on my empathy shirt sleeve?

What does work?

We’re told over and over again that for social media to work it needs to be authentic to ourselves. If we pretend to be someone else because we think it’ll sell more spots in our coaching program then we’re cheating ourselves of being who we really are.

Maybe they’ll like me more if they think I struggled to get here. Maybe it’ll make my program look like it’ll turn your business around if I share some personal story about how I climbed out of the ditch and now I’m flying my flag at the top of the hill.

I can make up stories all day long about how I got to where I am now. But if the stories are just sales fluff, then how am I connecting to the right people who really need my services? The people who will pay you what you’re worth and will show up and do the work.

Those are the people who I want to work with. Not the ones who buy my programs because of some story I’m sharing in a Facebook Group.

So, what does work?

Providing value. Letting us know who you are, what you do and how you can help.

It’s just that simple.

Here’s a few ideas to provide value to the other members in your Facebook Groups:

  1. Share one of your blog posts that gives them tips to do something easier, quicker or save them money.
  2. Discuss what’s going on with your industry – was there a program change or something was dropped and replaced with another thing? Ask questions in the group and get everyone talking about how this affects their businesses.
  3. Comment on other people’s posts – answer questions or ask questions. Find a way to participate in the conversation and get to know the person who posted that message.

And let me share with you a few etiquette tips to help you connect with more people in your Facebook Groups:

  • Be prepared for people to click on your About stuff in your profile. We’re only able to use Facebook Groups as our personal profiles and it’s super easy for someone to click on your profile picture to learn more about you and what you do. Make sure your website links are working and your About me information is filled in.
  • Unlock your Caps button. I say this to my son Jake all the time – take the level down, I’m right here. You don’t need to scream. Take your Caps lock off, I can hear you just fine.
  • Be consistent with your postings – doing a drop and run on your latest promotion doesn’t help you meet other people. In between those promotional moments, share something about yourself so the other group members have a chance to get to know you.

Remember, Facebook Groups are about connecting with new people, not another online outlet where you can broadcast your sales message telling them about your latest new thing. Be helpful instead of just always selling and telling us stories.

If you want to see how powerful these groups can be to grow your business, try this one simple thing: Treat the other members like you’re already friends and find ways to give back to them with as much value as you’re receiving from being in the group.

PS If you’re looking for more tips to help you manage the marketing for your small business, download your FREE copy of my 10 Social Media Time Management Strategies ebook. You’ll learn some easy to follow strategies to help you create a social media routine that works with your crazy busy world.