Starting a Facebook group was one of the best decisions I made in my efforts to grow See Jane Write — both the blog and the business.
Since 2011, I’ve grown See Jane Write from a BlogSpot blog and small local women’s writing group into an award-winning website and profitable business with members and clients around the world. And one of the keys to my success was the See Jane Write Network Facebook group.
Why You Should Start a Facebook Group
You may be thinking that you have no need for a Facebook group, especially if you already have a Facebook page for your blog, book, brand, or business. But a Facebook page and a Facebook group are not the same — at all.
While a Facebook page is good for paid promotion, a Facebook group is good for creating community and it’s in this community that you will build the relationships that will help sustain your business, boost your blog traffic, or push your next project or book launch.
Hosting a Facebook group was instrumental in the growth of See Jane Write, even though I only realized this retrospectively. When I started the Facebook group for See Jane Write, the women in the group instantly started building friendships and supporting one another. This made them eager to attend See Jane Write’s in-person events because they wanted to meet their new virtual friends in real life! The group also made the women feel more connected to See Jane Write. It gave them a sense of ownership. See Jane Write was no longer just my group; it was their group, too.
A Facebook group is a great way for you to connect with your community on a daily basis without constantly emailing them. A Facebook group will make you seem more approachable. A group is a good way to get feedback on ideas. And if you run a business, a Facebook group is a good way to make sure your customers feel supported.
Related Reading: Why You Should Start a Facebook Group
3 Tips for a Successful Facebook Group
Now that you’re ready to start a Facebook group of your own, here are three things you can do to help your group be successful.
Be intentional. Get clear on the purpose of your group. Yes, you may be hoping the group will build your brand, grow your blog, or boost your book sales, but that can’t be your sole motivation. You must stay focused on what you can offer your members. What do you want your members to receive from your group? Do you want to offer them daily tips on a topic related to your niche or expertise? Do you want to give them guidance as they work on particular goals? Do you want to create a safe and supportive environment? Do you want to create a platform for fun conversation? My goal for the See Jane Write Facebook group is to actually do ALL of these things! Decide on your intentions for your group before creating it.
Be consistent. Create an editorial calendar for your Facebook group just as you would for a blog or podcast. This calendar is just a list of what you will post in your group on a daily basis. This lets new members know what to expect, but honestly, it’s more for you than them. Because of this posting schedule, you’ll never be stuck staring at your computer trying to think of something to say to your group.
Here’s the editorial calendar for the See Jane Write Network:
- Monday Mantra: I post motivational thoughts or quotes.
- Q&A Tuesday: Members can ask me questions about writing, blogging, or brand building.
- Winning Wednesday: I invite members to share their wins for the week.
- GrammarGirl Thursday: I quiz members on their grammar skills.
- Follow Friday: I encourage members to follow one another on social media.
- The Sunday Slay: I go live in the group to discuss a specific topic to help members slay their week.
Be engaging. Above all, you must keep your members engaged. Your editorial calendar will help with this. But in addition to the schedule I shared above, I also have a “Question of the Day” each weekday. This is a great way to spark conversation in your group. Your questions don’t always have to be related to your group’s focus. The goal is just to get people talking so they can start to feel comfortable in the group and get to know one another better.
You can use the Facebook Groups Badges feature to encourage conversation, too. Badges are available in most, if not all, groups. When a member receives a badge, it will show up next to their name on posts and comments. Types of badges include New Member, Rising Star, and Conversation Starter. To increase engagement, for example, you could offer a prize to people who garner the Conversation Starter badge, which is given to members who create engaging posts and comments.
Do you want to learn more about Facebook groups?
On Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m. CT I’ll be going live in my Facebook group to talk about Facebook groups. How meta! So, if you want to learn more about how you can use Facebook groups to grow your personal brand, be sure to join the See Jane Write Network so you won’t miss out on this presentation.
*Photography by Megan Tsang Hand