7 important prerequisites for successful Facebook groups

Björn Tantau

Why a well-frequented Facebook group pays off for you

If social media marketing with Facebook is being talked about, then the Facebook page (formerly "fan page") is usually in focus. Understandably, the Facebook page is ultimately one of the central elements of the world's largest social network.

The possibilities for the publisher are therefore far from being exhausted, because Facebook has at least one more very meaningful and useful element to offer! We are talking about groups on Facebook – these allow communities to be built in parallel to a Facebook page.

This has several advantages, because topics relevant for the target group can be discussed in detail in a Facebook group. In addition, a Facebook group is also always a contact point for "fans" who want to deal with relevant content, but not with a brand.

But how exactly do you as a publisher proceed in order to enjoy the benefits of your own Facebook group to the fullest? The following report presents 7 important prerequisites for successful Facebook groups that will help you if you observe them:

 

1. Use a high quality title image for branding

As so often in life, a relationship on Facebook begins with a first impression. Users who are interested in your Facebook group and who are playing with the idea of getting involved should feel comfortable.

This is why the outfit of a Facebook group is so important. Take advantage of the opportunity to use an optimal title image. This way, you can underline the topic of the group and visually present it in a much better way.

Even more: The title image of a Facebook group allows you to brand your own group accordingly! It is a very effective way to discreetly draw attention to your own brand. However, be sure to proceed discreetly, because a too strong branding may deter potential members.

 

2. Address a thematically appropriate target group

Do you want to use your Facebook group to strengthen your brand in addition to the official Facebook page? Then of course it applies to the group as well that only those users who are interested in your topic should be added.

Think about your niche. The more specific you are positioned, the more interactions you will be able to generate in your group. However, if you want to reach as many users as possible, then your group will probably just be another of many and not be focused enough.

The exact focus on a specific topic, i.e. your niche, is smart. In this way, you draw attention to yourself and also reach those users who are not interested in brands, but rather in content on Facebook.

 

3. Establish unambiguous rules of conduct

When many people meet, then rules are necessary in most cases. There are laws for a reason regulating the coexistence of citizens in many aspects of life.

This principle is no different on Facebook. There are no "laws" here in the conventional sense. However, as a "host" of a Facebook group, you have the right (as is custom) to establish rules of conduct and to also enforce them.

You should definitely make use of them, because only this way can you ensure that your group endures permanently. If the trolls gain the upper hand, then sensible users will quickly look to gain distance. It is therefore to establish unambiguous rules and make it clear that you will not tolerate certain behaviors.

 

4. Only activate new members after verification

You must verify all new requests to join so that your Facebook group does not first come into contact with trolls and other subversive elements. Facebook allows different settings, but we know from experience that you can save yourself a log of trouble and stress if you take a closer look at each aspirant in advance.

This may be an additional expense at first glance, but you will ultimately be happy when you have carefully selected the members in your group. There are no general guidelines you should follow during verification, but you can use some tried and tested methods for your group:

Only activate members who, in your opinion, have a convincing profile image and also have a user name that either corresponds to a real name or is very close to it. In general, users with profiles that are difficult to see through tend to be hiding behind a supposed anonymity – which can then lead to corresponding postings in groups (or even crude spam).

 

5. Generally monitor all posts

So that there can theoretically never be spam, you must monitor new posts in your Facebook group. Activated members can usually post immediately. You can use settings to ensure that you, as the owner of a Facebook group, generally release any new post. However, we consider this approach to be too restrictive.

Instead, have Facebook notify you when new posts are posted in your group. Look at these posts calmly and decide how to proceed with it.

You must delete obvious spam as quickly as possible. Even if other members in your group report posts, they must be acted on promptly. If you do not do this, then the content quality of your Facebook group suffers and this makes it difficult for you to attract new members to the group.

 

6. Offer your own exclusive content on a regular basis

We only want to address here as an aside that you should of course be constructive and useful for discussions in your group and offer added value and even be available for questions. In this way, you will increase your reputation and of course the reputation of your brand.

So that the members in your Facebook group have the most positive user experience possible, you should regularly publish exclusive content directly in the group. Facebook offers the opportunity to create comprehensive texts directly in groups as a posting and you can use an image to deliver a complete article.

This article must be available exclusively in your group - and only there! This puts pressure on potential new members, because over time it will get around that there is thematically high quality and above all useful content in your Facebook group that can only be consumed there and nowhere else.

 

7. Curate useful content with added value

Exclusive content from your pen can definitely be a thematic added value for your Facebook group. This of course also applies to the content from third parties if this content is thematically relevant and presents added value.

In your Facebook group, the user is even more prominent than the Facebook pages. If you primarily use Facebook to try and bind users to you through content, then do this in a Facebook group by discussing relevant content with users (or have the users discuss it) and also draw attention to useful content from others.

Even if the content is from the competition, if it offers the users in your group a distinct advantage, then you should curate this content in any case. So actively add meaningful content even from third parties to your Facebook group in order to establish yourself as a useful disseminator in your topic area.

 

Conclusion

Facebook groups work differently than Facebook pages, but can be an extremely useful enrichment in the digital marketing mix for social media. As an owner of a Facebook group, you cannot lose control. Make it clear that people have to obey your rules.

If you then continuously maintain your Facebook group and do not neglect it, users will feel comfortable with you. The members of the group will appreciate you more and more over time through the branding of your group and due to your high quality posts (and above all in the context of discussions).

You can even accelerate this process if you use your Facebook group as a "FAQ platform." Answer questions from group members if you are able to and get into discussions if you can contribute a meaningful posting.

 

Title image: bikeriderlondon, Shutterstock.com

 

Björn Tantau