Have you ever wondered why you see only a handful of group suggestions on your feed when there may be a hundred other groups about the same topic? Have you noticed that when you search a topic on Facebook with the intention of joining a group, some groups appear on the top – and they’re the ones you’re most likely to view and join?
This does not happen just by chance. The engagement of a group is the biggest driving force behind these suggestions.
…so what is engagement anyway?
Engagement is any action that members take on the group – including reactions, posts, comments, shares, tags, and check-ins.
Facebook groups are a great way to market products and services, share knowledge and experiences, connect with people with the same profession, interests, hobbies, belief system, background, or demography.
As per a Facebook announcement in September 2016, over 80 million people use Facebook groups in a month – and this is just in India. The global number for Facebook group users is over one billion a month. Attracting members to join your group is one thing; but in order to retain them, the group needs to be engaged.
No matter what your reasons for starting the group, the group only reaches its true potential when it is engaged. The good news is – engaging a group is simple, organic, and achievable. In this blog, we will look at 13 simple yet sureshot ways to increase the engagement of a Facebook group.
13 Best and Easy Tips to Increase Engagement in Facebook Group
Understand your members
Members come together in groups and engage when they have something in common to talk about. As an admin, have a keen eye to pick up on common interests, pain-points, trending topics, and anything that connects most of the members to one another.
Pro Tip: Members bond over common pain-points. For a parenting group, it could be fussy eaters. For a fitness group, it could be the lack of time to work-out or the latest diet trends. For a neighbourhood group, it could be the ongoing transport strike or the lack of authentic Chinese eateries.
Admins have a lot of credibility – members stay or leave depending on whether they are able to relate with the admin, their beliefs, and their personality. Facebook groups aren’t very different from products and services in the market; there are multiple competitors out there. When you post regularly, members get a chance to know you, interact with you, and learn from you. Take an opportunity to post about popular topics discussed in your group. Analyse the kind of posts that get more engagement – is it video posts, text posts, picture posts, or links? Depending on the size of your group, you may have to post every day or twice/thrice a week. If there is a pressing issue, don’t shy away from making multiple posts a day – for example – information and updates on the transport strike in your local neighbourhood group. This way, your group will be the go-to place for trusted information for the members.
Identify and build a team
Identify a team of admins/moderators based on their personality, contribution, knowledge, and visibility. You could use more hands when responding to posts, responding to queries, approving member requests and posts, managing the reported content, and managing the group in general. More often than not, active members are happy to volunteer with group moderation. It gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility; and they give it their heart and soul to the group when they feel acknowledged.
Utilize insights to your advantage
Use Facebook insights and make posts at the most engaging times. Instead of posting at a random hour, schedule posts for the most engaging times. Facebook gives access to information on popular days and times of the day. Basis this information, admins can schedule posts for the most engaging times:
Keep the group spam-free
Spam means different things for different groups. For some groups, promotions may be spam. For the others, medical advice may be spam. Almost all Facebook groups can use help with ensuring that the conversations are respectful, to-the-point, and without malicious content. Have clear group rules in place and adhere to them. Every. Single. Time. A lot of admins rely on members to report out of line content. Deal with rule-breakers consistently. Use features like Mute Member, Remove Member, Block Member, Delete Post/Comment, Close
Spammers impact the group quality in two ways – when spammers attack people in the group with unwanted conversations such as direct inbox messages or flirtation, members do not feel safe and therefore don’t open up. Some members may even leave. Facebook has an algorithm to review group quality based on how relevant the group is – and so, to deal with spam should be the top priority.
Have theme days and invite participation
A lot of group leaders swear by having theme days that invite member participation. Who doesn’t like sharing goofy pictures of their pets every once in a week? Or their grandmothers’ favorite recipes. Or even their cherished heirloom. These theme days make members look forward to the specific days where they can share content that is close to them. Go wild with your imagination – it can be anything from #MondayMotivation to #FreakyFridays; or how about #WishfulWednesday?
Identify and acknowledge active members
If you are a monetizing group, consider give-aways for the most active members. It can be a free salon visit or a set of quirky coasters for their living room, or even a bestselling book/movie tickets. You can also give a discount on your own products/services. Give-aways can be very motivating. If the group is not monetizing, consider giving a shoutout to active members. Tag them to queries they can respond to; or even consider making a special post to acknowledge their contribution to the group. Active members can be seen on the Facebook Group Insights Member Details.
Live videos open a channel for a two-way communication between the admins and the members. Do short live videos and address a few questions. It is an undisputed way to increase engagement. You can also do a poll about the topic members would like you to discuss a couple days before going live. It narrows down the content, gives you time to research and prepare, and is a great way to show members you care about their pain-areas.
Use good quality images
In the fast-paced world we’re in, a lot of members want visual content. As per the statistics from 2019 from statistica.com, 96% of Facebook users use mobile phones to scroll through their feed. A good quality image catches attention while scrolling, and is more likely to attract reactions and comments. A poor quality image or video on the other hand is distracting and members may choose to scroll past it quickly.
Ask a lot of open questions. Encourage the members to respond. Moderate the group to be a non-judgmental space that is open to all points of view. Your questions need not be complex. Simple questions like the following can do wonders to your group’s engagement and go a long way in analysing your audience:
What was your favourite post from last month?
Share the one thing you’ve learnt from this group.
Who is your favourite member in the group?
Which is your least favourite theme post on the group?
What changes would you like to see in the group this new year?
Reshare old popular posts
If yours is a niche group, new members often miss out on old, informative posts. They end up asking questions that may have been answered. It is a good idea to reshare older posts so that they appear on the timeline – helps with the new members asking fewer repetitive questions, and may also encourage you to curate more content on related topics if the engagement is high. Hashtagged posts help with redirecting members to older posts and also increase engagement. For example, you can add the hashtag #AdminAnnouncement to your announcement posts so that everyone looking for these posts are redirected.
Organize offline meet-and-greets, events, contests, get-togethers for coffee, summits, and forums. When members know each other, they feel comfortable interacting with each other in the group. As a bonus, the fun outings may also attract new members looking for similar events! Pro Tip: If you’re just beginning with offline meet-ups, do not put it off hoping for more members. Even a 5 member get-together can give you the evangelists you need. Smaller groups allow for personal relationships and interaction.
Get feedback every once in a while. Depending on your comfort, you can do it through an open post or through DMs to active members. Some admins also encourage members to send feedback to the admin page. Learning is an endless process, and a mutual one too. Asking for feedback and incorporating it is often underrated but goes a long way to establish trust and retention.
The power of a community lies in how connected they are. For what is a community if not its people?