Creating your own Facebook group sounds daunting, but it can definitely generate traffic to your blog if you do it the RIGHT WAY. In today’s article, I’ll guide you through how to make a Facebook group to increase traffic to your blog. From identifying the focus of your group, to creating and setting up your Facebook group for success, to growing your membership, to ultimately increasing traffic to your blog, I’ll give you all you need to know.
There are literally millions of articles explaining and showing various ways of increasing traffic to your blog.
If you’re serious about making money blogging, you know that getting enormous traffic is key.
More traffic to your blog means more people to advertise to, sell your products or services, or show your affiliate links to.
Existing Facebook groups are a great way to boost traffic to your blog, but joining these groups require you to abide by group rules. Also, you’re subject to the changing dynamics of the group; there’s little to nothing you can do about how the group holds up to new members, new group rules, and Facebook’s ever-changing policies.
If you feel you know enough about Facebook groups, why not start your own Facebook group?
In today’s article, I’ll give you techniques on how to run your Facebook group to drive traffic to your blog.
First, I’ll give an overview of what Facebook groups are and why they’re awesome for your blog. Then, I’ll get to how to make a Facebook group to increase traffic to your blog. I’ll break down how to create a Facebook group, how to set it up for success, and how to grow your membership.
Finally, I get right into driving traffic to your blog from your Facebook group.
If you’ve only been using Facebook the usual way, you’re missing out on a whole different level to connect.
Facebook groups are a feature of Facebook that allows a group of people with common interests or hobbies to communicate with each other. From families who want a safe, shared space to share baby photos, to mental health support groups that want to have a repository of helpful files and resources, to internet entrepreneurs who want a common place to swap ideas and tips, Facebook groups serve a wide variety of purposes.
Below is an example of what a typical Facebook group might look like.
I’ve already discussed why joining Facebook groups is good for your traffic strategy. But when you can easily join one of the Facebook groups that are likely already established in your niche, should you make your own?
The answer is YES, and here’s why:
Before you go all trigger-happy and create your first Facebook group, I recommend sitting down and really thinking about your objectives for creating a Facebook group. Obviously, you want more traffic to your blog, but that’s a bit vague.
Some questions to ask yourself:
Answering these questions and deciding on your objectives as early as you can before creating a group will help you focus on your goals so you don’t go astray.
Here are some topics you can focus on with your Facebook group, from the most general to the most specific:
If your Facebook group has a more general topic in your niche/industry, you’ll tend to attract a new audience and a greater number of members. It’s obviously beneficial to attract more members to your Facebook group to increase the chances that they click on links to your blog posts. In addition, you get to firmly position yourself as a leader in your niche.
However, since your topic is broader, you’ll have less chances of getting repeat visitors of your blog. After all, they’re more interested in the topic than they are in your blog particularly. Also, you can expect less engagement (i.e., less reactions and less comments) with your posts as the members’ attention would be divided among the many other posts about your niche shared by the other members.
Creating a Facebook group only when you have a particular activity on your blog enhances the engagement of those who signed up for the activity. For example, if you’re hosting a 30-day challenge of some sort, setting up a Facebook group for it will bring together the participants in one place so it’s easier for you to address them and answer any questions they may have.
In addition, the participants can motivate one another for them to achieve the goal of the challenge. Further, and most relevant to your traffic strategy, you can direct traffic to your blog by posting articles to help them complete the challenge and then sharing those posts with the group.
However, this type of Facebook group can’t be expected to last a long time, unless the members request for it to stay active so they can stay in touch with the friends they’ve made in the group. Plus, the links you’re promoting are limited to those that are related to that specific activity. Even if you have new blog posts you want to promote or share, you’re limited to the scope of the activity for which that group was created.
A good one to start with, then, is to create a Facebook group around your blog. You’ll most probably attract members who are already regular readers of your blog. Thus, you can cultivate your relationship with your readers by having direct access to them. At the same time, members get to know each other and build a community with your blog as the core.
This tactic won’t drive as much traffic as opening a Facebook group with a wider scope, but the traffic you do gain is more targeted and more engaged, as those who join your Facebook group would be specifically interested in your content. Plus, you get to share more blog posts as well as helpful content from other places more freely, as you’re not limited to just the scope of an activity or an event.
Once you’ve sorted out what you want out of your Facebook group, you can go ahead and create one. It’s a straightforward process, but let me give you some tips to make the most out of your Facebook group.
Note: If you’ve already created a group before, feel free to skip Step 1 and go on to Step 2 here and continue on to the next section to read pointers on how to initially set up your group for optimal results.
Once you’ve logged in to Facebook, click the downward triangle on the rightmost of the Facebook menu bar and then click on Create Group.
This next part will ask for your group name, add some people to your group, and select your privacy settings.
Here are some things to keep in mind when filling out this part.
If you’re creating a Facebook group solely for a blog-specific event or activity, simply indicate the name of the event or activity and you’re done.
However, if you’re creating a Facebook group to attract a new audience, you’ll need your group name to be persuasive. Bear in mind that your group name is the first thing that will appear when Facebook users do a search for groups. Thus, your group name needs to have the following characteristics:
Note: As of this writing, Facebook group names are limited to 75 characters in length, but take note that Facebook is constantly updating their services so this might change in the future.
You need to add at least one member of the group other than you from your Facebook friends list. If you’re not yet ready to unleash your group to the wild, you can try adding a friend who wouldn’t be too annoyed (or maybe your mother). Just be sure to ask their permission first. You can always remove them later.
If you already have an email list, it’s a great idea to announce that you’re creating a Facebook group before creating it so you can set up a poll to see who’s interested. This way, while creating your Facebook group, you can already invite those who have expressed interest.
You can also include a personalized note with your invitation to become a member by clicking the note icon on the right of the field.
You can control who can search for your group and view the content there through the group’s privacy settings. The options are Public, Closed, or Secret.
Public groups are the most visible. Anyone can find the group in Search, anyone can join or be added or invited by a group member, and anyone can see content posted on the group.
Closed groups have more restrictions. Anyone can find the group in Search, but they have to request to join. Also, only current members can see posts on the group. This is a great choice for groups who want to be found in Search but don’t want their content available to just anyone.
Secret groups are the most restrictive. They can only be found in Search by current and former members, and users can only join by being invited by a group member.
I would recommend having a closed Facebook group, as this gives users a chance to be able to find your group, while giving you more control over who joins the group. You’d like to keep spammers out of your group, and while screening all requests isn’t foolproof, it can still help. Plus, keeping your content behind a gate makes it seem exclusive and therefore desirable.
This last bit is more a matter of personal preference than anything, so you do you. I would recommend pinning your group so you can easily find it.
After you click Create, Facebook will display some icons from which you can choose your group icon. Don’t overthink this. If there is an icon that you think is a good fit for your group, by all means use it. If there isn’t, feel free to skip it. It’s not a big deal.
Once you’ve created the group, you’re taken to your group page.
To increase traffic to your blog from your Facebook group, you need people to join your group. Thus, you need to give them a compelling reason to join. Here are some elements you can start customizing so you can convince people to become part of your community.
Your group cover photo is the first thing people see when they click a link to your Facebook group, either through search or when someone shares the link. This is true regardless of the privacy setting of your group. Thus, you need to make sure your cover photo is both visually appealing and relevant to your group.
The photo or graphics you use here should be of high-quality. Hire a graphic designer to handle this for you if you need to. A professionally designed cover photo speaks about the quality of your group as well, so it’s very important to get this right.
If you’re creating a Facebook group around a broad industry topic, then including your blog URL on the cover image isn’t recommended. Otherwise, if you’re creating a Facebook group for loyal readers of your blog or around an event or a challenge that you’re running on your blog, then it’s a great idea.
Your group description is what Facebook users will read next after seeing your group photo. Naturally, you’ll want to get this right to attract the right members and deter the users you don’t want in your group.
Try to write your group description as if it were a landing page or even a sales page. That means calling out your ideal member, hooking them with the purpose of your group, and ending with a call to action. Here are some of the things you need to include in your group description.
This is especially important for users who just happen to encounter your group, like through a Facebook search or because someone shared a link to your group. This is also a good place to include a link to your blog so that curious users can click on it and see your content. Even if you didn’t gain a member from that interaction, you at least gave someone the chance to look at your blog.
Whatever purpose you had in mind when you created it, that should be made crystal clear in your group description. There shouldn’t be any room for ambiguity or vagueness here, because again, you want to attract the right members.
If this is an exclusive Facebook group for a challenge you’re hosting on your blog, then say so. You don’t want to let in members who aren’t doing the challenge because if they’re not participating in the challenge, they’re not likely to be interested in the content.
If this is a Facebook group about an industry or niche topic that’s open for everyone who is interested in the topic, wants to learn more about it, and wants to meet other like-minded people, then say so. This way, you entice precisely that type of users.
If you started a Facebook group around your blog, indicate that this group is open to all current readers of your blog, as well as those who are interested. Or if you made a Facebook group that’s a little more exclusive, like a subscribers-only Facebook group, then indicate that as well so that users who aren’t subscribed to your blog will know that this group is not for them (and maybe inspire them to subscribe so they can join the group, who knows?).
The “who” part should already be clear when you describe your group’s purpose. However, if being subtle can’t cut it, maybe saying something like “This group is for people who _____” or “This is a place for ___ who ____” can help you make it absolutely clear who you’re targeting to join your group.
Much like terms and conditions, it’s a good idea to state these upfront, before users even join your group. All the dos and don’ts, all the behavior that’s encouraged and discouraged, and all the expectations you have for each member of the group should be stated on your group description. The consequences of breaking the rules should also be here.
While posting all of these rules isn’t a foolproof deterrent against spammers or nuisance members, it does give the impression to “legit” users that you’re serious about these rules and that you take your members’ experience and safety seriously. Plus, when you call people out on unacceptable behavior, you can always refer back to the description and state that there’s no excuse for such behavior, as you’ve already posted the rules even before they joined.
You should also set aspiring members’ expectations here. Explain what goes on inside the group, what type of content they’re likely to see, what kind of topics are being discussed, and what benefits they can expect from joining your group.
You want your group to come up when users search for groups using certain keywords. Make sure these keywords can be found in your description where it makes sense, but as with everything, moderation is key. Oversaturating your description with keywords even when they don’t make sense will only hurt your chances of enticing members to join because it’s going to be obvious that you’re trying too hard.
Aside from your group description, you can help Facebook search to find your group by adding up to 5 descriptive tags for your Facebook group. Make sure they’re terms you want your group to be associated with and are relevant to your group focus. As with anything else with your content, don’t mislead. Don’t include popular but irrelevant tags.
Facebook users can also search using their current location, or whatever location they prefer. If you’re trying to attract members from a specific location, then it’s best to indicate one here, but if your target audience isn’t location-specific, then it doesn’t really matter if you include it or not.
You can tweak some more of your group settings so your group can be found by your target members, make life easier for both new and old members, and entice new people to join. You can access these settings by clicking the More button with the gray ellipses and then selecting Edit Group Settings.
You’ll be taken to a page where you can easily change your group settings.
Here are some settings you can edit to increase your group’s chances of being found through search.
The group type would really depend on your group focus, but if you’re uncertain about which group type to use that isn’t misleading, Custom is a good choice.
You can customize the URL of your Facebook group as well as its email address so it’s easier for members to remember and easier for you to share a link to your group. Thus, rather than looking like “https://www.facebook.com/groups/[RANDOM NUMBER]”, it can look like “https://www.facebook.com/groups/yourgroupnameexample” instead.
This custom name will also be used as your Facebook group email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). This won’t improve your group’s ranking on Facebook search, but will be a bonus feature for you and your members, as this enables you to post by emailing the group’s email address (note that the email needs to be sent from the email address that was used to join the group). Making it easier for your members to post content is always a good thing.
I recommend allowing members to add members to the group but having an admin or moderator approve them. You want quality members in your group, and difficult as it may be, the best way to have quality members is to screen everyone who joins your group.
When Facebook users request to join via the “Join Group” button on your group page, you can ask them three questions. These questions can help your audience research, in vetting your members, and ensuring that you address your members’ needs.
Some questions I suggest asking include:
I recommend allowing everyone in the group, i.e., members, moderators, and admins, to post content to the group. If you’re worried about spammy content, you can do something about it in the next setting.
I recommend turning this on so you can filter the content that gets posted on your group, as well as know your group spammers and rule violators if any. If this proves to be too overwhelming, you can always appoint other members to be admins and moderators on your group.
When you accept members’ request to join or approve an invitation by another member, this is what they’ll see first when they go to your group page. It’s a good place to welcome your new members and make them feel part of the community.
Greet your new members, reiterate the purpose of the group, and post the rules again, especially the rules on posting content. Include a link to your blog if it makes sense to put it, and then end with a call to action, like inviting new members to introduce themselves, or to post their first status update.
Now that you’ve set up your Facebook group for a successful strategy, it’s time to grow the membership of your Facebook group so you have people to convince to click links to your blog posts.
It can be intimidating or even downright scary to create a Facebook group that only has you and a couple of friends as members. But remember, even Facebook groups with millions of members started out this way. Here are some ways to convince people to join your Facebook group.
It’s a simple way to get the word out about your Facebook group, since you use your email almost constantly for communication. Below is an example of how it can look like:
Simply post a link on your Twitter, Google+, and of course Facebook. Post a portrait version of your group cover photo on Pinterest for good measure. If you