Facebook advertising is mostly dead. Facebook posts just at random out in the ether are ridiculously ineffective. There’s just not a lot of people who are engaged in Facebook when it isn’t about their friends, family, or hardcore passions — and getting hardcore passionate people together on a Facebook page is hard.
But Facebook Groups… that’s an entirely different beast. I write for a webpage called LiberalAmerica.org. No link, I’m not that into shameless self-promotion. I’ve written for them for a few months now, and they pay based on Adsense exposures. For the first two months I wrote for them, I made almost nothing. I got a few thousand shares, but no click through. Then, I discovered that LiberalAmerica also runs a Facebook Group.
I started putting my articles on the Facebook Group…and I tripled my pay in the span of one month. I started putting them up on that Group plus 5-6 other related Groups…and I tripled my pay again in the span of another month.
Why? Because the people on Facebook Groups are far more engaged than your typical Facebook page visitor. It’s targeted traffic: people join Groups because they care, and every time the Group gets a new post (by default), they get not only a notification on Facebook, but a notification via Email and a push notification on their mobile device. That’s HUGE.
So, how do you create a sweet Facebook group to drive some serious traffic?
Start by Creating a Value-Oriented Context
If you create a Group called “Net Profit Marketing,” you’re going to get…nothing. No one cares about Net Profit Marketing. It’s a clever name that does its job communic ating the brand — but no one except Jared and most of his employees (myself included, natch) is passionate about it.
Instead, focus your Group on a value creating prospect for your audience. If you’re a coffee shop, for example, you could totally create a Facebook group around sharing the best coffee memes, or the most unique coffee recipes (with lots of close-ups, food-blogger style), or posting totally elitist, hipster-oriented information about coffee: what makes the beans different, what the differences between the roasts are, and so on. Just be aware that the latter will attract less people, though they may be more passionate.
Move Forward by Creating Valuable Content Exclusive to the Group
The easiest way to fail a Facebook Group is to create all your content on your website and just post link after link to your Group. You need to prove to your audience that you are serious about providing value, and that means creative native content that doesn’t appear anywhere except in that group. That’s the kind of thing that gets people joining the group — if they can find the same content consistently at a different place, they’ll go directly to that place instead of joining the group. That means that you miss out on the incredibly ubiquity of the notifications that a Facebook Group delivers, and that, in turn, means you lose traffic rapidly as people read whatever they came to your site for, click away, and never come back.
I’d suggest posting zero outlinks to your website(s) for the first month, and creating at least two pieces of valuable native content for each of the first five weeks. Then you can drop to a minimum of one piece of native content per week and post outlinks to your website(s) at about a one-to-one ratio with your native content. (Just keep in mind that you can’t outlink to your landing page EVER. You have to create more content on your website, and link to that, and from there to your landing page, or else you instantly become a marketer, and absolutely everyone on Facebook hates marketers. Even the other marketers!)
Grow Your Group by Sharing Killer Content
Of course, you don’t have to write 100% fresh content for your group — and you can help your group grow by linking to killer content created by other influential people in your industry. Just be sure you link content made by someone with an active Facebook presence, and when you do link them, tag them in the link. People naturally tend to click through to things that tag them, and if you’re doing a good job creating quality content, you’re likely to get a follower — and modestly likely to get several as they share some of your stuff in return.
There are plenty more to this art, but that’s all the time I have to write right now. Come back in a few days and we’ll get into the part where you actually drive the traffic — sorry to Seacrest you, that’s not normally my style, but in this case, I’ll do my best to make it worth the wait!