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I received this question from time-to-time - should I start my own Facebook group? There are several reasons to start a group but I don't believe that everyone should start one.
I started my Facebook group in December and I'm now adding around 150 new members every week. But this wasn't that easy especially at the beginning. At first, I was promoting my group on all my social media platforms and I only had 68 members at the end of December. It took me two months to see big numbers and engagement on my group. Now, the great part is that I'm barely promoting the group. Most new members find my group from their friends and landing on my website.
The difference between a Facebook page and a Facebook group
A Facebook page is ideal for two-way communication, from your followers to you. This is not a community place where others can easily communicate.
You also need a Facebook page if you want to run a Facebook ad. Facebook will not let you run ads without a Facebook page.
One of the main reason to start a group is that people will see you as an expert in your field. They will automatically ask you for advice and feedback. That said, this can also be the downside of having a Facebook group. People will expect that you answer their questions.
Another great reason to start your own Facebook group is because groups receive more engagement and visibility than a Facebook page.
Hosting a Facebook group gives me the opportunity to learn from my ideal readers. I can ask them more about their biggest struggles or obstacles. Their questions often help me to create new content ideas or new programs that will help my readers.
Also, a Facebook group can be more private than a Facebook page (you must set a closed Facebook group is you want more privacy). This can be interesting if you have a sensitive topic like mental health or weight loss. People will be more inclined to ask questions or leave a comment if they know that only the people who are accepted to the group will see their comments.
People are more likely to return to a Facebook group several times compared a Facebook page. If you want people to see your post on your Facebook page, you need to constantly post and hope that your post will reach as must people as possible. With a Facebook group, people will come back on their own especially if your Facebook group is very engaging.
One of my favorite things about the Facebook groups is the sense of community. Everyone is helping each other, sharing their questions, their wins or even mistakes.
Why I don't recommend that everyone start a Facebook group
Having a Facebook group is a time-consuming project. There’s no point creating a group if you don’t have the time to properly engage with the members. You also need a lot of time to prepare the group, find engaging discussions and take care of every day maintenance. I personally go on my Facebook group at least twice a day to answer questions, add new members and promote my group. If you are already having a hard time managing your everyday blog tasks, I don't recommend starting a group at this point.
I also don't recommend that you start a group if you don't have a good community already established across your social media platforms. Growing a Facebook group can be hard especially at the beginning. If you want a fast growing community, you need to have existing followers that will want to join you on your new platform.
Lastly, it’s not a good idea to start a Facebook group if you are unsure about your blog niche or direction. You don't want to have to manage a group of people that don't share the same interests that you blog about.
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Myths about hosting a Facebook group
Some people think they need a big a big email list to start a Facebook group. When I started my Facebook group, I had a very small email list and this stops me from growing my group. In fact, I believe that having a Facebook group can help you to grow your email list.
You might even think there are too many Facebook groups already and not enough space for you to start your own. My Facebook group is in a very competitive market and I still gain a lot of members every day. So no matter if you are in a very large market or a very specific niche, I believe there is still room for another group.
You also don't need to be an expert to host a Facebook group. Just be yourself if you want to host a group. For example, if you don't know the answer to a question, someone else in the group might be able to help. Also, there is often not a one-size-fits-all solution, so when I see people in my Facebook group sharing their strategy, this is a positive because some people may be able to benefit more than others.
Before you make your decision, you need to keep those points in mind:
- Facebook groups can be closed (only members of the group will see the comments) which can make people more comfortable to ask questions.
- Facebook groups are easier to join and be found (a Facebook friend adds you or you ‘ask to join’ and an admin of the Group accepts your request)
- A Facebook group gets more engagement and offers a sense of community.
- Hosting a Facebook group can be time-consuming.
- Facebook groups are more of a community which means that it isn’t is only about promoting your business.
- You can have more control on your Facebook page of the message you want to share. In a Facebook group, everyone can comment, ask questions and share their advice.
- The Facebook page allows more branding than a Facebook group.
- You need a Facebook page to run Facebook ads
I want to know if you host a Facebook group or if you’d like to start one, so please drop it in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!
Some more resources that will help you
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Welcome, I'm Emilie Guerin. I help bloggers and online business monetize their passion using effective online marketing strategies. MORE ABOUT ME