Flaws aside, Facebook is a great platform for community building. Learn basic concepts, tips, and more from business guru Bella Vasta.
Community Building: Facebook Groups, Relationship-Building, Group Funnels, and More
[0:00] – Introducing this episode of the Grey Matters podcast.
- Over the years, Facebook has become, for lack of a better word, a sort of social cesspool—one that, due to its business features, is practically indispensable to online businesses now.
- While this model of “paying the Facebook tax” to succeed in online entrepreneurship (due in large part to the fact that the platform has so much data and access on the individuals you need to reach) is less than ideal, there really isn't an option if you want to build an online business and scale it within a reasonably fast period of time.
- Simply put, Facebook is the fastest and the most effective mode of online community building.
- Jump Consulting’s Bella Vasta has a creative and practical handle on using Facebook in order to build a business, and knows some best practices in managing Facebook pages and Facebook groups.
[5:02] – Understanding the difference between Facebook groups and Facebook pages.
- A page is something that's very public: it's you to the world. Meanwhile, a group is more like a party in your backyard, where you invite certain kinds of people, and you typically have a theme and strategies to make sure that everyone talks within amongst each other. When you have a group, that's where the real action happens. Plus, you don't have to just have one group; you can get many groups and use them as a funnel.
[7:03] – Facebook’s algorithms, and how group engagement works in the context of community building.
- If your group is happening, and if it’s interesting or knowledgeable enough, it becomes a destination for a certain segment of your audience, who will purposely go there. Basically, the algorithm doesn’t matter.
- It's not about beating the algorithm; it's about creating such an awesome party that people will constantly feel the fear of missing out (FOMO) if they don't actually check into it.
[8:07] – Using Facebook groups like a funnel.
- You can have a main group, plus a subgroup that's a little bit more of a niche. You can also have pop up groups from time to time, where people need to pay X amount of dollars, and it's open for X amount of weeks or days—essentially functioning like a membership.
- There are a lot of different ways to use groups, but it all just comes down to knowing what you want your strategy to be.
[9:56] – At this point, baby boomers and GenXers cannot afford to ignore Facebook if they want to succeed online.
- For a group to be successful, it has to have a clear purpose.For a group to be successful, it has to have a clear purpose.
- While community building can quickly gain traction online, there is also a “best before” date, meaning that it’s almost impossible to maintain that energy on any one topic for very long.
[12:52] – On creating and sharing content that the online community truly wants to engage in.
- Though you might be starting the content, your ultimate goal is to get your members to start posting and starting the conversations.
- It’s a good practice to have buckets: Five major topics aligned with your core objectives that will guide the content creation for your group.
- You can add three filter questions prior to group membership that can help define your themes for the group.
[18:04] – Utilizing data and information on the platform, and having an administrator to take charge of letting people in.
[23:13] – Planning out the content calendar.
- Preparation can make a huge difference: It’s easier to come up with 12 themes for 12 months than to come up with 52 pieces of content haphazardly.
[26:34] – Approaching steady growth for an online community.
- It's the conversations that you have with your community that is really going to help drive you in the right direction.
[33:49] – Summarizing some key takeaways.
- Build the group that you envision; make sure you do your due diligence and capture information.
- If you're planning for the long term, prioritize digestible chunks of content, monthly themes or whatever can help you set expectations and manage your own flow of content.
- Don't forget to be you; be human, be seen.Go live and be the voice of the group.