When you’re looking to grow your audience, increase your reach or get more eyes on the content you’re creating, Facebook groups are a great way to give you some much needed exposure. The problem is figuring out how to expand your reach while finding the right audience, adhering to the group’s rules and connecting the people in the group with your life-changing content.
In this article, we’ll explore a few tips on how to get started with using Facebook groups in the right way to help you meet your ministry goals.
1. Choose the Right Facebook Group
Choosing the right Facebook group is one of the most important steps in growing your ministry. You want to look for groups where there is activity and where you can find your target audience. You may have to ask yourself, who did I create this content for? Who do I want to engage with it?
Look for a group to join who would be served by your content.
Some groups are purely sharing groups so they’ll be happy for you to come in the groups and drop links to your content. Other groups frown upon unsolicited links.
Scan the types of posts that are in the group. Try to get a lay of the land and the group culture and be a good digital neighbor.
2. Understand the Rules of the Group
When you join the group, read the group rules and make sure you understand them. Figure out how you want to work within the rules of the group. Many groups will ask you not to promote yourself or share your content unsolicited. If you decide to be a member of the group, respect these rules and learn ways you can add value to the group, while finding opportunities to share what you have to offer. You don’t want to get on the group admin’s naughty list.
3. Don’t Be a Drive by Link Dropper
If you want to grow your ministry, don’t drive by and drop links in groups. Being a drive by link dropper means you go in a group just to leave your link and run. You don’t participate in group discussions. You’re not a useful member in the group. You simply leave your content every week or so, and move on to the next group and the next group and the next, driving by and dropping content. This is an example of being a poor digital neighbour.
Jokingly, I refer to this as being a drive by link dropper because it’s the best way to describe what it feels like as a group member to experience it. If you’re really committed to getting eyes on your content, enhancing the community you’ve joined and finding people who will genuinely engage and be transformed by your content, invest in the communities you join and avoid driving by and dropping your content.
4. Be Useful
There’s nothing a group admin loves more than a useful group member. Find ways to add to discussions. Ask questions that create conversation to get the group’s engagement going. Answer questions, and be helpful. Generally be a good digital neighbour. People will remember you for this. They’ll want to know more about you and understand your experience.
Being useful & knowledgeable has its own kind of appeal, and it can go a long way towards promoting your ministry, business or church. Engaging online in this way is considering the long game and not the views you’ll get on the video you created yesterday. Maintaining this type of group strategy will help you build a good long-term relationship that will benefit you and the people around you.
5. Participate in Conversations
Remember you’re not the only one with something useful to say so be a great conversationalist and join ongoing conversations. Find conversations to join that are relevant to your ministry. Jump in if there’s a topic related to a church program you’re hosting.
If you’re wondering, participating in conversations is the opposite of driving by and dropping content. Participating in conversations indicates you’re a part of the community and you’re there to stay. As you do this, find ways to be useful and add value. Your contribution will be long remembered and create opportunities for you to share what you’re offering.
6. Start Conversations
Find ways to start conversations that are relevant to the group. This will create content that’s useful to people and generate engagement in the group. Members of the group as well as the group admin will appreciate your efforts and you might even get a little “conversation starter” badge from Facebook.
7. Be Helpful to the Group Admin
Find ways to make the life of the group’s administrators easier. Perhaps you can be a peacemaker or answer a question or flag an inappropriate post. Thinking about the health of the group and the community will make it more likely the administrators will allow you to share useful information about your ministry or business or even share a program when the times comes.
An online group is like a garden, if you take from it without nurturing and planting seeds, eventually it will wither and die. How are you helping to create the community you’d like to experience?
8. Don’t Be Predictable
Don’t make everything about your ministry. Find other things to chat about. Don’t make the group member or the administrator roll their eyes every time they see your name pop up. Keep them guessing. Do things for others, share great resources and sometimes, sparingly promote yourself.
9. Share Your Ministry, Church Program or Business When Prompted
There will likely be opportunities for you to share what you’re doing, and you should wholeheartedly jump on those chances. Sometimes the group will have a Tech Tuesday or Business Night Thursday. Remember this and share what you have to offer. After being so useful in the group, people will associate your ministry, business or church with that level of helpfulness and want to engage in what you have to offer.
10. Treat Others the Way You Want to Be Treated
Do you want people to watch your Youtube video, listen to your podcast or read your blog post?
Do you watch other people’s Youtube videos, listen to their podcasts or read their blog posts? Treat other people the way you want to be treated, especially in the online space.
11. Make Great and Relevant Content
Most importantly, make content that’s relevant to your audience so they’re curious and want to keep coming back or dive deeper into your content. As you develop a collection of great and relevant content, you can share it in the group when a question comes up related to your ministry. If the first piece of content is great, they’ll be more likely to look at the other things you have to offer.
Following these guidelines is a great way to start to expand your reach and make an impact on the people you’re trying to reach.
What ways are you using to help grow your ministry, business or church through online groups?
This blog post was originally published on 14 May 2020 on the Digital Discipleship website about Facebook groups and your church