How to grow your Facebook Group - without a budget or email list

Dec 07, 2018

So, you are new to your business and want to start building a community. Alright then, Facebook Groups it is! You create your Facebook group, put up a profile picture, create your banner picture, lay out some rules for your group. One member, check.

And now what? How to grow your Facebook Group? What do you do with a Facebook Group that has just 1 member (you)? How to get members to join a Facebook Group? What can you do to grow your audience? This seems undoable (at least, it did to me!), especially if you don’t have an email list plus no budget to promote your group (which are 2 great ways of getting people to join by the way: send a message to your email list and run Facebook Ads to promote your group).

So, for those of you who are looking for how to grow your Facebook Group, without spending any money and without feeling spammy or icky, I’ve compiled an awesome list of 29 FREE ways to grow your Facebook Group! You can also download my Free Checklist to use while growing your group!

1.Send a message to everyone you know who fits into your target group. You can go through your Linkedin connection list, your Facebook friends, your Facebook business page likes, and your email connections. Find those people who are in your niche and send them a message to tell them about your group. Invite them to join if they think it adds value for them. Make sure to only add people that fit your target audience, because those that do not fit, won’t engage!

2. Ask a few of your friends and family to join. I personally didn’t do this, because I don’t like it when my friends are bombarding me with business posts, but you could ask a few good friends to join your group, just so you have a small number of people in there who can support you and get the engagement going for you, and others will be more likely to join. They can always leave after a few weeks or months. Make sure to not add them without their permission!

3. Use a great name. The Facebook Group names are searchable, and people looking to join a group will search on Facebook for groups that are a good match for them. Think about what your target group would be searching for and add these keywords to your name. So make sure you include the right words in the group name, so people who are looking for you can find you. This is a way to get people to join without the need to promote it. I’ve found that your group can already start showing up in the search with as little as 30 or 50 members! You can only change your group name once every 28 days, so think before you change the name!

4. Create a fabulous group cover. Facebook will suggest your group to people and when it does that, it will show your group cover in a list with other groups. So make sure your group cover is attractive, stands out and explains what your group is all about!

5. Add the group to your personal Facebook profile. When you engage on Facebook, you usually do it with your personal profile. So make sure that people can easily find your group on your personal profile!
Here are a few ways to do this:

First of all, you can add links to your personal profile, right under the featured photos, as you can see on the screenshot below (from my personal profile). You can do this by going to “edit profile”. Then you go to contact info section, where you click “edit”. You will find a social links section, where you can add your Instagram, Pinterest etc and a website section, where you can add the link to your Facebook group. Make sure to save and set the privacy of the links to “public” so everyone can see it.

Secondly, and I really like this one, you can add a featured photo to your profile (a photo that is shown at the top of your profile) with the invitation to join your group (see the screenshot from my page below). You can do this by clicking on the featured photos you have right now on your profile and replace one by a picture you create about your group, or by clicking “add featured photo” if you don’t have any featured photos yet. You can then add the link to your group in the description of the photo.

 

The third way is to add an invitation to join your group to your personal page cover, which I did recently!

6. Tip no 6 is leave a link to your Facebook Group in other Facebook Groups where you can find your target audience. Make sure to follow the rules of the Group though, many Groups only allow you to post your page or group on a weekly thread. Leave your link in the weekly thread and make sure to leave it every week.

7. Create awesome content that is exclusive to your group. Now I can hear you ask: how does adding awesome to a group with no members make the number of members grow? Well, because the few members in your group will share your content if its super relevant, and because they will start talking about your group, if it’s relevant. And that’s how awesome content will grow your group, indirectly.

8. Help people out and mention your group in relevant threads in other Facebook groups. Let’s say you run a Facebook group about overcoming depression and you are in another group which is about business, and one of the members is talking about her depression and asking for tips on how to deal with depression. This would be a good moment to invite her to join your group and explain what the group can bring her. It’s important that when you do it, it should be natural, and appropriate. Next to the person who posted the question being invited, it might also make other people who are commenting on the post join your group.

9. Add the link to your Facebook business page. You can do this in a few ways. First of all you can add a tab “groups” to the menu of your Facebook page. You can do this by going to your page > page settings > edit page > tabs:

You can also create a button “join group” at the top of your Business Page, which directly sends people to your group.

10. Use an awesome description. Once people find your group, they will read the description (see the picture above) to decide whether it is for them. So make sure you write a convincing description, that tells them for who the group is, what your group is about and how they can benefit from it. For example, if you are a cake decorating group, tell them that this group is for sharing recipes, learning how to decorate and sharing product reviews (if that’s what your goal is, of course). Also make sure to explain the rules and who the group is NOT for, to keep out people that are not your target customer (quality over quantity!)

11. Write a post on your Facebook page about your Group and turn that into an announcement (sticky post). You can do this by clicking on the 3 little dots in the right hand corner of your post and then click “pin to top of page”.

12. Tweet about your group and pin that tweet to the top of your twitter profile. I still need to do that, actually! Here is how you do it: first send out the tweet and then click the little arrow in the upper right hand side of the tweet and click “pin to your profile page”. This will make the tweet stick to the top of your profile page.

13. Add a link to the group to your twitter bio. You can do this in 2 ways: add a short URL to you bio description, or add the group as your link. Both can be done by going to “edit profile” on your profile page. You can see the 2 options in the picture below, I only added the group to my profile description as a short URL, because I wanted my link to go to my website. Unfortunately you can only add 1 real link to your twitter profile.

14. Add the link to your group to your Instagram bio with a clear call to action. You can use linktree to add various links to your instagram profile. Invite people to join your group in your bio. This is one of the main ways how people are finding my new group today (April 2019).

15. Not tried by me: Message people that are fans of your competitors and ask them to join. I did not try this tip yet, as I don’t feel comfortable with it, but others tried it and it was very successful! You can go to the page of your competitor and see who likes this page (this is probably someone in your target group). Then you can send a personalized message to this person, explaining about your group and inviting them to join. Facebook doesn’t like spamming though, so 25 to 50 messages per day is an absolute maximum…

16. Create a Pinterest board around your group topic and add the link to your group board description.

17. Create a Pin that links to your group and add it to the board you create about your topic, as well as to other Pinterest Boards, preferably group boards, if you joined any.

18. Write a blog post about your group (especially interesting if you have an existing blog with some traffic to it) and share the blog posts on all your social media channels.

Also mention your group at the end of all your blog posts.

19. Add a link to your Facebook Group on your website. Here are a few ways to do it: 1. add it to the main navigation, for example by adding an item “community” that links to the Facebook group. 2. add a section to your homepage that talks about your group and links to it. 3. add the group to your resources page (this is a page with useful links for your target audience). Another to do for me!

20. Add the group to your email signature.

21. Send a message to your new Social Media followers and invite them to the group page. For example send a private message to followers on twitter and to new people who like your Facebook business page. You could also automate this in twitter.

22. Ask members to invite people they know who could benefit from the group. You can do this by asking them personally, or by holding a contest with a little prize for the person who brings in the most new members.

23. Give away unique content that is only accessible in the group. You could for example do a Facebook live in your group and promote this Facebook live in other groups (if allowed). People can only see the Facebook live by joining your group.

24. Add a link to the group to the Thank You page of your website. This could be the page where they download your freebie, or where they purchase from you, or book a call. This is an excellent time to invite them to your group, since they have a keen interest in your offer at that moment.

25. Add a link to the thank you page of your newsletter subscription (and of course to all your newsletters).

26. Find a Facebook group with a similar audience to your audience but a different goal (so non-competing) and team up with the owner. For example, if you sell baby toys, it could be a group on baby clothes. Get in touch with the owner and see whether you can promote each other’s groups. Or ask the owner to do a guest Facebook live in your group. You can then repurpose that video on Youtube and link the Youtube video to the group.

27. Share your group at the end of your Youtube videos and Facebook lives.

28. Offer free help in other groups, that is only available in your group. For example, “join my group for a free review of your social media channel”.

29. Add the group to your marketing materials (online and offline)

Bonus: in the end, I’ve found that the best way to grow your group is to build relationships and offer value and then mention that you have a group. This method takes time, but because you’ve already created a relationship, you will have more engaged, more enthusiastic group members, which helps make the entire group a bigger success!

So, that is it, 29 free ways to grow your Facebook group. Good luck with growing your group!

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