Are you wanting to grow your blog or business for free? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any extra money right now to spend on things like ads. Instead, I have to get creative with how I bring traffic to my blog.
That is the beauty of social media. You can grow your audience while simultaneously bringing awareness to your brand.
But where do you start? It can get overwhelming if you try to do everything all at once. Especially if you have a newly established website.
But never fear!
I want to make this process as simple as possible for you. I want you to reach your dreams of running a successful blog or business!
If you are just at the beginning and thinking of starting your own blog, take a moment to look over my super simple guide to starting your own beautiful blog!
Why use Facebook Groups?
Facebook groups are unique because they combine a social media network that almost everyone uses, with the concept of a forum. They are a place people go to find answers, connect with like-minded individuals, and more! This is an extremely powerful tool for people who want the flexibility to work online.
You can use Facebook groups to promote your content, create or find your audience, connect with potential clients, research your market for future products, or even to get answers to your own issues as they arise.
While people use Facebook groups for numerous reasons, I am going to focus on 2 in particular. Facebook groups for support on a specific subject and those to help promote your blog or business.
Focused Facebook Groups, as I like to call them, are those that people join to gain support with a certain aspect of their lives or to connect with like-minded people. This could be motherhood, health, parenting, basically any aspect of life. Some are extremely focused, others are more general.
Blog or Business Facebook Groups were created specifically with starting and successfully running a blog or business in mind. They are a place where you can get support, ask questions, and share your content. Most groups have a specific promotion schedule where you can share your social media, blog posts, products, and more, on certain days in specific threads (the comment section of a post).
By taking advantage of these groups, you will have the ability to understand and directly reach your target audience to grow a successful blog or business.
But before you can do that, I have to ask you…
Do you know your audience?
Do you know who you are speaking to? Do you know who you are creating products and content for? Knowing who you are speaking to is such a vital part of starting any blog or business.
Knowing your audience will allow you to:
- create the right content for the right people.
- know exactly where you should be marketing your content.
- connect directly to the people who need your products or services.
- write in a tone that matches your audience.
- use social media effectively to connect with people who crave your content.
So, if you don’t yet know exactly who you are trying to connect with (that’s right. It’s more than just marketing, it is creating a connection) then I would recommend you take the time you need to figure that out before you proceed with trying to reach people.
Write down all the details of who she is (or whatever pronoun your audience chooses to use. I will be using *she* from here on out, it’s just easier to write!). What does she look like? Where does she shop? What kind of life does she lead? Know everything about her as if you were creating a character for a novel. The more you know about her, the more you will know who to write for. Then you can move onto the good stuff!
Join Facebook Groups
There are literally Facebook groups for absolutely everything. People use them for all kinds of reasons: support, sales, events, businesses, connection, and more!
Join Groups Within your Focus.
Since you know who you are speaking to, you will first want to look for Facebook groups that are within your “Niche”, though I feel like this word is extremely overused and misunderstood. So let’s use…. focus.
Finding Facebook groups can be as easy as searching for them.
- Open Facebook
- In the search bar at the top of the page, type in a keyword that connects to your audience and focus. (Crunchy moms, Mom support, vegan, health, etc….) Keep in mind the things that your audience likes. If you sell homemade soaps, your audience may be in a group about being conscious parents or limiting waste. If you want to help moms on their health journey, you may also benefit from general support pages too.
- Just under the search bar will be a menu, choose “Groups” from that menu.
- Scroll through the groups and join a few that apply to your audience. Make sure you take a moment to open the group and read the description on the right sidebar. That will give you an idea of which groups will connect to you. Also, many will be closed to keep away creepers, so you will have to wait to be accepted to the group. Pay attention to how many members a group has. Large numbers can tell you that a group is very popular, but it doesn’t always mean quality (though it can!). This may take some trial and error, keep that in mind.
Now, DON’T start posting right away, though! There is an art to this!
Join Business or Blog Groups
You just joined groups that match your specific focus, but you will also want to take a moment to join groups specifically made to help you grow your blog or business. You can use the same method as above and search keywords like “Blog”, “Entrepreneurs”, “Business”…
The beauty of these groups is that they are made for you to get support, but also to promote and grow your actual business.
Check the Rules
It is really important to remember that you are here for more than just selling your product. You want to create connections. You will want to take note of a group’s rules before you do anything! They will typically tell you if and when you can share your promotions.
If they don’t state specific rules, you can typically assume this: Only share your promotion or product when it gives direct value to someone’s struggles. For every time you share your content, comment and connect with people at least 10 times without a promotion. And never share within the main feed! Only share in the comments on posts that your product actually applies to.
When in doubt…. send the admin a message and just ask. Say something along these lines.
“Hi _____, I just joined your group *insert group name* a few weeks ago and I had a quick question. I sell xyz product, and while I am not here solely to sell my product, I know there are times that it would directly meet the needs of people in this group. Would it be alright if people are searching for product recommendations, that I share my product link in the comments? Thank you for the consideration.
I will not promise they will say yes, but they are way more likely to be okay with it if you ask respectfully and are already giving people in the group value by answering questions and engaging.
A note if you sell MLM products or other at-home products (essential oils, body wraps, makeup, health products, etc…), people tend to be wary of these types of products because a lot of people spam them. So, don’t spam Facebook groups with your links. Also, if you message an admin, maybe even say that you don’t want to spam it but only post when it directly meets a member’s need.
Blog and Business group promotion schedules
Business groups will typically have promotional days that you can share your social media, blog posts, and products. You can usually find those days within the rules of the group. This can be a fantastic way to spread the reach of your posts, grow your social media following, create connections and so much more. Take note of this schedule, so you can always share your most recent content!
There is a something almost magical that happens when you put in the time to show up often in these groups. People start to remember you. If you are always giving quality answers to similar questions and interacting with people they will start to recommend you for those questions.
You become an expert.
I’ve seen this happen first hand as I have spent more time in the groups. People will know that you answer certain questions really well and they will tag you to bring specific problems to your attention.
Then you can share your related blog posts and products along with a quality answer. Which brings me to the next point.
Don’t just Drop your Links and Go!
I cannot stress this enough! Never just drop a link and disappear. You will either end up with very few clicks or you’ll get kicked out of the group.
People don’t embrace it when you only think of yourself.
Every time you share your content on a Business Facebook group thread, make sure you take the time to view other people’s content. Check out their pages, share their links on your social media, and create connections.
There is a trick to this, though!
You want to be strategic with this process. Ask yourself these questions about the content you view, what you share, and the people you follow on social media.
Is this content relevant to my audience?
If the content is relevant to your audience, it would greatly benefit them if you share it to your social media or leave a good quality comment. However, if it isn’t relevant, don’t waste their time by placing it in their newsfeed.
Is my audience reading this blog, too?
If they are, leave a good quality comment. This is a fantastic way to bring new readers to your website, while also helping a fellow blogger. Make sure you link it back to your website and consider changing how you write your name like Elna did over at Twins Mommy!
Do I want this on my social media feed?
I believe in creating a very intentional newsfeed not only for personal reasons but also as a business owner. I am constantly bombarded by distractions, but when I create an intentional newsfeed that inspires me towards the life I want, it helps move me forward rather than distracting from my goals. This, in turn, helps me run a better blog and business.
Am I in this person’s target audience?
Would it really be valuable to this content creator if someone wildly outside of their audience was interacting with their content? While it would give them one more view and maybe a bit more engagement, it is completely hollow. I learned this the hard way when I joined some “follow-for-follow” Facebook groups. I had single women, commenting on a blog post about the realities of being a mom. The comments were forced and didn’t provide any value to my actual audience. In turn, both of our time was wasted.
Is this person in my target audience?
This can be a great way for you to get your audience back to your page. If another blogger or business owner is within your audience, leave a quality comment or follow them on Facebook. They will be more likely to follow you back or come visit your website in return.
I recommend you try to connect with 5-10 people on each thread that you post on (unless there are specific requirements for that thread).
Don’t waste people’s time!
Probably the most annoying thing about using the blog or business related promotional threads to share your content is trying to interact with other people’s content. Note that I didn’t say, interacting is annoying. I said, trying to interact is.
You see, I don’t have a lot of time in my day. And if there is an Instagram profile thread, I don’t have the time to click on every profile, see what kind of content you post, and then decide if it relates to me. And if I don’t have that time, I can safely assume that others don’t either.
Instead, take a moment and give a little description of whatever link you post.
Here are a few examples:
Instead of this:
See the difference? There is no guessing what types of content they will get from me. They can read my description and decide if they are interested in the type of content I will be sharing.
Instead of just posting this:
Which feels more personal and engaging to you? Plus, there is no guesswork. They know exactly what that post will include. As bloggers and business owners, we don’t have time for guesswork, so don’t waste other people’s time!
**Quick note** I believe that you cannot still do the large image like this example.
Avoid follow-for-follow Groups
A follow-for-follow group requires that if you post your link, you will interact with EVERYONE else’s links in the thread. Essentially, you will follow everyone back who follows you, regardless of the relevance of their content. Sometimes these can get into the hundreds!
This will definitely not save you time. But even more importantly, these people aren’t usually your target audience…
Quick story time
When I first started joining groups I didn’t know about follow-for-follow or even group etiquette. So I joined a group and just started sharing my links and leaving. Rude, right?! Next thing I knew people were tagging me getting all mad because they counted their blog post comments and it didn’t match the number of shares. I was unintentionally on my way to drama and getting kicked out!
I then went to look at the 30 some comments on my post and NOT ONE of them was from a person even remotely in my target audience. Almost all of them were single girls who blog about makeup and fashion (totally fine, but both things are low on my priority list right now). They couldn’t connect with my content because it didn’t apply to their lives in any way.
I realized that even though I had over 30 comments on my posts, they weren’t genuine. What value did those comments give to my future readers? none. What value did those comments give to me? none.
Needless to say, I just left the group before I was kicked out (right after I reciprocated those comments. I needed to honor the rules even though it took hours…).
I am a busy mom that is trying to start a thriving blog and business. I have to use my time wisely and so do you!
Choose quality over quantity!
While not everyone you speak to on social media will be a true lead, I have made a lot of amazing connections and eventually friends through Facebook groups.
The key is to be open to it!
I mentioned earlier about leaving quality comments. But what does that mean?
When you leave a comment on a blog post or on someone’s social media, don’t just say “Great post! Thanks for sharing!”
Instead, tell them why you feel like it was a great post and how you relate to it. For example, I may comment on a quote image on Instagram saying, “This is such an inspiring image. I have been really learning lately that I am worth it and need to take time for myself throughout the day. You gave me the push I need to do that, today! Thank you!”
Now, don’t lie. Only speak truth to them, but dig deep and talk emotionally. Connect with people. Not only will they appreciate it, but you will also start to find people leaving quality comments on your own posts as well.
Find Guest Posting Opportunities
Most business-focused groups will have threads where you can connect with other people or find guest posting opportunities. This can benefit both parties by giving you a different audience to reach while saving someone else time on writing a blog post.
Use the Facebook group thread to create the initial connection, but then you can talk over Facebook message or email if the other person is also interested. All you have to do is read the comments to find the available opportunities.
Facebook groups are not just an amazing place to share your content or products, but also an incredible place to discover what your audience truly wants! By doing a little bit of market research in these groups, you will know what problems you may be able to solve or what information they are looking for. They are directly searching for the answers you might already have!
Go into the Facebook groups that you are a part of that are within your focus or niche. Start to scroll through and take note of the questions that people are asking. Look for phrases similar to these: “I am so tired of….”, “What should I do”, “I am discouraged”, “How do you….”, or “I need to vent”. You also want to note how they talk about an issue. Even if they aren’t directly asking a question, you may notice a common issue (exhaustion, lack of motivation, etc…).
I recommend you start a spreadsheet that you can copy-and-paste people’s questions into. DO NOT reword their questions. You want their exact wording so you can better phrase your content to match their needs.
Then, take this amazing insight to help you format a course, product, or even a blog post! You will then have content that they are practically begging for answers to. Plus, if you solve their big problems, they may become customers for life!
Use a Schedule
When you start joining multiple business-related Facebook groups, it can be a little overwhelming to keep track of all the promotional days. As a work at home mom, I am all about saving time! That is why I decided to create a comprehensive schedule for each of the pages. I separated it by day of the week, group focus, and promotional thread type. I recommend you use something like this to save yourself time each day! It also allows you to choose what kind of posts you want to do that day.
My biggest tip for Facebook groups is don’t stress!
If you don’t use the groups every day, it’s totally fine. However, remember consistency is key! The more regularly you connect, the more results you will see!
Do you use Facebook groups for your blog or business? Share in the comments below what you think is most important when using Facebook Groups!