Creating and Maintaining an Active Facebook Group with @ShellyFagin #VCBuzz

Facebook has been limiting brands’ organic visibility for a few years now.

Brands’ updates don’t reach the page audience unless you invest in ads, even after the brand had invested in getting those followers before that.

One feature where brands can still build organic exposure and engagement is Facebook groups.

Groups offer a variety of great features, from events to notifications, allowing managers to keep the audience engaged.

So how to build and maintain an active Facebook group? Let’s discuss

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About @ShellyFagin

Shelly Fagin @ShellyFagin is SEO and social media marketing professional. She is brand ambassador of @SEMrush and manager of their Facebook group.

Shelly is an extremely versatile marketer. She has experience in all phases of the online marketing & web development processes.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

My background is actually in Development and SEO. I started almost 18 years ago when I was expecting my first child. I’d always had a strong attraction to the internet & technology & I started teaching myself to code and build static websites.

Soon after, I started to learn about optimizing a site to rank better and realized I was coding all wrong. I was “lazy coding” lol! I learned more about writing higher quality code and how to prevent technical SEO issues common at the time.

That’s how I started in Search, by then I was hooked. It’s now my addiction. 😉

Q2 Why may setting up a Facebook group be a good marketing idea? Can we discuss some user cases and examples here?

It’s a powerful way of growing the community surrounding a brand, but it’s also highly effective at providing a place to educate and provide quality support.

Every business is going to have different needs, but for the most part, providing a place where your customers can go to learn more and ask questions is just good business.

Not only is a great place to find product support, but you’ll find that your brand’s biggest advocates and power users will jump in and answer questions for you a lot of time, lowering the number of support tickets submitted or phone calls.

In the SASS field, it’s also extremely helpful in increasing the average usage of your tools and increasing the average Lifetime of Customers as well.

Great question. I find that providing education both of your tool and of the industry, in general, grows power users who become some of your biggest brand advocates.

You’re right! It is such a powerful way to connect communities and spark ideas.

Q3 Where to start? How to attract your first members and keep their attention?

This group was a tad unique in that it wasn’t meant to attract new customers, but provide guidance, support, and education for our existing customer base. With that said, we didn’t want to send out a mass invite or it would get crazy way too fast.

Instead, we invited in phases, starting with customers that we knew actively read our emails, commented & engaged on our blog & webinars. We strategically wanted active users who also weren’t afraid to start a conversation or engaging with our content.

We also encouraged all industry-related questions, even if they weren’t about our tool. One of my favorite things was performing Live Mini SEO Audits for group members. I wanted to provide valuable techniques our group members could instantly apply.

To keep their attention, we posted content that I’d hoped would encourage people to converse. Introduction posts are great conversation starters, allowing Admins to learn more about our members.

We also sent swag bags to our top group members which is such a great way of encouraging more people to get active. Everyone loves Swag!

They sure do! Everyone would come back and share pics of their swag when it arrived, fueling competition even more.

Q4 What are your favorite Facebook group features allowing you to keep your group members engaged?

I have found that posts with great images tend to be one of the most engaging content to post in the group. Polls are great, but it all depends on the content within that poll. We’ve had some that were duds. People loved voting on future features to add though.

Not all go over well. I also love watching Facebook Lives that are done directly in a group. We found that video does okay, but it definitely needs to be short and to the point. Long video tutorials did not go over well here.

I am not sure if we have done a post or not. I sure @SEOaware would love one for the SEMrush blog though.

Q5 What are your favorite Facebook marketing tools?

For the most part, I’ve found the built-in tools in Facebook sharing analytics of the group to be my favorite tools. I tried a couple of 3rd tools, but they disappointed me, to be honest.

Analyzing the patterns of engagement in your group is really your most powerful tool. Which content people love the most, and the best days and time to post that content is important to pay attention too.

My biggest tool was my iPhone. lol! Utilizing groups through the app was a great way of instantly seeing questions and DM’s right when they came in so we could answer quickly.

Our previous Facebook marketing chats:

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