Social Media, especially Facebook, is a fantastic platform for communities to connect and converse. Whether it’s the local neighbourhood or something more specific, Social Media is free and fast when it comes to people staying in touch.
It’s important not to mistake a Facebook Group for a Facebook Page. Pages are public platforms that businesses can utilise to gain Facebook followers and engagement. Facebook Groups can be public, private or ‘secret’ and represent a subject or community in a more open manner.
Facebook Pages are designed for one business (or person) to broadcast content whereas Groups are there to encourage conversations. It might be that a business chooses to have both a Facebook Page for themselves and their brand, as well as a Group to connect better with customers.
Whether your Community Group is designed for customers or neighbours, they work best when there is a consistent stream of posts being shared and therefore conversations being had.
Not sure where to start? Here are five easy post ideas to get the ball rolling.
1. Rules and Restrictions
Although this may seem like a rather uninteresting post idea, it’s one of the most important ones. To ensure a happy, safe space to communicate, it’s important that members understand and follow the ground rules.
Essentially, it’s up to the Community Group creator to establish rules but it may be worth assigning some moderators to help with the workload.
Frequently posting about rules and restrictions could be somewhat of a buzzkill so consider pinning a post at the top of the page or including them somewhere obvious to help reduce the need to keep reminding members.
2. Conversation Starters
Depending on the content of the Group, conversations may flow freely or they could need a helping hand. Consider sharing some thought-provoking conversation starters to help get the comments flowing.
You may find that once the conversation starts it won’t stop – or you may need to give a gentle nudge every now and then. Don’t forget to engage back with anyone commenting or sharing so they know someone’s listening!
3. Group Welcomes and Introductions
Newbies to the group may feel too overwhelmed by what’s already going on and shy away from ‘interrupting’ ongoing conversations. By welcoming newcomers regularly, they are more likely to share a post or join the conversation.
Although, if you are going to introduce this as a regular occurrence, make sure you have the time to dedicate to it, as you wouldn’t want to miss anyone out and risk alienating them. This is another example of when assigning some moderators would be beneficial to the running of a Group.
4. Helpful Information
More often than not, Community Groups will have a purpose. For example, it could be to raise awareness of issues in the area, local events or a Buy, Swap & Sell platform. Whatever it may be, it’s a fantastic space to share some helpful information with members and encourage them to do the same.
This is also where it’s important to outline any ground rules so everyone knows what’s allowed and what to expect. For example, you may allow members to post job vacancies but discourage members from using the site to scout for work. It’s all about balance and adding value to the members.
5. Ask Questions or Answer FAQ’s
You don’t have to always be the one posting answers – if you have questions relevant to the Group then feel free to reach out to your members for their insight or opinions. Equally, if you’re seeing the same frequently asked questions then post these and the answers.
The beauty of Groups is they’re often more casual than Facebook Pages or Twitter chains, for example, and therefore members are more likely to be open and honest. It also allows for a fantastic forum for members to share their expertise and help each other.
Facebook themselves suggest that all Group posts end with a clear CTA (Call To Action) to encourage your members to take the next step, whatever that may be. You may also want to consider tagging Group members into posts where relevant to ensure they see them.
Once you have shared a few posts you will be able to get a good idea of what your members respond to best and therefore what they’re looking for from the Group. It’s important to keep an eye on this to influence the style of content you share in the future.
If you’re still unsure of what to do or what might work then simply ask your members what they’d like to see or post about!
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