I will admit.
Over the past few months, I have not been paying any attention to my Facebook group, Turbo Blogging & Business, at all.
Aside from one promo thread every Monday, approving members, removing spam, and answering any questions people had, I pretty much left it alone.
The Facebook group was more of a supplement for my business, most of my relationships and sales are built through my email list.
*This post will be a long one, so hold your horses and make yourselves comfortable!
Why did I unwittingly ignore my Facebook group? A couple of reasons.
Facebook groups are getting increasingly noisier.
By noisier, I do not mean that more people are posting.
At least in my niche, everyone and their grandmother owns a Facebook group.
And if you’re a Facebook user, you only really have time for 1 – 2 of these bad boys. I felt like there were too much noise and memes on Facebook for anyone to really learn something substantial on Facebook (but I am now rethinking this opinion – more on this later)
There is also a tendency for people in Facebook groups for people to post “sensationalist” posts because that’s what will get you the eyeballs as the Facebook algorithm pushes posts with engagement to people’s feeds.
After a while, it gets a little jarring.
Reach was dropping
Also, Facebook is chopping reach from Facebook groups, as compared to the “good old days”.
I guess that left me feeling a little bitter and I felt that I was better off focusing on other channels like my Facebook page.
As my Facebook group grew bigger, the number of people joining the group grew and grew organically. For some reason, the larger your group, the more attractive it is for people to join. You would think the opposite would be true instead. People literally came from all corners of the world.
However, many of them joined with intentions that were not pure. They joined the group to spam.
I tackled this by imposing stricter requirements for people to enter – they had to answer 3 questions, and to date, I have rejected hundreds of people into the group because they couldn’t be bothered to answer the questions.
This helped with the quality of members inside but there is still room for improvement.
Mine, but not really mine
These people that entered my Facebook group – not many of them were on my list. Even though they were in my group, I didn’t really have any control over when I could reach them.
Which just goes to show once again, how important it is to build your email list.
How I discovered Mighty Networks (and am now quitting it to focus on my good old Facebook group again)
When I found Mighty Networks, I was really searching for a nice platform to host my course students as Facebook groups just don’t cut it when it comes to homework submission, accountability and what not.
Note from Raelyn: If you haven’t been up to date with this (and haven’t joined the new community – which is probably a good majority of you guys), I found another self-hosted platform, decided to give it a try, but am now closing down my newly formed Mighty Network to focus on my Facebook group after 2 weeks.
FYI, this isn’t the first time I closed a community – I closed my first Facebook group a couple of years ago. In business, you have to move fast and I love to try out new things to engage my community.
And it was so amazing, I decided to create a free community from it to see how it will grow.
First, there was no noise – you enter the platform, and that’s just it. You don’t get memes your uncle shared, you don’t get sidetracked by other Facebook groups, you don’t get thrown ads.
Second, I could use Zapier to automatically add anyone that joined my Mighty Network to my email list. Very convenient.
Third, we had a number of loyal members who kept coming back and whom I’ve built very close relationships with over the last few weeks.
(Shoutout to Elzevera, Poe, Jen Wilson, Deanna Castro, Mary G, Nicole Bryant, Ivan Bayross, J Johnes, Malvika, Rosemarie, Cecille S., Lilly Mentoor, Rosemarie, Vidhi, Alicja, Karen Copeland, Andy Roessler, and a ton of others!)
Fourth, I could PM anyone whenever I felt like it, forging very close connections.
Fifth, I was extremely passionate about it. I felt like it was a place I could call my own. We had a ton of things going on, such as daily goal setting threads, the formation of mastermind groups, interactive polls, identification of members by niche & location, etc.
Sixth, there was a nice little ambassador program where people could invite others and I could reward them. Kinda like a nice little affiliate program of your own but for invites.
Why am I quitting it for Facebook Groups then?
There is actually some good in Facebook groups after all!
I was torn between my Facebook group and this. Logistically, it does not make sense to have 2 communities so one has to go. Eventually, after giving the new community a couple of weeks to roll, I have decided to focus on my Facebook group instead.
First, retention in Mighty Networks was an issue. While engagement was good (when people come back, they are more likely to post more and engage in deeper conversation) it was hard for people to come back.
This is because you have to rely on people manually coming into the network, which most people will not.
There were email notifications in Mighty Networks but those are too annoying for quite a number of people given the larger number of posts I was making in the community.
Unlike Facebook, people don’t just wake up and decide to visit your community. There is a lot of power in that integration into people’s lives which I have taken for granted over the years.
Second, I realized that if I had put in the amount of effort I used to grow my Mighty Network into my Facebook group, my Facebook group would most likely enjoy more attention and growth as well.
In other words, I realized that I was slacking on my Facebook group and I should channel more energy towards it because communities are important.
Third, Facebook is adding a couple of new functions to groups which I really like, such as the ability to have “Units”, as well as “Topics” which isn’t rolled out to my group yet but I guess is coming soon – which is one of the reasons why I liked Mighty Network. Oh, and it also rolled out Group Insights.
Fourth, I faced issues with Mighty Networks that just couldn’t be solved, such as how the non-www version of the URL was not working. It was frustrating.
Facebook loads lightning fast and never has any tech issues – something we take for granted.
Fifth, I find the functions not fully developed yet – for instance, we could see which members live near us, but there is no way for me as a group host to group these guys together without making a post to the entire community asking them to identify themselves.
Lastly, I went to observe a ton of other Mighty Networks, most of them were very quiet ghost towns except for a yoga group with 50,000 members, which is not very encouraging. There were many huge groups with >10K members which were dead quiet.
Out of all the points above, the one that affected my decision most was retention. As this was an interruption to people’s usual lifestyle, it was difficult for people to come back to the community.
Perhaps for a paid community, it would work, but for a free one, you will need a lot of members, activities, etc – for network effects to take over in order to sufficiently entice people to come in regularly.
Essentially, I don’t foresee good times for this community unless Mighty Networks finds a way to integrate this better into people’s lives (e.g. text notifications) and also fix all the glitches.Lessons Learnt: How I Intend to Grow & Engage My Facebook Group With 4,000 MembersClick To Tweet
How I intend to grow and engage my Facebook group
Despite all that, the group enjoyed sky-high engagement and a deep sense of camaraderie between members who actually logged on.
Which led me to think, how can I replicate this, and build a welcoming and warm community on a large platform like Facebook?
How can I build a tight-knit community that will serve members while enjoying the exposure and reach that Facebook can bring?
How can I cultivate loyal members to my Facebook group (which is almost unheard of nowadays due to all the factors I mentioned at the start of this post)?
Moving forward, here is how I intend to grow and engage my Facebook group:
1. Personalizing the welcome experience
Something I bothered doing was welcoming each and every member into the Mighty Network. I should do the same with my Facebook group every week.
In my welcome post, I should write about all the things that are happening in my Facebook group and why people should bother sticking around, much like what happened in Mighty Networks.
I will end off with a question in my welcome post to get them to make their first engagement.
2. Themed threads
I need to initiate more themed threads in the Facebook group to encourage people to mingle and add value to each other’s businesses. The ones I really liked that I did at my Mighty Network community were:
- Goal Setting Monday
- Feedback exchange Tuesday
- Wednesday Mixer
- We Sell Things Thursday
- Share Your Wins Friday
- Prayer Weekends
3. Daily goal setting support threads
Having Daily Goal Setting Threads helped to keep people coming back and encouraged bloggers to focus their thoughts. I should do that again too in my Facebook group.
4. More promo chances
Instead of promotion once a week, I should do it twice a week. This will help people to grow their blogs but more importantly, it will build engagement.
Perhaps some of those people who joined my group for self-promotion will find themselves interested in the community itself.
5. More live chats
Something that I did not have a chance to do, which I really liked, was the ability to have a live chat with my members all at once in a room.
To combat this, I will impose a compulsory addition to my Manychat list for new members, where I can notify group members about events in the group at my will via Facebook messenger. I will also look into holding LIVE messenger chats with people, and create QnA threads in the group which I can notify people about.
6. Enforce compulsory joining of my list via Manychat
Once people are connected via Manychat, I would get them to join my email list.
7. Ask more questions
I really liked the interactive polls we had at Mighty Networks. It looked cool and built engagement. Although there is no way to replicate this on Facebook yet, I should take the initiative to ask regular questions that will stimulate people’s thoughts and get them to learn.
Featuring Wins: Featuring wins from the Friday thread is a good idea because it encourages a lot of people.
Share my latest posts and tips: I should do more of this even though it gets very time-consuming.
Ask more questions: I should do more of this to engage people.
If you missed some of the people there…
I am aware that some of you at Turbo Bloggers (not the FB group) may have forged some connections with people in your mastermind groups and may want to stay in touch. Please do!
You can easily find those people over at my Facebook group and tag them there to get in touch personally.
Who knows! I may open another Mighty Network community if things change in the future.
That’s all folks
It was nice having you guys around in the Mighty Network – let’s take it to the Facebook group and continue growing our businesses there!
If you found that this post has given you new perspectives about community building online – please share the post. Thank you!
Let me know your thoughts below 🙂