With a heavy heart and teary eyes, I closed my old Facebook group community a week ago (at this point of writing). It was a thriving community of 580 ambitious entrepreneurs.
I spent time, sweat and a lot of marketing to build the group to size. But it was time to move on.
I tagged every member in what would be the last Facebook post in the group, and asked them to join my new Facebook community, “Turbo Blogging & Business,” which you can join here.
Update: The new community just hit 2k members. Thanks guys!
In the process, I lost about 400 members, which is a good majority of the community. But it was a move that brought much closure to my heart.
Here are my reasons why I committed this drastic move, the problems that led to the final decision and the lessons I learnt.
Here’s What You’ll Learn
- Why I closed my FB community and the warning signs of a community that won’t bring you sales
- My top tips to create a thriving, happy community of buyers and people to serve
Are you hosting a community of people that will never buy from you?
When I first started the group I was on fire to serve any online entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial discussions abounded – but the community was full of people that I was not crazily in love with serving. There were freelancers, coaches, product owners, e-commerce store owners, service providers, bloggers, writers, speakers, MLM sellers and more.
As I mentioned in this post about the different online business ideas you can adopt for your biz, there are a gazillion ways to make money online.
Sadly, there was a mismatch between my defined target audience and who was actually in my community. As much as I loved everyone’s ambition and spirit, there was no way I could serve everyone in my community. Everyone’s businesses were just way too different.
I learnt that when you host a community of people, like attracts like. Even though my Facebook group was growing by leaps and bounds every day, the people coming in were not really my target audience.
Make sure that the majority of people in your Facebook group are people you can serve, and more relevant readers will find their way to you. Get clear on what you will be offering to monetize and exactly who will be buying it.
Don’t make the mistake of hosting a community of people that will never buy from you.
A Value Proposition That Wasn’t Unique Nor Specific
As a result, engagement dropped because every time I created content or products, I could only serve a segment of my community. The group lacked direction and a clear value proposition of who I was serving, beyond generic marketing value like “social media, branding and content strategies”.
While there are generic groups that do well, I do not have the time to grow a Facebook group where only about 50% are the people I truly meant to serve.
After all, I’m no Mcdonalds, I’m but only one person. While I love serving entrepreneurs and can help them grow their online business through digital marketing strategies, I decided to niche down to blogging because that was where I knew that if I focused on bloggers 100%, I would be able to serve them 100% better.
I guess you could say that I tried to serve too many people. Over time I was helping people in too many things and suffered from overwhelm and clutter.
I Decided to Niche Down Even Further Than I Expected
When I first started in the online entrepreneur space, I wanted an audience that would benefit what I was learning from my professional Marketing background. What I did not expect to feel was my passion for helping bloggers.
I was much happier and had the necessary experience to help bloggers create a profitable blog, rather than generically helping online entrepreneurs get visible and profit online.
It is alright to rebrand and reposition yourself according to your strengths and interests.
Are you niching down and serving the people you are truly passionate about helping?
In Reality, Engagement Never Changed
After the shift and “downsizing,” engagement actually remained the same. Everything I posted was better accepted by members of my community because it was exactly what they were looking for.
In fact, every time more people engaged with my posts, Facebook showed it to more members, which resulted in more absolute engagement. This made me happy and affirmed my decision further.
Are you getting enough engagement? It is not really about the size of your Facebook group, but the engagement inside. It may be time to re-evaluate how valuable your community really is if you aren’t getting the engagement you desire.
That’s precisely why list building is so important actually. It may not be the shiny new thing but it gives you engagement. People are actually opening your emails.
Facebook’s Search Algorithm
So the question remains: Why don’t I just change the name of the group?
When you create a Facebook group, Facebook allows you to change the permalink (aka URL) and email of your group just once. Thus my Facebook groups permalink could no longer be changed. While I am just hypothesizing, I suspect that having “blogging” in my permalink would increase the chances of Facebook sending more people who are interested in blogging to my group.
The same would go for having specific keywords in your Facebook group tags (which you can see below the description on the right sidebar), in your group name and your group description.
Have you properly optimized your Facebook group? Having a well-optimized group would be important in the long-run as your group grows bigger and Facebook sends more people over.
Lessons Learnt: A Summary
Here are the lessons I’ve learnt from closing my Facebook group:
- Make sure you are hosting a community that will actually buy your products and services.
- Have a clear value proposition for your group that is preferably unique when compared to others
- Serve only people you are passionate about serving.
- It is not the number of members that count, but the sense of community and engagement.
- Optimize your Facebook group with the proper keywords so that Facebook will be more likely to send you more interested visitors.
Do join my new one if you’re interesting in growing and monetizing your blog 🙂