THE 411 ON BUILDING AND BRANDING A FACEBOOK GROUP WITH HEATHER CRABTREE

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Keeping up with all of our social media sites can be overwhelming! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn….where does it end?! It’s especially tricky trying to navigate the social media world as a business owner, or as anyone passionate about engaging with others over a common interest. Here to lend you a helping hand is Heather Crabtree, business coach and Facebook extraordinaire! Read on for her secrets and handy tips and tricks that may just send you down the path to your next big idea!

“Do you want to gather people with similar interests but don’t have time to create or attend another networking event? What if I told you that meeting and learning from others is as easy as logging onto Facebook. Specifically, I am talking all about Facebook Groups.

Maybe you are a member of Facebook groups, or maybe you have never joined one, or maybe you just didn’t really know they existed or what they were used for. Today, I am here to give you 10 tips on how to create and authentically grow your Facebook group.

1. Pick a name and topic that you know a lot about and want to share. For example, I am a business coach for creative entrepreneurs, so I wanted to create a Facebook group community centered around female business owners that wanted to be savvy business owners…hence, “Savvy Business Owners.”

2. Determine how people will find out about your group. When I started the group last fall, I invited other women business owners that I had met or known. But the growth of the group has come from having people sign up for my weekly FUNmail (newsletter signup at heathercrabtree.com/join), which gives them access to a free tutorial on my website called “7 Keys to Streamlining Your Business.” They also receive access to my private Facebook group, Savvy Business Owners (SBO).

3. Set guidelines. People need guidance, and as you grow your Facebook group, you will need to have guidelines.

These are the current guidelines for the SBO group:

SHARE: Share your successes and failures, tips and tricks, and resources. Please don’t continually only promote yourself or business.

ASK: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. More than likely, someone else has your same question.

BE NICE: Rude comments or continual negative attitudes will not be tolerated. It doesn’t mean you can’t be real and things will always be rainbows and unicorns, but share the bad only if you follow up with a lesson learned or a good example.

SUPPORT OTHERS: If you support them, they will support you. Give back.

NO PROMOS ONLY: If you are here just to promote your services or products and not to give back or share, you should not be a member of this community. People who are continually self-promoting without giving back will be considered spammers and be removed.

This community is hosted by me, Heather Crabtree, and we also have Savvy Business Owner Ambassadors. We will be here to support, motivate and uplift everyone. We will be sharing updates on webinars and retreats, and I will be sharing some of my services and products from time to time, which you will be the first to know about.

SPECIAL DAILY PROMPTS:

Motivation Monday

Share & Care Tuesday

Wednesday Weekly Mixer

Thursday Talk

Fist Bump Friday

4. Engage. You need to engage with the members in order for the group to respond and grow. When you have an active group, more people want to join.

5. Provide structure. As seen above, we have daily prompts that either I or one of the Savvy Business Owner Ambassadors post. This keeps the group engaged and they know what to expect.

6. Involve as many people as possible. Recently, I said I was looking for Savvy Business Owner Ambassadors in the group. The group had grown from 50 in November 2014 to over 2,700 members (and increasing by about 100 people a week), and I didn’t want to be the only one leading it. I had a huge response and decided to choose seven ambassadors to help with the weekly prompts. It gives them a leadership role within the group and creates a team atmosphere.

7. Show you care. This one goes back to number four, but it goes beyond just engaging. You have to care about the group and listen to them. Ask what they need, what they want, and what they would like to see more of–and then you need to deliver.

8. DO NOT add in people unless they have asked to join. Auto-add is not cool. Don’t just start adding people so your group looks like it is growing. In order for it to actually grow authentically, people should want to be there. If a member is adding people, you need to make sure that they are only adding people that really fit within the group and that the new members are okay with it.

9. Make it about your members, not about you. Make sure you are giving value to the group. Constant self-promotion is lame…for members and for you.

10. Share it. Don’t keep your group a secret. Share it everywhere…Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and your newsletter. You don’t want to over-promote it, but let others know about it. And you can even use a hashtag for the group like #savvybusinessowner.

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Okay, so now that I have shared my “10 Tips on How to Create and Authentically Grow Your Facebook Group,” I thought I would also share some other groups that I think are absolutely amazing (and most of the group leaders are also members of the Savvy Business Owners!).

1. Are you launching a program, a course, a website…anything for your business? Farideh’s Launch Warriors group is for you. I actually even hired Farideh to help me launch my latest online course, “Streamline with Systems,” and it was a huge success!

2. Ashley Beaudin is the leader of #fireworkpeople. This group is a community for creatives, dreamers, and entrepreneurs who want to change the world.

3. Creative Biz Owners, hosted by Caitlin Bacher of Little Farm Media, is another fab group. Caitlin helps business owners craft a personalized social media plan, and there is a lot of social media talk in her group, but it really is so much more than just social media.

4. Magical Business Academy Playground by Gena and Jordana, is full of a lot of glitter and unicorns. It is full of really engaging leaders and business owners. With over 3,400 members, you know they have to be doing things right!

5. My friend, Leah Kalamakis, runs The Freelance to Freedom Project group. If you are a freelancer, you want to make sure to sign up. Leah has special post days like Tweet Tuesdays, Blog Post Thursdays, and Promo Fridays.”

What are your social media struggles? What do you think is the hardest part about being a business owner?! What about the best part?

NAME: Heather Crabtree

AGE: 37

LOCATION: Phoenix, Arizona

ONLINE: www.heathercrabtree.com & www.streamlinewithsystems.com

TITLE: Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs

INSTAGRAM: @heathercrabtree

FACEBOOK GROUP: www.heathercrabtree.com/join

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Amy & Jordan Photography

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    • This is so useful – I’ve wanted to join and engage with new groups for a while now, and this has given me added impetus. Thank you! With Facebook limiting business use so much, groups are really a great way to network and to provide value in a way that can help word of our businesses to spread. I’ve joined!

    • Pingback: the power of using groups in social media - A Fresh Start on a Budget()

    • I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own facebook group. I think you’ve inspired me to just go for it!

      Sweet Horizon

    • Enjoy London

      Thank you for share I have the idea to start my own group as well these tips were so helpfull