Recently a friend of mine added me to a short-term Facebook Group that existed to fundraise for a cause close to her heart. The premise of the group was to promote product sales with the profits donated to a specific charity. Normally I hate it when people add me to a Group without asking me, ESPECIALLY when it’s for product sales. However, this Facebook Group was for a cause near and dear to my friends and for a product I actually use and enjoy, so I didn’t immediately leave.
At first I just scrolled past the posts from the Group. Once or twice I chimed in if I felt like it, but mainly I was just not leaving in order to not hurt my friends’ feelings…because it was about the cause. Then one day I looked at this Group in a totally different way.
This Facebook Group was Active
The owner of the Group was very active. She was posting several times a day, with branded content. And it was working. People were engaging with the content. Yes, partly because of the cause, but also because it was cool, fun content (a factor of the product). If you want to increase engagement in a Group, you need to keep posting the type of content your members want to see and interact with. If you don’t know what that is, figure it out or close the Group. For ideas on what to do, keep reading.
Daily Morning Wake Up Messages
Every morning, without fail, the owner posted a “Good morning” message, with a picture of the product, somehow in relation to coffee. Every morning I looked at Facebook and saw a beautiful image of a product I already enjoy and was reminded just how nice it looks, and how much I enjoy using it. There was always a “Question of the Day” to get the conversation started, too.
Useful Graphic Content
Every day the owner of the Facebook Group posted some kind of useful information related to the product she was selling. Tips for application, tips for colour coordination, tips for maintenance, tips for removal, etc. All of this information was relevant to me as someone who already uses and enjoys the product. Be useful! Or as Jay Baer says “Be YOUseful”.
This is what really struck me as brilliant. Every evening, about the time one would expect most mothers of young children have the rest of the evening to themselves, a post would pop up with a fun, brand relevant game. The games were very easy and all you had to do, often, was comment. Sometimes you might have to refer to a product catalogue or google something, but generally not. Every game was built around images of the product. For example, one game was “Guess which drink this collage represents”. It featured a colour-appropriate collection from the product line, with matching clothing, home decor, or destinations. On Mother’s Day we were encouraged to use a product name from the catalogue to describe our Mom.
At the outset, the Facebook Group owner announced there would be prizes for participation in the Group. Points would be awarded based on participation and, of course, orders (it is a fundraiser after all). At the end of the stated fundraiser, the person with the most points would win a nice prize. People will do a lot to win small prizes if it’s a product they know and love already.
Say Thank You
Customers were appreciated with great graphics and heartfelt messages of gratitude for supporting the fundraiser. Not only does this make your customers feel good, it shows that people are actually buying, making others want to be part of the “in crowd”, too.
Friends Recruit Friends to Join the Facebook Group
Back to the part where I was added to the Group without being asked…This is one of Facebook’s most hated features. People don’t like to be added to a Group, generally speaking, so don’t make the recruitment part based on numbers. Don’t ask people to recruit all their friends, or certain numbers of friends. Ensure you explain to your members the type of person you’re looking to join the group and encourage them to be selective in who they invite or add to the Facebook Group. The last thing you want is to have a bunch of cranky people posting cranky messages. Consider asking your members to invite friends with a link to the Facebook Group, rather than automatically adding them. You may get fewer people, but the ones to join are more likely to be engaged.