Part 1 (of a 3 part series)
Whether you haven’t yet tapped in to the beauty that is Facebook groups, or whether you’ve already joined 100 of them, there are likely some things you haven’t heard of or considered that may help to boost your Facebook networking success.
Considering many people out there are using Facebook networking groups incorrectly (and likely complaining about their lack of results), being savvy and using groups to their full potential will automatically put you ahead.
When you’re ready to join some groups on Facebook, consider first asking yourself what specifically you hope to get out of your membership(s).
Good quality groups, when used properly, can drastically increase your visibility (and credibility) with colleagues in your industry, and with potential clients.
Make a list of what you hope to accomplish in the groups you join, so you’ll know which groups are the best fit for you. Consider also how much time you’re willing or able to commit to actually networking in your chosen groups. It’s better to be an engaged member of 5-10 groups than it is to be a disengaged member of 100.
Ready to get started?
Before we get into the nitty gritty, how’s your profile looking? If you haven’t updated it in a while, doing so before you try to join groups is the ideal time. If you are planning to join groups for network marketing reasons, make sure to first:
- Update your work details: does your profile state clearly what your current position is? Would someone who never met you before be able to read your info and understand exactly what you do? If not, time for an update. (Note: if you own a business, you will still have to use your personal profile to participate in groups – a page cannot join a group, so be sure your profile is PR friendly).
- While you’re at it, polish up your profile image. Consider using a professional headshot, or similarly professional looking photo as your first impression. As a group owner, I’ve seen a lot of profile shots of people’s dogs, people in bikinis, people holding up alcoholic drinks, etc. Not overly professional unless you are a dog, own a beach, or sell beer.
- If your profile is public, be careful of what types of images are shared on it. Again, bikini shots and boozy nights are not great first impression makers.
Once you’re ready to find some groups, try the steps below to help you find ones that suit what you’re looking for.
While you’re at it, be sure to join our Connect for Entrepreneurial Women group for more tips, talk and support for all of your social media for business questions!
6 easy ways to find the right groups for your interests:
- Ask your colleagues and even your clients which groups they use and love. Not a bad idea to hang out where your customers are, and friends who travel in your circles are also sure to have some helpful suggestions.
- Give some thought to the types of groups you hope to find and make a list of keywords to search. Then go to your search engine and search “popular Facebook groups” + your keyword. The search results should provide you with a list of groups matching your keyword description.
- Choose a person in your Facebook friends list who has similar interests or a similar job title to yours. Visit that person’s profile page and click “more” on their timeline menu. This will open up a list of categories that allow you to see the person’s interests. Close to the bottom of this list, you’ll see a category called “groups”. Click on groups to see which ones that person belongs to and check out the ones you are interested in.
- Visit a group page you already know of that is in line with your interests. If this group is public, or if you are already a member, you will see a list of similar groups listed in the right hand sidebar of the page. Check out these other group suggestions to find new ones.
- On Facebook, go to the “search” bar at the top of the screen and enter a keyword related to the type of group you hope to find. When search results for that word come up, click the “groups” tab located in the tabs at the top of the page. This should produce a list of groups on Facebook related to your keyword.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s graph search feature by going to the “search” bar at the top of the screen and entering “groups of people who like (your keyword)”. This should also bring up a page of results with groups you can search from.
- On your main Facebook feed, check the left hand column under “groups”. Under the list shown, you will see an option called “new groups”. Clicking this will bring up a list of the most recently created groups which may be of interest to you. Check it periodically to see when new groups are added.
- After completing step 6, and while you’re still in the groups page, be sure to also click on the “suggested groups” tab to see a list of groups handpicked for you based on your interests.
2 bonus quick tips on finding quality groups:
- Once you’re allowed into a group, scroll through the feed to get a feel for how much engagement happens there. If you’re just seeing a long list of advertisements and promos (especially if none of them have any likes or comments), chances are it’s not a good quality group, and members are just using it solely as a classifieds page. Yawwwwn. This might be an ok thing to do in your local newspaper, but the whole point of social media (and Facebook especially) is to be social and engage with others. Little or no participation means any posts you make there will likely get zero attention or eyeballs. Total waste of time, no value.
- Quantity is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Don’t discount the power of a smallish group when choosing which ones you’ll join. A small but mighty, super engaged, tight knit group of 100 may very well bring you more engagement than a huge 1000 person group full of people who don’t interact with each other. Again, check out the feed to get an idea for what it’s like.
With these tips under your belt as you begin to grow your Facebook presence, you’ll have the advantage most group users don’t bother to research! Be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 of the series for more tips on how to network like an experienced pro on Facebook!
We’d love to know which tips from this post you’ve found most useful, and whether you have tips of your own to add. Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how groups are working for you!
Do you run a Facebook group as a part of your business? Check out our step by step tutorial on how to link your Facebook group to your biz page here!