Do you want to use Facebook as a tool for building a community or updating your non-profit’s activities? Your natural tendency would probably be to set up a Facebook page, but any novice marketer on Facebook will point out that pages have quite a few drawbacks.
They require a lot of investment, in money and time, to make them worthwhile, and are not favored at all by Facebook’s formidable algorithm. That is, a page post will more often than not receive less promotion than a good regular profile post.
If you are a large organization and have a regular marketing budget, a page may really be what you need. However, there is a much simpler and cheaper way to be active on social media – open a Facebook group.
The main advantage?
The people who advertise in the group are people, that is, personal profiles, not a page. Instead of just posting to your friends, suddenly all members of the group are your potential audience, and in mass groups of thousands of members, your posts can have a much bigger weight than posting on a page with the same number of followers.
But before I share this quick guide on how to set up your own Facebook group, make sure you know:
1. Why are you creating this group?
2. Who would you like to join the group?
3. What do you want them to do when they join the group?
4. Who will lead the group and in what way?
In other words, don’t create a group just to have one.
Set yourself a clear goal, otherwise, all you’ve done is create more work for yourself.
How to create your own Facebook group?
You can create your group using a private Facebook account by going to your Groups area in the sidebar, then selecting the “Create Group” button:
Or through your organization’s Facebook page (if you have one and you want the group to be linked to it) by going to your page and selecting “Create Group” from the drop-down menu that appears when you click on the three dots:
After creating the group, you are given the opportunity to name the group, add your Facebook friends you want to join the group, and select the desired privacy settings.
“Public” mode: “Everyone can see who is in the group and what they are advertising.”
“Private” mode: “Only members can see who is in the group and what they are posting.” But, mind you, you can still find the group using “search” and see who its Admins are. To see the content, one needs to join.
You can also choose to hide the group (Hidden mode) so that only group members can find it, but that means you will have to be friends on Facebook with anyone you want to invite first, and the group will actually have no growth potential at all, without actively adding new members.
Most non-profit Facebook groups are “private” but “visible” to everyone. This way people can find the group, but we need to let them join the group before they can see the content.
Next, create your group by clicking the button, and then you will reach it.
Here you can upload a cover image. The recommended size is 1640 x 856 pixels, but in desktops, the bottom parts are slightly cropped so leave a little space.
You will also want to edit the group settings by selecting the drop-down menu under “More”.
Here you can:
- Change group type (general, buying and selling, games, social learning, jobs or work)
- Update group description
- Add location and tags
- Link to your page if you did not create the group from your page
- Choose background color (for mobile)
- Customize your web address (see below)
- Change privacy and visibility
- Manage participation tags
- Update the parts visible in the sidebar
- Change the way members are approved
- Define questions to ask when someone asks to join
- Change the registry permissions
- Set up keyword alerts to let you know if someone is posting something
By default, the URL for your group will be at facebook.com/groups followed by a string of numbers. So you will want to change the web address to make it easier to share.
Be sure to “save” the new settings before leaving the page.
Now, if you do not manage this group yourself, add administrators who will assist with approval requests and monitoring publications. If you did not invite people when you first created the group, you can invite them now.
In the group sidebar, select the “Members” section. Find the person you want to become a manager (Admin), click on the three buttons next to his information, and select “Make Admin”.
They will need to confirm your invitation to become an Admin.
And now you have a Facebook group!
You can start inviting your supporters or colleagues by email if you are not a Facebook member. Just send them your custom link.
I will share some more ideas on what to do with your Facebook group and how to increase it in the coming days, stay tuned!