I was asked this question in my Facebook group (Secrets To Publishing A Book) yesterday. “Crikey Di, where do you find all these new members? You pulling then off the street with a big hook or what?”
I started this group in December 2013 and it is now sitting at over 1600 members. So where are they all coming from? The truth is I cannot really tell you because I have no way of tracking the exact statistics. Facebook does not give me access to that information.
What I do know is that the processes I have put into place are contributing to the growth of the group.
My primary focus is driving traffic to my main business website but in order to do that I have to focus on social media. So the focus is two-fold. Drive traffic to my website AND drive traffic to my Facebook group so that they can go back to my website.
This list below focuses on the driving of traffic specifically to my Facebook page.
Share the group with your friends. When I started the group I shared it on my personal profile on Facebook and invited them to join. When they joined the group, Facebook shows their latest activity to their friends. Some people joined the group because they saw that their friends had joined.
Paid Advertising. I ran a few Facebook adverts in the beginning that were focused on my target market i.e. writers that wanted to publish a book.
Tagging new members. When I accept people into the group, I write a welcome post and tag the new members. By tagging them, Facebook sends them a notification, so they are reminded that they joined the group. It brings them back to the group and gets them engaged. When they get accepted into the group Facebook sometimes shows that activity on their time line and their friends can see it. That increases your chances of their friends joining too.
Tagging the group in personal posts. Sometimes I will post something on my personal profile and then tag my group. That allows people to see the group details when they hover their mouse over the link. They can join at that stage without actually going into the group to join.
Social Media Icons on your website. Although your primary focus should always be on driving traffic to your website, it is critical that you have social media icons linking to your various social media accounts. This helps you build up social proof that you are a legitimate business or person.
Links in your books. All my books that are published on Amazon have links back to my website. At the beginning of each book is a note that the reader can download a free report on my site. Once they have signed up for the free report, they get taken to a ‘Thank You” page.
Links in your Information Products. All my information products that I release in pdf format have links back to my website and Facebook group. I use the same principle as for the Amazon books by sending them to a “Thank You” page after they have signed up for the free gift. Sign up for “12 Steps to Self-Publishing Success” here to see how the process works (http://secretstopublishingabook.com).
Use a “Thank You Page” On my Thank You page I have a link back to the Facebook group. I list the steps that the reader should follow sequentially. I find this works really well if you give people definitive steps to follow. See this example here: http://secretstopublishingabook.com/thank/.
Use Blog Posts to Link to Your Group. All my blog posts have a link to my Facebook group. Take a look at the bottom of this blog post to see what I mean.
Use Forum Signatures. There is one major marketing forum that I visit. My signature in that forum has a link to both the free report and a link to my Facebook group.
Other Social Media. All my other social media accounts have links back to my website and Facebook group. My primary focus in terms of social media is on Facebook because a lot of my target market spend a lot of time there.
Links in my newsletter. I send out newsletters to my list that I have built up using Aweber. Each newsletter has a link back to my website and more specifically back to the free report. I often reference blog posts or threads in my Facebook group with links. When people click on those links they get taken to my group. In order to read the posts on the group, they have to join.
Give away random freebies. I often create useful tools for my group members and give them away in the group. I then post about it on my personal profile and link to the group. In order for someone to get the free gift, they have to be a member of the group.
Use the power of collaboration. We can never know it all, so I often share the links to other groups that I feel would be useful for my group members. Other group admins will do the same for me. By leveraging off each other’s successful groups, all members benefit and groups grow.
This has been a very brief overview of some of the steps that I follow to grow my Facebook group. I hope that it has helped you.
What other suggestions do you have? I would love to hear them.
Diana Heuser specialises in e-Business and Publishing Resources for Authors. Connect with Diana Heuser on her business website, via Twitter @DianaHeuser or on Google+. Join our fabulous free Group “Secrets To Publishing A Book on Facebook”. You will find it interesting. Request to join here.