Eric asks, “What tips do you suggest for running groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that draw people in, nurture them, educate them with good content, and move them towards purchase?”
Community management is both art and science. The framework I use and advise is the 6C framework:
– Common Interest
With these principles, you’ll run sustainable, high-value groups. Watch the video for full details:
Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.
Listen to the audio here:
- Got a question for You Ask, I’ll Answer? Submit it here!
- Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more useful marketing tips.
- Find older episodes of You Ask, I Answer on my YouTube channel.
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let me know!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
On today’s episode, Eric asks, What tips do you suggest for running groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that draw people in, nurture them, educate them with good content and move them towards purchase? This is a great question. This is not just groups either. This is any form of community management online offline. And there’s a framework for managing groups that it gives you a set of parameters and guidelines about what you should be doing. So let’s bring that up here.
This is the 60 framework and it’s six things that you need to do in order to manage your communities. Well, number one, you need content you need to have value that is in the group that you push there so that people get some benefit from a no one’s going to stick around a group of nothing’s ever happening if there’s nothing of value if there
just purely self promotional material, nobody wants that. And so having great content that you’ve curated that is for solely for the benefit of your community members is super important. Number two is conversation. This is participation. This is getting people who are in your group to participate, to be advocates to be active members so that again, people see some activity, they see
different kinds of conversations that they would want to participate in. One of the most important kinds of conversations is help requests when somebody asks quite a question for help. Having immediate conversations and responses and participation by the group members is absolutely essential. If somebody asks a question and there’s no help there’s no response or answer then
people meet everybody else who’s watching goes Ah, maybe I shouldn’t go here from to ask my questions. Either or worse, if somebody asks a question and they get a negative
response like, Oh, you should already know that, then, of course, it’s going to turn off a whole bunch of people from asking questions. So it’s very much in some ways, like a classroom where you want all the kids to feel comfortable asking the questions, no matter what the question is. And so you want to have that conversation be done in a very civil way. The third is common interest. And again, this is important, especially for public groups, but even private, behind the scenes groups, you want that common interest,
you want people who are there for a reason. So if your group is just,
hey, let’s all hang out and have fun because you are all CMOS and I want to sell you stuff that’s not really a common interest. That’s your common interests. But that’s not the groups so what’s the group’s common interest, what is the thing that that they are there for? And that comes that’s set in the early days of your group. When you the first people join in, what is it that people want? And so you need to serve that common interest. Number four is caring. This is the hardest one for group managers. And you can see
A hint of it in Eric’s question.
Yes the function and purpose of your group ultimately is to help you advance your business but
you can’t go in with a a seller centric attitude. I’m going to get this group of people together here and I’m going to sell them stuff
that comes across in every interaction you have with a group and so
it is extremely risky to have that sort of perspective when you’re running a group because it comes through and people can pick it up people have very good bs detectors online and know when they’re being sold to and unless they are they enjoy it they will they will get out so a key part is is that carrying that that centricity for the customer for from their perspective, what is it that you will do for them without asking anything in return? What is it you will give first without an
expectation of gain. And that’s really hard for, especially for marketers because our job is
we need to get people to express interest in our company’s products and services. If you just can’t do that, or if you are putting metrics like sales metrics against your group, I would advise not doing a group I would advise sticking to more traditional outbound methods of marketing, like you know, advertising where you can just do the broadcast stuff and you will get some response out of that. But if you if you would legitimately do not care for the people who are in your group and treat them as though they were your friends rather than your customers don’t run the group caring is a really really important part and support is a part that’s very difficult to get right if it’s not in your baked into your personality. Number five is connection making sure that the group has connections not to you but to each other fostering and encouraging connection among group because
it groups follow the Metcalf law Alright, so every
Connection every new node to a network increases the value of the overall network or should increase the value of the overall network. Every new person you add to the group should add value, not just to the person in the group, but to everybody else who is within that group as well.
And that is really important because it also means you have to be very, very careful about who you add to your group. One of the worst things you can do particularly in in long sales cycle
markets is to invite your sales team into a group, there’s no faster way to kill it, then to add the guys who are going to start spamming everybody with direct messages. And you’ll blow up your efforts very, very quickly. So you want to maintain connection and you want to be very thoughtful about who you invite into the group.
And I would suggest at least in the early days, not letting other people invite their friends into the group until you’ve got that solid base of people. And that brings us to the last point which is control
I was looking
For a word for policing, but the start that I see is actually a better you need to control the group you need to exert control over up over it specifically for a couple things. Number one is bad actors These are people who they’re going to try and sell their stuff in the group. And spammers are the number one way to kill off a group
they want to sell stuff I have seen more LinkedIn groups you know start up and immediately implode because, you know, a bunch of marketers and sales guys just all showed up and said, Hey, if you need our stuff, and people like come on
and and and they abandoned and they’ve ended
and there are some groups where it’s not they don’t even get the luxury of business related spamming people behaving and appropriately making completely work inappropriate comments to other members and stuff like that. So you need to to moderate the group. aggressively control the behavior that you want for the behavior you want and eliminate the behaviors you don’t want.
Eliminate behaviors that would fall foul of any workplace regulation. Right. So if you have a binder of HR rules guess what your group should adhere to stuff like that and and that again requires your participation requires you to sometimes be the bad cop and and and you you have to do this in order to to make sure that the group thrives I’m in a number of groups there’s some public speakers groups that I’m in that are so well run because the control is
so strong in the beginning and then once the founding members of the group are in and they’ve appointed their ambassadors or their VIP is whoever to help with the moderation now the group is so tightly knit that it police’s itself and when somebody new comes in, if they even start to get outside of the guardrails, everybody jumps and says, hey, yeah, let’s not do that here. That’s that’s not what this group is about and things and and so you want
To foster that bias by setting those boundaries early and enforcing them very strictly in the beginning. So that’s the framework. It’s the 60s content, conversation, common interest, caring, connection and control. If you do all those, well, you stand a much better chance of running a successful group, because it will be for the benefit of the group. And you will get opportunities contextually and appropriately that where you can suggest your company for business, but
you must approach it from the perspective of the group’s interests come before your own if you want your route to be successful in the long term. So great question Eric. Difficult to do very difficult to do because your own instincts as a marketer, like I want to sell your stuff got to suppress that treat it like a group of your of your your friends or your loved ones. Are you drinking buddies, whatever, like if you wouldn’t sell your stuff every waking minute to your drinking buddies, definitely don’t do it in a group.
So as always, please subscribe to the newsletter and to the YouTube channel. I’ll talk to you soon. Take care
if you want help with your company’s data and analytics. Visit Trust Insights calm today and let us know how we can help you.
You might also enjoy:
- How To Set Your Consulting Billing Rates and Fees
- The Power of Analogy in Marketing Communications
- Google Analytics: A Content Marketing Engagement Test
- How to Set Your Public Speaking Fee
- The eCommerce Marketing Technology Stack
Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:
Get your copy of AI For Marketers