How to grow a Facebook Group - without a budget or email list

Wondering how to grow a Facebook Group? No idea how you can get members to join your Facebook Group? I know it can seem undoable (at least, it did to me when I just started out!), and you don't want to be talking to an empty group! And that's why in this blog post I am going to show you how to grow your Facebook Group, without spending any money and without feeling spammy or icky.

I’ve compiled an awesome list of 29 FREE ways to grow your Facebook Group organically! You can also download my Free Checklist on how to grow a Facebook Group, so you can use it while growing your Facebook Group!

Before we dive into how to grow your group, here's what you should keep in mind: Quality is more important than quantity. You want your group to be filled with potential customers, not with just "people". And especially not with spammers.

It's important to know that Facebook will show your posts to only a limited number of people in your group. If it shows the content to people that are not interested in your content (which is likely to happen if your group is filled with people who aren't really interested in what you have to offer), and they don't engage with the post, then Facebook will stop showing that post. And next time you post, it will show your content to even fewer people, because your previous content seemed to be irrelevant for the members. Remember: The size of a group is a vanity metric if you don't have real potential customers in there. I've seen groups with 30,000 members that have WAY less engagement than smaller groups of 300 members.

So the goal of this post is not so much to explain how to grow a Facebook Group, but how to grow a Facebook Group with the RIGHT MEMBERS.

Time to dive in!

How to grow a Facebook Group

1. Send a message to everyone you know who fits your target group. 

You can go through your Linkedin connection list, your Facebook friends, your Facebook business page likes, and your email connections. Find those people who are in your niche and send them a message to tell them about your group. Invite them to join if they think it adds value for them. Make sure to only add people that fit your target audience, because those that do not fit, won’t engage!

2. Ask a few of your friends and family to join your Facebook Group.

This recommendation goes against the recommendation to only fill your group with people who are potential customers, but hear me out. If you feel embarrassed to launch with an empty group, or if having no members is somehow making you stop in your tracks, then by all means, ask a few good friends to join your group, just so you have a small number of people in there who can support you and get the engagement going for you, and others will be more likely to join. They can always leave after a few weeks or months. Make sure to not add them (or anyone, ever) without their permission though.

3. Pick a Facebook Group name that includes keywords.

The Facebook Group names are searchable, and people looking to join a group will search on Facebook for groups that are a good match for them. Think about what your target group would be searching for and add these keywords to your name. So make sure you include the right words in the group name, so people who are looking for you can find you. This is a way to get people to join without the need to promote it. I’ve found that your group can already start showing up in the search results with as little as 30 or 50 members! You can only change your group name once every 28 days, so think before you change the name. Here's an article that will walk you through exactly what a great name is.

4. Create a fabulous group cover.

The fourth way to grow a Facebook Group is by creating a fabulous group cover. How will that help you grow your group? Facebook will suggest your group to people (for example in the right hand column on desktop and under "suggested groups" in the app, and when it does that, it will show your group cover in a list with other groups. So make sure your group cover is attractive, stands out and explains what your group is all about! This, together with the name will help you get more members. Facebook generally doesn't suggest super small groups, but you might as well be prepared for when it starts doing that, because that is when the number of members will skyrocket!

5. Add the group to your personal Facebook profile.

When you engage on Facebook, you usually do it with your personal profile. So make sure that people can easily find your group on your personal profile!
Here are a few ways to do this:

  • First of all, you can add links to your personal profile, right under the featured photos, as you can see on the screenshot below (from my personal profile). You can do this by going to “edit profile”. Then you go to contact info section, where you click “edit”. You will find a social links section, where you can add your Instagram, Pinterest etc and a website section, where you can add the link to your Facebook group. Make sure to save and set the privacy of the links to “public” so everyone can see it.
  • Update your group cover to include your group. Group covers (or Facebook profiles) are not supposed to be used for business, so make sure to keep it subtle.
    Here's what mine looks like:
  • Thirdly, you can add a featured photo to your profile (a photo that is shown at the top of your profile) with the invitation to join your group (see the screenshot from my page below). You can do this by clicking on the featured photos you have right now on your profile and replace one by a picture you create about your group, or by clicking “add featured photo” if you don’t have any featured photos yet. You can then add the link to your group in the description of the photo.
    Here's what the featured photo looks like on my profile:
 

 

 6. Promote your Facebook Group in other Facebook Groups where you can find your target audience.

Some groups have weekly promotional threads where you can promote, some allow you to add links when you answers content. Make sure to follow the rules of the Group though, many Groups only allow you to post your page or group on a weekly thread. Leave your link in the weekly thread. But don't just leave the link, make sure to add a description of who should join your group (and who should NOT), what your group is about and why it is so awesome, and make sure to leave it every week.

Make sure to be specific about where to promote your group, remember: you want perfect group members, not just anyone in your group!

7. Create awesome content that is exclusive to your group. 

Now I can hear you ask: how does adding awesome to a group with no members make the number of members grow? Well, because the few members in your group will share your content if its super relevant, and because they will start talking about your group, if it’s relevant. And that’s how awesome content will grow your group, indirectly.

8. Help people out and mention your group in relevant threads in other Facebook groups.

If you'd ask me how to grow a Facebook Group, then I would say this one is a HUGE help in growing your group: helping other people and inviting them to your group. Let’s say you run a Facebook group about overcoming depression and you are in another group which is about business, and one of the members is talking about her depression and asking for tips on how to deal with depression. This would be a good moment to invite her to join your group and explain what the group can bring her. It’s important that when you do it, it should be natural, and appropriate. Next to the person who posted the question being invited, it might also make other people who are commenting on the post join your group.

9. Add the link to your Facebook Group on your Facebook business page.

Adding the link to your business page is a great way to grow a Facebook Group. You can do this in a few ways. First of all you can add a tab “groups” to the menu of your Facebook page. You can do this by going to your page > page settings > edit page > tabs:

You can also create a button “join group” at the top of your Business Page, which directly sends people to your group.

10. Use an awesome Facebook Group description. 

Once people find your group, they will read the description (see the picture above) to decide whether it is for them. So make sure you write a convincing description, that tells them for who the group is, what your group is about and how they can benefit from it. For example, if you are a cake decorating group, tell them that this group is for sharing recipes, learning how to decorate and sharing product reviews (if that’s what your goal is, of course). Also make sure to explain the rules and who the group is NOT for, to keep out people that are not your target customer (quality over quantity!)

11. Write a post on your Facebook page about your Group and turn that into an announcement (sticky post)

. You can do this by clicking on the 3 little dots in the right hand corner of your post and then click “pin to top of page”. You can also add a public post to your Facebook profile that invites people to join your group.

12. Tweet about your group and pin that tweet to the top of your twitter profile.

I still need to do that, actually! Here is how you do it: first send out the tweet and then click the little arrow in the upper right hand side of the tweet and click “pin to your profile page”. This will make the tweet stick to the top of your profile page.

13. Add a link to the group to your twitter bio.

You can do this in 2 ways: add a short URL to you bio description, or add the group as your link. Both can be done by going to “edit profile” on your profile page. You can see the 2 options in the picture below, I only added the group to my profile description as a short URL, because I wanted my link to go to my website. Unfortunately you can only add 1 real link to your twitter profile.

14. Add the link to your group to your Instagram bio with a clear call to action.

You can use linktree to add various links to your instagram profile. Invite people to join your group in your bio. This is one of the main ways how people are finding my new group today.

How to grow a Facebook Group 15. Message new followers on Social Media and invite them to your group. 

On most platforms, you have the option to DM new followers. Explain what your group is about, whom it is for and why it is so great, and invite them to join. I do this on Instagram, and it works really well. The key is to create a message that is super targeted, so the right followers will find your message valuable and they will join. 

What I do NOT recommend, is that you automatically add new friends or new followers of your Facebook Page to your group. You should never do that, you want to invite people, explain what the group is about, and then let them decide. Also, on Facebook, there's a lot of spamming going on in DM, so I personally don't use DM on Facebook that much compared to on Instagram.

Soooo, we are half way through this list of how to grow a Facebook Group! Are you still with me? I hope you've found a few ways that you can easily implement. And the good news is, we have 14 more ideas on how to grow a Facebook Group. Here we go:

16. Create a Pinterest board around your group topic and add the link to your group board description.

And make sure to add your group link to your profile description too.

17. Create a Pin that links to your group 

Create a Pin that promotes your Facebook Group and add it to the board you create about your topic, as well as to other Pinterest Boards, preferably group boards, if you joined any.

18. Write a blog post about your group 

This is of course mainly relevant if you have an existing blog with some traffic to it) and share the blog posts on all your social media channels.

Also mention your Facebook Group at the end of all your blog posts.

19. Add a link to your Facebook Group on your website. 

Here are a few ways to do it: 1. add it to the main navigation, for example by adding an item “community” that links to the Facebook group. 2. add a section to your homepage that talks about your group and links to it. 3. add the group to your resources page (this is a page with useful links for your target audience). Another to do for me!

How to grow a Facebook Group 20. Add the group to your email signature,

Add your link to your Facebook Group to your email signature, so anyone who receives your emails is asked to join your group! This can be your regular emails and also your marketing emails that go out to your email list.

 

21. Ask members to invite people they know who could benefit from the group. 

You can do this by asking them personally, or by holding a contest with a little prize for the person who brings in the most new members.

22. Give away unique content that is only accessible in the group. 

You could for example do a Facebook live in your group and promote this Facebook live in other groups (if allowed). People can only see the Facebook live by joining your group.

23. Add a link to the group to the Thank You page of your website. 

This could be the page where they download your freebie, or where they purchase from you, or book a call. This is an excellent time to invite them to your group, since they have a keen interest in your offer at that moment.

24. Add a link to the thank you page of your newsletter subscription (and of course to all your newsletters).

Although I wrote this article on how to grow a Facebook Group, I've only recently added my group to the thank you page of my freebie (the one you can download from this page). Everyone who downloads my freebie will now get invited to join my group. This gives me a steady trickle of new group members, totally on auto-pilot. So this is definitely a way to grow your Facebook group that works!

How to grow a Facebook Group 25. Find a Facebook group with a similar audience to your audience but a different goal (so non-competing) and team up with the owner.

For example, if you sell baby toys, it could be a group on baby clothes. Get in touch with the owner and see whether you can promote each other’s groups. Or ask the owner to do a guest Facebook live in your group. You can then repurpose that video on Youtube and link the Youtube video to the group.

26. Share your group at the end of your Youtube videos and Facebook lives.

27. Offer free help in other groups, that is only available in your group. 

This is similar to creating content that's only available in your group, but this time it's a mini service that's only available for members of your group. For example, “join my group for a free review of your social media channel”.

28. Add the group to your marketing materials (online and offline)

Bonus: in the end, I’ve found that the best way to grow your group is to build relationships and offer value and then mention that you have a group. This method takes time, but because you’ve already created a relationship, you will have more engaged, more enthusiastic group members, which helps make the entire group a bigger success!

That's it, how to grow a Facebook Group, without a budget and without an email list! 

Ready to take massive action with your Facebook Group? You can now enroll in Whoop Whoop Facebook Group, the course to help you grow an engaged and profitable Facebook Group, the ethical and non-salesy way!

 

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