You’ve found your dream Facebook group: you love the content, it’s completely relevant, and you are totally vibing with the members. You wish you could meet them IRL and have a girls’ night complete with wine and braiding each other’s hair. You want to make your mark and become an integral and respected member. So how do you make your time most meaningful and actually get traction for your business? The key is to be a good participant.
Being a successful Facebook group participant is a lot like being a guest at a party: no matter who invited you and who you know, you want to show up, be real, contribute (enough to be interesting but not obnoxious), listen, and make connections.
The first step is showing up and saying hello. Introduce yourself as a person, not just as a business owner. People connect with people, not businesses. And plan to consistently show up so it’s clear that you are in the group for real connections, not just business opportunities. (Also review the rules - every group has different guidelines for how their members can show up for each other in a relevant and respectful way.)
Are you funny? Great. Are you shy? Great. Are you serious, eccentric, emo, bubbly? Also great. Don’t place pressure on yourself to be someone you’re not because you think it will attract more attention (nothing like social media pressures to spur those old high school insecurities!). Be yourself – your people will find you. Pepperlaner Katie Bourgeois (White Owl Studio) said this about Pepperlane’s Facebook group: “I’m so blessed to have this community of women who get me and can support me as I ride through this wild landscape of business, motherhood and COVID.”
Contribute (but not too much)
We all know a person who talks so much that you can’t get a word in edgewise – it’s a drag. No matter how fascinating this person might be, they eventually turn others off – and in a Facebook group, that can result in posts getting low engagement, comments being ignored, and ultimately opportunities to connect are smothered. Leave space for others to contribute. Depending on the size and purpose of the group, post once a week or once every few weeks. Balance your posts with anecdotes, questions, information/articles, and celebrations. Keep it interesting and genuine, and others will respond.
To show you’re listening in a Facebook group, engaging on others’ posts is critical. Key point here: you should do more engaging on others’ posts than posting yourself. (Once more for the people in the back!) Whether it’s a “like”, “laugh”, “care”, or a comment to give advice or just let them know you empathize, staying present through other’s posts is critical to being a good guest at the party.
Every Arizona needs a Richard*; every Ted needs a Barney. You may not think of yourself as the perfect wing(wo)man, but everyone knows someone. Whether you’re supporting someone’s search with a recommendation or offering to connect two individuals who you think might be aligned, people almost always appreciate hand-picked opportunities to network. Making connections for others is a big win-win: you’re helping others and you stay top of mind in a positive light. Pepperlaner Jen Jones (Connect & Elevate) loves to connect others in the Pepperlane Facebook community group: “It is the best feeling when you are talking with someone and you have the perfect person for them to connect with. It's like fireworks!”
Bonus: Be vulnerable
In a group, the most well-respected and beloved members are those who are occasionally willing to let down their guard and show that they, too, have insecurities and questions. We can relate best to those who are human, so don’t just give advice - ask for it.
We are particularly proud of our private Pepperlane Facebook community group - we know that our members are invested, interested, smart, caring moms who genuinely want to support and lift each other. Want to get in on this phenomenal community of women? Click here!
*This reference was solely to make my BBF (best business friend) laugh - hope it landed with the rest of you, dear readers, but I’m ok if it didn’t. ;)