When professionals think of social media, they don’t often think about Facebook as an adept networking tool. It’s great to connect with your grandma or to see your college roommate’s new baby, but connecting with like-minded people and engaging in meaningful, productive conversation? Not so much.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Facebook has created Groups that allow people from all over the world to connect with each other about every issue under the sun. Groups range from topics on politics, religion, education, and quite literally millions more. Anyone with a Facebook account can make or join a Group, and settings can be restricted to allow only specific users to join.
If you’re not already using Facebook Groups to engage your learners, members, or employees, here are three tips to get started so your organization can benefit from real-time conversation and collaboration.
- Make sure you have enough content or talking points to get the conversation started. Facebook, like every other social media site, isn’t a “if we build it they will come,” scenario. You have to come equipped with conversation starters that you think your audience will best engage with, rather than content geared toward your own lead generation. This should be a space where your community can openly share ideas and questions with one another. It’s also a great place to reiterate your learning content and curriculum and encourage conversations about content topics.
- Be mindful about who’s invited to join. It may be easier to manage just one Facebook group, but knowing what your audience cares about, and inviting them to join a group and conversation that’s tailored to their specific needs, means that the questions and threads are likely to be much more lively. When your group members know they’re in like-minded company, they’re more likely to share, open up, and engage with others. When they feel like they’re just one in a million, they’re less likely to seek out answers from that group.
- Reward engagement. Building a community is a two-way relationship and once you build a community of like-minded people, your organization should do everything it can to thank those people for their contributions, original ideas and, ultimately, your brand evangelism. Rewarding for engagement can be as simple as a “thank you” on a post by one of your members, or it can be as meaningful as awarding digital badges to your most engaged followers.
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