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Facebook Groups: Off-the-Charts Positivity

On Facebook, people can like and comment on the posts they see. You don't see all your friends' posts or the posts of all pages you've liked, but if you're in a Facebook Group, you do get notified about every post and comment from every member. As a result, Group members keep coming back and commenting, liking, and posting. This can create a perpetual motion engagement machine—some groups require more stoking of the conversational fire, but some virtually none. Earlier I talked about how liking leads to more liking, but leading page fans requires more sustained effort, while a Group of a few hundred people can post, like, and comment without your intervention for months on end.

At the end of 2010, I was invited into a very active Group on the topic of social media. It's a secret, invitation-only Group, and its members are opinionated and often inappropriate. If I told you about it, I'd have to kill all my readers, so just take my word for it. This Group currently has almost 9,000 posts and most posts get 15–25 comments. On a typical day, I get about eight notifications from this Group. And I probably comment at least three times a day.

Seeing how sticky (how often people go back to it) this Group was, I started an experiment. I created a Group for horse owners. I don't own a horse, but I knew that this was an affordable ad target and I wanted to see what these horse lovers would do in a Group. I paid $84.77 to bring in about 200 horse owners. Five months later, they had grown their own membership by 45% and made 2,313 posts. In another Group where I am 1 of 813 members, a typical month saw 2,677 posts.

What all Facebook Groups normally share is that their members are extremely enthusiastic. They constantly communicate about their passion, and they help each other with problems. Because of that outlet and the help, they're incredibly grateful for their Groups. If you create a Group for consumers in your niche, you'll have their gratitude, an ear on their conversations, and the ability to insert your own messages whenever you want.

There is a drawback to Groups, however, which is why some people use Facebook pages instead. Only the most enthusiastic folks will welcome that many notifications. Others can get annoyed and leave. Groups are best used for small, super-fanatic purposes, as an add-on to your main Facebook page.

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