Updated January 2024.
A Facebook Group is a powerful tool for building a community and promoting your brand. But if you’re asking yourself how to grow a Facebook Group with little or no money, you’ve come to the right place.
After the Facebook algorithm update that deprioritized brand content several years ago, Groups have become even more important for connecting with your followers. Growing a Facebook Group from scratch can be a daunting task, though, especially if you don’t have a budget for paid advertising.
But don’t worry, because it’s absolutely possible to build a thriving Group without spending a dollar!
Whether you’re a small business owner, a marketer or a community manager, these tips will help you increase your Group’s visibility, engagement and member base. We’ll show you how to grow a Facebook Group from 0 to 10,000 members using proven strategies that don’t require any money.
Single Grain enables us to increase our impact without increasing our headcount
What Specifically Is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook Group is a place where an online community can come together to engage on a shared interest, whether that’s a cause, an issue or an activity. A Group is not the same as a Facebook Page (aka Facebook Business Pages), which was designed to be the official Facebook presence for brands, business and celebrities.
Alternatively, you could join a The Crown Facebook Group to chat about what’s happening on the show with fellow fans:
There’s one other key difference. Whereas Facebook Pages are automatically public, meaning that anyone can see them, Groups can be set up in one of three ways:
- Publicly Available: Anyone can join.
- Administrator Approval: The Facebook Group admin reviews applications to join and decides whether or not to approve them.
- Private Group: Group membership is by invitation only.
The Benefits of a Facebook Group Page
You might already be posting regularly on LinkedIn and other social networks, alongside a host of paid and organic search activity. So, what’s so special about having a Facebook Group? Why should you be paying attention?
Since Facebook tweaked its algorithm a few years ago to promote more social media posts from family and friends and less commercial content, the reach of organic posts from businesses became more limited. This forced brands to choose between investing more money in Facebook Ads or building a vibrant Group to continue reaching their target audience on the platform.
Here are the top benefits of having a Facebook Group:
- Generates Better Engagement: Facebook Groups have far better engagement than fan pages and can create an active community centered on your products or services. They can be professionally focused, hyper-locational, service-based or related to your hobbies and interests.
- Helps You Connect With People Sharing Similar Interests: Facebook Groups are created around specific topics, niches, hobbies, industries or causes that might not have a large presence on other social media platforms. By joining or creating a Group, you’re likely to encounter individuals who are experts, enthusiasts or professionals in the field.
- Makes It Easier for You to Share Important Announcements: Group posts often appear prominently in members’ feeds, increasing the likelihood of your announcement being seen. Besides, announcements within the Group don’t get lost in the noise of a general feed. Group members are more likely to pay attention to content that’s relevant to their interests.
- Helps You Get Quick Feedback: Facebook Groups foster open communication and encourage members to share their opinions. They also let you create polls and surveys to collect structured feedback. Polls are quick and easy for members to respond to, making them a useful tool for gathering insights.
- Offers Networking Opportunities: Groups can serve as virtual networking events. You can connect with professionals, experts and peers in your industry or field. Networking opportunities within a Group can lead to collaborations, partnerships and even job opportunities.
- Helps You Create a Fan Base: As you engage with new Group members and consistently provide valuable content, you can attract a loyal following. These enthusiastic members can become your advocates, spreading the word about your brand or content and contributing to the growth of your fan base.
- Enhances Visibility for Your Content: Facebook’s algorithm tends to prioritize content from Groups in users’ news feeds. This means that posts from Groups are more likely to appear prominently in members’ feeds compared to posts from personal profiles or Pages. Also, since Facebook Group members have joined the Group based on shared interests, the algorithm considers Group content as highly relevant to them.
- Builds Brand Loyalty: Creating a Facebook Group centered on your brand or product gives your customers and followers a dedicated space to connect, share and interact. In a Group, you can also interact with members on a more personal level compared to public posts. Responding to comments, addressing questions and acknowledging members’ contributions humanizes your brand and builds a stronger connection.
Eager to make your Facebook Group the talk of the town on social media? Single Grain’s social media growth experts can help!👇
11 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Group
So, you’ve put in the hard work. You’ve figured out what you’re trying to achieve, you’ve got the time and resources to make it happen, and you’ve drawn up a clear set of guidelines.
Now, let’s discuss the best tips on how to grow your Facebook Group.
Give People a Compelling Reason to Join
Wondering how to grow your Facebook Group fast? Here are some excellent ways to create a compelling reason for users to join your Group:
- Use the “About” Section: This can help explain exactly what makes your Group so great. Detail the Group’s purpose, the sort of Group posts they can expect to see and the kind of experience that users can expect. You’ve only got 3,000 characters to play with, so use them wisely.
- Give Users an Incentive to Sign Up: We’re not saying you have to give away a discount code or free shipping the second they join, but you should outline your value proposition. For example, let them know if you run weekly giveaways, competitions and promotions that are exclusive to Group members, or promise to give them the first look at your upcoming product launches.
- Pick an Engaging Theme for Your Group: It should be something that people will want to talk about with other like-minded people. Take a leaf out of social media maven Sunny Lenarduzzi’s book; she has several Groups are based on topics that are relevant and interesting to her audience:
Encourage Engagement and Interaction
A pretty easy way to grow your Facebook Group is to foster the community spirit by encouraging engagement! Sounds easy, but if you’re hard up for how to do this, check out these tips:
- Respond to Comments Promptly: Make it a point to actively respond to member comments. This shows that you value their input and encourages a two-way conversation. Personalize your responses to make members feel acknowledged.
- Seek and Act on Feedback: Regularly ask members for their thoughts on how the group is run, potential topics for discussion, or types of content they’d like to see. Use surveys or polls for structured feedback and demonstrate that you’re implementing suggestions, which can increase members’ sense of ownership and investment in the group.
- Create Interactive Posts: Design posts that invite interaction, such as “fill in the blank” posts, opinion polls, or asking members to share their experiences or tips related to the group’s theme. Use photos, videos, or infographics to make these posts more engaging.
- Implement Themed Days: Establish regular themed days like “Motivation Monday” or “Fun Fact Friday” to create a predictable and engaging routine. Encourage members to contribute their own content on these days, fostering a collaborative environment.
- Host Q&A Sessions: Schedule live Q&A sessions where members can ask questions either in advance or in real-time. These could be open forums or centered around specific topics. Consider inviting guest experts for these sessions to add value and variety.
- Member Spotlights: Regularly feature members in the group. This could be highlighting their achievements, sharing their stories, or showcasing their contributions to the group. Member spotlights not only engage the featured members but can also inspire others to participate more actively.
- Regularly Update Group Content: Keep the group fresh and interesting by updating pinned posts, changing the group cover photo, or introducing new discussion topics. This shows that the group is actively managed and keeps the environment dynamic.
Inform Your Existing Audience
Unless you’re a completely new brand, you’ll already have some sort of audience, whether that includes visitors to your website, previous and prospective customers, subscribers to your newsletter or readers of your blog.
Let them know that your Facebook Group exists:
- Mention it in email blasts. Many Facebook Groups adopt this strategy to cross-promote and encourage users to join them. Highlight what new subscribers can gain from joining the group. For example, digital graphics service Bannersnack created an FB Group to connect with its clients and then promoted the Group through email newsletters like this one:
- Announce it on your website and personal Facebook account. This can be through banner ads, pop-ups invitations, or dedicated blog posts about the group. Don’t forget to provide the Facebook Group link!
- Drop a call to action into your blog posts. (For example, “Like what you read? Be the first to know about our latest guides by joining our Facebook Group.”)
- Share your message on various social media platforms where your target audience is likely to be active. Tailor the message to fit each platform’s style and audience.
- Word of mouth. Encourage friends, family, and colleagues to spread the word. Personal recommendations can be very persuasive.
Get in Front of New Audiences
While there’s certainly value in building a tight-knit community of people who are long-time followers of your brand, chances are you’ll also want to attract users who aren’t so familiar with you.
Here are a couple of our favorite tried-and-trusted ways to promote your Facebook Group:
- Guest Blogging: Reach out to a website owner with a relevant audience and offer to write about a topic that would interest them — in return for mentioning (and, ideally, linking to) your Group.
- Offer Yourself Up as an Interviewee: Ask people to interview you (or some other figurehead for your business) on their blog or podcast. You don’t need to be a big name; you just have to have something interesting to say. Just be sure to mention your Facebook Group.
- Create Webinar Content for Group Members: Offer your members exclusive access to a webinar. Promote it outside the Group — in your newsletters and via your other social profiles — to get the word out. For bonus amplification, get a co-presenter on board and ask them to promote it to their audience, too.
- Reach Out to Influencers: Identify people with large, engaged followings who operate in the same space as you and ask them to promote your Facebook Group. While you’ll almost certainly need to give them a reason to do so, this doesn’t necessarily mean paying them. If your content is of high quality and genuinely unique, there’s a much better chance that influencers will be prepared to recommend you.
- Cross-Promote on Other Facebook Groups: Use your existing audience (Facebook Page followers, blog readers, video viewers) and promote on other social media platforms, personal networks, and through guest blogging, influencer outreach, interviews, and podcasts.
These approaches can be really effective, but there are no guarantees that people will say yes. If you ask 100 people to guest post or interview for them, maybe only five to 10 will agree. Don’t take it personally; instead, keep going. Eventually, the numbers will pay off for you.
Use Facebook Group Features
Take advantage of Facebook’s tools like group descriptions, tags, pinned posts, and topic organization. Enhance the member experience with features like polls, live videos, and events.
Here’s an elaboration on how to make the most of these features:
- Add Tags: Select relevant tags for your group to help potential members find your community when they search for specific topics on Facebook. Regularly update these tags to reflect the evolving focus and discussions within the group.
- Pin Posts: Use pinned posts to highlight important information, such as rules for the Group, upcoming events, or featured discussions. Update the pinned post regularly to keep the content fresh and relevant.
- Organize by Topic: Categorize posts into topics to keep the group organized and help members easily find content that interests them. Encourage members to tag their posts appropriately.
- Conduct Polls: Create polls to gather opinions, preferences, or feedback from group members. This not only engages members but also provides valuable insights. Use poll results to shape future content and activities in the group.
Use Facebook Live to Drive Visibility
As its name suggests (and as you probably already know), Facebook Live allows you to broadcast live video to a Group or Facebook Page. Seeing as we’re trying to grow your Facebook Group faster, you’ll want to go live from your Page.
Struggling for a topic for your video? Draw inspiration from the news and trends affecting your audience.
Let’s say you’re running a marketing agency. Create a video to cover your reaction to a big development in the industry, such as an algorithm update by Google or the launch of a new feature by Facebook. If it makes for a good blog topic, chances are it’ll make for a good video.
Write down some talking points, do a couple of rehearsals and give it a go. We’ve found it’s often easier (and less intimidating) if you stage the video as a discussion with a colleague or a fellow expert.
Here are some tips on how to grow a Facebook Group with Facebook Live:
- Regular Live Streaming Sessions: Host live streams regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) to establish a routine that your audience can look forward to. Announce upcoming live streams in your group and on other platforms to build anticipation and ensure a good turnout.
- Engage with Your Audience: Use the live sessions for Q&A, discussions on topics relevant to your group’s theme, or to address members’ questions and comments in real-time. This interaction increases engagement and value for viewers. Acknowledge viewers by name, respond to their comments, and make them feel seen and valued.
- Provide Exclusive Content: Offer content in your live streams that isn’t available elsewhere, like exclusive tips, insider information, or early announcements. Invite guest speakers or influencers relevant to your group’s niche to join your live streams, which can attract their followers to your group.
To go live from a phone or tablet, just follow these simple steps:
Whatever topic you choose, remember to mention your Facebook Group and encourage viewers to join for exclusive video content (and more).
Collaborate With Influencers
Partnering with relevant influencers is another great way to grow your Facebook Group and reach a wider audience.
Look for micro influencers who are active in your niche and have an engaged and relevant audience. Check their social media platforms, content quality, engagement rates and alignment with your Group’s focus.
Understand the demographics, interests and preferences of the influencer’s social media followers. Ensure that their audience aligns with your target Facebook Group members.
Suggest collaboration ideas that suit the influencer’s strengths and content style. This could involve a live Q&A session, a guest post, a webinar or hosting a themed discussion. Emphasize how the collaboration can benefit both parties. It’s not just about your Facebook Group; explain how their involvement can help them connect with a new audience.
Discuss the specifics of the collaboration, including content format, date, time and any compensation, if applicable. Also, offer any necessary information, guidelines and resources that the influencer might need for their contribution.
Finally, when the collaboration goes live, promote it across your social media channels and within the Facebook Group.
Use SEO to Drive Traffic from Search to Your Facebook Group
SEO is another powerful tool when it comes to growing your Facebook Group. By optimizing your website to rank for certain related keywords, you can capture that traffic and redirect it to your Group.
For example, if you run a paleo Facebook Group, work on ranking for “paleo diet recipes” on Google. Then use a pop-up on your website landing page to direct those blog visitors to your related Facebook Group.
Here’s a brief guide on how to leverage SEO to drive traffic to your Group:
- Identify Relevant Keywords: Find keywords related to your group’s theme. For a paleo Facebook Group, keywords might include “paleo diet recipes,” “paleo diet tips,” or “paleo lifestyle advice.” Use SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs to research and select the most effective keywords.
- Optimize Website Content: Create high-quality, informative content around these keywords. This could be blog posts, articles, infographics, or videos. Ensure that your content is engaging, provides value, and is optimized for search engines (using the selected keywords naturally in the text, meta titles, descriptions, etc.).
- Create a Direct Path to Your Facebook Group: Once visitors land on your website, guide them towards your Facebook Group. Use clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs), like pop-ups, banners, or dedicated sections in your content, encouraging visitors to join your group for more information, exclusive content, or community discussions.
- Leverage Internal and External Links: Internally link to the pages with these CTAs from other parts of your website to increase their visibility. Gain backlinks to these pages from other reputable websites to improve their search engine ranking.
Use Other Groups for Cross-Promotion
Ask your members who else should be in the Group and incentivize them to bring in new members by offering them a free e-book, a place on an exclusive webinar or even some type of promo code. This can be particularly effective when your members are in other relevant Groups, providing them with an easy platform to promote your Facebook Group.
A word of caution here, though: While some Facebook Group owners will be more than happy for you to engage in a bit of cross-promotion, others will frown on it and might even kick you out. They’re well within their rights to do this; it’s their Group and their rules.
Do what we do: Reach out to admins before you try to coax their members into your Facebook Group. Good manners cost nothing. Ask really nicely, and some admins might even be willing to pin your promotional post for a day or so, guaranteeing you plenty of visibility.
Spread the Word Through Social
While your potential members obviously have Facebook profiles, chances are they’ll also be active on other social media platforms. Encourage your existing members to link to your Facebook Group on other (relevant) social networks:
As with the previous step, you might want to incentivize them to do this. But if your Group is genuinely useful, funny or interesting (or even all three), it should simply make sense for members to reference it in their conversations on other platforms.
Say your Facebook Group is dedicated to curating the best Indian food recipes … why wouldn’t your members want to link to it if they come across a similar discussion on a different site?
Bonus: Use Your Facebook Group to Quickly Grow Your Email List
Basically, you can ask folks any number of questions when they first join your Group, including this magic question:
“If you’d like to join our email newsletter to stay in the loop, what’s your email address? We’ll send you occasional, educational content on [Group topic].”
You’ll find that a portion of new members will happily give your email list a try. To set this up, you can use software like Group Collector to automatically sync emails from your Facebook Group into your email marketing platform:
Just want someone else to do all the hard work for you? Single Grain’s social media growth experts can help!👇
How Do I Set Facebook Group Rules?
The best Groups have clear guidelines in place about how they operate. This sets user expectations from the moment they join and keeps things running smoothly (as long as Group admins enforce them).
Again, this might sound obvious, but we’ve seen plenty of Groups that don’t do this — and they rarely work as well as those that do.
Creating rules for your Group is simple if you follow these steps:
- From your News Feed, click on Groups (on the left-hand side menu for desktop and the right for mobile), and select your Group. If you don’t see Groups, click See more.
- Click on Group Rules on the left menu.
- Click on Get Started, then click to add from the example rules or write your own.
- Click on Create.
- To adjust the order in which rules appear, click on the icon with the six gray dots, and drag and drop the rules into the order you’d like.
So, what should your rules look like? The guidelines you put in place will obviously depend on your brand and audience, but as a starting point, here are the kinds of things you should include:
- Group Description: An in-depth explanation of the Facebook Group’s background.
- Group Goals: Your goals for the community, such as promoting Group chats about a certain topic.
- Group Privacy: A clear explanation of what sort of activity is considered “spam” or disrespectful to other members, and the actions you’ll take to police it. This is important to maintain the safety and comfort of all members.
- Group Resources: A rundown of resources available to Group members, like videos and guides, and how to find them.
- Group Names: A list of all current admins, plus details of their authority level.
Once you’ve created your rules, save them in a Facebook document and make this your pinned post, so that they’ll appear at the top of the Group at all times.
You’ll also need to dedicate the time to enforce your rules. If you can’t commit the time yourself, you’re going to need to either bring on moderators (volunteer or paid) or invest in a different marketing tactic.
Facebook Group Do’s and Don’ts
Over the past few years, we’ve been a part of dozens of Groups, and we’ve picked up plenty of insights along the way about what to do and what to definitely not do when running one:
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’re in a great position to shift your focus toward increasing your membership. Follow these tips, and there’s no reason why you won’t be able to grow your Facebook Group to thousands of members without having to spend a single dollar.
Key Points for Starting a Facebook Group
Although we’ve mostly discussed how to grow a Facebook Group you already run, it’s worth adding a section here about what to consider if you’re thinking about launching a Group. Here are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind to make your launch a success.
Define a Clear Purpose
Ask yourself why you want to launch and grow your Facebook Group. Let’s assume the reason isn’t simply to acquire thousands of followers, but also to drive sales or generate leads.
Here are some potential purposes a brand could have for growing a Facebook Group:
- Community Building: To foster a loyal community around the brand, encouraging customer retention and advocacy.
- Customer Feedback and Insights: Gathering valuable customer feedback and insights on products or services for improvement and innovation.
- Product Promotion and Launches: Creating hype and awareness around new product launches or exclusive offers.
- Brand Awareness and Reach: Increasing brand visibility and reaching new potential customers.
- Customer Support and Engagement: Offering a platform for customer support and engaging directly with customers to enhance customer experience.
- Content Marketing: Sharing valuable content to establish brand authority and thought leadership in the industry.
- Lead Generation: Using the group as a funnel for generating leads by nurturing potential customers.
- Market Research: Conducting informal market research by observing discussions and trends within the group.
- Networking and Partnerships: Building relationships with influencers, industry professionals, and potential business partners.
- Exclusive Access and Loyalty Programs: Offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to products/services to group members.
Whatever your purpose, it needs to be reflected in your Group’s Facebook posts — through exclusive offers, previews of upcoming product releases, or video tutorials demonstrating how your product or service works.
And don’t forget: You need to be able to measure your performance. Do this by setting actionable KPIs using the “SMART” methodology:
Like any organic marketing tactic, Facebook Groups don’t blossom overnight. Real effort will make your Group a success and give users a reason to sign up. If you can’t commit time or resources to your Facebook Group, don’t expect a strong, engaged community on the platform.
Initially, you should expect to invest several hours per week to create engaging content, facilitate discussions, and interact with members. This includes:
- Content Creation: 2-3 hours per week. This time includes brainstorming, creating, and scheduling posts.
- Member Engagement: 2-4 hours per week. This involves responding to comments, participating in discussions, and engaging with members’ content.
- Moderation: 1-2 hours per week. This includes reviewing posts, enforcing group rules, and managing membership requests.
- Promotion: 1-3 hours per week. This involves strategies to increase group visibility and attract new members, like sharing the group link on other platforms or engaging with potential members.
In total, you should expect to dedicate roughly 6-12 hours per week to effectively manage and grow a Facebook Group (these hours will vary, obviously, depending on the size and activity level of the group).
Moderation and Guidelines
Clearly outline the rules and expectations for Group behavior, content and interactions; mention respectful communication, spam prevention, self-promotion rules, language use, appropriate content, etc.:
Use examples to show what’s allowed and what isn’t. This reduces confusion among members. Decide how strictly you’ll enforce the guidelines (consistent enforcement maintains the group’s integrity). Communicate the guidelines when members join, and have them easily accessible in the Group description or pinned post.
If needed, enable post approval by moderators before they appear in the Group.
Create a social content calendar outlining when and what you’ll post. Plan content in advance to maintain consistency and avoid last-minute scrambling. Identify key content categories that resonate with your target audience and align with your Group’s niche:
- tips and tutorials
- industry news
- member spotlights
- behind the scenes, etc.
Use a mix of content formats to keep your Group dynamic and engaging. You can also run contests, challenges or quizzes to actively involve members and encourage participation.
Set a target for the number of new group members you aim to attract within a specific time frame. Monitor the growth rate to ensure you’re consistently bringing in new members. Similarly, you should also monitor other metrics like:
- engagement rate
- post reach
- comments per post
- retention rate
Last Word on Growing Your FB Group from 0 to 10,000 Members
Hopefully you learned how to grow a Facebook Group with a zero-dollar budget! It might seem intimidating, but all it takes is time, patience and a little effort (plus some help from your earliest members).
To summarize how to take your Facebook Group from 0 to 10,000 members without spending a single cent:
- Come up with a compelling theme for your Group — something that people will want to discuss and that you can offer genuine expertise on.
- Give people a reason to join. Tell potential members about the fantastic content you create and the exclusive giveaways and offers you run.
- Let your existing audience know that the Group exists, and encourage them to join (people who already follow your Facebook Page, read your blogs or watch your videos).
- Get in front of new audiences through guest blogging, influencer outreach, interviews and podcasts.
- Provide consistent and quality content, encourage interaction with questions or polls, and respond quickly.
Follow these steps, iterate as necessary and watch your Facebook Group subscriber count grow!
If you’re ready to level up your brand via social media, Single Grain’s social media marketing experts can help!👇
Here’s a summary infographic of how to grow a Facebook Group!
Growing a Facebook Group FAQs
How to get 1,000 members in a Facebook group?
To grow your Facebook group to 1,000 members, focus on identifying and engaging your target audience. Promote your Facebook group on other social media platforms and in other Facebook groups with similar interests. Consistently share valuable content and use your Facebook page to drive traffic to your group. Remember to make your group welcoming and engaging for new members.
How do I get more members in a Facebook group?
Increasing membership in your Facebook group involves actively promoting your Facebook group link on your Facebook page and other relevant platforms. Collaborate with similar groups, engage with your target audience, and encourage current members to invite their networks. Regularly update your group with content that resonates with your audience.
How do I grow my Facebook group in 2024?
To grow your Facebook group in 2024, leverage the latest trends in social media. Use engaging and interactive content to attract your target audience. Participate in and create cross-promotional activities with other Facebook groups. Utilize your Facebook page for outreach and consider paid promotions to reach a wider audience.
Do public Facebook groups grow faster?
Public Facebook groups can grow faster as they are more visible and accessible to a broader audience. However, the quality of engagement and members might differ from private groups. Public groups are easily discoverable and can attract more new members quickly.
How do I get more people to join my Facebook group?
To get more people to join your Facebook group, share your group link on your Facebook page and other social media accounts. Engage in networking activities within similar groups. Create compelling content that encourages shares and invites. Regular interaction and providing value to members will also help attract new people.