by Jenna Kutcher
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When I first heard Dana Malstaff on my friend Amy Porterfield’s podcast, I filled pages of notes. I asked my team to listen and share their ideas. We took action immediately on her advice and started seeing results. Then I realized, wait, we need Dana on Goal Digger so YOU can get lit on fire about your Facebook Group strategy, too.
So I asked Dana if she was game for something a little different. We have the Goal Digger Podcast Insiders Facebook Group. Maybe you’re already a member, but if not, join us in there for discussions and advice help from a community of over 55,000 Goal Diggers.
Anyway, this Facebook group is rich with active members and useful content and all the things, but to be honest, we haven’t really analyzed our strategy there and I know we could be better serving YOU in that group. That’s why I asked Dana to give us an audit. And she’s on the podcast right now to give us her worst.
If you have a Facebook group or you’re thinking about starting one and want advice to launch and manage it effectively, Dana Malstaff is here to help.
Our Facebook Group Analysis
There is SO much to Dana’s story and how Boss Mom came to be. I can hear myself in her story, especially the moments when she started to feel guilty about wanting her son to take a nap so she could work on her website. Press play to hear about the Boss Mom journey and what Dana does now.
Beyond Boss Mom, I also really wanted Dana on the show to steal a little of her secret sauce. She is masterful at Facebook Groups. Dana knows how to build, nurture, and grow a community on Facebook. So I asked her to give me her worst: What did she see in the Goal Digger Group?
First off, she pointed out that despite our sizeable membership (over 55,000) we have relatively low engagement. The content my team and I are posting in that group isn’t getting a lot of love and in return, Facebook’s algorithm isn’t serving it up to our members in their news feed.
This engagement issue is probably due to the structure of the group right now. Dana compared it to someone going into a gym or community center, except there aren’t any signs on the walls, no schedule of events, zero direction for members, and no one else knows what’s expected of them as part of the community.
Dana asked me: “What do you want your group to be known for?” Right now, our description and pinned announcement post have conflicting goals. And to be honest, the vision for the group has evolved as it’s kind of become a beast of its own.
At first, it was intended to be an avenue to spread the word about the show. But now, I really want the group to be the best support group and place to turn as you’re working through the tips, tricks, advice, and resources that we share on the podcast. However, that makes me feel like we need a full-time team member to be in the group to engage and keep things on track toward that goal.
Dana challenged me on that, “If we build a Facebook group or a community the right way, it doesn’t need you.”
Your community should become an ecosystem. It should even have some form of a community ladder where members feel like there’s a path to progress and move forward within the community.
Part of that moving forward and progressing within the community is building a community ladder. Dana explained that people will naturally assume roles, but to help with that there are two team members that are important for a strong community.
First is the person who lets people in and kicks people out. The other person is more of a community manager who keeps a finger on the pulse of the group. They’re the person who identifies key players in your community. Dana taught me that you can go into the insights of a Facebook group and find out who your top engagers are. I had no idea!
From there, your community manager can reach out to these people directly to thank them for being part of the community. These top engagers are keeping the community on track and most importantly, they’re keeping the space safe by flagging members who may not follow the rules or participate in a way you want.
“The community has a feel a sense of belonging and they have to feel safe,” Dana explained as she said they kick just as many people out as they let in. Part of that “policing” can be handled by your team, but your highly engaged members will naturally police the group and keep it safe, too.
Press play to hear Dana’s suggestion to incorporate community ambassadors and what that might look like for your group as it grows.
Share Your Content Differently
Dana noticed that even though our group is focused on the podcast, our posts announcing new episodes receive the least engagement. Yup, guilty.
The problem with these posts, as Dana identified, is we are asking people to engage with content that they haven’t even listened to yet. Once they do listen to the episode, it’s not likely they’ll remember to go back and engage. So how do we get people to engage and get the post to trend?
Dana advised instead asking the community a question related to the podcast topic. For example, if I have a new episode about being a working mom, then I should ask my group, “Where are the moms in here? Tell me about your family. Post a picture of your kiddos below!” Then, follow it up with a link to the new podcast episode.
We usually share graphics for each episode, but Dana said that graphics aren’t always the best choice. Instead, Dana recommends that hosts of a group engage as if they are simply a member. Just text and an image or straight text works really well if you’re trying to get engagement. Try for two to three questions a week and watch the community participate in this new way.
“When you post something and you start to engage with it, we have this natural instinct of batching,” Dana explained. Even though we want to batch comments and interactions as soon as the conversation starts, the algorithm likes it better when there’s engagement over time.
This engagement over time is also important when you’re leading up to a sale, launch, or even just a new podcast release. Posting the fun questions, getting a lot of engagement, commenting back and forth on non-selling posts will make the algorithm like you that much more when you do finally post something that you want a ton of eyes on.
Where to Start
If you haven’t started your group yet and you want to launch with sound strategy, start with your group rules. Get highly specific in your rules about what is acceptable and what is not so when someone violates a rule, you can share that violated rule with that person.
Secondly, Dana recommends creating units that help teach new members how to engage in the group. You can also add units for freebies and other resources that get people on your email list after they’ve joined the group.
Finally, and this step is big if you already have a group, go live in the group or post a video “resetting” the culture and focus. Let your members know that the flow of the group is changing and that you’re making improvements so it’s a beneficial space for everyone.
More from this Episode
I was scribbling notes this entire episode and drew out every last drop of knowledge I could from Dana in our short time together. Press play on this episode to hear all of her Facebook and community advice. Don’t forget to join us in the Goal Digger Podcast Insiders Facebook group and watch as we implement all of these new things!
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Photography by Taylor Lauren Barker