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You Should Build a Facebook Group for your Niche, Here is Why

A few years back, Facebook Groups weren’t as popular as it is today. Chances are, you’ve joined over a hundred groups already and only check a couple.

Back at that time, we started SeriousMD, a healthcare app tailored for doctors. I could actually say that creating a Facebook Group gave my startup a “jump start” that it needed.

We launched to little fanfare, actually, it was zero fanfare. We just launched the app because we had to stop trying to perfect it and get it to market ASAP. We knew that was the only way to learn and improve the product.

Being the lead marketer on the team, I decided to start a Facebook Group mainly because it notified every member back then. I felt like it would be a great place to receive feedback that’s public enough for people to engage with and for them to see that we are doing a lot of work to make the app great, all the while protecting the app from spies and other developers since it is a private group where we can filter the weeds out.

We’re in a local niche, so we’re not aiming for a huge amount of members, at least at this point.

Today, we just hit 1000 legitimate and engaged members. The group has been a constant source of leads, the visibility in niches (via suggested groups) also helps as well. The most important part? It lead to sign ups and conversions because of the social proof from what they saw in the group from their fellow doctors.

In this article, I’d like to discuss what we did over the past 2 years inside the group.

Months 1-6

In the first few months, we started with engagement and feedback. No tactics, no “ask” and no begging for anything.

We wanted to provide value, encourage engagement and give an avenue for the users to get to know us. No outside promotion was done, we just added everybody that signed up to join us in the group.

Result: It got the conversation started. Not everybody that signed up for our app joined the group, probably just 25% joined but it was ok. Not everybody uses Facebook after all.

Months 7-12

We started to post longer content. We put our change-log there, and we also teased our upcoming releases. We continued to build relationships with all those that signed up but we started promoting our group in other related Facebook Groups around this time.

Result: We started to get noticed in the niche. Our early adopters started to become champions for what we do. We’re very thankful and appreciative with whatever they do to help us on their own. We’re too shy to ask for more help at this point but we’re secretly happy inside that they are doing it on their own.

Months 13-18

Around this time, Facebook Groups started to change. Not everybody was getting notified for each post. Sometimes, people see the posts 1 week later. As much as we dislike it, we can’t do anything about it. Engagement and notifications rule, so we just have to ask them to turn on notifications for all posts. Obviously, not everybody will, so there was a drop with engagement because of this change.

Anyway, we continued what we did. Posting updates, previews and asked questions to add engagement to the new members. We also started to incorporate an “ask” in some of our posts.

We mainly asked for reviews and for them to share us to their friends.

Result: The number of members in the group did not increase much, but our referral sign-ups did. We can correlate that to us asking the group to share us to their friends.

Months 19-24

The last 6 months, we practically doubled our growth.

We just added some small tweaks.

We welcomed new users once a week. We used polls. We posted content that are a bit more controversial.

We also asked for them to invite their friends to the group and continued asking for reviews.

Result: We got more members in the group, we get more leads because they are referrals and we got more reviews. We have a 5 star rating and they did leave great looking reviews. It only takes a minute of their time but for us, it goes a long way in making the app more visible.

Sure, it’s not the fastest growth for a Facebook Group but we intended it to be like this. We wanted to build a tight community of verified members.

If they signed up today and didn’t use it, there’s always a chance for them to see a post and come back later. If they didn’t sign up, they will eventually, it’s just a matter of time.

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