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Leverage Facebook groups to build your network

If you told me years ago that I would be an admin in numerous Facebook groups, I would have told you that was crazy. But here I am, an admin or moderator in six Facebook groups.

From the activity in my FB groups, I have at least one person a week randomly approaching me on the street in my community saying, “Hi Robin, I’m John from X FB group.” If I was a real estate salesperson, this would be incredibly powerful. One group I created in my little community has about 500 members (which is probably about 30 per cent of the community).

Of my six Facebook groups, three are professional and three are neighbourhood and community related. Two I started myself, and on the other four I help out others.

On the personal side, I run (or help run) three local groups in my area – and the sense of community I feel is incredible, the people I’ve connected with has blown my mind (especially charity groups and volunteers) and the people I have met – there’s nothing like it. It has changed my life, both personally and professionally.

Putting aside the people coming up to me on the street (which at times can be creepy/jarring), the sense of community and amazing friends I have made is utterly incredible.

On the professional side, however…I created my own group years ago to attract business and it was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. The “street cred” it gives you is powerful. It also brings in people to talk to and people to convert to leads. Most importantly, people follow you, they have respect for you and they feel like they know you before they even connect. Then turning them into a client is easy.

I have Realtors connecting with me who on our first phone chat say, “I’ve been following you for years.”  That is powerful. It’s beyond powerful, though. It allows you to really connect with people and have a deeper conversation faster. Why is this? Simply put: trust.

If I was a Realtor, these community groups would be gold.

However, before you think that you’ll simply create a group and get throngs of leads quickly, you must know that a Facebook group strategy is a long-term game. It takes time for people to join, then get to know you, trust you, rely on you and then become a client.

It will work, but you need to work at it for a sustained period of time to succeed.

Still here? Awesome, I’m glad I didn’t scare you off with the long-term strategy…because it is, but it works.

So…where to start? You have a few options.

Join groups:

Join groups, build street cred, connect with people and turn them into followers, leads and clients.

This means you join local groups in your area, start contributing and making connections. You don’t promote yourself or spam it with listings! You become part of the group community to make connections. After some time, you can casually mention what you do, or make a post about real estate in your area. You don’t sell – you create connections.

Become a moderator in an existing group:

Most people who create groups don’t realize all the work involved. This is an opportunity for you. After joining a group and participating, you can reach out to the group admin and see if they need help administering the group. They may need help, then…you help. Being a group moderator will establish you as a leader in that community.

Sponsor a group:

Many local groups haven’t thought about having a sponsor, but it can help provide them with money to promote the group, arrange a group event, or donate money to a local charity. By being a sponsor, you can have your info in the banner and make a couple of sponsored posts a month. Use this wisely because you want it to help your brand.

Take over a dead group: 

If there’s a group in your area with a good number of people but that hasn’t had a post in months or years, you can offer to take over the group. Reviving a dead group isn’t simple but it can be done. You will need to message the admin saying that you love the group concept and want to revive it. Ideally you want to be an admin and not moderator (so that if you do revive the group they can’t just boot you out…and ideally be the only admin). This will take some effort, including creating a number of new posts and tagging people in the group to show them it’s back in action.

Create your own group:

Creating your own group gives you the most control. This will be your baby. It will take some work but it will establish you as the expert in your area for that topic. For example, you can do a group for your neighbourhood and post neighbourhood news and create events. This will make you the go-to person in that area. You can then promote your listings in the area and be the overall go-to person. You can also create one based on your passion. For example, if you’re into hunting, you can create a group based on that. If people see that you’re “one of them” they will feel a kinship and be more likely to connect with you as a Realtor or refer you.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll need to provide awesome content, involve yourself and connect with people. Before you ever sell something.

If you’re curious about how to approach this and are unsure, reach out to me to learn more about how to leverage Facebook Groups.