In last month’s article, we weighed the pros and cons of starting a Facebook group for your business. This month, we’re catering to the brave optimists who are ready to launch a group!

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • If your group should be Public, Closed, or Secret
  • How to optimize your group’s setup
  • How to invite members to join


Public vs. Closed vs. Secret Facebook groups

When you launch your group, Facebook will ask you to choose a privacy setting: Public, Closed, or Secret.

Public groups are, clearly, public. People can find your group in a search as well as view the group description, member list, and posts. If you want as much exposure as possible, then Public is the way to go.

Closed groups are almost like Public groups, as people can find your group in a search and view the description. However, only current members can see the member list or the posts. A Closed group is perfect if you want to showcase your exclusivity. For instance, “Become a client of ABC Coaching, and get VIP access to our exclusive Facebook group!”

Secret groups are unsearchable and are secret to everyone except those you personally invite. Why be under the radar? Maybe you need a private space for members to share sensitive information. If you run a confidential support group, then you may want to make it Secret. (Secret groups are also great for coordinating surprise birthday parties.)

You might like this handy chart, courtesy of Facebook, for all the group nuances.


Optimizing your group’s setup

Here are some best practices to set up your group for success:

Write a clear description. Describe your group’s mission, what types of posts are encouraged, and what types of posts are not.

Include locations. This is especially important if you market locally. If you’re in New Castle County, DE, for instance, you’ll most likely include Wilmington, Newark, Hockessin, Middletown, and more.

Use tags. Assuming you have a Public or Closed group and want to be searchable, add as many tags as you can. Let’s say you run a gym. Tags could include fitness, weight-lifting, and meat market. (The last suggestion is only a semi-joke.)

Link the group to your company page. That way, your company’s Facebook page is promoted on your group page. How convenient!

Create questions to ask pending members. You’re allowed up to three questions, and they can help set the tone for your group. For instance, in our Delaware Biz ShoutOut group, we say: “Thanks for your interest in Delaware Biz ShoutOut! Our mission is to give shout-outs to other businesses or professionals. No self-promos are allowed. Are you good with that? :-)” We even include a smiley face so we don’t seem obnoxiously interrogative. So far, everyone has responded “Yes,” sometimes with their own smiley face!


Inviting members to join

“Build it and they will come.” That’s absolutely the worst assumption you can make when launching a Facebook group (or any social media page or website). Even if your group is Public, you still need to promote your group like crazy. Here are a few methods:

Invite your company page followers and personal Facebook friends through your group page. You’ll see a place where you can even customize your invitation with a personal note.

Do a mass email campaign. When we launched our Delaware Biz ShoutOut group, an email blast really helped us attract new members. The email included a big call-to-action button that said, “Join our group!” It looked like this (try it!):

Advertise via your company page. While you can’t do paid ads directly in your group, you can run a paid ad through your company page which links to the group. (Gotta love these hacks.)

Link it! Add a group link to your email signature, and display a link prominently on your website.

Of course, once you get your group rolling, you need to devote enough time for posting, moderating, and analyzing your results. If Delaware ShoutOut can help you with Facebook groups or anything else in social media, give us a call!

Get practical (and often humorous) tips on LinkedIn and time management.


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