If you’re a recruiter, entrepreneur or small business owner looking to grow their Facebook community, this post is for you. We will walk you through the steps of how to grow your Facebook group by giving value and starting conversations with your audience. I’ll teach you what I learned growing the Growth Hacking Recruiters community to more than 6000 members.
I have been building the Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook community as a hobby for 4 years. I believe Community Building is a key skill for the modern recruiter. I’m writing this article to document some of the community building tricks and tips I learned along the way. I hope this helps you build your community. I don’t believe in silver bullets. This article contains solutions and ideas to get you into the right mindset for building your community. I hope this article will help you grow your own community and learn more about our facebook community.
Lets start with the basics;
What is the Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook Group?
We set up Growth Hacking Recruiters as a place for Recruiters, Marketeers, Sourcers, Sales people and HR industry pro’s to share tips and tricks that help hit hiring and growth targets.
Our mission today is to help people grow. We share tricks, tips and tools that help people get better at hiring. We help people hire more with less.
Our goal is to become the Number 1 Community for Recruitment Hacks and Hackers.
Our rules and code of conduct can be found on facebook. The group is a private group. Keeping the content away from the public facebook feed and protect the members in the group. You can find some of the posts in the public Growth Hacking Recruiters Forum on this website.
Today, it is a community of more than 6,000 people across the world who share tips and tricks with each other. We have more than 4,500 active members in a given 28 day period and regularly hit more than a 2000 daily active members. Click here to join the Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook Group.
Why start a Facebook Group?
Facebook groups are a great way to bring together a community of like minded in an organic manner. It is a platfrom used by pretty much everyone. Facebook see groups as a key product due to the nature of the audience using groups being more engaged than an average user. While I know many people are moving away from facebook, I still see it as the easiest way to help as many people as possible because it is so easy to use.
I started out building the group when I realised that there was nowhere for recruiters to learn growth hacking tricks to apply to their work. You will find great communities out there for in-house recruiters (DBR) or Sourcers (SourceCon) or recruitment entrepreneurs (RecWired). There are very few that bring all those people together and focus on growth tricks applicable for all recruiters.
Facebook felt like the easiest way to do that. Facebook is already an app that most people use and are comfortable with. A low barrier to entry for anybody who wants to get started learning how to Growth Hack Recruitment. This was the easiest way to start the conversation around growth hacking in recruitment and share ideas and conversations with our friends and colleagues.
For a recruiter, Facebook Groups is a really interesting place to start a talent network or talent pool. Two way communication is easy and facebook have loads of great tools to help you manage your community. If you are thinking about building a community, think about building a place where like minded talented people can have conversations, make new friends and learn something new. Today, we help our members get jobs, companies growth hack their hiring and HR tech vendors get feedback on their products.
As a business, building a facebook group is a great way to get to know your target audience. While today, the natural organic reach of a facebook is not what it used to be. There is no doubt that as a cheap way of getting engagement on Facebook, this is 100% one of the easiest things to do. Whats more, this is a brilliant way to produce content your audience loves without spending a huge amount of money.
The journey of building a community is incredibly rewarding. You will meet amazing people. You understand more than ever where the problems and find common solutions in your particular area of interest.
If you are looking for one reason why you should do this, then all we can say is this is going to help you grow!
How to start an awesome Facebook group?
Lots of people will tell you, just do it! Go start a group and see what happens. But looking back not having a great plan was one of the biggest mistakes we made in the beginning. Its why the group has grown slower than I expected.
If I was to build the whole thing again, this is what I would do.
- Pick a target audience and understand why they join groups and what they are looking for
- Research other groups to see where there are opportunities to differentiate yourself are or do better (the people in step 1 are probably in these groups already)
- Start small with a few people who are really interested in the topic – these people often stand to benefit too from engaging with your target audience.
- Once you have a core community built. Build something bigger on a different platform.
Depending on your audience will depend on where you build your community, however. Having made many mistakes building communities and having observed many others who are doing an amazing job at this. I think the trick today is to really build a core team behind a community and then build out the community from there.
4 years ago, there was a void to be filled with close communities but that has changed and today there are many many communities in the world. I see the most successful ones today are those that have a core team behind them and are really investing in building them out.
How did the facebook group grow?
Today, the group’s primary source of new members is facebooks organic suggestions. Those little ads that you can’t make but encourage people to join the group on their feed or in similar groups. Surprisingly, this counts for about 50% of all new member Requests. We don’t spend any money on ads to get people to join the group.
Getting started, we invited people we felt would be interested in contributing and starting the conversation. In the first few months the group was small and full of chat between friends. As we grew it became less like a conversation between friends and more like a battle to keep people engaged. If we were to start a facebook group again today, we would focus on three core things;
- Setting the purpose of Community and reminding people more often
- Creating a core membership group to keep that “friendly” feel for early stage
Getting Recommended. We are very lucky to have been recommended by many people in the recruiting industry. About 30% of new members apply after reading about it on blogs or in other communities. 10% come from recommendations via their friends or colleagues. Interestingly, I can tell when certain sourcing and recruiting trainers are giving classes as I will get a new wave of requests.
Finally, 10% of new members find us on Google as we are lucky to have ranked highly for searches like growth hack recruitment and facebook groups for recruiters. The Growth Hacking Recruiters domain helps 😉 But we also worked on some blogs to ensure that when someone searches Growth Hacking in Recruitment we are one of the top resources suggested.
Remember, Say No!
Don’t let everyone in!
One of our top tips to keep your group relevant, enagaged and interesting is to not let everyone in. The goal for us was to build an engaged group of people in the recruiting and growth space.
People have to request to enter the facebook group and this allows us to make sure that people are relevant and engaged.
Keep the filter tight at the top and don’t let everyone in.
Not only will this avoid you getting hit up by the many dummy profiles and spammers on facebook. FYI – It’s still tough to stop them all joining the group.
My recommendation is to kick them out as fast as possible. At some points we turned on post approval due to the nature of the content being shared not being relevant, but today we rely on community members to report spam behaviour and remove members fast from the group.
Saying No to member requests is the one of the key reasons that the group has grown organically. Keeping the audience relevant and small – Means people and algorithms recommend it more and more.
Today, we find that this blog and contributing to other recruiting communities brings us plenty of new members and we are excited to see the group grow even more this year. If you have any suggestions on how we can growth the group, please join the group and share your thoughts!
What we learned building Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook Group?
The lessons learned along the way have been invaluable to the growth of the community and to those that moderate it. The biggest lesson over the last few years has been;
Community Management is an Art
After many years of managing communities, we have realised there is an art to community management. It is a true area of expertise that mixes social media marketing, human psychology, relationship management and networking. Over the last few years, we are not the only one’s to have noticed this. Today, you can find more and more great content around how to become a great community manager and build a great community. Check out the thread in the community building in the forum.
The failure was not understanding this art earlier on in the Groups growth and focusing on building community management skills. Today, this is an area we hope to improve on and we will share more resources to help recruiters and others learn how to grow a great community on facebook or anywhere else for that matter.
Keep up the experiments
It all started out as an experiment; to learn more about Growth Hacking, to learn more about using facebook. I just wanted to throw something out there in the world. To begin with there wasn’t a strategy or a reason to do it apart from to learn. An experiment to see if people were interested and people would enjoy it. Getting started, don’t be scared to experiment.
Facebook’s group admin panel gives you some excellent insights into the statistics behind the group. Use the data to increase your engagement!
Observe other groups
Avoid operating in a bubble. Spend time in other groups and watch what they are doing. Spot the ones that are growing the best, figure out what they are doing. There are plenty of clever tricks you will pick up from other community managers. You should pick the ones you like and replicate them in your own flavour for your own community. It’s a fine balance of course, you can go to far and you will find you get the wrong type of people joining or the wrong type of engagement. Keep in mind your audience and your goal. Your own flavour of content will
Along our journey of building the group we have shared regular updates. Today, we have learned to not be scared to admit when we have gotten something wrong. If you are building your community then I really recommend being transparent about it and take all the feedback to improve the group. Your community will help you make your group better.
Building any community is about consistently contributing to your community.
Ask questions, run polls and keep people engaged. To begin with that will show people you are serious, after a while it’s what will build your audience.
Consistency is king!
I recently wrote about this in my weekly newsletter subscribe here if you want an email from me every week.
Schedule Content in Advance
Seriously, facebook gives you all the tools to do it. Save yourself the worry of having to think of something every day and line up plenty of content in advance.
It comes in waves but we try and keep a schedule of a few posts in advance to help keep the group consistent with content. You can find out when your audience is most engaged using Facebook’s admin panel and then increase engagement in your community.
It’s ok to say the same thing, again and again.
As an Admin or a Mod, it can get a bit frustrating but finding out what works and sharing it again will help your group to grow.
Pick your tropes and fall back on them all the time.
This will help you get really good at getting your message across. It helps new members understand the purpose of the group and helps keep the message consistent.
Answer every question
Every time there is a question, try and answer it.
If you can’t tag people who may be able to help out.
That will only encourage more people to answer more questions and keep everyone engaged in your group.
Support every member of the group
This is a mind set thing. Building communities has taught me that you will do more on a one to one basis than on large scale. Trying to help every member of your community is tough, but it’s the secret to build a massive successful community. That’s why I’m writing this, I hope it helps more people in the group build their own community.
Make sure people are getting Value from the group.
Whatever people say, the only reason people join communities is to get something out of them. Keep on giving them value. Keep on giving them stuff. This is what people come back for more.
You have to be a giver if you are going to build a community.
Pick a North Star Metric
Whatever your end goal is to setting up a facebook group. Pick a north start metric and stick to it.
We decided early on to focus on Engagement, not group size. Using the monthly active members number as our north start metric.
The reason why? We noticed through some experiments that facebook will promote your group for you if it is an active place where people are getting value.
But also, it means people are reading and learning and enjoying the content. Building this community was as much about learning how to use
Remember the 1% rule
You have to accept that 99% of the people in your community are not going to actively comment, post or share content.
This is a standard rule of the internet, you should read more about it on Wikipedia as there are plenty of interesting articles and research linked from their around internet engagement culture.
Don’t try and get everyone to comment. They wont.
Instead figure out how you can support and help the 1% of the community to grow so they continue contributing.
Growth Hacks for Facebook Groups that actually worked
Use a personal profile, not a page
I spent some time using facebook pages to post into the group and it damaged the engagement in the group.
Seem’s like facebook’s algorithm does not like pages posting as it is looking to sell ad’s on pages. Instead focus on using a personal profile to post into your group.
Post content to other similar groups
Sharing video’s and content from your group to other similar groups will bring people into your group.
The trick here is to make sure that this is high value content that really showcases why people should join the group. Try and get engagement and comments on these posts to ensure they are visible and relevant and ideally try and get them shared by other people not yourself so that it looks more “organic” value ad.
In some groups you may not be able to share branded content. One of the trick we have learned is to ask questions that are super engaging. Seems like facebook’s algorithm sees you posting and driving a reason to show that magic join group suggestion banner in those books.
At the end of the day, if you are continuously giving value to other groups and communities in your space you will build your own community. Build the mentality that being a community leader is not just about building your own community but sharing with others and
Getting shout outs
We have been really lucky to get loads of shout outs in recruitment books, on blogs and regularity at events. Companies reference our group when they are onboarding new team members. Professional recruitment trainers reference our group as a place you can regularly get cool tips for hiring.
This style of influencer marketing can only be done by consistently providing value to the people in your group. But of course it can be nudged along by
Be facebook friends with people that are active in the group will mean that they receive more notifications from you when you post or go live in a group. It’s something to do with the relevance algorythems on facebook but it works and helps drive engagement to posts in both the Growth Hacking Recruiters group and other places across the web.
Things I wish I could improve in Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook Group
I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to get better at in the facebook group. If it was my full time job then I’m sure that I would be better at it. But It’s not, so the list keeps on growing and I keep on wondering when will I get the time to make it better.
Onboarding of new members (I used to have an email list that did that but we stopped it and I think we need to fix that). Getting a community on the same page is easy early on in
Using Units facebook’s social learning feature to help people in the group learn is something that has consistently frustrated me. Still a goal to get better at using this.
Video Room’s still haven’t figured this out yet.
Post Topics I had this working really well and then a few month ago facebook changed the way they work and now they are a mess. Need to refresh.
If you want to build a great community, you need to give a lot before you ever get any value from it. A true community builders mindset is one of giving back consistently.
I wouldn’t be where I am today in my life and career without the communities that I have become a part of. That’s why I give back.
Don’t be spammy, don’t do it to sell product. I can always feel the difference in those communities and while I know they work, I believe the worlds best communities are built by people who really care about what they are building and do it for the love.
Wherever you are building your community you will find people that will be happy to contribute to it and share stuff with your community.
If you are interested in something and you can’t find a group of people talking about it. Go build the community. It isn’t an instant fix, but if you put the time in, the rewards are amazing!
I can’t thank enough the people involved in the growth hackers, today I get amazing phone calls from leaders around the world who are always happy to share advice and insights with me.