Hello My Friends, and welcome to this week’s #SolutionsSaturday”. This week is quite special and I am quite proud of our Excel For Freelancers Facebook Group ( http://bit.ly/groupexcel ) reaching over 20,000 Amazing members in less than two years. I wanted to take this Solution Saturday to not only thank everyone who has made this group one of the best Excel groups on Facebook but share with you some insights on what we have done to make this such an incredible group.
First and foremost, as mentioned in today’s post, I could not have built such an amazing group without my spectacular admins Dave Wood, Dave Houston and Angeli Joy Santiago. Your tremendous effort each and every day has made this group what it is today and I could not have done it without you. I also wanted to thank all of the other dedicated members, who give your time and effort to help others out in need. The sharing of your time, skills and experience is the truest gift we can give to others.
So with that said, what makes a great Facebook group? When I started this group in July of 2017 I really had no idea, but I knew that I wanted a global group in which everyone could be comfortable to ask their questions, no matter how small or complex as well as learn some new tricks, techniques and tools to help their reach their dreams with Excel.
I spent a good amount of time in other groups and I quickly realized ‘size does not matter’ (in Facebook groups that is) J. I would see tons of groups with huge numbers of members, tons of advertisements, videos, and YouTube links but extremely small engagement. (Very few likes and comments) Those videos and content that were getting engagement were often unique, so I realized the content in our group should also be unique and special.
When I started the group it was just me, sharing my videos & content in other groups, and that helped me grow Excel For Freelancers a lot, however I wanted a place where people could ask questions and I would do my best to answer or at least point them in the right direction.
As the group grew I would pay close attention to the posts people were making and I learned 5 important lessons that would help grow Excel For Freelancers into the amazing group it is today.
1) Original Content – Facebook likes original content. So they will tend to promote content that is uploaded on their platform, instead of just sharing a link from another platform, such as YouTube. For this reason I decided to do both. I would upload my original video on Facebook and YouTube. This seemed to get a lot more organic views from the group as opposed to just sharing a link to a video. If you are trying to get traction in a group with your content or in ours, original content, and not links to your web page or YouTube, is a great start. Likewise links that lead users outside of Facebook are often not displayed on user’s timelines.
2) Engagement – While I try as best as I can to stay engaged with the group and comment and answer as much as I can, it’s often difficult while I create the weekly content and work on the next course. With that said, I try to engage as much as possible with both the people posting question and especially those who are kindly donating their time by answering questions. I will browse the group and click ‘Like’ as much as possible. Even when I am unable to answer, I want our members to know they are not left behind and that I am at least following and keeping up with the groups regular posts
3) Appreciation – We have so many members donating their time, sharing their ideas, solving problems and guiding others, the least that I can do is show my appreciation for that. Although I do get busy, I try as much as possible to show those members that I really appreciate their effort and kindness. Along with the admins, we have an amazing group of thousands of members who are doing their best to help out. This is why I started Members Monday to show those how much we appreciate them in the group. They deserve this recognition
4) No Tolerance – Keeping a quality group in which the members stay highly engaged is not easy, however this has attracted thousands of people who simply want to learn as well as those who are simply interested in promoting their services and products. I understand this, as I also have services and products to promote. It is a fine balance and simply using the group to promote, without giving anything back is the surest way to get banned from the group. Our no tolerance policy has kept the group growing without filling it up with advertisements and unwanted content.
5) Unique Content – When we are browsing our Facebook timeline we have about 2 seconds to grab the viewers’ attention. If we are posting common content that can be found anywhere such as “Learn These 20 Excel Shortcuts” or “How To Use Vlookup” we simply are not going to get the interest and traction we want. In our group I try to make sure the content I upload, or allow others to upload, is original and unique. If you are trying to get your content seen, this is the first thing you will want to consider. Being unique is not easy, but you will need to put in that effort if we you want to get traction. This ‘uniqueness’ gives Excel For Freelancers an edge over other groups as there is content in our group that is not found in any other group.
I hope you have enjoyed this Solutions Saturday. If you have a question that you would like me to answer, just put it in the comments below and I will try and get to in in a Solutions Saturday.
Thanks so much,