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Successful NEW Facebok Groups

**Update - Checkout: Successful NEW Facebok Groups - October 2010**

Facebook is one of the most powerful social networking services currently available. Its interface and framework allow a person to spread news virally as quick as any social bookmarking service. Facebook Groups, communities of friends with similar interests, are also becoming extremely popular. But, why create a Facebook Group??? Well, Organizations and bloggers should create Facebook Groups to further promote brand presence, share news/events with their community and stimulate relevant discussion all in one spot. A prime example of an organization leveraging Facebook Groups is Contiki - through their group they share brochures, the trip/video of the week, contests, and polls to their 37,000+ members.

Tips to Grow a Successful Facebook Group:
The Right Configuration: Make sure you select a title, category and description that is relevant to your brand because this will entice people to join your group. I also suggest that you be as transparent as possible and offer information such as contact information, website, phone number and location. This allows group members to associate the group to an actual person rather than any old computer generated content.

To offer a real community appeal, enable the ability for anyone to post discussions, wall posts, pictures and videos. Initially you should make the group public which allows anyone to join and invite people to the group; remember you do have the ability to remove members if needed.
Leverage existing Facebook Friends: It's important to attract a strong base of members to your Facebook group, so invite existing friends that may find your group valuable and who could become evangelists for your group. This is where the viral part comes into play: your friends' friends will notice that they joined a new group which will spark interest from them to check it out as well.
Use your email contacts: Don't forget about your friends outside of Facebook because Facebook Groups provides the ability to import and send group invitations to your contacts from Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail.
Press Releases/Blog Posts are other methods which you can use to invite new members to your Facebook Group. Personally, I created a call to action and placed it above the fold which reminds my readers to join my group.
Keep the Content Fresh: Update your group's Recent News, photos, videos, events and links regularly so that members have a reason to return. Another simple tactic is deploying a welcome message which greets new members and enforces the 'human factor' of the group.
Create relationships with new members: If you have a group which is open to the general public then you will notice people who are not your 'friends' join your group. These are the types of people are there to get a feel for the quality of the group therefore make it a habit to personally address them.

Tracking Your Group's Success

Here are some metrics and tactics you can use to measure the success of your Facebook Group:
The number of members you have in your group.
New members who join per day/week/month.
Ratio of new members to people who left the group.
Ratio of members who are your Facebook friends vs. not.
Engagement: Activity on Wall Posts and Discussion Boards.
Members who also accepted invitations to join your events.

Links posted in your group back to your blog/website should have parameters appended to them so that they can be segmented in your analytics separately.


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