Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard of these things called, Facebook groups. Facebook groups are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to begin promoting your blog. If you are brand new to blogging, this is especially important. You can join as many as you can realistically keep up with. And there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of groups to choose from.
At first glance, these groups are intimidating. At least they were for me. I got accepted into several large groups without much issue, but I had to stop cold…
Where do I start?
What is a reciprocation?
Should I reply to each person’s comment?
I had so many questions and not a lot of patience. I more or less gave up for a couple of weeks because it was overwhelming and time-consuming. But after reading so many articles about the benefits of using these groups, I had to try again. And I can say with certainty that I’ve created a suitable strategy that doesn’t make me want to rip my hair out.
By the way, if you haven’t started your blog yet, head on over to my post, Starting a Lifestyle Blog (An Easy Step by Step Tutorial).
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How to Use Facebook Groups to Promote Your Blog + FREE Printable
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Why Facebook Groups?
There are really two main reasons to use Facebook Groups (I am referring to FB Groups that you DO NOT own) in partnership with your blog:
- To gain blog exposure by participating in “Reciprocation Threads”. Essentially, you can use reciprocation threads to promote your blog to other members of a Facebook group and to “reciprocate” by helping others’ to promote theirs as well. Each Facebook group will have a different thread schedule and unique set of rules for how to participate. The most popular reciprocation threads generally focus on blog post promos, Pinterest repins, social media follows/likes, comments and Group Pinterest Board/Tailwind Tribe invites. So, if you’re struggling with getting more traffic to your site through Pinterest, then Facebook groups will no doubt give you a much-needed boost. Just be sure to follow the rules according to each thread. Or, you might suffer the consequences and one of the admins will kick you out!
- To mastermind and connect with other bloggers. As a blogger, there will come a time (or like several times a week – 😏) when you will have questions and need some help from your fellow blog community. From one new blogger to another, I highly encourage you to start forming relationships with other bloggers as soon as you can. Get in the habit of participating or at least read through a few feeds to see if there are any notable conversations that might spark your interest. And don’t be shy about answering questions from other bloggers when believe you can add some value (hey…it’s just good karma, amirite?)
How to Join Facebook Groups?
More than likely, you will need to apply to the group and answer up to three questions requested by the admins. Usually, the admin(s) will want to verify that you are, indeed, a blogger by visiting your blog URL. Of course, each group is very different and questions will vary widely. However, it is common for admins to ask how you found the group, what your blog niche is, what topics/questions you hope to get answered in the group, if you have followed their Pinterest profile (sometimes this is a stipulation by the admin), etc.
Just be sure to answer the questions truthfully and to be patient for your invite! If you aren’t accepted at first go-around, wait a few months and try it again. Some groups are just pickier than others depending on their goals. But realistically, I probably am accepted into 90% of all groups that I request to join.
- 5 Reasons to Start a Blog (Start Your Blog for Only $3.95!)
- Starting a Lifestyle Blog (An Easy Step by Step Tutorial)
- New Blogger? Learn the Basics for FREE (Before Investing in Paid Courses)
- 17 Facebook Groups for Bloggers to Join in 2018
My Facebook Reciprocation Strategy
Right now, I actively participate in 15 Facebook groups. That might sound like a lot, but I DO NOT promote my blog in all of them daily. Since the thread topic schedule is different for each group, I only participate in the threads that make the most sense for me to promote within.
For instance, my main goals are to focus on driving traffic directly to my blog and get more repins on Pinterest. Therefore, I mainly participate in “promo” and “repin” threads. Also, it is common to see reciprocation threads specific to certain social media channels, so by all means, join in on ANY thread that makes sense for your blog.
- To keep things organized, I created a printable with each group’s daily thread topic schedule. Scroll to the bottom of this post to download the FREE printable! So, at the beginning of my day, I take out my schedule and only go to the groups that will have the threads I want to participate in. That way, I ‘m not wasting my time clicking on each group individually and then having to search for a promo or repin thread if it’s not there.
- Again, since the rules vary widely, it is an absolute MUST to review the rules in the image or description. Most threads (not all) will display a minimum number of bloggers that you must help. I’ve seen everything from just two reciprocations to complete reciprocations (meaning that you MUST reciprocate EVERYONE in the thread). For me, personally, I will only participate in threads with 10 reciprocations or less. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time, nor patience to stretch myself any further than that.
- Once I know how many bloggers to help, I open separate tabs in my internet browser for those I want to share/follow/comment. TIP: Use your right click button and then select ‘open link in new tab’ so you aren’t taken away from the group page. This way, you click on each tab to reciprocate and don’t have to keep going back and forth to the group page and each “reciprocation” individually. (If this is super confusing to you, please let me know. I’ll make a video showing my process if it helps.)
- If the thread is asking for shares to Pinterest or doesn’t specify a social media channel to promote to, I will generally schedule each reciprocation through Tailwind. This way, I can promote the reciprocation as a pin on Pinterest. To do this, you’ll need the Tailwind extension. For the safari version, click here. For the chrome version, click here.
A Few More Tips…
Abide by ALL group rules. I know I’ve said this, but it really is the number one rule to remember. And if you don’t know the answer or you need help, reach out to one of the admins. More than likely they will advise you on whether or not your request is permissible.
Always create a vertical Pinterest image for ALL of your blog posts. You’d be quite surprised how many bloggers don’t follow this rule. For the highest possibility of engagement from others, please make sure you have a high-quality Pinterest image. You can place it at the bottom of your post. Or, hide it if it doesn’t appeal to your blog’s theme. Click on this post for information on Pinterest Image Sizes for 2018 by Louise Meyers.
When promoting a Pin from Pinterest, be sure that it links to the actual blog post URL. If you link to your blog homepage (or let’s say an affiliate link) the FB preview shows the title as the Pinterest board name the pin is saved to, instead of your blog post title. I don’t know why bloggers do this, but I believe the impact is slightly harmful in terms of getting people to share your pin or read it. This is important because Facebook may crop your image in the preview. Hence, other bloggers will not be able to read the entire title of your blog post. As a further annoyance, you are taken to a page that is NOT the one you intended to comment on or share. For this reason, I skip most of the ones that appear this way as it’s just too time-consuming.
Don’t go crazy promoting direct affiliate links. Limit it or don’t do it at all (this might even be one of the group rules)! Affiliate “dumping” is honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. I understand the appeal of earning money through affiliate marketing. But I personally think it is worth a bloggers time to actually write honest and valuable content to promote their affiliates.
It is best NOT to reply to EVERY FB comment that you reciprocate. I didn’t understand this rule at all. But, after some explaining from other members, I totally get the reason now. Basically, Facebook will temporarily block you for too many “liked” or “commented” replies. If Facebook detects a pattern of these one or two-word replies in groups, it may think you are a spammer. Most groups with a high engagement of reciprocation posts will state this as a rule. But even if it doesn’t, I typically won’t reply to comments unless I have some valuable feedback.
Organize your Facebook groups within your ‘Shortcuts’ for easy access. So, I will admit to you guys *shamelessly* that I am like super, uber, duper…LAZY. Although my house cleaning suffers at times, my laziness actually comes as a blessing for tedious tasks. How is this? Well, I put in the least amount of work possible by figuring out how to do things quicker and more efficiently. Believe me, nobody wants to sit at their computer for hours and hours reciprocating on Facebook groups. Us, bloggers have sh*t to do. And we can’t be bothered to always type in each and every group in the search bar. Moral of the story? Utilize your shortcuts, gals and guys!
Track thread schedules with an easy-to-read chart. So I already mentioned this, but it goes along with the above tip. If you see my screenshot above, it’s super easy to see a bird’s eye view of which groups you need for any particular day of the week. Snag a free copy of my chart below! 🙂
(This download is for your personal use only. Please do not distribute without my permission.)
Also, don’t forget to grab my list of Facebook groups that I use and love here. In the meantime, please feel free to leave me some suggestions on YOUR favorites and why you like them. I’m always looking for other groups to join and I know that all bloggers can benefit from new suggestions.
And just because, I’m throwing in a picture of my dog, Luna. She turned one-year-old last month and it’s been such a treat to watch her grow. If you go to my Instagram page you’ll see my obsession with her!
Anyhoo, until next time!