How to use Facebook Groups for your Parties!

After you realize the power Facebook Groups can have for your business, you’ll be bursting at the seams to create your own virtual party in a Group! The question is, how do you set them up so that you are using Groups to their full potential? Today we’ll be sharing with you exactly how we’ve been setting up our own Groups (for our version of a Facebook Party which are actually our free trainings) because they have been proven to be super successful for us and of course we all know that sharing is caring! We want you to have awesome results too!

Before we begin with the “set up steps” we wanted to share with you how much our engagement skyrocketed when using Facebook Groups to party. Check this out! Here are our Welcome posts in our popular Avoid Facebook Jail training event and our group training we did the following week. Same amount of attendees… but WOW just look at those comments! 174 in the Event versus 291 in the Group.

To further our research, we compared our second Group training to the same FB Jail training Event (with the same amount of attendees) and the group training engagement was in our favor again – by a landslide! 174 comments in Events and a whopping 427 comments in the Group. Drop mic.
This proves that Facebook favors groups over events when it comes to showing people notifications. This of course, results in increased visibility and engagement in parties/trainings/classes that take place in Facebook Groups which is exactly what we all want – to be seen, heard, and engaged with! We believe that parties in Facebook groups truly allows business owners the ability to offer exceptional customer service to their audience. Groups promote relationship building by highlighting the most popular conversation to the top of the feed, which allows group members and party guests to really be a part of the most current conversation. That’s where you want to be as both a group member and a group admin so you don’t miss a beat. Simply number your posts so your guests can locate them easily if they’d like to view them in order. Now, let’s move on to setting up your Facebook Party Group for success!

Creating Your Group:
1. Create a new group – on the computer, click the down arrow in the upper right corner and scroll to Create Group. On the Facebook app, go to your lower right corner (3 lines) to open your menu and scroll to Groups, then hit the + sign in the upper right corner. In order to create your group, you will need to add at least one other member, we suggest a spouse or friend, not your party Host (yet!). You can remove them once the group is created, but you need one other member to start the group.

2. Choose a Group Name – It is important that the group name contains the name of the Host and the party date & time if you are doing a live party at a certain time. For example, we named this training *5/15 “Party in FB Groups to Make Your Business BOOM!” Training @ 9pmEST* . See how we used the party date, name of party/Hostess and party start time in the title of the group? This way attendees can easily view all the important details at a glance without digging for info.

3. Choose Privacy Settings – Public, Closed, Secret:
Public – is completely visible to everyone and people can join without approval. All posts are visible to any Facebook user and it does not offer the privacy that comes with more restricted groups.
Closed – Posts are only visible to group members. You can find the closed group on a Facebook search but new members must request to join and have to be approved for membership. You can share a link to join a closed group and customers can click on the link and request to be added.
Secret – These are basically stealth groups! You cannot find them in a Facebook search and you cannot share a link to the group with potential members. The only way to join a secret group is to be invited by a group member through Facebook, which means you have to already be friends with them on FB to invite them to the group.

We suggest setting your group visibility to Closed so that your members feel that the group is more exclusive and they will be comforted by the security that their posts will only be seen by the group members. Also, posting as your Business Page really gives not only a truly professional feel but also allows for more visibility for your Business Page! It’s a win-win and we highly recommend it!

Getting Set Up to Party:
You will want to get everything all set up and ready to go BEFORE you add your party Host! Once you add her, she will want to start inviting guests immediately, so you need to make sure you are ready to receive guests. Just like a home party, you need to give yourself some time to “set up”. Here’s what you do to make your party ready for their arrival:

Add Cover Photo – This should be something eye-catching and of course branded to your unique style. The cover photo area is prime real estate for your party, whether they login from a computer, tablet or phone, they will see the cover photo. Use it wisely!

Add Group Description – This is where you can put the details of the party like the party date, when it starts & ends, ordering links, anything you want the party attendees to know.

Adding Files – If you want to upload any files to your group like printables, recipes, printable order forms, printable product care cards, product guarantees, return instructions or flyers, etc. you can easily do so in a group and they will remain there for easy access.

Use the delete button – Don’t be afraid to use the delete button if you mess up when setting things up to keep the group wall clutter-free! For example, every time you update the Group Description, it announces it on the group wall, go ahead and delete those extra posts and keep the wall clean.

Link your VIP Group:
Linking your VIP Group to your Facebook party is a fantastic way to increase visibility and have your party guests join without even being approached! We love to see linked groups within a group as it’s a non-salesy type of suggestion where the party guest/group member can go and check it out on their own accord. Then at the end of your party, you can finish up with a post-post to remind them that they can join the linked group if they haven’t already for more sales and special offers, etc.

You can link your VIP group or niche group from the wall of your party group, there is a section at the top of the group called Recommended Groups, just click on “Link Existing Group” and choose your VIP Customer Group and hit LINK.

Customize your Group Settings:
Now that your Group wall is all set up, we suggest that you change some of the Group settings to really customize your party experience. One of the best benefits of holding parties in a Facebook Group is the control you have over the settings of the group, because you are the GROUP MASTER! If you choose to adjust some of the group settings, make sure you do it BEFORE you add your party Host. To get to your Group Settings, click on the “…More” button at the top of your group and pull down to “Edit Group Settings”.

Check out these great settings:

Link to your Facebook Business Page – This is a must so that your guests can like and follow your business page. Just click on Link Your Page and a window will pop up with all the pages you manage. Choose the page you want to link and you are all set!

Create Custom Web Address – Rather than a long string of numbers, the group party web address could be https://www.facebook.com/groups/GroupName which is fantastic for search-ability and also to really personalize the Host’s party! She (or he) will feel super special and love to share their custom link to invite guests!

Membership approval – Choose who can approve members such as just the admins or any member. We suggest keeping it to admins as you don’t want guests to add friends without their permission – this way you can private message the pending approval to double check that she would like to attend.

Posting Permissions for members – you can choose that only admins (you & your Host) can post directly to the group wall, all other posts to the wall will be pending approval by one of you or leave it open for any members to post, that is totally up to your discretion!

Membership Requests: Ask Questions – This is an amazing feature to set up to ensure that your Host isn’t adding people without their consent. Ask them questions when they join like – How do you know (Host)? And – Are you excited to join the party? Or maybe – What are you interested in learning more about?

About the Host:
Now that the group is all set up and ready to party, you can share the party link with your party Host. Once she clicks and “joins” the party, you can choose to make her an admin for the party or not. As the admin she can directly add people to the group, some Consultants choose to make their Hosts an admin and some choose not to, it is totally up to you. If you do wish to make her an admin, click on Members (left sidebar), find her name and click the 3 dots to the right and choose Make Admin.

A quick thought, just because she is the Host of the party doesn’t mean that you have to give her admin rights. Groups do not show her as a the “Host” like Events do, so no one will know if she is the admin or not. Think about what would be the benefit of adding her as an admin. Personally, we do not think you need to give her full admin access, she likely will not know what to do with the access anyway, she doesn’t know FB Groups like you do, you are the expert.

It is very important to give your party Host strong hostess coaching to make sure she/he fully understands the best way to go about inviting guests to the party. We encourage hosts to personally invite people by giving them a link to the party, which can be done in multiple ways. She can text the link, email the link, or send the link to a friend via Facebook messenger. Also be sure to coach that directly adding people to the party in mass quantities is often considered rude by her friends and is strongly discouraged. We know many consultants who use the “Ask a Question” feature we talked about earlier in the group settings to ask if a guest would like to attend the party/join the group and if they say no, they are not approved. They have to answer the question to get approved, so they Host is unable to directly add them to the group (unless you make her an admin and she can approve the pending members).

Bottom line – Every successful party begins with proper Hostess Coaching! As the consultant, you are the expert when it comes to throwing a party online which means that you need to invest time in helping your Hostess have the best experience and outcome possible with her Facebook party. Properly coaching your Host through the steps of the party impacts every part of your business and can make or break your online parties so you want to be sure to get this part right.

Pinned Posts & Announcements:
Once there are some guests who have joined the group, you are ON! Be sure to post some kind of introduction, say super nice things about their friend (the party Host) and share information. Many groups will have something called the Announcement feature from Facebook where you can pin up to 10 posts to the top of the Group wall that you want to feature.

This is awesome for custom albums and multi-photo posts to show products as well as a post for how to place an order and any information that you feel is pertinent to the party. If you don’t have the Announcements feature (it is still rolling out), you still have the ability to pin a post to the top of the group. Hover over the upper right corner of your post you wish to pin and choose Pin Post or Announcement from the drop menu.

After the Party Ends:
Here are your options after the party’s over! Choose the one which works best for you:

Option 1: Keep It Up – you can keep that group alive with the Host and all her friends and let them know you will be posting specials and sales in there every couple months. It is also great to get a Host to rebook a party with you down the road because you already have the group set up, all her friends are in it and it is ready to go!

Option 2: Archive It – Facebook gives you the option to archive a group. When you archive it, no one else can join the group and no one can post or comment on the group anymore, it basically freezes the group in time. The good news is that you can unarchive the group at any time and make it active again. This is what we do with our training parties like this one.

Option 3: Give the group to your Host if she signs up to become a new Consultant – how easy is that? Give her the admin rights on her group, change the name of the group and she has her Customer Group already set up and ready to go with her closest friends and family already there to support her.

Option 4: Delete It – After the party is over, you can completely delete the entire group. In order to do that, you will need to go in and remove each member individually and then when you remove yourself last, it will delete the group.

CinchTips:
Creating your own unique-to-you party script helps you to show off your personality and really connect with your guests. Here’s a free printable to help you personalize your party and make it super authentic so you stand out and get those bookings by WOWing your guests!

The best parties are relaxed and genuine, where the host is able to chat with their guests and answer questions on the fly. If you’ve ever run a Facebook party, then you know that behind the scenes can look and feel anything BUT relaxed! Copying and pasting text and images at specific times, engaging in real time and balancing notifications while watching the clock trying to nail the perfect delivery sequence can make a party stressful.

CinchShare makes it easy to create and post to multiple Facebook parties in seconds! With CinchShare you have the ability to pre-schedule all of your posts for your party AND you can Batch Post and reschedule your party posts to a new party in less than one minute and use them again and again! It’s true! We also have a Find/Replace feature that allows you to quickly find and replace the name of hostess, party links or any other words on the new party! And then when you no longer need to schedule to a party, you can hide it in your CinchShare account with our new Hide Networks feature to save you some time locating your active parties and keep you super organized which is what we’re all about!

About Melanie Moore

As CinchShare’s Director of Training and Development, Melanie has 20 years of Direct Sales experience, both in the field and on the corporate level. As a mom of four daughters, she devotes her time to her family as well as direct sellers, entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them improve their social media marketing strategies through the proper practices and time management.

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