1. Follow the group rules.
Basically all groups I’ve been a part of have rules to ensure a healthy and fun environment for everyone there. Often this means no selling unless the group leader has given a prompt for you to share something you’re working on, an accomplishment, etc. If you try to go rogue and promote yourself blatantly or even disguise a self-promotion, you’re probably going to hear crickets or have your post deleted.
2. Focus on providing value and connecting with members of the group.
When people ask questions, offer them helpful advice. You’ll establish yourself as an expert and go-to guide and resource. Appearing in comments will also drive curious people to your website to learn more about who you are and what you do.
3. Focus on positive engagement.
The rule I have for myself is no discussing any negative experience with a client. I follow this in real life and online. If someone finds you talking negatively about a past customer, they’re probably not going to send people your way.
4. Introduce yourself with a photo.
When you first join a group, introduce yourself! Often, group leaders will prompt introductions, but even if they don’t, go for it. Share a photo and a little bit about what you do and what you’re hoping to get out of the group. Finally, finish it off with a question to get some discussion going.
5. Take advantage of all prompts by the group leader.
Most engaged groups will have several discussion prompts led by the group leaders or their designated team. Take advantage of as many as you can, and not just the ones where you might be able to promote yourself.
6. Ask a question.
Take advantage of this environment to ask a question. Make sure it’s a genuine question though. Don’t ask something you could easily Google and find the answer to.
7. Is your website social share graphic a good one?
When you share your site, you want the preview image to be eye-catching. Heck, you want to make sure you actually have an image there. You can test this using Facebook’s debugger tool. Keep in mind that when you share your website URL in a comment, the image is going to appear cropped as a square, and pretty small.
8. Have a couple blog posts and resources ready to share.
Did someone ask a question that you’ve already answered in a blog post? Or maybe you’ve already created a perfect freebie that will help them out. Share a link for a win/win.
9. In your back pocket, have a simple description of who you are, what you do, and who you serve.
Something like this, “Hi, I’m _________ and I do/offer/create__________ for _________.” Take it a step further and consider word choice here. Will this one line stand out in a sea of comments?
I can specifically remember a time where a group leader prompted everyone to share about themselves in one sentence. One girl who had the most well-crafted one-liner that succinctly stated who she is and what she does and I immediately clicked through to learn more about her.
What’s mine? “I’m Amanda and I craft magnetic brands and striking websites for trailblazing business owners.”
10. Tag relevant people in your comments and posts.
When you build others up, you’ll grow together. By giving others visibility and credit where credit is due, they’ll be happy to return the favor and mention you when it’s relevant.
11. Continue the Conversation
Did you really connect with someone in the group? Invite them into a 15-minute phone conversation to learn more about them. I’ve hired 2 people from conversations just like these, so I know they can be really effective.
12. Pay attention to the questions people are asking.
This can give you great insight about the problems your target audience is facing. Use these insights for blog topics or talk about them in an IG story or Facebook live. They might even help you in shaping your offerings or developing a new one.