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How to Promote Yourself in a Facebook group?

What’s the best way to post my [XYZ] in a Facebook group without being banned?

This is SUCH a fantastic question and I never thought to answer it until Joyce Akiko from joyceakiko.com reached out to me.  You might be surprised by my answer.  Keep reading.  🙂

As a fellow Ultimate Guide System student, she reached out via Slack.

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You know you’re a community strategist when you actually get excited about community questions on a Friday night.  Lay it on me Joyce!

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Now of course, I could have simply shot her back a quick reply.

Add value, focus on them…blah blah blah but that’s not how Big D likes to roll.

Joyce reached out because this obviously was something she is worried about.  Heck…I’VE worried about this as well.  I’ve written two Ultimate Guides and one of the hardest parts was actually promoting it;  so I know the feeling.

Picture it:  You create something mind blowing that you know will help your audience (which you adore and want to help), but, when you need to actually get it in front of your peeps, you start second guessing.

There are many ways to get the word out.

  • Be a guest on a podcast and mention your content (in this case an ultimate guide) on the show.
  • Email influencers that you mention in the guide and let them know if you feature them (don’t ask them to share dude…just no).
  • But one of the easiest ways to share is social media.  Awww yeah.

We get all excited because we can post on Facebook, tweet it, snap photos or quick videos on instagram…etc etc.

It’s so “simple”.  Of course your content is going to go viral in a New York minute simply by posting to social media.  Right?!

Or not.

You share on social and nothing really happens.  Your network likes it, maybe a couple people share, and your aunt Rose comments something slightly embarrassing but you leave an emoticon and move on.

You know that your target audience is hanging out in specific Facebook groups but you don’t want to be THAT dude.

You know, the douche that joins a community and drops a post with a link without even introducing themselves (or reading the guidelines).

DELETE.

I’ve seen many different approaches to trying to promote…something clever I’ve seen recently…you share that you’re hiring a member for you team…so you HAVE to link out to your website and explain what you do and who you help… right.

That isn’t self-promotion.  You’re simply looking to hire someone.  Riiiiiight.

DELETE.

So here’s the deal Joyce {and the army of entrepreneurs asking themselves the same questions}… I know you mean well.

You also know this kind of “sharing” is kind of douchey.

Now, you aren’t a D bag and you want to share your work with people to help them.

Here’s the thing though.

If you simply write a list of Facebook groups you want to “share” in, and you then copy and paste a post into all of them (with a link); you’re not only gonna piss off a lot of people {who are probably in more than one group and watching you morph into a spam bot} you’re going to get your ass kicked out of these groups too dude.

What’s an entrepreneur to do then?

Well first of all.  Be a human for fuck’s sake.  Be you.  Embrace that weirdo that your friends know and love.  Be that person when you interact in these groups…that’s what they are there for.. (For me…I’m a GIF maker, writer and helper…so I roll with that).

Second, I’m willing to bet that you KNOW when something is shady and weird.

You know that feeling.  You’re sitting there looking at the newsfeed of a FB group that you know is crawling with your peeps.  If you could just drop your link subtly into conversation, then everyone would flock to your site to sign up to your list.  You’d get hundreds of subscribers in minutes, right!

Now…put down the kool aid for a second (methinks there is more than fruit juice in-dhere).

Here’s something that might shock you.

Linking to your stuff doesn’t always translate to more subscribers.

Yes my pet.  It’s shocking but true.

Think about it.  In many FB groups, community managers or hosts create “promotional threads” where people can drop their links on certain days of the week.

How many of your peeps are going to be reviewing that promo-fest of a thread?  Um…not a lot.  It’s filled with other promotion starved entrepreneurs, or coaches looking to tap the gold-mine of the community.

Now, here’s how I recommend approaching “promotion” in communities.

DON’T.

That’s right.  Don’t promote yourself or your shit in someone else’s digital living room.

That’s like a friend inviting you over for a coffee and you showing up with a Pampered Chef demonstration kit and kicking off your spiel: If you or your “guests” — {um…my 5 year old who lives here??} — buy over $200 dollars of merchandise today you’ll get this free garlic press or ice cream scoop.”  

Umm…I just wanted to have you over for a coffee dude.

Now, I’m not ragging on Pampered Chef or any other MLM peeps, but if I invite you over for a coffee, I’m expecting you to show up at my house…preferably clothed– and possibly with a jacket and a purse.

It’s the same for online communities, and actually goes one step further.

The host of a free Facebook community is most likely using it to promote their own shit.

So it makes our metaphor even worse (or entertaining).

It’s like me bringing a friend to another friend’s Pampered Chef party and the tag-along friend sets up her OWN fucking table in the corner with her own Pampered Chef swag…or another brand that is more trendy or one time use!

How fucked up would that be?

Seriously, stop and picture it for a mo please.

You’re in Sally’s Pampered Chef party and having a great time with all the local Mom’s when your friend Tamara goes rogue with a collapsible table with her own Pampered Chef items.

What would you do?

  • If you were Sally how would you feel?
  • If you were Sally’s guests…how would you feel?
  • Fuck dude…if you were Tamara…how would you feel?

Well…here’s how it plays out in my head.  Sally’s guests are gonna be like…WTF Tamara.  Keep your swag to yourself this is Sally’s party.  Communal hatred for Tamara is born and no one ever thinks to even talk to Tamara again, let alone throw money at her.

Sally is a no BS kind of lady and she simply walks over to the competitor like a baller, swipes all the items into a garbage bag, grabs the table, and Tamara and tosses them out the front door.

A “delete, remove and block” in real life.

As for Tamara, she probably feels like shit cause she KNEW that this was a bad idea, but she’s just trying to get some traction.

Now of course, you aren’t Tamara, and you certainly don’t want to be pissing off the Sallys of your niche.

So now that we’ve established that you’re scared to death of being Tamara, what can you actually do?

Being banned from your beloved Facebook Groups is a big deal, and it’s time to dish out the goods on how to avoid anything Tamara-esque.  Here are some simple steps to avoid this.

Update your Facebook Profile

Here is where you can have a link to your ultimate guide or your website (or even a landing page); in your FB profile. THIS is where you get to flaunt what your mama gave you (your biz).

Here’s what mine says:

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I help A-list Entrepreneurs create engaged online communities for paying clients.  www.dianatower.com

Make sure that your profile tells people what you do and provides a link to get there.

Looking at Joyce’s profile there’s a lot of room to provide more information about what she does and who she helps.  She doesn’t have an intro saying what she does and there isn’t a URL for people to check out.

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There is a link to Joyce Akiko Consulting LLC but that link goes to another Facebook page that is an unofficial page.

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I would recommend saying something like:

Helping [specific type of person] do [something] followed by your website.

Wait a second Diana.  You’re telling me NOT to drop links and to simply have my profile updated?  But surely that isn’t enough Diana.  Who will actually take the time to explore and creep my profile?

Someone whom you’ve helped, entertained or “added value to”, that’s who.

That is why your post needs to do SOMETHING extremely well.  It needs to help your audience, entertain them or simply connect with them.

When you go above and beyond in a community WITHOUT link dropping or trying to sneak your business into your post, it creates a curiosity gap.  People will ask themselves:

  • Who is this person?
  • Why are they taking the time to help people without anything in return?
  • This person knows their shit…I wonder what they do?
  • Cue the profile creep.

Offer value with NO links.

That’s right link-zilla.  Keep your link in your pants and focus on the value or content that they get if they had clicked a link.

Say what?

If you’re looking to share an ultimate guide, why not share a story or a couple of tips from the guide in a post?

You could mention that it is pulled from your ultimate guide BUT no links dude.  Simply share the value.

Why? Because if someone reads the post and they love it, or find value in it, they will creep your profile.  The kind of creeping you want, not the kind that makes you sleep with the lights on.

So you’ve got your profile set to “this is what I do!” and you’ve got your link gun holstered.

Now it’s time to actually…dah dah dah…post something in a community.  This is the moment that makes people feel seriously uncomfortable.

How are you supposed to just post in a community like a human being but in a way that makes people curious to learn more about you and what you do?

First Review the Guidelines

Before you do anything, check the guidelines.

Make sure you know what is and isn’t kosher.  You never know, it might be ok to post a link to your guide as long as it isn’t in the main post (aka keep it in the comments)..

Or if someone asks you a question that can be genuinely answered by reading your guide, adding a link to a comment might be ok.

Reach out to the admin

If you do want to share the guide directly, the only way I would ever consider doing this would be if you reach out and speak to the admin directly and they give you the green light..

Being a community manager, I know first hand what it’s like to suddenly see a post promoting a guest post someone has written or a guide.

Honestly?  It’s fucking annoying because it makes more work for me.

Suddenly I need to judge:

  • Is it abusing the community or not?
  • Should I leave it there or remove it?
  • If I do remove it, do I message you and let you know or simply delete it?

Don’t be THAT person that makes the admin of a group have to ask themselves these questions.  Show some respect for the space and reach out to them.  Also…don’t assume they will allow it.  Maybe it’s going to be a no, but at least you reached out and asked.

Here is a sample template to reach out to an Admin if you’re gonna be ballsy.

Hi NAME,

[Compliment specifically about the group, something they have done or anything else that is super specific to them or the group].  I wanted to reach out to see if it would be ok for me to share a guide that I wrote on XYZ in the community.

The guide looks at [describe] and will help members [benefits].

I wanted to check with you first, before sharing it, as I know the guidelines say XYZ, and I wanted to be respectful.  If you like, I could write a post about some of the core content (sharing some advice) and then if anyone is interested in the full guide I could provide a link in the comments (so that it isn’t so prominent).

Thank you so much for everything you do in XYZ community.

All the best,

NAME.

As an entrepreneur looking to “share”, this template seems reasonable right? (BTW: If you use it…don’t copy and paste…make it YOU).

But then my community manager mind kicks in and starts to ask questions.

  1. Can’t you read the guidelines? This is a good point.  If it clearly says in the guidelines that you can’t share links or content…don’t.
  1. If someone reached out to me in any of the communities I manage, my response will really depend on how active this person is in the community, if what they want to share will actually help the majority of the community.

Honestly, I would rather they create a piece of content for the community specifically.  Maybe a Google Doc that plays with the same issues as the content they really want to share, but it allows the community to read the whole post in the community or a Google Doc.

So let’s land this plane.  If you’re really worried about getting banned from a group I would play things safe by doing the following:

#1:  Don’t drop links, apart from having your profile clearly linked up.

#2:  Focus on helping others, writing helpful or entertaining posts that add to the experience members have in the community (so people will creep your profile).

#3: Be human and be YOU.

  • If you have a fun writing style…write it up.
  • If you are great on video maybe a quick video.
  • Great with Canva?  Create some fun, inspiring or silly art.
  • Love GIFs?  Make your own.

#4:  If you really want to try to post a link or promote something directly, reach out to the admin.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

How do you share your content with others?  I’d love to hear what has worked for you, and what have been epic fails.  

Leave a comment below.

  • Danny says:

    Love this Diana! This really speaks to exactly what I was struggling with and wanted to speak with you about.

    • Diana Tower says:

      Hey Danny,

      So glad that you enjoyed it. It’s funny because I wrote this to answer Joyce’s question and I didn’t really think about how helpful this would be for others. Looking back on it I realised one thing that is missing…GIFs! haha.

      If you have any follow up questions for a specific situation or you want clarification on anything, just let me know.

      So glad that you found it useful.

  • Jerome Huff says:

    Love this post Diana! I will definitely be taking action in my FB groups.

    Thank you so much for the great ideas.

    My sister’s name is Tamara so it made this post extra entertaining! Lol

    • Diana Tower says:

      Bahaha…my Body Pump instructor was called Tamara too. It’s hilarious when you put a REAL face to her name. Can you imagine your sister doing something like that? Haha

      Glad to hear that the post was useful. Let me know how things go and if it helps you. 🙂

      • Jerome says:

        It took me forever to get the confidence to start posting in groups.

        I re read this article to optimize my profile. From my stats I can see that people are already creeping.

        Thanks again for this awesome post!

  • Clarissa says:

    I usually just don’t share because the idea of coming across as an AH scares the shit out of me. But I love this. It’s proactive, but still respectful and serving. Big D you’ve don’t it again! Love your work sista!

    • Diana Tower says:

      I hear that. I fall into that camp too. I am hyper sensitive to veiled self-promotion so when I write something in a group I felt kind of dirty like. I’m trying to do something that I as a CM would hate. Which probably isn’t true because I’m not a link dropper or anything like that.

      I’m so glad that you found the article useful. It’s funny…I haven’t been called Big D in ages. Haha…I love it! Looking forward to seeing you drop value bombs all across the Facebook group internet. Giving without asking anything in return is the best! 🙂

  • Brian says:

    Just need more gifs. That’s all. Otherwise, this post is perfect! Wish I had read it a few months ago! 😀

    • Diana Tower says:

      RIGHT?! I write this on a Friday night and was more interested in answering Joyce’s question. I think there will be some GIF creation in the near future. That’s what I love about the internet. I can always add and update later. 🙂 Glad that you found the post useful Brian!

  • Gary says:

    Great tip about updating your FB profile with a tag line about what you do and URL and letting them discover you rather than posting the link. I need to do that! Thanks!

    • Diana Tower says:

      Hey Gary,

      It’s funny how something so simple can go overlooked. A lot of people get so fixated on trying to drop a link in a community that they forget that the best way to actually get someone’s attention is to add value or help them. By having a link and information in your profile it allows you to focus on simply helping people. 🙂 Let me know how things go. 🙂

  • Ryan Robinson says:

    Heelllzz frikken yeaaah….

    Maaan this was good! This was some good shit yo!
    Like where do I start…

    Perhaps the bad gyal Ri-Ri advice of updating your FB profile stating who you help and how…AND also with a link to your guide and website. Baaam! Only a total bosss would give advice like that…

    orrr…orrr…

    Creating value for your community by creating a document specific for the community that deals with the issues some people are having in the community

    orrr….orrr this one..

    share a story or a couple of tips from the guide and also mentioning that these tips are from your guide! BAAAM! You’re basically sharing your guide, but you’re not at the same time. Like HOW FRIGGIN DOPE IS THAT!!!? RIIIGHT?!!

    Sheeeeeeet……

    I’m SOOO saving this blog post to evernote like right now and MOST DEF will be re-reading it whenever I need to refresh my memory on how to NOT to be a link-zilla in a FB community(HAHAHAHAA….link-zilla. Friggin HILARIOUS!!!)

    • Diana Tower says:

      Hey Ryan,

      I’m so glad that you’re not going to turn into a link-zilla. I’d have to stop talking to you dude. 😉 I look forward to seeing you add value and helping people in Facebook groups so people can creep your profile to learn about your future ultimate guide. Can’t wait to read it and finally wrap my head around teaching my kid about money. BOOM!

  • Bessy says:

    Love it! Great post, super human-ized with the pampered chef analogy, I can definitely see it playing out.

    Cant’ wait to read more of your content!

  • Thanks for your tips Diana! Solved the exact issue I was encountering because I comment on a ton of different FB groups and was thinking of should I promote my email course here and what happens if I get banned and I’m being sleazy etc but at the same time it’s where I do my immersion and my fishing holes are there too. Thank you!

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