Case Study: An In-Depth Audit of Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions Community:
How to assess the 4 foundations of your Facebook Group.
Alrighty folks, you want to get a backstage pass to one of the best online course communities I’ve ever been a member of?
Saddle up for this exclusive behind the scenes look at the Impacting Millions community. I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and showing you how to really maximize your own Facebook group through example.
Check out this 30 minute video audit here:
Also, if you want to learn more about getting publicity, I would highly recommend joining Selena’s once a year live training happening TODAY, Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of March 2018,
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Now, back to the audit. If you’d prefer to read it, then I transcribed the video below. Enjoy.
How to Review or Audit a Facebook Group
00:02 Hey Everybody, this is Diana Tower and I would love to take a minute to show you what a successful and engaged facebook group can look like, but also I wanted to take a look at one that already exists.
So we’re going to be looking at Selena Soo’s Impacting Millions course community, and we’re going to be looking at this for a couple of reasons.
A, it’s going to show you what the setup can look like to give you an idea of what to sort of aspire for with your communities.
B, we’re going to take a look at some things that maybe they could do a little bit better, so you can learn and improve your group as well.
#1 Assess Your Cover Image
00:45 So, as you can see here, the first thing that you’re going to notice with a Facebook group is the image. And actually Selena just redid her logo this year. So this is different from when I first joined the community. Absolutely love it.
Ask yourself 2 things about your image:
01:00 #1 Do you know what the course is? The main thing that you want is to obviously identify what course this community is going with (so including the name clearly is a must).
01:11 #2. How does the image make your members FEEL? So when I look at this and the goal, it feels almost like sparkly and magical, but also very kind of, elite, almost expensive like quality. There’s a definite feel of elite quality that’s being represented here and that’s what, you want people to feel depending on the type of course that you’re offering.
So with Impacting Millions Selena Soo is helping entrepreneurs with their publicity, getting media, getting guest posting opportunities, podcasting, podcasting opportunities, and getting on even in magazines and television.
01:54 The feel here that I’m getting is that it’s very, prestigious and elite and professional. And so in terms of this image, it really nails it.
So what can you do when you’re setting up your course community?
You want to make sure that this image is triggering emotions that you want your members to feel. So for example, here, this is Allon’s group for his course FOCUS like a World Class Athlete. And his course is all about focus and so he wanted to create this community as a place for people to be held accountable to check in, but also focusing.
And so take a look at his choice of photo. So first of all, you’ll notice that the name of the course is prominent and it’s not cut off, it’s not fuzzy, it’s very clear.
02:48 The size of the image is correct and also it makes you feel like you’re sitting down and you’re having a cup of coffee and you’re getting to work. It’s very calming and focused and it makes you kind of feel like , maybe you’re getting together with someone for coffee, to talk about your work, this sort of thing. And that’s the feel that he wants to have there as well.
So that’s the first thing. Make sure your image is triggering the right emotions.
#2: Group Description
03:14 Second thing that we look at is the description. So you go in here and what do you do with the description? Some people maybe aren’t sure what to do with the description and in the case of impacting millions, there isn’t actually a description. So they decided or chose not to include it a description.
Why is a group description important and worth having?
03:38 I would highly recommend that you do for a couple of reasons.
First of all, it’s an additional piece of real estate or a place where people can get information about the group. It’s a great opportunity to welcome people into the course – identifying the course again – but then also saying what this place is like, what is it for, how are you going to feel here?
Again, focusing on the emotions that you want people to feel like this is a safe space or this is a place to get shit done or this kind of thing. So it’s an opportunity to trigger those emotions as well.
Also you can add a little bit of housekeeping or guidelines. So if you haven’t got guidelines, which you definitely should, we’re going to get to that in a second. You could have quick guidelines right here.
04:27 So notice, you can ask questions, stay focused. One other thing that I would actually highly recommend as well if you want to promote your course a little bit is adding a link to your sales page or wait list.
Now this is the first time that Allon has launched his course, so this is fine, but in the future you can say that this is a community specifically for these paying clients. If you’d like to join, you can pop a link to your sales page or your waiting list.
Okay. So that’s an opportunity to use the description as a way to promote your course if someone happens just to find it. So like I said, impacting millions doesn’t have a description. I would highly recommend that they add one. That way you are making full use of the real estate that you have in the community.
05:19 So you’ve got your cover image, you’ve got your description, what’s next?
#3 – The Pinned Post
05:26 What’s a pin post a just in case you’re not sure? It’s the post that is pinned or stuck to the top of the wall. Because the wall is constantly moving. It’s about, who last, posted or commented. So it’s not prioritised or in chronological order. It’s by the most recently active comment or post.
05:56 But this one post is static and now you’ll see here that Selena, has posted an update to the guidelines.
So a little bit of backstory on this; this is actually a really great approach to dealing with a situation. So a Facebook group guideline about promoting other courses and programs and events in the group. So Selena jumped in here and she’s pinned this post because she’s realised that their community guidelines may have been unclear.
06:24 This is fantastic. It’s also a really great example of why you need to have clear guidelines right from the beginning because if you have clear guidelines in place at the beginning, you can avoid having to put these update posts in.
This is great because it’s obviously an issue that they wanted to deal with. Also the way that they talk about, the situation is fantastic. It’s very respectful. You’ll notice that it’s also very encouraging.
The language that she uses and triggering emotions. It’s not to make people feel bad, it’s not super negative, it’s quite encouraging. But it’s also firm, because they obviously don’t want other courses being promoted in the group, because this is a course specific group.
So this is fantastic. Now, the only issue with this is that when new people come into this program, if this is the first post that they see, it’s good because it’s clarifying, but it doesn’t actually provide information on what they should be doing first.
07:33 And that’s actually what I would highly recommend anybody do, when you have a pinned post, you want that to be the welcome and getting started thread or “what do I do first thread?”, for people that are coming in and they’re not really sure what to do.
You want to make sure that they get information as soon as possible so that they can actually interact appropriately in your group. So then you don’t have to go and say, well actually you need to go do this here or changing things or sending messages.
You’re going to reduce the amount of policing that you have in your community. So for example, with Allon’s group we set up a welcome and how to get started thread that invites people to create a new post, and introduce themselves. We actually gave everybody a template as well to make it super easy, copy and paste, and then encourage people to connect with others.
08:24 You’ll also notice here as well that we added a quick links section, which I would highly recommend. Like I said before, Facebook is scrolling, right? How do people keep track of things? How are they going to find the important posts that you want them to find?
By putting a kind of directory. Like a link directory in the pinned post because the pin post is always going to be there, right?
So in this case in his program, it’s a five week program. There’s five live calls on a weekly basis. And so what we’ve done here is we’ve set it up so that they can add a link to each of the threads you’ll see here, after each call Allon invites the members to share their biggest takeaway and also to share what they’re going to be working on this week and their powerblocks.
09:18 That is a great way to get people to post and share and sort of check in. You’ll also see as well that at the very bottom that there’s the member introduction directory. And this is actually something that I set up in a Facebook doc.
So this is a Facebook, document that you can jump in. You could create your guidelines and put them in here, or you can create a check-in doc like this. So for example, each member has their own specific link to go to their introduction. So it’s a really easy way to find their threads. They don’t have to be scrolling to find their thread. They just come in, click it, boom, post an update, and they get out.
10:10 Especially because this course is specifically focused on focus. They want to be focused, they don’t want to be scrolling for days. So that is something to keep in mind.
Now this is also the idea of updating a pinned post, like in this situation here, they’re dealing with the fact that they want people to change their habits. This is totally reasonable and valid. The only thing I would recommend is adding the quick links list at the bottom.
For example, here’s a link to the guidelines or here’s a link to the welcome thread if that’s what you’ve set up in your group. So that’s the only thing that I would recommend doing there.
#4 Welcome Thread
This is how Selena kicked off the program, posting your intro on one thread. Comparing this to Allon’s group, where they introduce themselves on their own thread, you’re going to get to see two options.
Here’s the, the one thread version versus separate introductions per person. So let’s take a look and I can explain the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
10:58 So you can see here, super clear, very welcoming including the guidelines. So this would be at the very beginning of the course when it launches. This would be the pinned post. So people come in thinking “what do I do? Oh, introduce myself on this thread.”
She gives people two things that you want them to do right away. So this is fantastic. Introduce yourself and read the guidelines. She also gets asked people to like the posts.
This is a great idea, although a lot of people might not do that. Then introduce you in yourself in the thread.
So what’s your business also feel free to post a photo and a link to your website with your intro says interesting. So it’s also giving people the opportunity to introduce themselves, a taste of self promotion because a lot of people, especially in the entrepreneur area, like to just show a link to their website and you can see like a lot of people who have posted so a 144 comments, so a lot of people are introducing themselves.
13:06 One thing I did want to mention as well, I’ll be fuzzing out, all of the comments directly, to respect people’s privacy, but you’ll notice or I can see here that Selena actually jumps in and she personally welcomes every single person.
I’m looking at all these threads and there is actually a written welcome from Selena and it’s not a copy and paste template. It’s specific, it’s unique, it’s different, it makes people feel probably incredibly special.
I know for myself that I felt really like, wow, Selena is messaging me, which is fantastic.
Definitely there are positives to that, but it also creates this idea that Selena is highly involved in the community, which down the line could create a situation where maybe, she can’t be in the community all the time.
I’m sure she’s very busy. She has other things to be doing. I remember a different situation, a couple of months into the program, they had to do another announcement post. This was two months into the program. So talking about tagging Selena in the Facebook group. Again, this is such a fantastic way to express a situation that they want to change.
13:06 So the community manager went ahead and she posted this update post. This was pinned for awhile and it talks about tagging Selena in the Facebook group. So take a minute and look at the language that she’s using here.
So you can see here we’ve been so impressed with how active you are. We want to remind you what is said in the community guidelines. It’s best for you to post questions to the entire group and not just Selena as an individual. Great. Right?
So we’re reminding people the guidelines. So now also here, we’re informing everyone. Selena is active in the group on a daily basis, will be commenting on select posts, but with hundreds of students in the program, she’s simply won’t be able to answer every question asked in the group or review every media or bio pitch.
16:23 Seems totally reasonable, right? Since she already reads every post, which is awesome, also notice how it’s like it’s reassuring. It’s like Selena is here, she’s reading everything and then it’s a very nice ask. We ask that going forward. You do not tag her directly in your posts, right?
So it’s very clear, but it’s also very nice, right?
It’s not in a bad way, it’s not negative. Now notice they continue. We love watching you take massive action and we love cheering you on. Please continue posting in the group as it keeps our community alive and vibrant.
And notice the feels. It makes me feel like I want to be a part of this. Also more emotions. So we also want to thank and acknowledge those of you who’ve been helping others in the community.
Okay, so now we got gratitude coming in. So they’re triggering gratitude. They’re triggering appreciation that this is a very well written post in terms of the emotions that are triggering to make people feel good while telling them to not do something right. They could come in and just been like, hey guys, stop tagging Selena.
18:01 Notice again, “it makes us so happy to see fellow insider’s answer each other’s questions”, notice that they are praising the helpers and what’s that gonna do?
It’s gonna. Make those helpers feel even more special. And what’s that gonna do? It’s gonna get them to help more because they want to be acknowledged again. So there’s this idea of gratitude, acknowledging appreciation, like even just joy. So there’s a lot of emotions going on here and it’s so fundamental to the functioning of this community.
We also want to remind you that after we finished our six core modules will be having media mentors, so a little bit of information, and then again please like, or comment on this post we know you’ve read and understand it. Fantastic.
So this is a perfect example again of a post where they’re trying to get people to stop doing something or changing a behaviour.
19:01 So normally what we wanna do is we want to set guidelines so that this stuff doesn’t happen so that you will be able to set your guidelines and then it’s like, all right, people will just follow the guidelines and you won’t have to do these kind of updating posts, but this is the thing as well.
You’re learning as you go. So you set up your community, you’re going to see what people are doing and what the tendency is and then you can deliver one of these posts where it’s triggering the emotions you want your members to feel, but also informing them of how you want them to change their behaviour. So speaking of guidelines, we’re going to take a look at those right now. They are in the file section.
#4 Community Guidelines
19:50 First of all, you’ll notice that they’re in a Facebook doc, which I actually highly recommend. It looks really clean and it’s very easy to read. You can just go through and it’s very easy to create as well.
So actually here’s a very quick tutorial while we’re here, if you want to create a file for your group, but you’re not in this file section. Until you make a file, this file section doesn’t show up.
So imagine you’re in your group and you’re thinking, “okay, how do I make a file?”
Well, what you’re actually going to do is click here and click add file.
Okay? And you just click it and it’ll take you to the file section.
So with the community guidelines, what you’ll notice is it’s very clear, it’s very easy to understand and the first thing they kick off is welcoming people in. Remember this idea of emotions, making people feel good, making people feel welcome and important, all of these emotions are addressed in the guidelines, but they are also establishing what this group is here for.
20:54 Okay? So what do we do here? What do we not do here? Notice it’s to get support with this coursework. To cheer people on, share publicity opportunities and get feedback and discuss best practices.
So it’s all about the course. So even by saying this, this is what the group is here for, there is this silent voice that is saying everything else is not welcome. But in a really nice way.
Here’s what you can expect from me, Selena. This is super important. You need to tell people what to expect from you as the host, and this is something that people don’t do.
This is basically guidelines for yourself. How much time are you going to be involved in your community? How much are you going to be, you know, how are you going to be involved?
21:46 Are you going to be answering questions? Are you going to be encouraging people? Are you going to be connecting? What can people expect from you?
So for example, with Selena, they could actually add in something here about not tagging her. Well actually they’ve already got it noted. But I didn’t notice it, right?
So right here I’ll be personally reviewing all posts in this group, but I asked you, do not tag me in every post.
This I would actually make a little bit more prominent. So even notice what I was going to say before I was going to bring up the whole tagging?
“oh, she should add it here, but it already is here.” And probably a lot of people skip it or don’t notice it. So even something as simple as, I’m excited to lead this group and get to know you all. I’ll be personally, reviewing all posts in this group. I do ask that you do not tag me in every post or even something a little stronger, like even just saying don’t tag me. That’s pretty harsh, right? It feels like there’s no wiggle room.
23:01 But even saying do not tag me in every post it, it leaves this gap of well, what, what does she mean by that? Like what does she mean by every post? Um, what is appropriate? What isn’t? So what you could say, for example, when I ask that you, use discretion when, when tagging me in your posts, or try not to tag me in every single one of your posts. Maybe save that for a specific type of post.
23:35 And even when you say that, so for example, save it for your questions. Don’t do that because we don’t want people questioning Selena directly, right? And for yourself. So I would say that this part here could be a little bit stronger. Even making it bold I think would make it better.
So I’ll be personally reviewing all post in this group, but I ask that you do not tag me in every post. This is really awesome. So she talks about, it’s basically emphasising the connection of people. So to give you guys some ideas, for guidelines, the main things are
A to establish what this community is for
B, what is and is not appropriate in the community.
C also giving people examples of how to interact. So for example, if you use a template in terms of titles, maybe adding that in as well.
24:30 Also just even the way that people interact. So if you don’t want people being really negative, you need to express that in the community guidelines. You’ll notice here, for example, she encourages people to add [WIN] or [QUESTION] at the beginning of the posts,
I highly recommend this. This is something that Jason Gaignard does and his groups where it’s GIVE, ASK, PRAISE. It’s a fantastic setup. It just makes people aware of what this post is going to be about.
So it’s like, oh, this is a question, okay. This is when people can set their mind to that mode. So if there, if it’s a question, oh, I’m going to try and help this person, if it’s a share, oh, I’m going to support them or encourage them or celebrate with them.
25:16 So that’s definitely something, you can do as well. You’ll notice that these are very detailed guidelines.
Now the only thing with this, I will mention this when there is a lot of this going on, like scrolling, people might not read it all and this is a really good point. There is 11 different points here and it’s quite detailed.
I’m not saying cut down guidelines, but making sure that you really highlight the most important or key guidelines that are going to actually, make a difference is going to be a good idea.
So for example, you can do a test if you’re writing your own guidelines and you have like 15 different points and you’re thinking, oh my God is way too long. You can ask yourself, okay, if I removed this guideline, would it make more work for me, that’s the first question, or would it create or would it detract from the experience of my members?
26:14 So for example, this right here, number seven, okay, so do not post any of the following types of promos. webinar links, offer links, registration links etc. So if you removed this, would it make more work for you and would it detract from the experience of other members?
A, yes, it would make more work for you or your community manager because they’re going to be deleting posts were explaining to people over and over again, this is inappropriate or it’s self promotion and
B, it also then creates this noisy self promotional community that other people don’t want to be in, which kills engagement and people stop going to your community.
So that’s a great way you can kind of look at it if you’re trying to audit your guidelines or you’re trying to assess if they’re good or not.
27:06 That is a really great example of community guidelines. To recap, what have we looked at?
We looked at the cover image, we’ve looked at the description, we’ve looked at the pin post, we looked at the welcome threads and we’ve looked at the guidelines as well.
That is pretty much it. I think that when you’re starting out a community, if you can really nail the fundamentals, like if you really can just step back and say, okay, I did this, this and this.
They’re triggering the right emotions, I feel comfortable. It’s all set up especially if you do this in advance. If you do this before anybody’s in there, it’s really going to make your life so much easier.
Also, when you’re doing all this work, if you’re updating the, the description or you’re adding files, this sort of thing, Facebook will start adding updates on your wall. So what you can do is before you even launch, you get everything ready, boo boo boo boo. And then you can delete some of the unnecessary posts, on the wall here.
Also, so for example, just to give you another example here, you can close commenting, Here, this is a really good point. So notice that in impacting millions, they used one thread, right? For the welcome.
28:37 It was just one thread and everybody posts, you know, 123 comments, all the people, boom, boom, boom, they’re all in one place. Okay? That’s one approach. The next approach is one that, we used an Allon’s group.
Now Allon’s group is much smaller. This is the first time he’s launched his program. There’ are 24 people. And also this community is focused on being a coaching tool.
It is providing aspects of community, but it is an extension of coaching so you’ll notice here that he’s inviting people to create a new post to introduce themselves. Why would he do that?
This is actually a fantastic technique for smaller coaching course groups. What you can do is each person creates their own introduction thread. Let me, let me grab mine.
29:35 Good. Boom, here is my introductory thread, right? First of all, it’s a place where people can get to know me a little bit better, but then what happens in the comments?
First of all other people can introduce themselves, say hi, this sort of thing, but I am putting all of my updates as I work through that course in my one thread. Okay, and so what happens is every single person is doing the same thing and so it creates this journey or this story of the person when they first started.
So for example, look at these questions. What’s the number one reason you joined and what do you hope to accomplish from using this program? So you get an idea of where each of your clients is at the very beginning, and then as they go through the program, they post updates in the same thread and so it creates a documented journey of their their progress through the course.
30:34 Now, this is something that, for example, that Selena Soo could definitely do in impacting millions. The only issue with this is that it’s an existing community and it’s much harder to get everybody to do something that’s new once the community is launched, it’s like the ball is already rolling, but imagine this, just imagine what it would look like.
So each person would create a new thread to introduce themselves. They would add themselves to the doc, right?
This check in thread directory, that Allon has going on in his group, and then imagine that every time they get a new podcast opportunity or every time they get a win or every time they’re sharing something new or what they’re struggling with, it’s all in one thread. And so by doing that, it’s a fantastic way to create sort of story. It gives you the ability to see how well you’re progressing.
31:28 So it’s great for students. It’s also fantastic for the community host because you can actually create super authentic testimonials from those stories.
So you can say, hey, Diana started here and this is what happened. And things started a little bit slow, but then she started getting more publicity opportunities.
Here’s one, here’s another, here’s the next one, and actually show kind of the story of how impacting millions has impacted, that person’s publicity efforts. So it’s definitely an idea.
Like I said, it’s much harder to get these things started once a community is existing. It’s definitely not impossible. I’m just requires a little bit more policing in terms of the community manager that’s dealing with the community and so that I believe lands it.
- 32:28 So like I said, so we’ve looked at the importance of the, cover photo
- We looked at the importance of the group description and why you would even have that.
- We’ve looked at the pinned post and what you should include there and how to make it easier for your members.
- We’ve looked at two different approaches to welcome threads. One is one thread and the other option is having individual threads for each person.
- We’ve looked at guidelines and how to assess that and some tips on how to make sure that people actually read them.
And that’s it. So we’re going to land this plane.
I think that this is just a fantastic opportunity to really see behind the scenes under the hood of what you can do in the very beginning before you even launch a group, what you can do to really set the foundation so you can do it right and then you don’t have to worry so much about your community and then you can actually enjoy working with your people because you’re not worried about.
33:27 Making sure that you are just prepared and that you’re creating a vip space for your paying clients.
Also I just wanted to take a quick minute to give a huge thank you to Selena Soo and her team for allowing me to take you behind the scenes in this community because it is a private community.
Huge thank you to you guys and also a big thank you as well to Allon as well who allowed me to share behind the scenes in his community.
Hopefully this has been useful for you and I would love to know what’s the number one thing that you got from this video?
What did you not know about communities beforehand and what do you know now or how is this going to impact the way that you set up your own course community for your courses moving forward?
34:16 Okay, hope you’re having a great day. We’ll talk to you soon. If you dig this, if you like this, if this was useful, definitely hop on my list.
Have a fantastic day. Hope you enjoyed this and you found it useful and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye.