Engaging the lurkers in your FB group

Running a FB group is hard! It’s like having a child that you constantly have to nurture, entertain and educate. Let us help you.

Are your FB Group members hiding? Photo by Sneha_snaps

If you are building your business through community, it’s likely that you have set up a Facebook Group. If so, you might recognise this: you set up the group, you’ve put great content in there; you have something to share, you know that your audience have too. You’ve create the space for people come and interact, learn, connect and gain valuable information and insight. And then very little happens.

Don’t get disheartened at the start.

Some people put lots of effort in, yet don’t see a lot of return, especially in the early days of starting a group — but we don’t want you to underestimate the impact you are having on your lurkers.

Lurkers are members of your group who don’t like any posts, comment on anything or contribute in any way — they are invisible! However, we have had many scenarios when people have met us in person (in the days when that was easier!) and commented about a FB Live or something we’ve done and how much they liked it — yet we had no idea they even saw it!

We have a thriving, active group, for Speakers, Authors and Coaches, called The Connection Hub, with currently around 7500+ people in it. It grows steadily by about 50–100 people a week. Our engagement levels in that group are around 60%. That’s high. We say this to encourage you to get going, keep going and continue to make your efforts. When we started, these figures were much lower, and we’ve learned along the way how to really make an impact and draw (some of) our unseen members into being interactive contributors.

The Lurker Factor.

We want to help put your mind at ease with some stats about typical FB group engagement and also some techniques to help those lurkers come out of hiding!!!

Engagegement Chart: 1%creators / 9% Contributors / 90 % Consumers

So what this diagram shows is that only 1% of members of a FB group will be classed as Creators — these are your heavy contributors. This means they start conversations, they give their opinions on posts, start polls, share links and articles, show whether they like, love, care and so on. We class them as top fans and they probably have FB badges in your group like conversation starter/ rising star / visual story teller. These badges are allocated by FB, so they are a good ‘snapshot’ of who these people are in your groups.

9% will be classed as Contributors. These people dip in and out of your group and are more likely to comment on other people’s posts and take part in polls rather than start their own. They will show up on your FB Lives or watch the replays and will show whether they like or love content when it really resonates with them. They like what you are saying, what the group represents and they find the topics and themes useful and/or entertaining and feel being in your group is a good use of their time.

Don’t go into a spiral about the next stat!

What this means is that 90% of your FB group will be LURKERS! People who join and then turn into ghosts. They don’t like, comment or post anything in your group — which can make you feel like they aren’t watching but, trust us, they are! These are the ones that make you feel like packing it all in, and closing the group. These are the ones you MUST continue for! Because they are there, lurking like bears in the woods, just watching. Your job is to stay consistent and be persistent, and invite them to ‘come out and play’ in different ways.

So why do lurkers join groups if they don’t want to interact?

First, let’s address the fact that they are there, and why they might not be interacting. There are a few reasons. Lurkers fall into a few different categories.

Introverts & Observers — these people are very private & like to learn from watching rather than interacting. They can be your biggest fans and you might not ever know about them! They are the ones that reach out or take up an offer you make two years later on from joining. They’ve built up enough trust or proof that you are indeed the ‘real deal’ for them.

Your competitors — yes we all have them, people who are keeping their beady eye on you & your content, to ensure they are keeping up with the Jones’s. It’s easier for them to do this with your Page as they just have to ‘follow’ you & not actually make themselves known by liking your FB Page. The great thing about your FB Groups is that you have to let them in before they see any content and you have the choice on that. That’s one of the reasons why we help people develop different content for their Pages and their Groups. As we say “Your Page is your STAGE and your Group is your AFTER PARTY” — it’s where all the fun stuff happens!

“Your Page is your Stage; Your Group Is your After Party”

Finally, the truth of it all is that people are busy & being productive with their time — many of your group members WANT to consume what you have because it’s good (make sure it’s good!) without getting into discussion because they have other things to do and priorities that take up their precious time. Just consuming what you have is enough for them. And THEY are the ones that eventually show up and buy something from you — because they have seen your consistency and how you provide it.

So take a deep breath with the knowledge that you aren’t doing a bad job — 90% of your group will be silent lurkers!

How to bring your lurkers out of hiding.

Don’t rest on your laurels, having read all we’ve just said. We are still setting you the challenge of bringing those lurkers out of hiding, even if it’s just once in a while. In our FB Group, The Connection Hub, we even have a regular post called ‘come out of hiding’ and we are surprised how many people end up doing an #intro post etc as a result of that!

Engaged is always better than lurking. Conversation is always better than passive learning. Interaction is always more fun than just watching.

Here are some tips to increase the engagement of your FB group and hopefully this will include the lurkers:

1) Know what type of content gets the most engagement in your group and do more of that — but also have a variety of types of posts. We did a FB Live on the 6 different types of content you can use to engage at different levels. People are different, they like different things!

2) Have a variety of different length and ‘weight’ posts. We always presumed that detailed posts with great information are the ones that would get the most engagement but, actually for us it’s simple posts like ‘are you a paperback or kindle book reader’ which gets the most likes and comments. It’s easier to respond to something like this if you have less time, and still feel like you are ‘part’ of the group.

In one group that Kelly belongs to, they have an invite to post pictures of your dog on Tuesdays. They are always popular because they are simple & quick to respond to, you aren’t going to be judged by your answer and it’s a bit of fun. So add these types of posts in to your content. What could you create that is ‘light’ enough to entice people into engagement.

3) Do polls or surveys — ask for opinions, get information, ask them to enrol and engage. Again they can feel part of contributing without having to be too visible.

4) Make them feel welcome — acknowledge your new arrivals. We write a welcome post to give our members in the group all the info & important links in they need and we encourage people to write that initial welcome post & join our directory. The stats even in this speak for themselves; of the 50 people that we tag, only around 3–4 people instantaneously say ‘hi’ in #Intro post. Most come out later.

5) The posts that often bring the lurkers out are when you really hit on issues that they feel strongly about or when you have acted with their voice — and they want to thank you for being their champion. We call this “being more Marmite” — something that you either love or hate. (In the UK there is a clear division on whether you love or hate this product). An alternative way to put this would be to ‘be less vanilla’. Give people a chance to voice their opinions.

6) One of the things that we teach in our membership programme is that 20% of your content should be ‘teaching’ which for us is this weekly FB live training. 80% is asking for input & discussion from your group. Over time, we’ve introduced posts like the ones below — which all create a community culture and encourage discussions:

a. #CuriousQ&A post, where we encourage our members to ask questions,

b. #Callout — where they can ask for who they want to connect with

c. #Fridayfeeling — where they celebrate their wins

d. #SupportingResources — where they share tools that will help others

One final thing about engaging your lurkers.

We all want more engagement and one of the core things that unites us as humans is TIME. We have finite amounts of it, and we want you to think about your audience or ideal client avatar. What is the right TIMING for them? When are they around? When are they busy? Why should they interrupt their day to hang out with you, share their precious resource with you?

Maybe they are just lurking because they just don’t have the time to engage with the type of content you are putting out. Or maybe it’s about the timing of when you post what you post — is it right in the middle of their ‘busy for them’ time?

That’s why we invite a lot of ‘replays’ and watch our statistics for different post types and content. Inviting people to do things in THEIR time and making that possible can be one of the things that leads to later connection and your lurkers deciding they might just come out and say hi.

We’d love to know what you’ll do as a result of reading this. Do comment below, or even come join us inside The Connection Hub to see what we are talking about.Speaker INsight

We support speakers, authors & coaches to monetise their message, market their purpose and create & manage their portfolio business, ON THEIR TERMS™.

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