In this episode, we are discussing different ways to increase engagement in your group.
From running challenges and creating engaging questions to enhancing the experience of your group members through collaborations and how to avoid stifling your community involvement.
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3 Big Take Aways
- How to avoid stifling your community involvement
- How to empower the community to have conversations
- How to create a better experience through collaborations
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Melissa: Next we're going to go to Alison.
Alison: Hi, my question is, do I need help with my engagement in my Facebook group? I'm not sure what's normal and what's not normal.
And if so, what the heck am I doing wrong? Because I feel like my engagement is not so good. Is this a pre group or, or a member or paid group?
Well, it's both honestly, but I'm asking specifically about my free group.
Paul: Okay. About how many people are in it? And what's the topic?
Alison: It's just shy of 700 people and the topic is taking photos of dogs.
Paul: Love it. Awesome. All right. On an average day, if I was to go in there and do a post today, how many of the 700 would probably reply to the post?
Alison: You'd probably get three to five comments. My question is more so pertains to, I guess what I'm posting, because rarely do other people post in there. First of all, I feel like people take photos of their pets every day, and yet I can not get people to actually make posts in the group. And I've done things like post photos in this album of your dog at a Halloween costume or do something silly like that. And then I'll get a little bit of more participation. So I'm specifically asking for it and I get it a little bit, but when I'm not specifically asking for it, nobody chimes in and I've done live videos. I do a tip every Tuesday and I've done that for a whole year now.
And I'll get two to five likes on the video and I'll get like 20 views, which I don't even know if a view is someone watching it all the way through, or like that first three seconds that Facebook notices. And it's like, Oh, you got be so I, I just don't know. just don't seem to be very engaged. So.
Paul: All right. So Ian has some input.
Ian: Yeah. I love dogs. That's great. So, you just said that you do the video, is that right? But you said you only do pictures first, is that right?
Alison: Well, group is to teach people how to take better photos of their pets or really of anything.
But we focus on pets and I will post a video of me explaining like how to set things up or what to look for in a photo, that kind of thing. So that's my videos. But you know, as far as people posting their own photos, practically never happens.
Ian: Yeah. I think nowadays people are so much into video.
There's no way you can sort of like twist that and pivot that into video. No, I'm really, unless you're a photographer, that's specifically what you want. Oh, okay. Can you do both like introduce the dog with the video and the do like, here's the photo type of thing. So they feel like they're more engaged that way.
Alison: Yeah. I could work on spicing up my videos a little bit. Cause usually they're like talking head style of like explaining a tip or something. So yeah.
Paul: Now Loretta, her entire life is dogs. So she might have something
Loretta: My entire life is dogs. You're right. From dog rescuing to dog training and living with six dogs. Yes. So Alison , you're trying to get people to engage right in the free group?
Alison: Yeah. Whether it's by actually posting themselves, interacting with the posts that are already there.
Loretta: So, so have you ever tried running like a challenge in your group?
Alison: Nope. I've thought about It and I have ideas for challenges.
Loretta: You could do it. You could do a challenge. You could do like however many days challenge. I think that could get interests going.
I belong in several different dog groups. Some of them are dog training groups and we're always having challenges and people just want to win. So when we run challenges, right. Whether it's videos because it's sometimes it's videos of them training. Cause I'm in the dog training sphere, you could use it the way. I'm not sure what, what group it is is for pet photography and video recording. Right. So, so you could obviously make your challenge cater to that. But like ours is all dog training and like they pose videos that are less than a minute long. And so then, and then like different days of the challenge, they do different things and that's something that could get it going.
And if you have something where, you know, like at the end of the seven days or however many days you run the challenge, like, you know, they get to win something that's like something nice. Right. You might be able to get more interests in that group.
Alison: Makes sense. Thank you.
Paul: Yeah. Patty, I see your hand
Patty: When I do polls, people like to answer those, I ask them where their favorite place to it is to take home or what costume or something along that line. And then the other thing that occurred to me when you're doing your videos, what about changing from how to do something to what? So having two pictures of two dogs and ask them, what do you see? That's different and try to get them to start engaging in the qualities of the photos that are being taken. Does that make sense?
Alison: It's really interesting idea. I like that. Thank you.
Paul: Alright. And Judy, and then Cynthia,
Judy: Alison. I was just thinking of the fun of it. So TGI F what's your dog saying today, or Cinco de Mayo you know, show us your best costume on your dog. So really asking prompting questions that are relevant to the day. And there's, you know, always something hump day for Wednesday, thirsty Thursday, where do you feed your dog? Drinking? Just fun, stuff like that. And I mean, everyone thinks their own dog is the cutest dog in the world, so they want to show.
Alison: Yeah, That's a great point. I definitely don't do enough. Just fun, like off the cuff, like questions, or like, Hey, just chime in with this random thing. So that's, that's a really good point. I need to start doing that. Thank you.
Paul: And cynthia,
Cynthia: Yeah, mine was similar to what Judy was saying, because I was looking through the influencers I follow the other day to try to post have more organic reach. And interestingly, I didn't realize, like they're telling a little story or a comment, but they always seem to end with an open-ended question. Not something that would just be a like, or a, or a yes or no, but something that, you know, someone would want to give a couple of lines of answer. And when I would read them before my feed, I wouldn't even notice it, but obviously that's intent because they're all using it and looking at the posts that had the most comments, that's exactly what they were doing.
So it seems to work, I don't know, within a group specifically, but it's pulling something out and it was random. A lot of it. And you, you had said, yeah, do something random. A lot of times it had nothing to do with their topic.
And I was thinking, Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to put out so much content, but it wasn't. It was like things that happened that day in the news, or, you know, just random a lot of times.
Paul: Great. Thank you. Anyone any input? Yeah, Sarah.
Sarah: Hi. I I'm a dog trainer as well, like director. I've just finished a challenge. That's how I engage my people too. The group in between times I don't actually keep it that active. a choice from my part. But as soon as I start to run a challenge, again, it wakes right back up again, it's really active. So definitely think about a challenge.
The other thing that I know what you're doing, and you're posting a video to show people, but because it's photos that they're going to be taking, is it worth doing photos with text instead of a video, because that's what you want them to do. So you could inspire them by posting a not so good photo and maybe post the better improved version the next day or something like that and ask them, what would you do? And then they can write that in the comments.
And then you can say, I'm going to post tomorrow what I would do to make it better or so that you're actually inspiring what you want them to do. So you're sort of leading by example. I can understand why you use video, but it just another way of doing the same thing, maybe.
Alison: Yeah. Yeah. That's actually a really great idea. I'm writing that down because yeah. To say what they would do differently about a photo is something that we kind of cover in like different ways. But I usually just answer the question and I don't ask them and it's like, hello, why am I not asking them? So yeah. Thank you for that idea.
I appreciate it.
Sarah: Good luck.
Alison: Thank you.
Paul: What I love about that is whenever we go in and just answer the question, what a lot of us need to be careful of, and that's why it's tricky, even when we start these calls. Cause if you notice initially Melissa and I are jumping in, right? Cause it's like, who's going to ask the first question then it's like, who's even going to start and, you know, giving input, like people want things to be warmed up. what we found that, and I talked about this in a different context, but even in our paid groups, you know, we stifle our community involvement when we answer too quickly.
Because when we answer the nobody wants to come behind our answer. You know what I mean? They see us as the experts. So when you're going in and you are answering these questions, then sometimes it makes the community go, Oh, hold on. She has it. You know, we'll just wait for her.
So you might be grooming or people not to engage because they're waiting for you to always answer. So the community itself may not feel empowered to come in and be wrong or come in and answer the question because it's something they did learn from you. And I'm not saying that's what's happening, but that's just something to keep in the back of your mind.
If we see something that's an emergency, we'll definitely go ahead and post and comment if we see it. But if it is something that's like, okay, if we just hesitate a little bit, it's amazing where the community comes in and supports one another.
And that's really what it is because otherwise, if it's just always you talking to them, it's not really community it's you on a stage and they're in an audience is what it is. So like, there's, that's a different level of communication, but if you can empower the community to have the conversation. So the open-ended questions are very powerful in all walks of life.
If you want to be a conversation starter in life in general and have people think you have the greatest charisma ever stop talking about yourself and start asking questions, you know, who, what, where, when, how, why all the open-ended questions. Cause it doesn't give you a dead end to answer. Everybody has an explanation. They have a story, they have something to say, not just, yes, no, constantly.
The other thing that I just came that, that just came like in a different end. Sometimes we just need some new blood in a, in a stale group. And sometimes we need some new members in there that are excited to be there that are, that will engage in everything.
And just on this call, there's three of you that are in the same exact niche and probably do something slightly different or serving different people. Have you all ever thought about collaborating and speaking each other's groups because Alison, what you give probably Sarah and Loretta's people would love to hear about, and it doesn't feel like it's competition and you might get new group members into your world because some of their people, and then they look good to their people because they just brought in an authority and expert in something totally different with the same life event, which is their dogs, you know?
So it just, I just want all of us to think a little bit bigger because we probably have this incredible opportunity all around us to not only serve our people. Cause what do you think?
Like your people might show up if like Sarah Loretta came in and gave a lesson on like a dog training lesson or like a couple of tips that would help Lorena and Sarah out and also make you look better and also make your people show up because it's out of the norm, it's a unique event. It's something that's cool. And then reverse. It would be the same thing.
And ironically, all of you would grow. Yeah. Because you would have criss-cross. How many of us here have bought more than one course? How many of us here in more than one membership think bigger than thinking like the people that are buying things for their animals, you know, cause we're, we're animal lovers. We buy a lot of stuff that we don't necessarily need to buy for a little guy, and we do it. It's not like chewy only gets our money. It's like, you know, we got a whole bunch of places that we invest the craziest things in for this little guy.
So I just want you to like think bigger also because some of the content that you could bring in could compliment in and give a better member experience, better user experience being in that group. And it doesn't necessarily have to be from you. And it's also a non-threatening as well. I just want to bring a different perspective.
Alison: Is it okay if I ask a quick up question to that? That is something that I do for my paid membership is I bring in experts and we do like a monthly interview.
So am I then offering too much in my free group to do it there too? Or just the members get more in the free group. People get some of that.
Paul: Hey, everybody I'm really excited. We just had Loretta in our paid membership. She came in for an hour and spoken, did like these five techniques. It was so great.
I asked her, I was like, I know this is a free group. Are you able to come in for like 10, 15 minutes and share one of those five techniques that you shared in the paid membership, now what I do, I just create desire for people to want to go into the paid thing.
But what I also did is now I'm coming in and introducing it still has benefiting Loretta cause it's, she came into the small paid because all of our paid groups are smaller than our free things. You know what I mean? So it's like she gets both, she gets a win on both ends because the cool thing about being in serving in a paid group is that they're payers like they spent money.
These people will probably spend money with you. If you come in and you give in, even though there's a smaller bucket of people, they might buy your thing too. So keep that in mind. But then you can then use it as a teaser in a way, still give value to the free people, but do it in a very light version.
You know, it's kinda like, Oh, here's a free sample. Oh, you like that fudge come on in and buy $20 worth come on in. So you can use it in the same context.
Alison: Yeah, totally makes sense. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you for everyone that chimed in I totally appreciate it.