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A Facebook group is now a staple for youth-oriented organizations and chapters, but building membership isn’t like Field of Dreams: just because you built it doesn’t mean that they will come. You need a strategy in order to build membership in your Facebook group, so here are some tips to help you reach your goals.

I am going to use the Young Democrats of Wyoming as an example for this post because they just started a Facebook group and have set a membership goal.

More below fold.

Once you have created the group you are asked to invite your friends to become members. This is the first and easiest step. In your invitation message you should ask them to invite their own friends and share the group on their profile. This will build your initial membership, though it will only be people that are somehow connected to you, and are therefore limited in the amount of people you can reach.

My method for group building then involves researching your Facebook demographic. In this case it is young people that lean Democrat in the state of Wyoming. The way you do this is by searching for groups about your state. So I do a Facebook group search for Wyoming and go through the results. Look for the groups that have a topic, interest, etc. that corresponds with yours. There is a group called I may be from Wyoming, but I’m NOT a Conservative. There are two steps you can take here. One is to join the group and post your own group somewhere. The better way is to see who the administrator is and send them a Facebook message explaining who you are, what your group is (with link) and ask them if they would send a message out to their group about yours. This promotes your group to people that would likely be interested but are not yet connected to you. Groups you should look for are those for Democratic candidates in your area, those protesting Republicans (like the one in the example), allied organization groups, and groups in support of issues that your organization supports.

You should also promote your Facebook group with your other forms of online communication. Have a link to your group on your organization’s webpage, put it in your email signature, have someone blog about it, etc. People are not going to join a group if they don’t know it exists.

Once your membership has built up from these techniques, it is a good idea to periodically message your group members asking them to invite their friends (and stating a new membership goal). Since many new members will have come from outside your personal network, your reach will greatly expand.

So that is my strategy for building membership in a Facebook group. Leave a comment with your thoughts or strategies that have worked for you.

Originally posted to KevinBondelli on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:16 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well there are a couple of (4+ / 0-)

    Daily Kos facebook groups!!!!

    donate to a shelter box please http://www.shelterboxusa.org/

    by TexMex on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

  •  I add a lot of people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding

    Then I can invite them to events and groups.  I make heavy use of the event feature for elections because its puts the reminder on peoples page.

    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt

    by norahc on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:23:43 PM PDT

    •  I'd Argue The Event Features Is One Of The (4+ / 0-)

      primary benefits of Facebook for political campaigns. I work in the business-to-business field and a lot of my clients conduct online webinars, sales meetings, you name it. We use some code to get the stuff integreated into their Outlook calendar, but they have to client a link (which often times they don't).

      For free, group webinars most of my clients operate about in the industry norm, which is only about 20% of folks that sign-up actually attend. Much research on why, but my gut is they just forget.

      Facebook has a feature built into the service that is a huge help here.

      Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

      by webranding on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:39:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just As A Small Sidebar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KevinBondelli, loftydonkey

    I have a Facebook and MySpace account to keep up on the social networking industry as a whole, but to a large extent I find them worthless for my needs.

    But I should also say I am 38. For people younger there is NO doubt Facebook and MySpace pages are a must to connect people, communicate, and build a sense of "community."

    Now with that said, for those looking to create a similar type community you should check out Ning. Ning is software product developed by Marc Andreessen, the guy that created the Netscape (now Mozilla and/or Firefox) browser.

    If you can get around here or in a product like Blogger, Ning lets you create a social networking site from scratch. Right now there are almost 300,000 networks ongoing.

    I've used with a couple business-to-business clients and it is pretty amazing. And free.

    Now, given the huge install base (insert audience) of MySpace and Facebook is a draw (easier to grow a community).

    But for those out there working on campaigns. Developing sites/blogs. This is really something you should look into.

    Very neat stuff.

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:26:53 PM PDT

  •  Hey "KevinBondelli" I Have A Question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KevinBondelli, loftydonkey

    I've been thinking about starting a weekly diary series here. I though about a lot of different ideas, but came back to the fact I should talk about what I know the most about, which is marketing communications/interactive marketing. I will often get into a conversation with folks working on a small local campaign and mention a few things that I consider marketing 101 and they are blown away.

    Part of that is I've been doing it for 20+ years.

    But it seemed like something that might work, since so many folks here do work on campaigns, and lets face it the person helping get somebody elected to the school board with a $10,000 budget needs the most help.

    Now generally speaking marketing is marketing. I could be selling a car, a million dollar data networking switch, a can of coke, or a candidate. The base rules and processes are pretty much the same.

    But my experience from a political standpoint is lacking.

    I've noticed you have written some on technology (and marketing) and the election process. Any chance you might be open to talking about how we could combine our efforts.

    I know a shot in the dark, but what the heck. Thought I would ask :).

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:53:50 PM PDT

    •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, loftydonkey

      Sounds like it could be interesting. FYI my background is internet organizing for campaigns (used to be the AZ Dem Party's Internet Director).

      My personal blog is at http://www.kevinbondelli.com and my contact information is there.

      •  Cool, Let Me Think And I'll Get Back To You (0+ / 0-)

        My work related blog is here:

        http://webranding.org/...

        My personal blog is here:

        http://tommyyoung.org/

        A lot of marketing articles I've written are here (just a fraction of them):

        http://webranding.org/...

        Who the heck I am is here:

        http://webranding.org/...

        A number of the other links on my "business" site are blank or not up to date. I just went out on my own and have not finished up everything yet. I took on too many projects as I left my last job and not had much "free" time.

        Plus it is so much easier to create a site for somebody else then it is for yourself. You know, everything needs to be "perfect."

        Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

        by webranding on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:03:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even Better, You Use Wordpress (0+ / 0-)

        I've helped 3-4 people here set-up WP blogs for smaller local campaigns. When I offer they say, "well we're just getting started, we can't really raise money without a site, so we don't know how we'd pay you." When I say, "don't worry about it" they are stunned. I have them set-up a hosting account and then in like (as you know) 5-7 minutes they are ready to go.

        Given, I don't want to always do that. But I would really like that to be one of the things you and I focus on.

        I've worked with high-end web development people all my life. They like to make everything sound way harder then it really is. It is how they charge $200/hour.

        That is one myth I'd really like to kick to the curb .....

        Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

        by webranding on Tue May 20, 2008 at 02:12:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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