The 80/20 Rule in a Facebook Group
Have you ever been to one of those yard sale Facebook groups? The one’s where there’s 40 posts in a row all about selling? Everyone has an item they’re trying to push, everyone has a price. You go in and it’s just a wall of sales from top to bottom. I get anxiety just thinking about it. You know the ones I mean.
When you have a group with 11 scrolls worth of posts all pushing sales with almost no personality – that’s what your group looks like to its members.
Don’t think your group is like that?
Go take a look at your community right now. I’ll wait. Scroll back say 3-4 times. It’s hard for us to take a look at our own groups and see them from an outside perspective, but for continued growth, its crucial.
- How many sales posts did you see?
- How many purposeful or personality posts?
- Was it wasy to find a real personality or purposeful post (Not a, “Tell me how we met in a gif” or equivalent)?
If you’re like most retailers, you saw WAY more sales posts than you did anything else. And you know that no one joins a community to be sold to all the time. If they wanted that, they could just go to Amazon or Ann Taylor and shop there. They come to your group to shop from you, so you should give them that.
But how much of you should be in your posts? What’s the balance between sales and personality? Generally speaking we say 80(value/personal)/20(sales). The problem is, that if you go that rule, you’re going to lose your mind.
Think about it, if you’re dropping items for sale to your wall, let’s say 10 each day to be conservative, that means that you need to come up with 40 engagement posts in a day! FORTY?
I’d quit. Legit. If I had to come up with 40 engagement post in a day I would quit.
No Need to Take It Literally
The truth is, you don’t actually need to post 40 engagement posts a day if you post 10 sales items. The reason we use those numbers is because that’s a general rule of thumb for blogs. And because just the perspective helps to set up a framework around how you should be posting. Most of the pages that I have seen, it takes 15-20 scrolls before I see anything that tells me who you are, what you do, why I would even want to be here.
Why is there so much salesy content? It doesn’t make a lot of sense because we:
- Don’t’ like being in groups that are all salesy
- Aren’t salesey people
- Don’t even WANT to be selling all the time… we hate that!
The reason for this is simple, and also very predictable. When they first start out, direct sellers have a lot of personality, a lot of sales, and things are hopping! Mostly because their product is the new hotness to them, and their customers. But as soon as they hit the edge of their warm market, sales become harder, and getting access to new customers is a lot more work. Consequently, there’s a lot more of an urgency that develops to close the sale. And little by little, the group that was once bustling and full of energetic activity becomes quiet except for the posts you make.
And then, as is human nature, because what we’re doing isn’t working, we double down on it. We can’t help ourselves. Stanford researchers have done multiple studies that show that once people make an impression about something, it’s hard to break that connection even if it’s wrong. Which is how you end up with a wall of things to sell but no personality. Because back when it was the new hotness, posting more got more sales.
Now we’ve already talked about how to get personality back in your posts. The next step is figuring out the frequency. The frequency is less about the algorithm and more about psychology. What do you want people to see when they come to your group?
Of course you want them to see items for sale, but that’s fleeting, what do you want them to see that will keep them there?
The key is that they come to shop once. They’ll stay to shop again because of you. So you’ll want to provide them with plenty of opportunity to engage with you between posts.
Pay attention to how active your group is. If you have a group that is constantly posting on the wall and sharing their own stories, or asking for help from each other, then chances are this article isn’t for you. You’ve already got a LOT of personality and community posts happening to give people an idea of why they want to be in your group.
If you have a group that isn’t engaging no matter what kind of personality you post, then you may want to check to make sure you have the right target audience selected, that you’re using the pages/groups feature as intended . If both of those are square, then you will want to make sure you’re using the right amount of text to give Facebook the information it needs.
On your business page you don’t want to overdo your posts anyway, so one of each per day is more than sufficient. One post every other day, alternating between personality and promotion will work fantastically as well, but you don’t have to overdo it there. This is just the doorway that introduces your visitors to who you are. It’s the first date that lets them decide if they like you well enough to go on a second date with you (aka join your group).
Your group is where the real magic happens. The key here is to just make sure there’s a way for someone to learn about you within the first 2-3 scrolls. At minimum each day you should have a couple of personality and purposeful posts (they can be combined if you bring your personality into your purposeful posts – no problems there) to pepper in between your sales posts.
- Consider when your group is more active, you’ll likely want to have your premium content going up at that time.
- Pepper in sales between the posts.
- If your group is engaging with your personality posts, then its very likely that the post will keep getting bumped up so that if someone brand new joins your group, they’ll see it within the first few scrolls.
- The best way to get people to want to stay is to keep it active. If there are posts that are gaining a lot of traction, respond with questions to keep up momentum.
- Remember your job is to be the expert. Which means you have value that supersedes the product you sell in the form of information. Don’t underestimate that. Provide your audience with tips for how to use your product, important news from your industry/field, life-hacks that will appeal to the audience.
- Don’t keep posting the same type of content if no one is engaging. If you’ve posted 1 personality post and 5 promotional posts and no one has commented on any of them, it’s time to take a step back. Did your engaging post followed the content guidelines? You may want to make another post and use completely different language to hit a different audience.
- Your customers usually see your content in their feed not in your group. Always start with your most engaging and interesting content before you start posting items for sale. If they see it in their feed and engage with it, they are more likely to see your promotional posts show up.
When we say 80/20, what we are really trying to say is that its very important to abandon the idea of, “if you build it they will come” philosophy. Or more appropriately for us, “if you post it they will see it and buy it.”. Simply putting your items for sale in to your group is not enough for them to see it. Since most of your customers only engage with Facebook in their news feed, they don’t see your group the way you do. Remember that Facebook is first and foremost a social platform. So be sure to craft content with the frequency and attention necessary to keep your viewers interested in interacting socially.