GROWING A FACEBOOK GROUP IS JUST LIKE THROWING A PARTY!
A Facebook group has been THE best thing we have ever done for the growth of Badassery Magazine. In fact I often kick myself and do a little eye roll at how much resistance I once felt over it. It’s our community and our community is the heart and soul of what we do. In fact, the rest of this post I will just be referring to our group as our Facebook community.
What I’ve learned about facilitating this epic Facebook community is that it’s exactly like throwing a party. The more I realize and embrace this, the more fun I have, the more it grows and everyone knows how much I love a good party. A really good one. Not a half ass one that’s missing margaritas and snacks. A really high quality, intentional and ridiculously fun party. That’s what Facebook communities are. Intentional, well crafted and full of good vibes. There are plenty of Facebook communities that feel more like a communist regime, but we’ll dive into that soon enough.
In order to understand this, let me take you back to my first failed party. We have to rewind pretty far back to really unravel my first party disaster. Back to before my friends nicknamed me Martha because I made 200 pink cupcakes with matching party accessories for my daughter’s first birthday. Back to before I threw the best jungle juicer anyone had ever seen for Halloween. Ever before I hosted around 30 people in my home for Thanksgiving. Damn straight I had the matching linens and there was not one Dixie plate in sight. For this, we have to jump back to junior high school…ouch.
I was 14 and I failed hard. My mom decided to let me have a Halloween party at my house. I picked out the cutest costume and made sure I looked like the cutest 14 year old fairy on the block. I had the best party food you could imagine. I decorated the house like crazy with those nasty sticky spider web things, which is really just some form of synthetic devil cotton. I even had the five disc changer pre-loaded with my favorite party music. My mom even agreed to keep my the 4 year old sister out of my party space. I was going to be a mega star. I imagined everyone returning to school the next day and talking about how incredible my party was. They would tell everyone and I would be the most popular girl there ever was.
Unfortunately, I had to learn a hard lesson that day. Don’t worry, I have obviously lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t plagued by means girls. I wasn’t even out shined at my party, instead I left sitting there alone. With my five disc changer and fairy wings. Pizza galore. ALONE. Traumatized and feeling like a failure, I told everyone at school the next day how much fun it was and they were crazy for missing it. Inside I was raking my brain at why no one showed up. I had done everything right! The drinks, the food, the costume, Halloween, but I forgot a huge element. The Invites.
How to host an epic online party and grow your Facebook group.
Pick the perfect theme.
Every party needs the most perfect theme around and so does your Facebook community. Are you hosting a baby shower or maybe a bachelorette party? There’s going to be a HUGE mega difference here. Give your Facebook community an over lying theme. Yes from time to time a baby shower might cross over into a bachelorette party (who knows these days), but there are going to be some pretty clear lines. Is your community for supporting those tired moms and dads or is it for business building bosses? Maybe you are an event planner and your group is literally for party themes and ideas.
Either way, your group needs a clear and consistent theme. Don’t get too caught up in all the tiny details, just pick a theme. Just like that bachelorette party could have a sub theme, tiny straws shaped like you know what or a more classy champagne vibe, your Facebook community’s theme is unlimited. Just pick one. There’s this really cool feature where if you get further down the road and you find out you hate throwing bachelorette parties, you can always shift directions.
Send out the invitations.
Don’t be like junior high me. How in the world is anyone going to show up to your party if you don’t invite them? They are not just going to magically be guided there. There is no unicorn shooting rainbows into the sky screaming the party is this way. You are the damn unicorn. Scream it from the rooftops and throw out your invitations like a hussy. Join my group, join my group, join my group is the only thing that should be coming out of your mouth. No one just stumbles into the penthouse party without being invited. Make it very clear and easy that the party is at your house.
Plaster that invitation everywhere you can. Your email footer, in other Facebook communities, all your favorite social media places and basically, well, EVERYWHERE. Just invite them. Don’t be left with this epic party, stocked full of the best booze, killer decorations, party games and be left hanging out alone. That’s just dumb. Do you want to be successful? Open your mouth and invite people to come on over. Don’t let your hard work be flushed right down the toilet because you didn’t send out the invitations.
Create an atmosphere.
Did you ever show up to a party that was thrown by college age guys and you couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on? Like there’s a keg in the bathtub and just one stool in the corner of the room. What’s happening here? As a grown adult, you wouldn’t put up with that. You want a nice glass of wine, some incredible cheese plates, glitter and good conversation. You want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere at your party. You need some solid decor and tasty food. You want to keep the bar well stocked and the music fresh and inspiring. Don’t bore people by showing them all your latest vacation photos or playing old country music. Just chill out and have some fun.
OMG a conversation? YES! A great party is full of flowing conversations. You encourage it, you nurture it and you enjoy it. The best part about creating your own party is that it’s so much easier to throw out the person who gets out of hand before they puke all over your punch bowl. BLOCKED! It’s pretty awesome. You don’t even have to put up with those conversations that are mean, degrading or any version of a troll. It’s even better than a real party.
Just remember that a conversation means more than just one person word vomiting all over the other one. Do NOT invite people to your party and then when they show up shove your products in their faces and insist on them buying everything. We’ve all been to those parties where we are suddenly blindsided into a “party”. This party isn’t just about you. A little reality check, if you aren’t going to let people be the other half of the conversation, then don’t even bother sending out those glitter crusted invites. A community is more than just one person enjoying the music. Don’t drown others out with your own agenda. Throw out the agenda all together.
Ditch the house rules.
Have you ever been to a party where there were rules? Silly rules like don’t sit on the couch and keep your voices down the baby is sleeping. Ditch your house rules if you want people to feel welcome and comfortable. Do NOT create a list of all the things you don’t want people to do. Imagine this, you put on your favorite party dress. You get an incredible blow out and swing by the Mac counter. You are nervous to attend this big party you got invited to, but you really are ready to disrupt your comfort level.
You work up the courage to go. You arrive and ring the door bell. The host greets you at the door with a big smile and says welcome. You start to cross the threshold when BAM she hands you a two page document and insist that you type AGREE before she’ll actually let you in. Okay you think, I guess I’ll still give it a try. You sign and she waves in. You decide to introduce yourself to a group of ladies near the bar cart. You walk up and politely say hello. Then suddenly out of nowhere two cloned body guards hit you with warnings. We only introduce on Tuesdays in the correct conversation thread AND we never ever do it before 9:27am. You’ve been warned AND you clearly agreed to the two pages of rules when you joined.
Suddenly your confidence seems to be shattered and you are noticing that everyone around you kind of looks the same. Conformed and not chatting. Just a bunch of moderators everywhere butting in on everyone’s conversations and deleting what they don’t want. Suddenly this is no longer a party or a community. It’s just a row of beige cubicles. My point, keep it fun and keep it welcoming. In our Facebook community, we just ask people to not be dicks. It’s not that hard. Either you are nice and hang out or you can leave. Adulting 101.
Enjoy your party.
Have some fun and enjoy what you have created. If you’re not having fun there really is no point in doing anything at all. Want to come to our party? Consider this a formal invitation. You are officially invited to join our community of badasses. We are a promo positive community and we welcome your Badassery. See at the party boss.
I’m SAMANTHA PARKER, the cofounder of Badassery Magazine.
Now I’m teaching others how to build their own online empires. Yes, empires. I believe that building and nurturing a sense community with your business is the key to massive success.