Facebook groups are a powerful tool for client engagement between classes. Unlike Slack or any other group chat service, your clients are already on the platform.
But most Facebook groups suffer from low engagement, lack of quality discussion, criticism, arguments or all of the above. Some groups attract a wide variety of opinions without any kind of filter to discern fact from—well, crazy. Sometimes clients try to sell their Amway products to each other. Done wrong, Facebook groups are just a huge distraction for you—and for your clients.
Here’s how we’ve built the best Facebook group in the world, why we don’t let everyone in (even our own clients until they’re ready!) and how we keep the content valuable.
The Two-Brain Business Facebook Group: The Most Valuable Group in the World
The Two-Brain Facebook Group contains just over 500 members and over 50 posts every single day. Many contain sample materials that gym owners generously share with others (blog posts to copy, social posts to swipe and—most valuable of all—honest experience). When gym owners reach the Farmer Phase of entrepreneurship, this group provides most of the peer support they need to be successful. It’s a retention tool and adds a ton of value to gym owners: You could literally make more than $500 every month just by copying the stuff others share!
Here’s how we keep it valuable. You can copy these lessons to build a Facebook group that delights your clients.
First, We Keep Our Group Private
We don’t allow people who aren’t in the Two-Brain family inside because we want to maintain the huge wall of trust that surrounds our tribe. Many of the problems that plague other Facebook groups come from a lack of transparency: People are scared to tell the truth about themselves so they either over-hype themselves or stay silent.
In our group, all know they can’t hide the truth about their businesses because their mentors know their numbers. In other groups, it’s incredible to see gym owners posing as “experts” while their gyms are practically bankrupt.
We don’t even allow members of the Two-Brain family into our private Facebook group until they’ve reached the Growth Stage of mentorship. This is because entrepreneurs in the Incubator need focus more than they need peer support. Our Incubator program is done 1:1 with a mentor: We actively eliminate noise, great but distracting ideas and time on social media for Incubator clients to help them focus.
In your gym, this means you should remove people from your Facebook group when they cancel their memberships. It means you should make a big deal about inviting new people (and welcome them one by one when they join). And you should actively remove people who aren’t a good fit. Your Facebook group should be a bonus to your clients, not a right.
Second, We Lay out Expectations Clearly in Advance
Here’s the top post in our group:
This is a group for high-level business discussion. It’s private for TwoBrainBusiness mentoring clients.
Questions are encouraged. Ideas are prized. Dogma is forbidden.
Dead horses have their own thread. If you’d like to ask about booking/billing software, search for the “master thread” on software.
Please keep the discussion focused. Memes and jokes are the backbone of Facebook but don’t fit in this group. Likewise, criticism of non-Two-Brain practices is discouraged.
There are no “experts,” no icons here; everyone is asked to be open to mentorship and play the role of mentor to others. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Beginner’s Mind, read this before posting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin.
Third, We Actively Uphold Our Rules
It’s extremely rare, but we remove people from the Facebook group immediately if they don’t follow the rules. The Facebook group is only a complement to our mentorship practice, and our duty to the group’s members is paramount. So if one member is negatively affecting the experience of another, we remove the problem person immediately. No warnings necessary and no doubt about the action.
Fourth, We Remove Distracting Conflicts Before They Arise
In some cases, an entrepreneur in one city will have a conflict with another. That’s none of our business, and we believe every entrepreneur should have a chance to succeed. But members of our Facebook group can request that another entrepreneur from their city be excluded. The second owner can complete our Incubator program and even join the Growth Phase; they just can’t join the Facebook group.
The funny thing is that this happens far less than you’d expect. Most gym owners realize that it’s in their best interest to have nearby gyms operating at the same standard they are, so they actively recruit their neighbors to join. Out of over 500 members in the Two-Brain group, we’ve only received four requests to block another gym owner—and three of these were for the same person!
Fifth, We Lead by Example
Mentors think before they post. Mentors don’t have spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in their posts. No one posts memes, rants or other time-wasters, because group leaders don’t bury good content under that stuff.
We don’t allow criticism of anyone, even the people who attack our strategies. Because that doesn’t help the people in our group.
We encourage thoughtfulness and positive internal dialogue. For example, every Friday, dozens of Two-Brain entrepreneurs post their Bright Spots to help them practice gratitude.
In your gym, that means you need to be actively engaged to spur conversation. Start with something like Bright Spots Fridays—it’s been copied by many gyms, and it helps with their retention in a measurable way.
It means that the group’s tenor and engagement are a reflection of your tenor and engagement. Use it to build people up or don’t do it at all.
Sixth, Gift People With Fame
Give them a podium early and often.
Every new person in the Two-Brain Facebook group gets a specific introduction: Here is this amazing gym owner; here’s what the owner accomplished in Incubator; here’s what he or she will add to the group. Then several dozen others respond with a warm welcome. It’s a great opportunity to show new people a red-carpet greeting.
You can do the same thing. Introduce a new person with a great memory from your on-ramp program, a good picture and some personal detail that you remember about him or her. Put the client on a podium. Brag about him or her every chance you get, like this:
“Hey all, Harvey brought up a great question this morning in our group … .”
“Guys, I just have to take a minute to brag about Helen. Last night, she … .”
“Just in case any of you missed it, Alena got her first double-under on Saturday!”
Look for opportunities to make your clients feel famous.
When you start a private Facebook group, you’re going to have to be the catalyst: Spur it into action. Share openly. Start conversations. Make it what you want it to be. Don’t wait.
You’ve probably heard this phrase: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Those people can pull you forward or pull you backward. And you can do the same for them.
“No man steps in the same river twice.” —Heraclitus
Like it or not, every interaction you have with the world—and the people in it—changes them. And it also changes you. So lead your people in the direction you want to travel yourself.
The people I spend most time with are in the Two-Brain family. I prefer to be around people who will change me in a positive way. That’s why our Facebook group is private. That’s why you have to complete the Incubator and start Growth Stage before joining: I want you to master the basics, then add complexity.