Most of my clients start off wondering why they’re just not getting the traction on their group content that they see happening in other groups.

They copy tactics they see other people using and get mixed results … and often what their community does deign to like or comment on are posts that have what I call “empty engagement”.

This is when there’s hardly any engagement on topic-relevant posts and then a cat meme blows up.

Is it engagement? Yes. Is it meaningful engagement that takes your prospects on a journey closer to you and your business? No. Thus we have “empty engagement” that looks good on paper but is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

A common next step is for them to go OK cat memes (or whatever the outlier content was) are WORKING, better do MORE of that! And before you know it, the group has gone off purpose and descended into a memes and clickbait zone in the name of “engagement”.

(This is usually when they call me for help. It’s pretty depressing having an awesome business and huge vision for its future that has an accidental memes group).

So what’s going wrong here?

First let’s check that it isn’t a group size problem. If you have a very small group, it’s going to be hard to get traction simply because you have a numbers problem. “Client acquisition” Facebook groups need to start with massive growth to have the best shot of becoming a highly engaged community (this is a whole other topic I won’t go into detail with here). 

Let’s assume you don’t have a group size problem. Let’s assume your group is filled with people who are aligned with your ideal client characteristics and you’re just not getting a peep out of them.

You’re probably getting pretty cheesed off at their utter silence while you do all this work to try and make this a useful and incredible group.

I don’t want sound harsh, but the problem doesn’t lie with the group.

I’m afraid it’s you.

You see there’s another characteristic of the content these clients post (pre descent into empty engagement). They use their group as a noticeboard, a sort of mish mash collection of their external content on other channels and how they talk to their email list.

I’ll see links to blog posts, personal updates, lots of training. (Sometimes the whole group is basically training videos and teaching posts).

None of these are terrible on their own. 

The problem is, it isn’t social.

And groups are a form of social media.

When you send an email out to your list, post a video on youtube or publish a blog it’s for your audience to consume. You don’t expect them to talk back and they expect to be a passive participant in the relationship.

But on social media – and in groups in particular, it’s a totally different relationship with the audience where they expect to you to be as interested in them as they are in you.

When you don’t listen back to your audience I’m afraid you become like the annoying friend who calls up and spends the whole call talking about themselves. It’s not endearing. 

A few years ago you could get away with a “noticeboard style” Facebook group and your reach wouldn’t be affected. Now, Facebook rewards groups that have engaged members and doesn’t show posts as much to the members if they’re not engaged. (Hence the rise of so much “empty engagement” activity all over social media).

If you want to be able to eventually sell your audience on your amazing product or service, getting meaningful engagement should become a top priority for your business.

Do you need help with this?