116 - Tip Tuesday - Taking Facebook Groups to a New Level With Gary Leland

Facebook Groups have become a popular way to build your business.  How it's typically done is where you have one group, and then you make comments, ask questions, connect people, etc. Gary Leland has taken Facebook Groups to an entirely new level and is using it as a way to build and connect the entire Fast Pitch Softball Community in the US.  He gives us some tips and tricks for how he manages it all, and how he is using it also to build his business.

Let's first talk about your group of 20,000, how are you utilizing that?  The main one started when groups started; Gary thought he would start a group.  It's a basic group, and he advertises his business in there.  His rules are that you can't sell anything in there, so he is the only allowed to sell.  Now, as he approaches close to 20,000, there are a lot of people to sell to. He tries not to sell to them all the time.  He does put stuff in there every week or every other week.  The only thing he posts is his sale stuff.  He's not involved in the group on a day-to-day basis.  His group is self-run, and all he does in basically prune it.  He also has three other admins approving the members, etc.

Gary also recommends getting the Facebook Groups app.  He is always getting on his phone to take care of approving and checking the posts, etc.

What's the strategy behind the network?  The network as a whole has over 100,000 people.  There are 451 groups within the network.  The only way to get a true count, is to actually go into the groups and count them.  His niche is fast pitch softball.  Gary discovered that there wasn't a good way for kids to find teams, and teams to find players.  There is a group for every specific area across the country.  Gary's network puts players and teams together.

He has it set up like a pyramid.  The top-tier is a parent page with the rules explaining how it works, and 50 links to the next set of pages for 50 states.  The third level is each one of those states has eight age groups.  Players can start at the top-tier, and then they can go down to find the right group.

Gary had someone reach out to him who is a fishing guy, and he created a network of groups for various types of fishing.  You could basically apply this to various groups.

How did you create 451 groups?  Gary paid someone to do it for him.  All of the groups are the same, except for the title of the group.  So he gave someone the list and then had someone go in and make them.  If you do pay someone to do that part, then have them add the owner and a fake identity.  The fake identity allows someone to be an admin, but not have an actual person who works for you.  So if someone who works for you leaves, you don't have to delete and add an account.  You can just change one password.

Did you run a campaign to get people filling in these groups?  Gary did a little bit of work of getting people into these groups, and these are all self-run groups.  People aren't following Gary specifically; they just like the group.  Because he is the guy who runs the group, they get to know him, but he's not the reason they are there or are staying.

Gary uses the header image as a big ad for him.  He also has a video in the pin post, where he has the rules, and then at the bottom he gives a discount code for his store.  He then has a commercial that runs for a few seconds.  When the groups hit a particular number, Gary will start putting ads into the group.

To find more about Gary, you can find all of his websites at: www.sportsjunk.com.  You can also find Gary on Facebook, and feel free to private message him if you have questions.



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