TJ Kelly

SEO Outreach with Facebook Groups: Messenger is the new Email

SEO Outreach with Facebook Groups.

Facebook groups are a goldmine for SEO outreach.

They’ve become one of our top 3 SEO link-building methods.

We’ve had LOTS of success with this tactic. Hundreds of shares within hours, even in small niches.

But there’s something you need to know about SEO outreach with Facebook Groups:

It’s a long con.

Like, really long. Most of the times we’ve done it, it’s a 3+ month process. But if you’ve got the patience, it can be incredibly effective.

Here’s how to do SEO outreach with Facebook Groups.

How to do SEO outreach with Facebook Groups

  1. Join 10-20 groups in a niche
  2. Become a regular contributor
  3. Message the admins
  4. Post a bait question
  5. Ask for their help
  6. Money time: send promo to admins
  7. Bonus

1. Join 10-20 groups in a niche

Identify 10-20 groups in a niche—let’s say nursing. Join all 20.

It doesn’t matter if they’re the TOP 20 groups in the nursing world. Just make sure they have a decent number of active participants.

What’s “a decent number?” Your mileage will vary. In digital marketing, it’s thousands, easily. In horticulture, probably far fewer.

Use your understanding of the industry to help you judge which groups look good. If you have no understanding of the industry yet, join more than 20. You’ll see the patterns emerge pretty quickly.

Got your 20-ish groups picked out? Good.

2. Become a regular contributor

Watch, listen, talk to people. Post some stuff. Like. Comment, etc. Ask questions that get responses.

This is the hard part, and there’s no faking it.

You have to sell yourself as an asset to the community if the next steps have any chance of success.

In addition to rapport and reconnaissance, you’re building credibility. In step 3, you have to make your first ask. If you’re trying to skate through the credibility-building steps, you’re gonna get shut down.

Don’t cheat. Chat.

3. Message the admins

After a month or so of active participation, message the admins and strike up a friendly conversation about the group, the industry, etc. Be transparent about who you are and why you’re there.

Hey, my name’s Mike. I’m not a nurse, I’m an entrepreneur. I’m here to learn from your awesome community of nurses.

My company is creating a HUGE library of resources for job seekers, and nursing is a unique industry. I’m hoping to learn about what nurses really look for in an employer/job.

Would you mind if I posted a question or two about that?

I want to be up front with you and the group. I’m not selling anything, this is purely research.

Would that be ok?

Be prepared to elaborate on this. Any good admin of an active group is used to fending off an onslaught of spammy posts. You have to earn their trust, and honesty is the best policy here.

These admins are the gatekeepers of the group, and they know that. They hold all the cards, so you may have to play the game a bit. Don’t suck up too much, but polite praise can grease the wheels a bit.

Respect their time. Get to the point. But make sure you hit a few polite pleasantries in there to keep them happy.

If you play your cards right, the admins are more than gatekeepers for you—they’re cheerleaders.

4. Post a bait question

Once you get the admins’ permission, post some questions in the group. This is the most public thing you’ll do in this process, so do some planning. Are there rules or conventions that your group follows? Pay attention to that.

Keep it short.

Keep them short and sweet. Phrase the question in a way that makes the answer as short as possible, too.

Comparing fruits… do you prefer Apples or Oranges?

That way, you’ll get one-word answers. It couldn’t be easier for group members to respond than a one-word answer. This increases response rates.

I work in marketing. Help me understand… do nurses prefer [XYZ] or [ABC]?

You get the idea.

Or don’t.

There’s a use-case in the other direction, too.

For example, if you’re in a emotionally-charged niche—opioid crisis and gun control come to mind—there’s opportunity to prompt people for a 30-page dissertation.

In those cases, don’t be afraid to go for the long-form responses.

I work in marketing. My client thinks nurses care more about patient health than working conditions or contract benefits. I say that’s a good thing.

What’s your experience?

Is caring for your patients the primary motivator for you? How far does that go? Would you be willing to skip a pay raise if it meant better equipment or more staff?


You can see the difference.

Live in the comments.

This is ultimately the important part. You have to live in the comment section as the responses pour in.

Respond to every comment. Preferably with a question, so the commenter is prompted to reply again and again. Everytime you reply to their comment, they’ll get a notification, and they’ll keep coming back.

Send friend requests to the admins and some of the rockstar group members. Make a custom Facebook list to keep track of the group, topic, or other qualifiers for these friends.

Slide into the DMs

After a day or two, start private messages with the members who responded/commented the most (Note: some groups forbid this. Play by the rules!).

Keep the conversation friendly and relevant. Stay on topic, but remember that this person genuinely cares about your topic, probably way more than you do.

For everyone you make real contact with, add them to a spreadsheet or other list. You’ll eventually reach back out to them and ask them for help. You need to remember who they are and how they can help.

5. Ask for their help

Another few weeks go by. You’re still actively participating. Then you send another message to the admins and/or any super-user you’ve been DM-chatting with:

Hey [their name], Mike here again.

My team is just about to publish our huge library for nursing resumes and job-seeker resources, and I would *LOVE* to get your opinion on it before it goes live.

Can I send it to you?

“Sure thing!” they say back.

That’s when you hit them with “Great, what’s the best email address to send it to?”

Now you have their email address and it goes in your outreach spreadsheet. (If they refuse email and ask to stick w/ FB messaging, that’s fine too. Keep them happy.)

Send personalized emails to each admin, with a link to your thing. You continue having a real conversation with them via email. They give you feedback.

Most will be positive, some will be negative/constructive. If possible, make a concerted effort to heed their advice. EVERYONE loves to have their advice listened-to.

Then it’s money time.

6. Money time: send the promos

You queue up the 20+ emails to those admins to go out early on a Monday or Tuesday morning…

IT’S LIVE! We finally published our Nursing Job-Seeker Resource Library! Here’s the link again: ___.

THANK YOU AGAIN for all your help. It made a huge difference for us.

I’d LOVE to have you share this far and wide, BUT ONLY if you think it’s worthy!

Thanks again, talk soon… Mike”

Watch the Facebook shares roll in and the traffic skyrocket.

A few days later, the LinkedIn and Pinterest shares follow suit. Twitter sucks at sharing its metrics, so don’t get your hopes up on that.

I’ve found that this has about a 1% conversion rate of FB group traffic into sales. It’s a lot of work for 1%, but if you hit 20 groups of 20,000 people, that’s 400,000 people. 1% of 400,000 is 4,000. That’s perfect-world math, but you get my point:

1% of a big number is a big number.

[Bonus] 7. Repeat

Once you deploy this method, you’ll build up an outreach spreadsheet of at least a handful of names and emails. We usually end up with 1-3 contacts per Facebook Group.

Times 20 groups, and it’s a good size list.

Next month, when we do this again with ANOTHER 20 groups, there’s no reason we can’t reuse the old 20—assuming the topic is still relevant.

Eventually, you’ll run out of new groups on the same topic, but you’ll build up a gorgeous outreach list way before you run out of groups.

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