By Chris Christoff​, co-founder of MonsterInsights

As a business owner, you work hard to drive traffic to your site. But what if there was a free way to create a group filled with like-minded people interested in you and your business, then turn that group into a steady stream of traffic for your website or blog? Good news: You can with Facebook groups.

Facebook has over 1.45 billion daily active users. It's an amazing platform where you can reach targeted leads. With Facebook groups, you can turn your business into a space where users feel like they've found their tribe -- a place on the internet to call home. When you build a community, you'll create loyal followers that will return to your site again and again.

Here's how to use Facebook groups to drive more traffic to your site.

Find and join relevant Facebook groups.

There is an abundance of Facebook groups you can join that cater to all different niches, many boasting tens of thousands of members. Do a simple search of the group section for keywords relating to your industry and you'll find a number of quality groups you can join.

Once you're a member, you can start interacting with others in the group. But remember to read the group rules before you start promoting your business. Most groups have designated promo days on which you're allowed to promote your content or link to your website. If you promote yourself on non-promo days, you could get banned. When you can't promote your links directly, you can still get the word out about yourself by participating in conversations and giving advice to other members in the comment section.

Create your own Facebook group.

Joining other people's Facebook groups is a great start, but it can be limiting because you have to play by their rules. So, a better option is to create your own group. You can either create a public group that's open to everyone or a private group that users have to request to join to foster a feeling of exclusivity.

Choose a name that's catchy but also makes it clear what the group is about. You need a great branded cover photo and description for your group. Add keywords or tags related to your niche so that you can be easily found by potential members. Write a post welcoming users and telling them all about who you are and what they can expect from your group. Pin it to the top of your feed so it's the first thing new users see.

Find group members.

Of course, you need to find people to join your group to gather an audience to convert. But how do you do get people to join? 

First, invite the people on your email list. Send them an email announcing the group and invite them to join. Always link to your group in your weekly/monthly newsletters, too. Add a popup to your site to promote your group and advertise it on social media. Don't forget to include a call to action at the end of every blog post encouraging people to become members of your group and share how they'll benefit from joining.

Share relevant content and start conversations.

Once you have your group set up and it's bustling with new members, it's time to share relevant content and start conversations that will drive traffic to your site. It's your group, so you can promote your content anytime you want. But there is a fine line between spamming your members with your product/service and sharing content that will be useful and inspiring to them.

Share content that provides tips and tricks to your audience to present yourself as a trusting expert in your industry. Share motivational quotes that will inspire others, or even personal posts about your life, to grow meaningful relationships with your members. Use Facebook Live to hold free webinars or "Ask Me Anything" sessions that will get even more engagement. Join in on the conversations in the comment section as well.

Not only will Facebook groups drive more traffic to your site, but it's a great place to get insider information about what your audience is interested in. When you build a community on Facebook filled with active and engaged members, it does all the work for you. Your dedicated following will convert into loyal customers in the blink of an eye.

Chris Christoff​ is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.

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Published on: Aug 22, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.