When COVID-19 dismantled all public fitness classes and events last March, we shifted our focus to online incentives and worked to foster community through the PWC Facebook Group. To date, the FB Group boasts over 1.2k members worldwide.
The intention of the Facebook Group is our virtual yoga studio where students can ‘hang out’ after class to discuss their experiences. To assist in fostering an inspirational and motivational group dynamic, we brought on six stellar Ambassadors. The Ambassadors aid in sharing insight and responding to comments in the group so all members feel welcome and supported in expressing their opinions and asking questions.
Looking at some of the highlights from the past year, we’ve noted ten of the top reasons to join the PWC Facebook Community.
1. Join a Global Community with Shared Values
The internet provides unlimited opportunities to connect with people from all over the world who share similar topics of interest.
To entice new members to join our group, we wrote a short and sweet description that tells new members what they need to know about Practice with Clara and what to expect when joining our community.
We express our community values and vision in our description to attract the right people to build a community.
Reading what the Facebook Group is all about will immediately help you understand if it’s the right space for you to spend time.
We ask all new members to introduce themselves and where they’re from; it’s exciting to discover that we have practitioners from all over the world!
2. We Ask a Ton of Questions to Get to Know You Better
Breaking the silence or being the first to start dancing at a party can feel awkward, so we don’t put that on our community members!
We ask leading questions that invite our community to speak up and start driving the conversation.
We’ve discovered that people love to give feedback but usually need to be prompted to feel confident and comfortable putting themselves out there for the world to see.
We interact with every comment to show support.
In the early days, Clara and I reacted and responded to every person who posted in the group. As we continued to grow and develop the community, we fostered conversations and relationships formed so that our core members replied to new member’s posts and encouraged dialogue.
Eventually, you want to loosen the hold you have over the group by being the one in charge and hosting the party. The best parties are the ones where everyone shows up and serves each other; there’s a host, but because there are so many people and conversations going on, you may not know who the host is!
We want our community members to feel that it’s safe to share their opinions, seen and valued by their peers, and overall, committed to welcoming, inspiring, and provoking each other.
3. Stay Motivated and Inspired in Your Practice
The launch of the 30-Opportunities Yoga Challenge in June 2020 showed us the power of connecting with the community each day to stay motivated and inspired. We presented a yoga or meditation class with a journaling prompt for members to engage with and share how they felt for each day of the challenge.
The Facebook Group is where we host the discussion around the 30-day yoga challenges. This event helped us get day-to-day feedback on how participants feel and move through the classes, which helps us refine our process and do better the next time around. It provides a way for students to support each other and ask questions, and give their opinion on the structure and style of the classes presented.
After the inaugural 30-day challenge, we made it a mission to post every day to check in with members to see how we can better support their yoga journey. This habit ensures everyone stays motivated and inspired to make it to their yoga practice in some way, shape, or form.
4. We Provide Incentives to Foster Personal Development
To keep peppering the feed with a conversation, we provide incentives for members to interact with, learn, and evolve their perspective.
A few of our past incentives include:
- Books on philosophy, spirituality, and asana provide more context about what living yoga looks like and means.
- Music that inspires the practice from unique cultural backgrounds.
- Journalling prompts to provoke and inspire a practice of self-inquiry.
- Wellness tips from holistic practices such as Ayurveda, acupuncture, and reiki share alternative perspectives on health.
- Business insights on managing a small business and running YTT for aspiring entrepreneurs and yoga teachers.
This content aims to stimulate conversations around all the ways we interact with the world and live our yoga by bettering ourselves and our communities.
Incentives that take the practice of yoga off the mat and out into the real world demonstrate how yoga isn’t simply asana; it’s a way of living.
One of the core values at Practice with Clara is developing a yoga mindset in being present and attuned to each moment. The Facebook Group incentives are our means to express this value with our community members through action.
5. Feel Safe and Supported in a Private Space
In December 2020, we changed the Facebook Group from public to private. We made this switch for several reasons, the main ones being privacy, visibility, and exclusivity.
In terms of privacy, a closed Facebook Group allows our community members to share their opinions and how they feel in the comfort of our virtual living room. I feel safer expressing myself in spaces where I know the community is aligned with my values. A public Facebook Group discloses all threads of conversation to any wandering eye on the internet.
Privacy compliments visibility. Making your Facebook Group private means your members have to request access and be approved to join the group. This way, you have full visibility on who asks to join and can validate each person, much like you would hosting a party and approving the guest list.
Moderators of the group can see the new member’s name, where they’re from, how many groups they’re part of, and how long they’ve been on Facebook. This information may tell you whether they’re a good fit for your group or if it’s a fake account.
Finally, exclusivity enhances the excitement and urgency for new members to join your group. A private group increases the curiosity of non-members, while current members feel as if they’re part of a unique circle (which they are!).
6. We Share the Latest Yoga Challenges, Events, and Offerings
We share and permanently pin the important announcements to the top of our Facebook Group to ensure that all members see the content at the top of the feed upon joining. This practice keeps everyone involved and invested in what’s going on.
7. Search for Relevant Content to Educate Yourself
We made use of Facebook’s Post Topics to help members quickly search and locate specific content. It’s an excellent tool to quickly search for tagged content to enable all members to see the group’s resources.
We created eleven Post Topics, including Yoga Classes, Meditation Classes, 30-Day Challenge, Community, Ayurveda, Feedback & Inspiration, Podcast, Yoga for Injuries, PWC News, Events, and Props & Accessories.
The tags provide ease and accessibility of sharing information within your group. It helps with organizing events, providing educational materials to members, and promoting company updates. It also creates continuity of content. Sometimes we get asked the same question multiple times, and by tagging content, you can refer the question to the appropriate assortment of content for the answer.
8. We Engage in Live Discussions with You
We’ve hosted several live videos in the Facebook Group to create intimacy and allow the community to directly interact with Clara and the PWC Team.
We hosted a live raffle to end the last 30-day yoga challenge where Clara and I shared the names of people who won prizes donated by our partners of the event.
Live video allows us to see who’s watching in real-time, respond to comments, and interact directly with the community.
At Practice with Clara, we want to create quality content that resonates with our brand and vision, and we also want to deliver content that provides our community with access to Clara.
9. Become a Practice with Clara Ambassador
We partnered with six members of the community who we felt embodied our values and invited them to become the Practice with Clara Community Ambassadors.
The Ambassadors help us welcome new members to the group, spread the word of events and training, provide feedback, inspire conversation, and hold the community accountable.
How we work with the PWC Ambassadors:
- Quarterly Zoom calls to go over upcoming initiatives and a peek at the behind-the-scenes at Practice with Clara.
- Weekly updates and shout-outs to each member in our private Ambassador Facebook Group so everyone feels valued, seen, and current with what’s going on.
- Daily content features in the PWC Facebook Group.
We are so grateful for the Ambassadors for all that they bring to the community.
10. We Create a Safe Space by Asking Membership Questions
The benefit of setting up membership questions is learning more about your community and why they care about your company.
The membership questions are for only administrators and moderators to review; they’re not shared with the rest of the group. You have the option of making the questions personal and fun to learn more about your community or feedback-based to learn more about how your community interacts with your content and business.
We set up three sets of membership questions that are optional for new members to answer.
Our membership questions include:
- Checkboxes: How did you hear about PWC?
- Written Form: What do you love about PWC?
- Multiple Choice: What’s your favorite way to receive the yoga classes?