10 Tips to Start a Facebook Movement: Grow a Fabulous Facebook Group FAST

One of the best compliments I ever received is that my brand matches what people hear and see me do. There is authentic alignment. One of those places I work hard to add value is on social media. Well, it’s not too hard…recognizing greatness all around you is easy when it’s…everywhere!

Do you have a clear message of value you’re putting out through social media? If you did, what might it do for your career, business or relationships? What might it do for you?

When you can do an even better job

 I began to notice in the Spring a lot of people sharing they were having a difficult time. Divorce, strained relationships with their teens, the loss of someone they loved, self-doubt. Posts, DMs, coffee conversations, folks approaching me after a keynote. I thought surely there was something I could do. Surely there was a way to help contribute a glimmer of hope and recognize the greatness all around us.

It occurred to me that there’s an opportunity with Facebook. What if we could pull individuals together for some positivity-based conversation on a daily basis? What if we could recognize what was working versus just talk about what wasn’t or comparing ourselves as not good enough. From this idea, the group, Great Happy People was born.

There were, of course, many skeptics who wondered the benefit of yet another Facebook group. There were others who asked me why I’d waste my time with something that couldn’t make me money (we have a strict no selling policy on the site). Funny why we always have to justify our gut instincts with a logical reason, isn’t it….

Just Serve

Thought leader, Gary Vee professes, “Serve, serve, serve first.” It’s short-sighted of us to think that there isn’t benefit if we’re from a service-based mentality, but perhaps more importantly, I wasn’t doing this to make a sale. These individuals were reaching out to me for advice and to perhaps to just unload.

How do we build a community of support? If I am going through a difficult time, ultimately that’s what I’d want somebody to do for me, and so we acted. How did we create this incredible community?

Today there are over 3,000 individuals who share hope, positivity, and encouragement on a daily basis. We share things that make us laugh, feel lighter, and make us grab the box of Kleenex. We share what people may need at the most difficult times of their lives (without it being therapy, of course). People who have never met providing timely, sincere support and encouragement to perfect strangers. It’s, in a word, inspirational.

So how can you create that kind of service through a Facebook Group? Here are 10 things that I believe are the successes and what has worked for this community of Great Happy People.

10 Tips for Starting a Facebook Movement Fast & Fabulously

1. Come up with a relatable name

Identify a name that people can resonate with. “Hey, that’s me!”

2. Rules

It’s essential folks know what is okay and not okay. Things like: No bullying, no solicitation, and sales, etc. May seem obvious but you’d be surprised. Recently, I’ve added no political persuasion, and no religion, even if it’s positive because we don’t want anyone to feel isolated from this group. This was from direct feedback from folks feedback.

3. Invite your raving fans first

I invited 20 people through an invitation-based system that I knew either wanted, needed, or could really benefit from this group. Next, I encouraged them to invite other people to be part of our great, happy family. Rinse and repeat.

4. Encourage personal sharing

The next thing we did was encouraged people to share pictures and a description of what made them a Great Happy Person to allow them to feel a sense of belonging. People shared the most wonderful pictures, which got people connecting and getting to know each other!

5. Provide a warm welcome

Almost every day (it depends on how many new folks join…and what my day looks like!), we welcome all the new members and encourage them to introduce themselves with pictures if they choose to! We’ve started adding a fun GIF or picture to the welcome message to keep it interesting for those in the group too. I love seeing existing members welcome our newest joiners!

6. Encourage participation

Encourage and nurture by taking the responsibility of reinforcing and supporting what people contribute. Daily we have at least a dozen posts of folks sharing videos, articles, live videos, and pictures. It’s their group, it keeps the momentum alive, and it keeps people motivated knowing they are the Great Happy Person the group is named after! Occasionally the posts break the rules, so I just delete it and sometimes have to block a member.

7. Keep on inviting

When it comes to Facebook groups, do you just add people or invite them to join? If you choose to add them, ideally you’ll check with them first to be sure this is something they would like to be included in. Sometimes I know them or what they stand for and I just add them (most are appreciative, and a handful don’t like it so I ask forgiveness). The beauty is, people won’t know that this is available to them unless you help them find and understand what it’s all about.

8. Encourage posting and provide updates

Regularly share posts from the Group on your own wall and encourage people to do the same. The benefit of this public group is that anyone can share posts that they’re inspired by, which means that all of the people that follow them that see that particular post, they may choose to click over and join that group. Provide updates on the growth of the community because who doesn’t want to be part of something trending and gaining momentum? Offer a prize to the person who can predict the size of the group by a certain date and time. I offered a book that I had recommended and I shared a lot of quotes from, directly related to the topic of that group, called the Little Book of Like: The Danish Book of Happiness and not a self-promotion book.

9. What’s the core goal?

Understand what your core goal is for the group; just one. My number one goal is to have as many happy people from around the world recognize their greatness and the greatness of others on a daily basis, which is why so many of the strategies I’ve shared with you are about encouraging growth and sharing. You may have a different goal of your group, or of the groups that you belong to, but know what it is because it directly impacts how you interact with your community.

10. Celebrate

When we reached the goal of a thousand people, we celebrated. People responded and so thrilled to be part of that. Celebration within the group, the support you have created and ask the questions, “Why do you keep coming back? What do you get out of it?”

11. Bonus Tip: Ask for help

When I was about to go on vacation and our group had grown to over 1500 folks, I knew I needed help. I didn’t want to leave the FB group unchecked and unsupported or to lose momentum while I was away, nor did I want to take time away from my husband on vacation by checking the group every time we had wifi. So, I asked the top posters if anyone wanted to be a second admin. An amazing woman Yvonne Nasri stepped up and loves up our community with as much care and kindness as I do. So grateful to her.

Give and Get Back Too…

You will be surprised at the things people share. Things that bring tears to my eyes. How they needed it more than ever before. That they’re going through a difficult time. How it helps them to get focused at the beginning of their day. How it inspires their family. That they share it with a teenager. There are so many different reasons why people are part of the group, but every one of them is beautiful, inspiring, and delicious, and that keeps me going.

The most surprising thing is how much I get back every day by seeing the conversations in the Group. You can have an intention to serve but get back so much too.

What I know is paying off immediately is a good feeling that I have, that hit of endorphins and oxytocin when I see people doing good for each other and that I’ve been a part of creating. If you want to join our Great Happy People community, you are welcome to our positive movement. It is truly a wonderful, grounding and inspiring place to hang out.


“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve