The Apogee Affiliates private group on Facebook hit 500 members yesterday. It was a milestone we aimed to meet a few months ago while increasing our affiliate education and activation campaigns. We focused on promoting through our monthly newsletters only and verifying that members actually belong to our managed programs.
I created the group late in 2013 because the trend was to move away from company pages on Facebook and concentrate on personal engagement. We didn't do much with it until Spring 2014 when we started promoting the group to our active affiliates. Membership hit 70 that year and we began to learn more about how to manage private Facebook groups.
Membership was slow to grow over the next two years as we only added another 80 members. Summer of 2017, we cranked it up. We started posting nearly every day and as I learned from Anne Parris at a Type-A panel, to stimulate growth in a Facebook group, we needed to add value for affiliates. The Apogee team started posting deals, case studies, videos and educational information to help affiliates understand our client's products and how to promote them. Membership swelled to 410 by the end of the year.
At this point, the group is a living entity. Affiliates post questions freely, knowing it's a supportive environment. The questions and answers help everyone in the group think about their own efforts. There are no trade secrets. We aren't evaluating affiliate sites live. But the shared information is general enough for everyone to understand. When affiliates need private help, our team is there to offer assistance.
We are teaching new affiliates how to grab links, how to monetize old blog posts and giving new product information and deal codes to advanced members. It's exciting to see members helping others and chiming in with different perspectives. We also have merchants active in the group so affiliates can hear straight from them.
Our pledge for the rest of the year is to continue giving value to affiliates in the group. We hope it grows and affiliates continue to ask questions freely. If you want to join the group, read our newsletters. The links are in each one.