Facebook groups are a convenient way to connect with your network on a place you often frequent: social media. However, there are some standards to making a group work the best for your community. Follow these three tips and have success in any online group from here on out.
- Decide who you want in the group
There are three types of Facebook groups when it comes to who can join and how: open, secret, and closed groups. When you go to create a group, it will prompt you to choose the type of group you want.
Closed groups allow the admin to decide who can join their group. The admin can invite friends or allow people to request to join the group. A closed group will allow you to keep track of the individuals who join the group more closely because you either have to invite them or approve them. If your group may interest a large number of people, this may not be the best choice as accepting requests to join might become annoying. Also, people may be hesitant to join a closed group, so you may be deterring potentially great members.
Secret groups allow only members to see the group, who’s in it, and what people post in it. This is a good option if you are going to have a very limited amount of people and don’t want people requesting to join. This type of group is good for company communication or a small organization.
Open groups allow anyone to join and post. You can invite your friends to join, and anyone who finds the group and wants to join can do so. Chances are if someone is joining a group, it is because the group genuinely interests them. A good group will have a mix of people asking questions and providing answers. Even though these groups are open to anyone, having a good set of posting guidelines will ensure people are posting about relevant things. This leads us to our next best practice.
- Have Set Guidelines
Think of your group like a community that needs some sort of structure to operate smoothly. As the page admin, it’s up to you to decide what these guidelines are exactly. People are going to be joining a group because they share a common interest, so have your rules focus around that. Determine what you will find acceptable and unacceptable for group members to post. The more specific you can get these, the better.
Make sure all members know what is and isn’t okay to post. Have these rules in an easily accessible master post, so both you and members can refer back to it easily. It’s good to have a link to this post in your group description. Don’t be afraid to edit these guidelines as time goes on, it’s okay for them to evolve if necessary. You want to make sure everyone can get what you want them to out of the group.
- Moderate posts
Even though you’ve posted your well thought-out guidelines, you might get people that either haven’t read them or have disregarded them. If someone posts something that goes against the guidelines you have created, don’t just delete it. Instead, politely respond saying this type of post goes against the community guidelines. The first line of defense should be to educate the person posting the illegal content about what is and is not allowed. If it is something truly offensive and warrants being taken down right away, feel free to do so after noting the person posting the content’s information and contact them directly.
Don’t just wait around for bad posts to happen, keep the conversation going! Comment on posts by other’s and create your own engaging posts. Groups are meant to benefit individuals with shared interests, keep connecting!