5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

You may love or hate social media.  It has its pros and cons and many will debate that people don’t talk anymore. Actually, to me it is quite the opposite.  Personally, I find that people connect and “talk” easier than ever. It may be online via a social media portal with the help of technology but frankly, I don’t see the problem with that.  Social media just makes it easier to find like-minded people with interests and opinions you relate to. These platforms also make it effortless to connect and communicate with them.  Facebook groups are one place where people meet and they can very well be the lifeblood of your online social experience. This article offers 5  tips for running a Great Facebook Group.

It all started when a friend saw a controversial opinion I posted, and added me to a small group of like-minded people.  Before long we were arranging events to meet each other and hang out.  Those same people have become good friends.  We connect on Facebook groups on more or less a daily basis but that is not all.

As friends, we also often see each other in “real life.”

Like any other group of friends, we braai, we do things, we go on trips.  Most of all we do that thing people say no-one does any more – we talk.  Online as well as in person.  We are good friends and without Facebook groups we would not have known each other.

The success of a group depends on two main things.

It is easy to start a group on Facebook.   Just make sure you add people who actually want to be there!  A group can have just about any focus you can think of.  Firstly, the admins can make or break a group. Secondly, the group depends on members who participate with relevant and frequent posts and comments. You can only have good members if you have a good admin or admin team. If you run a Facebook group, or want to start one, these 5 tips may help you to make it a good experience for all the members.

5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

  1. Choose the right level of privacy.

Is it a group about a general topic? Then you can have an open group that anyone can find and join. Examples of these are groups with a focus on a specific hobby or activity like cooking, gardening, hiking etc. If you need more privacy and control over who joins, you can create a closed group.  There are also secret groups, with high privacy settings.  In secret groups, only members can find the group and see posts. Form a secret group if your topic is highly controversial or a private matter that you don’t want to share with anyone but chosen group members. Members will not participate if they don’t feel safe.

In your group settings you can also set it up in such a way that any member can add a new member or that admins need to approve new members. Read through all the options for group privacy here and choose the best option for your group.

  1. Good content. (5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group)

Regular posts about relevant subjects will engage your members.  Ask open-ended questions. Reply and react to comments. Tag members in posts. Post interesting articles, images and memes. Invite and inspire members to do the same.

  1. Lay down the rules but don’t be a Nazi.

The rules depend on the group.  Be realistic when you identify them.  Make sure rules are clear and pin them to the top of the group’s timeline. Think of things like whether advertising, swearing, personal pictures and off-topic posts or arguments will be tolerated. It can be tricky to get the balance right.  Too many rules scare people away and too few can result in chaos.  I generally have 4 rules for my groups:  Treat everyone with respect, even if you disagree and engage in debates.   No discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation and age.  Stick to the topic – don’t post inspirational quotes, news articles or religious messages in a cooking group.

Be clear about the outcome of breaking the rules.

For example: Swear words or nudity will be removed. Repeat offenders will be barred from the group.

Enforce the rules. If you said certain posts will be removed, make sure you remove them.  Be strict and consistent.  It will show offending members where the boundaries are and the other members will feel safe and happy.

  1. Add or accept only members that you trust.

Look at their profiles before accepting new members. Make sure it is a legitimate profile. Read here how to identify a fake profile. This is especially important for secret and closed groups, such as small friendship groups or groups that focus on moral debates, politics, religion etc.  Do you or other members know the person personally? As group admin you have a responsibility to your members to keep the information they share in the group as safe as possible.

  1. Keep your finger on the pulse.

You have to spend time on a group to make it work.  Visit your group at least once a day.  Keep an eye on group notifications.  Act when someone reports a post. Wish members a happy birthday or congratulate them with a new baby, job or accomplishment.  Welcome new members and introduce them to the group.  If it is too much for one person to handle appoint more admins to help you. Spend time with your members, and have fun!

 

5 Tips for Running a Great Facebook Group

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