Facebook groups have changed so much in the last 15 months, because they are so popular whatever your reason for participating is. From blogging advice groups to sharing ideas for filling our kids lunch boxes to work groups for businesses, and online class groups, most people are in at least
forty one Facebook group that supports a passion or interest.
But with all those Facebook groups comes some etiquette guidelines that often get forgotten as groups grow. I wrote about five important ones a while back, but today I'm adding five more that have become even more important.
- follow the group guidelines. I cannot stress this one enough! If a blogging group says you can only share links on a certain day, don't start a post with "admin delete if not allowed", you know it isn't allowed, stop doing it!
- don't share something you see in a group outside of that group. Most groups are closed, meaning people can see who is in the group, but not what is said. This means that no matter the topic, people can share their concerns and frustrations, and hope for privacy. By sharing something outside the group, you're breaking that person's trust.
- if you don't have something useful (or nice) to add to the conversation, keep scrolling. Some Facebook groups are huge. I'm in a lunchbox ideas group that has over 35,000 people in it. That's a lot of ideas and questions, and lots of differing opinions. If you don't like something that you see in a group, it's ok to comment that you disagree, but it isn't ok to make the comment if fifty other people have made the same comment. And it is never ok to attack somebody else for their different opinions.
- be helpful. We join these groups because we have an interest in the topic, and often want to share our knowledge. Don't sit back and watch the group move, participate. Whether it's a group that has been quiet so you post questions to get people talking, or you see a question that hasn't been answered and you know you can help, share your knowledge. Sometimes you get a reputation for being a know-it-all, but you usually get a reputation for being a helper.
- don't just join groups for what you can get out of it. This goes along with the previous point. I know people who join groups for the sole purpose of gathering ideas for blog posts, or selling their business products. If that's the only reason you're there, leave now. The other people in the group will quickly work out what you're doing, and avoid you. Better to see point 4.
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