Tuesday 25 October 2016

5 new tips for using Facebook Groups

Have you seen the explosion in Facebook Groups over the last couple of years? I think it's really hard to interact with people without being in a group (and I think Facebook has finally cottoned onto the untapped potential of monetising groups) these days, and if you're anything like me, you're in a lot!
But with all those different connections through groups, how can you help make groups more valuable to the other people around you? I've written about using groups in the past [you can see those posts HERE and HERE], but as I join more groups for different purposes, and the variety changes, I notice some of these things happening again and again.

1 - shopping in groups. I see this time and time again, especially in business groups, and I'm sure you've seen them, too. "I forgot to buy something for so-and-so, I'd really like to support handmade/small business/whatever the group is about, what have you got?" First of all, write it down on your calendar now, so you don't forget next year. Second, please, for the love of god, scroll down and read the other 75 posts that people have posted today, and see if any of those businesses can help you with your gift buying process. Or look through the posts that are linked in the actual daily link-sharing thread by the group owner, and find something there. 

2 - don't advertise your group in another group. These days, most groups have a promo thread, where you're allowed to promote yourself, in line with the daily topic. Some groups even go so far as only allowing promotion on a certain day. Unless your group is about a topic someone has asked about, or is in the actual promo thread, dropping your link in the group looks spammy, and will get you dinged by the page owner, if not just bounced straight out. Group rules are there for a reason, please stick to them, otherwise you're changing the usefulness of the group for all the other members.

3 - don't crowd-source content. Now this one is a bit different, because while it's generally ok to write a blog post in response to something you see in a facebook group, what I mean here is don't write a post in the group that says "hey, what do you want me to write about" because chances are the people in that group aren't your target audience. Even entrepreneurs and bloggers writing for other entrepreneurs and bloggers shouldn't be sourcing their content that way.

4 - asking where someone purchased something. This isn't just limited to facebook groups, but happens on Instagram, and facebook pages, and sometimes even blog posts. If you see something that you like the look of, take the time to read the caption from the poster, and the comments. Because, unless you spend every waking minute on facebook, you are not the first person to read the post, and therefore you're probably not the first person to ask the question (or maybe it's in the caption)

5 - listing items for sale one by one, or listing every day. Some groups are only for selling (how many buy/sell groups are you in?), some groups are only for chatting, and some groups allow a mix of chatting and selling. If you're in a selling group, please be mindful of the group rules, and post in an album. If you're in a mixed group, please be mindful of the people who aren't there to buy, and follow the group rules. You make the feel of the group change if you're only there to list items to sell every day or if you list a bunch of items individually.

I think if everyone is mindful of these things, then groups will become a nicer experience for everyone.

What do you wish people would be mindful of doing in groups?

linking with Kylie Purtell for IBOT


  1. I wish people would mostly stop adding me to groups without any preface. Unless I am asking for something or you have said to me that you think a group is a good fit for me... It is always awkward- either I have no idea what the group is or I am left to find my own way even if I like the group (it is like being invited but feeling like a crasher)

  2. I'm very selective about the Facebook groups I participate in so haven't come across too many of these. However #4 - yes for the love of god why don't people READ the caption or associated blog post or comment as the answer is usually already there!!!!!

    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

  3. I'm mostly in Karen Carpenter/Carpenters fan groups and a few blogging ones. It's mostly good but you would be surprised how intense some folk can be about a deceased singer... Great tips!

  4. Yes, I've been included in groups and then realised that it is mostly a sales page... I'm a bit off social media in general at the moment-I think I need a break :) Great post!

  5. Wow. This is so true. I've seen these in many groups, especially the ones on asking questions without reading fully. I plead guilty to not reading posts below, too. Thank you for creating the awareness :)

  6. I've been an admin of quite a few groups over the years and these are all great tips! Unfortunately I think you will always get people who ignore the rules. I admin a mental health group and we even have to deal with people trying to sell stuff in there!


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