Facebook Groups: 5 Unwritten Rules

Facebook Groups

Are you participating in more Facebook Groups these days?  Facebook groups are a great way to connect with your audience and talk about common interests but there are a few unwritten rules that need to be spelled out.

As Facebook changes their algorithm, it’s harder to reach your audience with your Facebook Page.  A Facebook Group can be a great way to connect with your customers, network with new people, and even use as a mastermind space.

In this article, I’ll give you 5 guidelines to follow when using Facebook Groups and a few bonus tips.

#1 Don’t add people to Facebook Groups without their permission

This is one of my biggest pet peeves and one I know a lot of other people have too.  Sometimes the founder of a group might think that you might be interested in a group because you are interested in the topic.  Or they think you might be a good “addition” so you can answer questions in their group.

Facebook has made it too easy to add people to a Group and unfortunately they don’t have an “Invite” button.

Add people to Facebook Group

Here’s the thing about adding people to a group without their permission:  It’s not your decision to make – it should be their decision to join.

Dont add people to Facebook groups

You can see from Joel Comm’s post that over 351 people agreed with his opinion.

Don’t add people with the reasoning “you can leave if you want to”, because now you’ve added more work for me.

What to do instead:

  1. Invite people personally through an e-mail with your invitation and why they might want to join.  Give them a link to the Group to join if they would like. Outline what’s in it for them.
  2. Share the link to your Group on your Facebook profile with an invitation for people to join.  (Do not share your link to your Facebook Group in other Groups – see #4 on spamming Groups).
  3. Share the link to your Group in other places like Twitter, LinkedIn, or at the bottom of your e-mail signature.

There may be exceptions to this rule when you are close friends with someone, or you are gathering a group of people together who are already in a natural group (school groups, masterminds, etc.)  But for the most part, this rule should stand as the #1 thing not to do.

How to leave Groups

You may be surprised how many Groups you are a part of and it is quite easy to leave Groups.

How to leave a Facebook Group:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com/groups when you are logged in.
  2. Scroll down to Your Groups
  3. Click the wheel icon next to the Group you want to leave and select Leave Group.

You can also search through Groups on the Discover tab to see if there are current active Groups you want to join rather than building your own from scratch.

Facebook Groups

 

You also have the option to Edit your Notification Setting so that you don’t get bombarded by notifications and you still want to be a part of the Group.

Also note that you can’t delete a Facebook Group you have created until you remove every member from the group.

Delete a Facebook Group

 

#2 Post the Rules or Guidelines of your Group

If you are going to create a new group, post your Group rules or guidelines where they are easily accessible.

Any of these 3 places will work:

  • In a Pinned Post so that everyone sees them when they come into the Group area
  • In the Description of the Group (good for Closed Groups so people know if they can request to join)
  • In the Files area

Some Groups have a no links policy at all times.  Others allow links or promotions on certain days or times.  It’s good to know the rules of the Groups you are participating in so that you don’t get kicked out.

Access the Description of the Group either right in the sidebar of the Group or in the Settings area.

Facebook Group Description

 

Facebook Group Settings

 

#3 Moderate Your Group

Having an active Facebook Group is a lot of work.  It can be very rewarding but just know that when there are a lot of people posting, there can be spam that comes up or discussions that get nasty.

If your group is seen as not a safe space to be in, people will leave.  You may need to lay down the law and remind people how to act.  Having written rules will help as well.

Chris Brogan runs a tight ship over at his Facebook Group called The Secret Team with over 14,000 members and that’s why people value that Group.

Facebook Group rules

If you manage several Facebook Groups, you can see new activity at a glance on Desktop by going to www.facebook.com/groups or using the mobile Facebook Groups App and seeing what new activity is there.

Moderate Facebook Groups

#4  Don’t Spam Facebook Groups

Yes, your “helpful” links to your own blog content is also a form of spam in many people’s eyes.  Just think if you were part of a Facebook Group of 100 people and every day, everyone posted a link to their own content.  The Group would be useless.

Many Groups have rules around when you can post your content and that’s a good thing.

If you are the Group owner, please make sure you follow your own rules.

#5  Use the Group Features

If you are going to attract people to your Group, use the Group settings to help you.  Here are some things to watch when setting up a Group:

  1. Create a nice Group cover image.  Facebook does not specify the correct size other than to say it must be at least 400 x 150 (784 x 295 is a common size that many people use)
  2. Create a Facebook Web Address for your Group so that the link to your Group is easy to use.  Do this in the Group Settings (see #2 for navigation)
  3. Add Files for things that you need to reference often.  The Group Search doesn’t always work that well for discussions that come up frequently.
  4. Make sure you choose the correct privacy setting for your Group so that you are protecting your members privacy.  But Group members should also realize that nothing online is completely private so be careful what you share.  The options are Public, Closed, or Secret.Facebook Group privacy
  5. Add additional Admins when you need help moderating.  Set the duties of each moderator clearly and divide up the responsibilities (i.e. someone checking new members, removing spam once a day, responding to questions, keeping the conversation going).

Facebook Groups are a great way to connect with people and can be good for your business.  Just make sure you use them right!  The Golden Rule is to Be Helpful!  If you are going to use them, participate regularly and either spark conversation, or respond to people’s posts.

How about you?  Do you use Facebook Groups?  Any unwritten rules I might have missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Facebook Groups