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Facebook groups: tips and tricks for beginners
Facebook groups are a great thing. They make it possible to make targeted contact with people who pursue the same interests, hobbies and passions as you do. In contrast to pages that you can like, you have to use Facebook groups, if you have not founded them yourself, either join or be added by friends. The first case is followed by a confirmation step by an administrator after the request to join. If this gives the green light, you are accepted into the group.
The point of Facebook groups
What can you do now within a group? Within Facebook groups it is possible to keep up to date on certain topics, as well as to post news and media (e.g. documents, photos and videos). Groups can be created on all sorts of topics and are used for exchange. For example, the trip to an upcoming concert can be coordinated, your own soccer team can be informed about the current schedule, or you can exchange ideas about politics. The possibilities are endless. The exchange and networking are in the foreground and the posts of the individual participants are visible to all members of the group.
By the way, Facebook groups are intended for private use and not for companies.You can therefore only create them using a private profile. For example, a company page cannot create or join a Facebook group.
Privacy, yes or no?
Before creating a new group, you should think about whether it should be public, closed or secret.
The former is self-explanatory: everyone can see the group, its members and their contributions. In closed groups, privacy is a bit increased: Everyone can find the group and see its members here, but the contributions are only visible to those who have actually joined the group and have been included.
The secret group, on the other hand, is the strictest form of Facebook groups: it can only be found by members of the group itself. In this case, contributions and other members of the group are only visible to people who are actually group members.
What are the different Facebook groups?
Once the group has been created, there are various options for giving it a topic. You can choose from groups for close friends, clubs, events and plans, neighbors, family, parents, project groups, school or school class, study groups, trips and more. But there is also an option for a custom group.
In addition, the buying and selling group type is special. If you choose it, Facebook integrates a special sales mask for posts. It allows an article designation in the heading (maximum 100 characters), the determination of the sales price, the specification of the location and a more detailed article description.
A matter of attitude
In the following, a lot of fine-tuning can be done in the group. For example, mistakes made during creation can be corrected. In the group settings there is the possibility to change the group type again later (for example from clubs to neighbors). An important setting is the management of membership requests. Here you can determine whether only administrators or moderators can confirm member requests and thus accept new members, or whether every regular member can confirm new members.
Similar options apply to contribution entitlements. On the one hand, it can be determined whether only administrators can post new posts, or whether this is possible for everyone. On the other hand, you can regulate whether administrators or moderators have to confirm contributions before they appear. In this case, posts from members are only visible to all participants in the group after they have been approved by authorized persons.
In addition, the usual cosmetic settings can be made, such as editing the group name and its description, as well as the group's title image.
The notification settings are also important. It can be used to regulate which contributions should be pointed out in the group. If you select “All Posts”, you will receive a notification from Facebook for every single new post in the group. This can quickly become annoying, which is why the options “Highlights” and “Contributions from friends” are offered. The former only sends notifications for posts from friends and recommended posts, "posts from friends" actually only informs about new posts from members from your own friends list. Of course, there is also the option of switching off the notifications completely.
Similar settings are possible for push notifications. These then concentrate on the options “All Posts”, “Highlights” and “Off”.
Finally, the notifications for membership inquiries can also be switched on or off. They are switched on as standard.
Have the feed under control
Those who are familiar with their standard Facebook profile and how their own timeline works will also quickly find their way around the group feed. The options are pretty similar. In principle, posts work like status updates and can be made as photo or video post. Live videos are also possible within a group and, as usual, placemarks can be set, feelings selected and friends marked.
Particularly important posts can be pinned to the start of the feed so that other users of the group cannot overlook them. Even if other posts follow, they do not push the post down in the timeline, but rather it is enthroned at the top of the feed until the peg is lifted.
Another convenient feature in groups is the display of how many and which people have already read the respective posts. This is particularly useful for information that affects everyone, such as the meeting point for your own soccer team's next away game. If you discover that some group members have not read the post by a certain point in time, you can either write to them again individually or call them.
In sales groups, articles that are offered can also be marked as sold, or added to your own saved products, which represent a wish list or wish list.
Events, documents and surveys
Groups are also particularly interesting because of some features that are sometimes not available on other sites. Events are not one of these unique selling points - because you can create them that way. However, if you create an event within a group, all members of the group are automatically invited. This can be a helpful tool in many cases.
Another popular tool is the ability to upload documents. In addition to images and videos, you can also provide Office documents, PDFs and more, which other users within the group can then download.
Last but not least, Facebook groups also offer the poll feature. This function is incomprehensibly no longer available on normal pages and has to be laboriously integrated via Facebook apps. But within groups they are natively integrated into Facebook and can be easily created. Opinions from group members can be obtained quickly and decisions can be made at lightning speed.
6 tips for more successful Facebook groups
After the theoretical introduction, the question of how your own group can be as successful as possible in practice remains open. For this purpose, the following 6 tips should be heeded, which give your own group a boost, with which it hopefully grows quickly, thrives well and enables a friendly and lively exchange among as many members as possible.
1. The target audience should be clear
It's more or less obvious: A Facebook group is a separate area that is intended for people who have the same interests. That should also be heeded. The topic of the group should be comprehensible at a glance and, if possible, recognizable by the name. The group description and the tags should clearly and precisely outline what is going on and leave no questions unanswered if possible. This is desirable in many ways, because it minimizes potential troublemakers and keeps the number of members high who can provide valuable contributions to the discussion. This also promotes the willingness of other members to get involved and allows the community to grow stronger (together). Ultimately, everyone wants a group in which they can gain knowledge.
2. The netiquette
The rules of conduct within the group are just as important. Of course, you can also rely on common sense, but especially on the Internet and on social media it is important to draw boundaries. It is unavoidable that it will nevertheless be violated. But not least because of this, it is important to integrate a proper netiquette into the page description so that all members can understand exactly when someone goes too far and what kind of discussion culture is desired within the group.
If this is not the case and members are excluded without there being any understandable reasons, other users can quickly sense arbitrariness and then either not or angrily participate in discussions. That distracts from the actual topic and spoils the mood. In the worst case, users may even leave the group that they would actually like to keep.
3. Exclusivity is the key
Do you want the group to be exciting and stimulate discussions? Then exclusive content is an important factor! As an administrator of a group you can also make a name for yourself if you can come up with interesting and unusual topics for discussion. This keeps users in line and allows debates to flourish. The happier the members are, the more likely it is that they will recommend the Facebook group to others, which in turn can lead to more traffic. In addition, users will notice and reward when the administrator can shine with specialist knowledge and exclusive content.
4. Beware of fake profiles and rioters!
The function of administrators and moderators in groups has not been freely integrated. Every new request for membership should be checked properly, because on the one hand there are many bots and fake profiles and on the other hand some people who want to join groups only to cause disagreement.
Basically, it is better to be safe than sorry. In plain language, this means that it is better to take a look at the profiles of the candidates beforehand and look for suspicious content than to have them in the group afterwards and then flood them with spam mail or nasty comments.
5. The administrator always reads!
However, since this can hardly be avoided completely, it is just as important to read along at all times. Yes, it is sometimes a lot of work to take care of a group properly, but the members will thank you not to be bothered with hate speeches, advertisements or other shady profiles. Depending on the individual case, you can think about activating each individual contribution manually (see paragraph on settings). However, this should be the last resort, because a discussion within the group can only develop fully if members can post their contributions without delay. If the activation takes too long, they quickly lose interest and may even leave the group.
6. Why not think outside the box?
Regardless of which topic you deal with in the group, there are often related pages and groups that can benefit from your own discussions. So if your own Facebook group is a public platform, you can promote particularly interesting posts on your own Facebook page or even in related groups (it is essential to ask the operators for permission here).
However, this should be done selectively, because not every contribution is worth gold. The aim should be to present the high quality of your website to potential users. Therefore, you should concentrate on a few, but particularly valuable, contributions and think carefully about where and how to apply them.
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