I’m in a couple of what I’d like to think are strategically selected Facebook Groups. For the most part they are great groups, and I like each one of them for specific reasons. When things are done correctly, they can be very advantageous for networking, building relationships and sharing knowledge.
Just for clarity for those of you who don’t know the difference; a Facebook group is not the same as a Facebook page. Anyone can like a Facebook page, you post YOUR content, and it’s typically a one-way conversation with you taking the lead. A Facebook group, however, has to be joined, and is a collaboration of posts and interaction among members, moderated by a the group owner or an admin. Anyone can post a question or start a discussion.
Most Facebook groups have a structure, as well as a set of rules established by the group owner to keep things flowing, prevent spam, and keep people playing nicely. Based on my experiences with each of the groups I have joined – past and previous, here are my top 4 etiquette tips for anyone currently in a Facebook group or someone wanting to join one. If these 4 tips were followed in each of the groups I’m currently in, I’d be a happy camper.
- Follow the rules. If marketing your business is only allowed on a specific day of the week, don’t continue to post a link to your current blog post on other days. As informational as you may believe the content to be, that’s marketing your business, and is disrespectful to the group members who follow the rules, and the group owner.
- Don’t try to be sneaky. Don’t post tips or “helpful posts” when they are really just slick ways to market your business and toot your own horn. It’s an all-to-common occurrence, it’s annoying as heck, and most of us see right through it.
- Be courteous. Do your best to be courteous and helpful to the other members. The best way to build relationships (and market your business in a non-marketing way on a non-marketing day) is to provide lots of value and content by answering questions and helping others.
- Don’t hijack someone else’s post. As tempting as it is to start yapping about your own woes when someone else is trying to find resolution to one of theirs (business or personal), please resist the urge to do so. Apply tip #3. Be courteous. Respect their space and start your own post if you need to.
And, one last tip for group owners. If you are a group owner and have rules or themes for specific days of the week, enforce them. If group rules are posted, and certain people keep breaking them despite you posting reminders, follow through. Remove the posts, remove the member … whatever it is you say the consequences will be – or ditch the rules altogether. Not enforcing your own rules is disrespectful to the members who follow them, and makes people like me write tips like these 😉
Also published on Medium.