Part of the intrigue of social media was the ability to interact with your friends, family, co-workers and other like-minded people throughout the world. Unfortunately, sites like Facebook have been reduced to vehicles to segment ourselves by political beliefs, brand support, or even what we find funny.
But what if I told you there was a way to use Facebook to be better at your job, your personal hobbies, or just things you enjoy?
That’s what Facebook Groups can do.
Facebook Groups are a vehicle that like-minded people can use to distribute and discuss issues, problems and ideas. Some are totally secret, some have to approve new members, and some take any and all members that wish to join. Groups can be a nice distraction from your general Facebook feed and a great place to bounce ideas, get uplifting support, or maybe even some constructive criticism.
Joining A Facebook Group
The way most people participate in groups is by joining several groups. As I stated earlier, there is a group for nearly ANY interest. I’ve joined groups for small business owners, WordPress development, mobile DJ’s, Brittany dog owners, local wedding vendors, motorcycle riders, hunting/fishing, and much more. In each of these groups there are other people with at least one similar interest and will communicate on questions or comments regarding that interest.
Joining a Facebook Group is easy. Search for it, find the group, and click Join Group. But here are some more tips when you’re looking for some groups to join:
- If you belong to other groups, online or not, find out from other members if they have joined other groups on Facebook.
- Join several similar groups, then quickly determine which groups are useful and which are not, then unsubscribe the ones that don’t fit your needs.
- Be active in the discussions. Ask questions. Provide answers. Input some humor into the group where applicable. Be… nice….!
Creating A Facebook Group
Not finding a group that fits exactly what you need or want? Create your own Facebook Group!
It’s free, the creation process is relatively easy, and the result can be very fulfilling.
However, be advised that owning a Facebook Group can be a lot of work depending on your subject, your members, and your personal goals for the group.
Here are a few things to consider before you create a group:
- A group can be created for nearly any topic of interest. Have a tool you use for work, a hobby you spend a fair amount of time learning, or just an obscure skill? Start a group and see if there are any others with the same interest.
- Do you have time to spend managing the group?
- Are you going to approve everyone interested, or is there a manual process involved to allow users access?
- If you are going to approve new members, do you have a documented criteria of what is needed in order to join?
- Once approved, do you have a method of monitoring the posts and comments in order to discipline, or eventually remove users from the group?
- If you don’t have time to monitor, are you willing (able?) to let others monitor the discussions for you?
- How will you attract new members to the group? Other social media channels? Other online media (podcasts, YouTube)? Traditional media like radio, TV, newspapers or magazines? Or are you going to just allow search and word of mouth to attract visitors?
Facebook Groups can be a powerful, useful piece of your social media services. But, if used too much, or without restrictions can end up being a distraction in an stream already cresting its banks. Find topics useful and interesting to you, join them, or create your own, and you will start seeing some benefit from Facebook beyond the usual birthdays, lunch posts, and meme photos.
Episode 43 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast
In episode 43 we talk about some of the things listed here, and expand on them a bit. We also talk about my Samsung Chromebook Pro, which I started using last week as my out-of-the-office computer. Check it out below, or subscribe to the podcast.
And as always, leave the technical stuff to us!