Ten years ago when I was a new mom, I loved the wealth of information available through websites and connecting to other moms through online forums but these days Facebook makes it easier for me to keep in touch with friends and find specific groups of parents with similar interests through the Facebook Groups feature. According to Facebook, over 500 million people use Groups each month. Thousands of Groups are created daily, 25% of which are created for the sole purpose of staying in touch.
Groups are a robust resources being used by schools to connect parents, professionals who want to network, moms who are looking for other moms outside of their community, and many others. They allow members to form connections with those within the US and around the world in similar situations through a secure forum that’s separate from one’s personal wall and serves as a place to get an immediate response to a question.
Whether you’re an avid user of Facebook Groups, a lurker who enjoys reading without interacting, or thinking about creating a Group of your own, I have some helpful tips from Facebook on how to create a Group and maintaining a successful and active one with a thriving community.
How To Create a Facebook Group
It’s pretty easy to create a Group whether you’re using Facebook on the web or on the go through your iOS or Android device. Here’s a quick how-to:
- On the web— From your homepage, go to the Groups section on your sidebar and click on Add Group. Click Create New Group, from there a window will appear where you’ll be able to add a group name, add members and select the privacy setting for your group. Click the Create button when you’re finished.
- On an iOS device— Tap More, then under Groups, tap Create Group and enter Group name, description, privacy setting, and an icon. Tap Create in the top-right corner to confirm.
- On Android device— In the menu, scroll down to Groups, tap Add Group, enter the group’s name and select the privacy setting. Tap Continue to confirm.
Join a Group
Go to the group you want to be part of and then click Join Group in the top-right corner. You can also join any Open group that you see on the About page of someone’s Timeline by clicking Join.You may have to wait for a group admin to approve your request. In some groups, you can also be added by a friend who’s already a member.
Customize Your Groups Privacy Setting
As a creator of a Group,you can select one of three privacy options for each group you create. Here’s a quick explanation of the difference between an Open, Closed or Private Group:
- Open: Anyone can join or be added or invited by a member
- Closed: Anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member
- Private: Anyone can join, but they have to be added or invited by a member
Tips for Creating and Maintaining a Successful Group
Post Early and Often— Groups are more successful when the Group founders visit the Group early in its existence and post more often – get your Group started with posting on topics that encourage members to engage, share from the get-go and Like posts from other members.
Spread The Word— Groups thrive when more than just the original Group founders invite people to join – add additional people as administrators for the Group and encourage other Group members to invite their friends or networks. For Open groups, add tags like life, sports, food, and more so that other people can find your Group and join.
Make it Visual— Facebook found that flourishing Groups include logos, pictures, descriptions, or other visuals. Consider adding a link or visual to every post on the Group page. You can also add files to your Group – here’s more info on sharing stuff from your Dropbox with your Facebook Group.
- On your group’s page, start a new post and click Add File. You’ll see a “From Your Dropbox” section next to Facebook’s regular file uploader.
- Click Choose File. If you haven’t already, sign in or create a Dropbox account. If this is your first time, you’ll also be asked for permission to link your Dropbox account to Facebook.
- Select the file from your Dropbox, and a link to the file will be added to your post. You can also include a message with your post.
For additional information about Facebook Groups and FAQs, visit the Facebook Groups Basics page.
Tips and logo courtesy of Facebook. No compensation was received for this post.