Sunday, August 23, 2009

So you want to make a Facebook group?

There is one major thing that bothers me about Facebook groups, when they are abandoned. Time and time again, I do a search for a group and see that it hasn't been updated or posted on in the last 3+months. It is because no one thought about goals and conversations.

Over the past few weeks, several people have approached me wanting advise on starting a Facebook group. It's great to see everyone finally acknowledging students and alumni are on Facebook, but my response is always "Don't!....yet."

A few of you are thinking I'm crazy, but let me explain. 99% of the time they haven't thought through what it will take in making and maintaining a group.

I ask them a few questions before I let them run out and create a group:

  • What are your goals for it?
  • Is there a conversation you can create?
  • Do you have time?
  • Are you going to keep it up?
After I ask about goals, the conversation usually ends, but isn't this where the conversation should begin? Even if your goal is to bring people together, it's still a goal.

The conversation you plan on creating is the most important part. Working towards the same goal, creating a place where everyone can grow as a community and help each other out. It's like having a meeting without an agenda. No one wants to meet to talk about nothing or have every person talking about different random things that are not connected.

This brings us to time and keeping it up. They go hand in hand. Maintaining the group or page means taking the time to answer questions and build relationships.

Next time you are approached with someone wanting to create a Facebook group, make sure they at least have a goal and understand there is a time commitment to what they create. To me there is no bigger let down than joining a group or a page to find out in a few weeks there really was no reason to join.

Facebook groups with created and used correctly will build a community for everyone to gain from.

1 Comment:

insidetimshead said...

I hear ya. The folks who approach me wanting to construct a Fans page can be even more aimless. OK, who doesn't want fans, but what will you do to engage them? Will you answer all the wall posts relatively promptly? Will you keep your page fresh and interesting so people want to return? And you will do more than just bombard them with constant messages, correct?

It's a shame, really. There are so many great things people can do with Facebook ... but as you said, thinking about the why and how are always important.