Did you miss out on reading part 1? Check it out here. In this second Facebook networking post, we’re going to focus on etiquette in Facebook groups. Be sure to also check out part 3 for even more great tips!
Facebook networking group etiquette:
(Please note that each group has its own set of specific rules, determined by the group owners. This is a generalized list to help you get started on the right foot, but please check each group’s individual requirements before making your first post anywhere.)
Ready to get started?
- Always read a group’s full description and rules (if visible) before joining.
- If the group you are joining is private, you will have to submit a request before you can join. Some private groups are part of a separate membership (such as paid mastermind groups), so don’t attempt to sign up until you have read the full description and are sure you meet the requirements.
- Once you are allowed into a group, read the entirety of the group’s rules in order to ensure your future posts will be appropriate. If the rules are not visible on the main discussion page, check the group’s “files” tab to see if there is a rules document there. If you still don’t see the rules anywhere, ask the group admins for help. Group rules are also a good way to get a feel for the group’s culture, and may help you further decide whether you want to stay and participate, or leave to find another group that better suits your needs.
- Take the hint: some group rules / descriptions are blunt and to the point, saying things like “Don’t bother posting here if all you’re going to do is promote yourself and leave”. Others are more subtle and may rely on your good sense to take a hint by instead saying something like “This group is right for you if you plan to get to know your fellow members and share in the conversation on a regular basis.” If your intent is to join a group solely for the purpose of quickly posting a promo ad and then leaving (super not recommended, by the way- more on that below), then don’t join either of these groups. While it’s true that the subtle group didn’t specifically say not to, don’t be “that guy”, knowing you shouldn’t but doing it anyway.
- Don’t be tempted to become what I like to refer to as a “post ‘n go” (ie: the person who posts the exact same ad to a zillion groups all at once with no comment, description or information included). Contrary to the logic behind it, doing this is not the ideal way to get as much exposure as possible. In fact, it may actually get you as little exposure as possible because it’s in so many groups, people are bound to just skip right past it without even looking. Sure, your time is limited and it’s not easy to promote knowing you need to personalize your post with details or comments tailored to each group. But think of it like this: you wouldn’t walk into a cocktail party, hand someone your business card without saying a word and then immediately walk out and expect people to eagerly call you. Think of your Facebook groups in the same context. Networking, and effective marketing in general, is about building relationships: to get the most out of them, you have to first put something in. Get to know people, participate in discussions, comment on and like other people’s posts and become well known as a professional in the group. People deal with people they know and trust. Also, since not many people tend to follow this strategy, you’ll likely have a leg up in your groups over any competition, who are either not using Facebook groups at all, or not using them well.
- Too busy to engage all over the place? Totally understandable. If you can only join a couple of groups in the beginning to get used to making time to participate, just do that. If all you can do right now is post or comment once or twice a week, then just do that. At least you’re being an active member of your groups and again, are probably ahead of others who aren’t at all.
- Don’t add friends to the group immediately. Even if you think a friend might also enjoy being a member, ask if she’d like to join. Some groups allow you to “add a member”, which automatically puts someone into the group without their consent. While some may not mind, others will and it is best to ask rather than assume.
- When you join a group, (assuming it’s not against the rules, of course), make your first post an introduction. Many groups welcome new members in an introductory post, and that is a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, tell the other members what you do, and say hello. Never waste an opportunity to get your name out there.
- If the group info doesn’t specify what to do in the event of drama: First, avoid getting sucked in, it will only make you look unprofessional if you become embroiled in a Facebook argument. If another member is causing trouble, contact the group admin(s) if they’re not already involved, and take it up with them via private message. Admins can’t always catch things immediately and might appreciate you bringing it to their attention in such a tactful way, sparing the group any further issues.
Ready for more? Check out part 3 of our Facebook Networking series: 10 tips for initiating conversation in Facebook groups, coming soon. Missed part 1? Make sure to give that one a read, too- you can find it here.
Do you have your own Facebook group for your biz, or are you considering starting one? Find out how to link it to your Facebook business page here.
Get more tips, tricks and support for running your group, networking in groups and for all things social media for biz in our Connect for Entrepreneurial Women group!