Social media has been fundamental to reuniting old friends and family. It’s also fundamental to making new friends across the miles, people we’d never have been likely to meet otherwise. One of the tools of social media, and Facebook is one of the better options, is the ability to create interest groups. Football fans can unite no matter where they are in the world, people with a common interest or health condition can come together to share their experiences. You’ve probably considered starting a Facebook group but feel daunted about how to start.
What Do You Want Your Group to Be About?
Before you create a Facebook group, you should consider your group’s subject and area of focus. This will include the name of the group and its target audience. For example, if your idea is to start a disability support group – you should also think about whether to aim the group at people with disabilities, their carers, to parents of children with disability, professionals or the general public (in order to spread awareness). Will you appeal to professionals (if you yourself work as a clinician and look to broaden your professional network) or people with practical experience?
Sadly, people do abuse social media. You will encounter “trolls” (people who post inflammatory content to get a negative reaction), “spammer” people who want to use your group to sell goods and services, and bullies. You can ban people from a group, so clearly set out a system of what would elicit an immediate ban. You will need to modify the rules as situations come up, but be prepared for slight tweaking as time goes by. It’s best to pre-ban discussion of religion and politics unless your group is about those subjects. They tend to devolve into argument remarkably quickly.
Will You Need Help?
At first, your group is likely to have just a handful of members and you should be able to moderate the group on your own. However, once it passes a certain threshold of member numbers and activity, you may need help in keeping an eye on things. This is not something you will need to do at the beginning unless you have a number of friends in the real world that you can trust to provide a fair hand. You should keep your options open on extra moderators and develop a mental list of possible members to ask. These reliable people help your group run smoothly and harmoniously.
Permissions and Group Type
Facebook permits a number of group options. Do you want to be an open group (where anyone can join), a closed group (where administrators need to authorise each and every application) or a hidden group (where nobody can see the group except those that you personally invite). There are benefits and drawbacks to all options, but this is about how broadly you want to appeal. A closed and hidden group may not attract spammers or trolls, but they rarely have more than a handful of members.
Finally, Create the Group
This is the easy part, but the most important. At present, you can create new groups from the homepage. It’s not easy to spot, but you will see it at the bottom of the list on the left hand side where your pages feed, other groups and games are listed. Follow the on-screen instructions to create the group and they will set you up in no time. Don’t forget to fill out ever y box with requested information. The more detail you put in, the easier potential members will find you, the faster your group will grow and create the community you desire. Also, upload a cover image and thumbnail to make your visually attractive.