Digital marketing

10 rules for running a Facebook group that nobody wants to leave (especially you!)

- October 20, 2022 4 MIN READ
Facebook group rules

Thinking of starting a Facebook group to support your business and connect with clients and customers? Here are ten important tips you need to know about managing Facebook groups.

From a user’s perspective, Facebook groups are a simple and enjoyable way to stay connected to people, brands or hobbies you love. Running a group on Facebook, however, can be a gargantuan task.

During a recent conversation with a woman who runs a Facebook group for people going through relationship breakdown, she told me she’d spent most of her working day putting out ‘fires’ between members. While that’s not entirely surprising given the emotional nature of her group, it came to cost her dearly – when eventually managing the group dynamic became such a misuse of her time, she decided to pull the plug altogether.

10 tips for running a successful Facebook group

Line of young people using mobile phones

While we all want Facebook groups that are a hive of activity and meaningful conversation that add value to our brand, how can we ensure this doesn’t come at the cost of our precious time?

Here’s what our Flying Solo community of experts had to say:

1. Set up post-approval

“Set up post approval. That way you can reign in the drama before it becomes drama. Having even a slight bit of mediation is a winner,” says Jo Palmer, founder of Pointer Remote.

2. Don’t be a douche canoe!

“The most important rule in Facebook groups, as in life, is ‘Don’t be a douche canoe’. When people join, I welcome them and encourage them to read the opening post, where they can introduce themselves. I ask them to wait a week before posting anything else, so they have time to understand the group,” says Heather Smith, founder of Heather Smith Consulting and creator of Xero MasterMind Group on Facebook.

“No one likes someone who arrives at a party and tries to takes over the music being played.”

3. Your group, your rules!

“Running a Facebook group takes big furry balls,” says Kate Toon, founder of The Misfit Entrepreneurs with Kate Toon Facebook group. “Yes, you can lay out the group rules in a pinned post but can you enforce them? Is your group going to be a messy free-for-all of self-promoters and willy-wavers, or a well managed and useful pod of awesomeness?

“To keep the group working well, you’ll have to smack bottoms, delete posts and take some flack. You decide. Your group. Your rules.”

4. Don’t hide yourself

“Be active in your group; don’t hide behind the ‘admin’ moniker,” says Annette Densham, founder of The Audacious Agency, and co-manager of the Rocket Launch Your Business Facebook group. “People join the group because they want to connect with you, not your VA. Yes, it can be a big job but if your group is an extension of your brand, you shouldn’t outsource or be absent.

“Continue to post tips, helpful info and content that not only builds the people in your group, but also allows them to interact with you. We run weekly themed lives and regularly post content that adds value to our member’s businesses. As a result, it’s an active and engaged group.”

5. Put your analytics to good use

“Look at your group’s analytics and understand when your community engages with your content,” says Karen Hollenbach, founder of Think Bespoke. “Ask your community what they want to hear from you by using polls. Use groups as a great way to keep your community informed. And always thank participation and feedback.”

Using social media on phone

6. Pin your rules to the top of your page

“If you have hundreds of people and your group is fairly active, be aware that things can veer off in directions you weren’t expecting – so having well-defined rules and boundaries (in a pinned post) is important,” says Rachel Smith of Rachel’s List.com.au and creator of the Rachel’s List | Gold Community Facebook group.

“You also need to get your head around occasionally having to be the ‘bad cop’ (which I loathe, as it totally goes against my non-confrontational nature!). But it keeps things running smoothly. I feel pretty lucky the RL group is such a nice bunch and people love hanging in there, sharing stuff and asking advice – touch wood!”

7. Understand the goals of your target market

“80 per cent of Australian mums belong to a closed Facebook group just for mums,” says Katrina McCarter, founder of Marketing to Mums.

“Tech-first mothers use social media to seek out other mums’ opinions, and they look for a brand’s social proof. They are searching for reviews and awards a brand might have won. So, effective Facebook groups are convenient and efficient, allowing mothers to speed up the sales process to get what they want faster.”

8. Give, give, give!

“It’s all about building relationships and trust and that takes adding enormous value,” says Yvette Mayer, founder of Yvette Mayer Wellbeing and manager of The Lit Up and Liberated Entrepreneur Facebook group.

9. Establish clear guidelines for group behaviour

“All of the groups and pages I manage or admin are very clear about behaving respectfully to ensure the group is a safe, informative, productive and fun virtual space for its members and followers. Bullying or personal insults are not allowed at all,” says Fiona Hamann, founder of Hamann Communications.

“By having clear guidelines (including what happens for breaches), I don’t need to moderate comments before publication. This means that members can contribute in a free-flowing, instantaneous and conversational way, fully aware of the consequences if they don’t.”

10. Be mindful about your content and conversation starters

“I have three groups. My free group has over 2.5k members,” says Stephanie Wicker, founder of Simply Kids. “I think the most important thing to me is keeping them engaged. I do this by sparking emotional responses.

“For example, a post that they can relate to that gives them relief – ‘phew! It’s not just me’. Or inspires them – ‘I CAN do that!’ Conversational posts that evoke an emotion are the perfect balance for engagement and conversion.”


Article updated for 2022.

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