The Woes of Facebook Group Administration
- 15 Jun
- Written by Robert Blanda
If you've created a group on Facebook - whether it be an opened or closed group - you may already know that managing it can be difficult, even daunting at times. It's a thankless (and payless) job that requires daily diligence and stealth operations.
I currently run about 15 Facebook groups (not fan pages - more on that later) that have more than one thousand users. Every time I log on to Facebook, I am faced with that little red notification icon reporting things like "Joanne Johnson requires your approval to join the group blah, blah, blah." Then a private message will pop up on my screen asking "Can you please do something about so and so? They are really starting to annoy me..." and finally, "How do I add a photo album from an iPhone."
Its a constant stream of questions and complaints that is never-ending. No matter what you do, it will never change - it's just something you have to put up with. Why do I manage these groups? I often ask myself that very question. Frankly, I don't know. Perhaps I find that it's a great way to network with other users and meet people I wouldn't have normally met. Yes, that must be it.
I often find myself trying to calm the users down after they have argued online about a specific topic. They want to rip each other's throat out and here I find myself frequently looking for a black and white referre uniform. Don't get me wrong, in most cases it's easy to resolve a dispute by referring back to a premade set of rules. Once the parties realize they violated a rule, they tend to calm down. If you haven't made a list of rules for your group, you're going to find it difficult to settle disputes.
Removing & Blocking Users
It's a difficult decision to make, but we often have to remove users from the group. In some cases we even BLOCK them. This means that they cannot even try to rejoin the group, because it will be completely invisible from their facebook profile. When it comes down to it, it has to be done - sparingly.
If you're not careful about who you let into your group, it's almost a guarantee that you'll begin getting spam (unwanted advertisements) on your group page. It's a pain - and it will call for an instant ban in the groups I run. When you get a request to join, be sure to look at the users profile. Here are some things that will denote a spam account:
- Very few friends
- Members of hundreds of groups
- Generic profile photo
- Spam posts on their own wall
- No posts at all
- Foreign / Asian writing
- No location, No other information
If your group is location specific such as a Yard Sale group or locally-based hobby club, require that members publically list their location. This will most likely funnel out the undesirables.
Our best advice is this:
- Remain neutral
- Don't take sides.
- Quietly resolve disputes outside of the group
- Be consistent - don't enforce one rule and not another
- Don't interrupt a discussion unless it's breaking rules
Most of all, have fun - the groups can be a great way of meeting people. :)