Friday, October 19, 2018

Facebook Week Part 2: Groups

Hello, and welcome to part 2 of Facebook and the ins and out of one of the world’s biggest (and sometimes the baddish) social media in the world.  It is so popular until television shows will have Facebook-type social media for their show’s platform.  For example, the soap, Young and the Restless, calls it FacePlace, because maybe they have not gotten Facebook’s permission to use the name, Facebook. Another subject for another Friday.
Anyway, last week, I introduced to some and reintroduced to others, Facebook, and gave the lowdown of the social media and how to conduct yourself on the site.  Sorry, if I stepped on some toes (maybe even broken a foot or two, LOL), but I had to say this to sort of getting it off my chest because I have seen a lot of ugly stuff lately on this site, and frankly, I am not too happy about it.
Now, today, I will be talking about groups.  I am talking about groups before pages because this is where the most interaction a person without a business is going to get, other than from friends.  Now, I am going to put this out front this disclaimer, and this is: YOU DO NOT NEED A GROUP TO INTERACT ON FACEBOOK.  You are perfectly fine with a business page and that’s it.  I will tell you later in next week’s post.  There are three things that Facebook groups are, and that is:
1. Menu 2. title to the group
(c) 2018
1)      They are a community of like-minded people who like the same thing.  Say you are a crafter, and you work with a Cricut Electronic Die Cutting Machine.  You have a question about how to print then cut on the machine feature because you have been having some problems with this feature.  Now, you can ask this question on your normal newsfeed, but how many of your friends are going to know what you are talking about.  If you have friends like my Facebook friends, no one hardly crafts, and do not know what an electronic die cutting machine is, let alone know how to use one.  You can always call Cricut customer service, but who has the time to sit on the phone or in Live Chat to ask one possible, simple, little common question.  This is where a Cricut group on Facebook can help.  Some of the members are online right now to answer your questions, you can cut and paste the answer for future reference (I like to use MS Word and make a file of the answer), and you can continue with your project, some craft group member like to show off the project they have made. If you have a hobby, a business, or a lifestyle, there is a group for you  If not, you can always create one.
2)      You can make new friends.  I see what you are thinking, “Great, just what I need, more friends.”  Think back to the first one.  It is a community, and if you are in the right group, meaning that the administrator does not get flippy on you, should you decide to talk about what your two-year-old did 5 minutes before asking your question or replying to someone else’s post, you can kick off your shoes and relax.  There are some groups who are not that catty about other things besides that subject.  Follow the instructions on the group leader or owner, called an admin, and you will do fine.  Just do not post before your comment or post, “ I hope it is OK to post this here” or my personal favorite, “Admin, please delete if this is not appropriate”.
3)      They cause you to think about your hobby, business, or whatever you are into.  You are not alone in this situation.  Someone has had a similar situation like yours, and this is how they solved it.  Back to the community thing.  So, you are not getting views to a new recipe you wrote about two weeks ago.  In a blogging Facebook group (and I am on several), the administrator or another member of the group can give you pointers on how to get those numbers up and popping to where you see revenue from your blog if you want to.  So, they are also a problem solver.
Keep these things in mind if you are thumbing your nose to the idea of not joining a Facebook group.
Can I complain in a group?
The answer, my friend is simple, NO, and here is why.  Although the purpose of an administrator (or admin from now on), is to keep peace in the Middle East or to make sure everyone is happy.  Other things that an admin does are:
·         Maintain the membership
·         Invite people to the group (you do not have to accept the invite)
·         Remove ugly-acting members (keeping the trolls at bay)
·         Approve the membership (I like you to stay and play with us)
·         If they are the owner, issue rules and regs (regulations)
·         Approve other admins
·         Control the group (I threw that one in since I owned a group)
The group I had two years ago (It’s been that long-yikes), was a direct selling group.  On this group, a member could advertise their business, providing that you were a consultant for a direct selling company.  I was, of course, an Independent Longaberger Home consultant at the time, and I did not like some of the direct selling groups I was part of.  Some of the groups basically forced you to buy from each other, and if you were not interested in the company or you did not have any money to buy a product from that consultant, you were kicked out from some of these groups and considered a flaker. They came up with ladder games to get you to buy (such as the $100 group, meaning your order had to total $100 or higher before sales tax and shipping). 
Anyway, I did not like that concept.  I wanted customers who were not forced to buy a Longaberger basket or pottery.  Yes, I wanted sales, but not that bad.  I did not want someone to be stuck with a purchase they did not want to make in the first place.  This is why I created the group.  There were games, but I was only going to issue that game once a month, and it was not the basis for joining the group, either.  Stick to the end of this post to find out the problems that lead me to close this group.
This leads me to explain to you the don’ts of being a group member.  Keep this in mind as you decide if joining a Facebook group is right for you.  I have learned some things, both as a member and as an admin, and I think you will be happy when you read them.  Some of them are:
Sidebar:  1. Menu
2. Title to group
A group will have either
Closed to new members.
Secret to new Members or
Open to new members.
1.       Read all rules and regs BEFORE you join a group.  Do not let “sticker shock” hit you in the face.  Admins and owners of these groups prefer that you do not join, instead of you writing them back with the “I did not know” message, trying to get back in the group.  The little Nastygram that I was going to issue on my Facebook status back in August would have been one of those “I did not know, well guess what I really think of your so-called group” messages.  It would have kept me banned.  The best way I handled it was the “I will wait until I am able to be a willing participant in the group”.  I can always rejoin at a later time.
2.       Please be a willing participant in the group.  Even if you are replying to a post of another member, you are participating.  No question is stupid, and no answer is stupid either.  It is a matter of opinion, and as long as you exercise the right to “agree to disagree”, then there should be no problems. If there are challenges to do in the group, check to see if you have to do them in order to stay connected with the group, if you do, see if you have the time to do them.  Spending a lot of time in groups can be a time waster if you let them.  If you do not have the time, leave the group and rejoin when you have time to spend in the group.
3.       No Nastygrams in the group, and most definitely outside of the group.  I am going, to be honest with you.  No one wants to hear your beef about how the admin banned your post.  So, what? Get over it and move on.  You are lucky you were not banned from the group.  Keep the peace and you get to stay longer.
4.       If the admin says no ads, no means no.  Please, do not slip a little blurb about your once in a lifetime deal for 4 lipsticks for $1 if this is not a sales group.  However, if the admin allows ads, only put them in the group that day, that week, or only under that thread.  In other words, follow the rules.  This includes NO SPAMMING!  Post once and only once.
5.       Be mindful about your posts.  This goes back to #3 and 4.  Do not back mouth a member, call names, talk about a race, nothing.  It goes back to my post from last week.
The future of groups
I am only telling you what I heard.  It is not written in stone.  Facebook is trying out a new feature in groups where admins could make some money off members.  It is a subscription service, and it allows members to get a VIP status in the group (such as files if you are a crafter or exclusive videos).  Again, it is not written in stone, and it is just a test or a thought.  At any rate, I am not too pleased with it.  If anything comes of this new feature, you will hear about it here on this blog.
The problem with groups.
If you stuck with me this far, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.  As an admin, I had my share.  Of course, I had to approve every member, but I also had another admin, who was not good at all.  I did all the work.  First, everyone who wanted to join, and the first thing was you had to be a consultant of a direct selling company.  So, no direct-owned companies.  So, as the owner of P. Lynne Designs, I would not get approved. I really did not want a travel agent to be approved to this group, but for some reason, one snuck on, by the person who I approved as an admin.  If you sold for companies like Longaberger, Tastefully Simply, Stampin! Up, Pampered Chef, those direct companies, yes you would be approved.  Second problem:  I only wanted one from each company.  Having this rule allows a person to be exclusive and have clients, without competing against a team member.  It never worked that way.  Tip Tuesday was a problem because no one had any tips to help each other grow their business.  I did not have enough members to issue Consultant of the month, where that consultant gets all the sales for that month.  I also realized that I was doing exactly what I did not want to happen in this group, forcing people to buy if they did not like the company, the products, or had no money that month.  Finally, I did not have enough time to devote to this group.  I felt like I was forcing myself to be in this group I created.  When that happened, I shut down the group and I let the members know that I was shutting it down and thanked them for being a member of the group.  So, there are some cons to be an admin to a new or established group.
Same with being a member.  If a group wants you to connect to them once or twice a week and you do not have the time, do not join.  An admin would rather you decline the invite than have you be an inactive member of the group if participating is mandatory.  I feel like that was the reason I was released from my membership of the blogging group.  When I am ready to rejoin, I will ask again.
Nuggets of information:
I hope I gave you lots of food for thought when it comes to being a member of a Facebook Group.  Again, this is not mandatory for your membership on Facebook.  Call it an extra bonus.  You need answers to your crafting needs, advice on how to start a blog, love Disney, need a new devotion, or simply need to combat global warming (no I do not belong to a global warming group), join a Facebook group.  They are free for now (I hope forever, but knowing what Mark Z has done in the past, I would not put it past him), you can make new friends who are like-minded, talk about your topic of choice, without your friend from the 8th grade saying, “Yuk, are you still into that Disney stuff?  That is so, 2nd grade”.  You can get answers to your questions, that would make a 10-minute wait for customer service look like 10 seconds.  You have to be mindful when posting to groups.  Be on your best behavior (ugh, I am sounding like my mom), and do not sweat the small stuff, if you find yourself outside of the group.  Move on.
Next week, I will talk about pages and maybe hit on games on Facebook.  Until then, God Bless You. 

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