There is a very, very big difference between managing a Facebook page and a Facebook group. Fortunately, with the right training, you can manage and grow your community with confidence.
Plan on spending 30-45 minutes a day to effectively moderate your support group.
This time will vary depending on the number of members in your support group, but a community without daily management is not going to thrive. Check for activity. @mention others if a new question has not been answered. Share an upcoming event of interest (see the ROI section for more details). And then get on with your day.
In the Phase 1 research stage you’ll want to interview at least a handful of potential support group members to find out if they’re interested in your community concept. Those who said yes are your founding members. You begin with just this small core. Help them start conversations and engage with one another. Then when you invite more to join the group they’ll come into an active community.
Don’t be a know-it-all. Be a party host.
This is one of the most important things you can learn about community management. At all costs, don’t be a know-it-all. Jumping in to answer every question or – even worse – correct the slightest misinformation will be death to your support group. Instead, take the role of a party host. Use @mention to introduce new members to others in the group who can help answer their questions.
No first post should ever go unanswered.
Research shows the sooner a new member gets a response, the more likely they are to post again. Ideally, you would respond by connecting the question with another member, but if you do need to reply to a post, ask simple, open-ended questions that generate conversation.
Warn, hide or delete posts, turn off comments, or ban members if things get out of hand.
Overwhelmingly, members of Facebook support groups are thoughtful and respectful, especially when you’ve posted clear guidelines for community involvement. But there may be times when things get out of hand. Start by publicly reminding the member of the guidelines. It is important for other community members to know that you’re enforcing those rules. If a warning doesn’t solve the problem, you can escalate your response to hide or delete posts, turn off comments, or ban the member from the community.
Use Facebook’s group tools to fine-tune your activity.
Insights can help you see who’s most active in your community and when. If you have a private group, screening new members with a few questions before you admit them to the group can provide some valuable insights. Use the welcome new member function to increase activity. Facebook Live broadcasts can add to intimacy and perceived community value. Proper notification settings can help you engage on-demand instead of having to check the page constantly.
There is much, much more.
There are many nuances to effective community management. When should you involve a doctor or nurse in a response? How should you respond if a person suggests self-harm in a post? What is the best way to engage with someone who hasn’t joined a conversation for awhile? What do you do if someone shares misinformation with the group? When do you take a conversation out of the community and into a private message? How do you use Facebook group engagement tools? These and many other questions are answered during our in-depth community management training.