Larry BraunerIn New Facebook Groups for Better or Worse, I shared my reservations about the new Facebook groups and their potential to annoy Facebook users.

However, after ample testing and observation, I’m no longer worried about negative effects and have come to view the new Facebook groups as a viable business networking and content syndication tool.

The  on-site and email notifications generated by the new Facebook groups can become irritating, but it’s from these in-your-face notifications that the new groups derive their power. They tend to stimulate member activity. On the other hand, the notifications from the old groups had come to be viewed as total spam and were no longer the least bit effective.

Customize Your New Facebook Group Notifications

FacebookThe customizable settings of the new Facebook groups help regulate the volume of notifications, add once you learn how to manage them, the new Facebook groups become beneficial and enjoyable.

New Facebook groups provide four notification settings that you can adjust:

  1. Notify me when - “A member posts or comments” or “a member posts” are good settings for your favorite Facebook groups or groups you moderate. For other groups, you should choose “a friend posts” or “only posts I am subscribed to.” (I myself prefer the latter option, “only posts I am subscribed to.”)
  2. Also send an email to - Unless you’re off Facebook a lot, you probably should uncheck this box.
  3. Show this group in home navigation - This setting isn’t as critical as the others, since it doesn’t affect notifications. I myself set my favorite Facebook groups to “Always” and the rest of the groups to “Never.”  
  4. Send me group chat messages - Unless you enjoy group chatting or you moderate that group, you should uncheck this box.

You Need Not Start Your Own Facebook Groups

Starting your own Facebook groups affords you some control but less than you might think. True, you make up the group rules, and while you can remove any member you wish, nobody can remove you. Nevertheless, abuse your group by spamming or otherwise, and your members will ignore your group or quit entirely.

For this reason, control of your Facebook group is illusory. Groups can be led but not controlled, and you don’t need to own or moderate a group in order to lead it. Furthermore, you don’t need to lead a group in order to benefit from it and enjoy it.

Why Start New Facebook Groups of Your Own

Here are a few valid reasons for starting your own Facebook groups:

  • Necessity - You’re unable to find any new Facebook groups that fit your particular niche.
  • Collaboration - You want to collaborate on a project with your Facebook friends or associates.
  • Segmentation - Your Facebook friends share diverse interests with you. Segmenting your friends using groups will let you explore special interests together.
  • Promotion - New Facebook groups can be used judiciously to supplement Facebook fan pages.

When you start a new Facebook group, keep the best interests of your membership in mind. Reciprocity makes the networking world go around. Be prepared to give, not just to get.

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16 Responses to “How to Benefit from the New Facebook Groups”

  1. Pamela Egan on July 17th, 2011 9:44 pm

    I haven’t had tremendous success in making my Facebook group a center for conversation. I appreciate and will gladly take any advice I can get as social media doesn’t come all that naturally to me.

    In any case, I found the series of posts to be very informative and insightful (I did go back and read the FB Groups for BoW post). Thanks for the advice!

  2. Larry Brauner on July 17th, 2011 9:47 pm

    Asking questions is often a good way to get a conversation going, Pamela.

  3. Jackgoldenberg on July 18th, 2011 11:35 am

    I know Google+ is still in beta, but from what you know about it, does Google+ seem to have more potential for group discussion than Facebook’s groups? Jack

  4. Larry Brauner on July 18th, 2011 11:51 am

    Hi Jack. Google+ doesn’t yet have groups, but I’ll be surprised if they don’t incorporate them in the site.

    We can also expect lots of other sites to pop up and fill voids, such as the Google Plus Directory.

  5. Oscar Barona - Hechizos para el Amor on July 18th, 2011 3:06 pm

    I think Facebook not only serves as a means of communication with friends, it’s an incredible tool for doing business. I have two accounts, one to bringing traffic to my site, and one for position on Google. According to what we read and see on Google+, it will bring many more things that Facebook. even apparently being almost the same as Facebook.

    Thanks for the support!
    Oscar

  6. Tito Gonzaga on July 19th, 2011 10:38 am

    Does Facebook Groups provide statistics to the admin similar to what the Pages offer? I’m particular about activities of group members, i.e.,most active members; no. of posts; frequency of visits; demography; etc.
    Thanks.

  7. Larry Brauner on July 19th, 2011 12:45 pm

    Hi Tito. Unlike Facebook pages, Facebook groups aren’t intended for marketing, so no analytics are available. That, of course, doesn’t stop you from tracking number of members, posts, comments and likes, on your own.

  8. Tito Gonzaga on July 19th, 2011 9:21 pm

    Hi Larry. Thanks for the response. Can you recommend me an app or any tool that can be used by Group admins to automatically track members’ activities?

  9. Larry Brauner on July 20th, 2011 10:25 am

    The apps I recommend are pen, paper and Microsoft Excel. However, in my opinion, unless you need to create a horse and pony show, it’s not worth the bother. Spend your time instead growing your web presence.

  10. Amelia @ International Business on July 21st, 2011 10:28 am

    The new group settings did spur activity to our once relatively dormant group. The new group notifications encourage members to visit the group often and post or comment.

    If people who share the same interests are gathered together, Facebook groups make a good place to share, interact or do business.

  11. Michelle on July 21st, 2011 3:42 pm

    I have a friend who has a group page. It’s for an Army regiment. He is having terrible trouble with privacy and is finding very little way around it. There are many things that he doesn’t want non members viewing as practically everything on a group page is open to the public.

    He has set the group settings so that he has to approve all new members and we see the only way to get private information to members is by creating an event and not deleting it.

    I hope Facebook decides to rethink their privacy settings for (new) groups and also allow the group creator and any admins more freedom for how they want to run their group.
    Not all groups want to be open to the world.

  12. Wim de vos @ Golfbaan Bergvliet on July 22nd, 2011 8:44 am

    Facebook groups works great on my desktop. But as soon I use my PDA (iPhone) the groups are crap. Why isn’t it possible to upload movies with my iPhone, but it is possible with my desktop version. Now I first have to e-mail my movies before I can upload it! Crap! (A point of attention for Facebook!)

  13. Shandra Gray on July 22nd, 2011 9:02 am

    Interesting article Larry! I have been pleased at the number of fans I have picked up in a short amount of time…Facebook is a pretty great tool for business.

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  16. JP Adams on October 3rd, 2011 9:50 am

    Maintaining my privacy on Facebook has become too complicated. You just need to miss controlling something like the latest ‘gestures’ and your stuff is out there and laid bare.
    Trying Google+ but so far not impressed, seems like basically another Facebook.

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