Larry BraunerThe main problem with Facebook groups is a problem that all online networking sites and offline networking groups face, insufficient engagement.

People find it easy to join a networking group but difficult to show up or to participate online or in meetings.

Facebook Groups Especially Problematic

FacebookOne very serious limitation of Facebook groups is that posted content doesn’t appear in members’ news feeds.

This limitation doesn’t apply to Facebook pages and profiles. However, positioning and visibility of Facebook page and profile content on users’ news feeds is subject to Facebook EdgeRank.

Since content doesn’t appear in members’ news feeds, group members can only learn of new content or read that content if they happen to visit the group’s page.

Partial Solution to Facebook Groups Problem

Fortunately, this problem is partially offset by an important feature of Facebook groups. Moderators can send newsletters to group members that are delivered directly to their Facebook inboxes. Group newsletters can inform and help to increase participation.

Too many group creators use their group’s newsletters to spam members. Spamming members makes newsletters ineffective and kills any chance of getting members to participate. My advice is to keep members’ interests in mind when you mail them, not just your own.

Please don’t forget, you can broadcast newsletters directly to your members’ inboxes provided you don’t have 5,000 members or more, so limit the size of your membership.

That’s all I have to say about the problem with Facebook groups until you leave a comment. ;-)

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15 Responses to “The Problem with Facebook Groups”

  1. AnnaLaura Brown on July 4th, 2010 10:41 pm

    You are absolutely right about this. The other problem too is that while you can message all the members of the group, I’ve found that many people do not read their messages or at least not on a regular basis and so this leads to your messages being ignored. For this reason and what you said already, I prefer to use fan pages.

  2. Larry Brauner on July 4th, 2010 11:00 pm

    You make a good point AnnaLaura. However, it’s also true that many people don’t check their news feed, and that even if they do, your content will only be visible if it has a high Facebook EdgeRank. I also believe that a non-commercial Facebook group is more likely to grow organically than a commercial Facebook page.

  3. Solveigh Calderin on July 5th, 2010 3:06 am

    I run a (professional) Facebook page and a non-commercial semi-professional Facebook group. The membership of the group grows faster - that is a result of the topic.

    The engagement on my page is higher - maybe because it is older?

    On both, the group and the page I use to from time to time send information to users to inform them about interesting postings.

    For me is it more disturbing that I do not get notifications from Facebook about the activities on my page and group like I get from my profile… So my reaction may come late… Since I noticed that, I of course visit both dialy, but the work was easier with notifications…

    Thank you for your article, what gave me some new insights once more…

  4. seema on July 5th, 2010 8:36 am

    I completely agree…this is not only the problem with Facebook but also Orkut. You have to continuously keep on checking out the latest activities going on in these communities to be a part of them. Furthermore, it may not always prove so easy to nail the discussion once out of it.

  5. Jack Goldenberg on July 5th, 2010 2:30 pm

    Your solution that people running a group could send out a newsletter is a good one so group members can find out what they may have missed. The problem is that most group leaders will not take the time to send out a newsletter.

    I know you well enough to know that you would do that because you take responsibility for groups you start and groups you join. Unfortunately, most people are not as proactive as you.


  6. Sandra on July 8th, 2010 4:18 am

    Good points Larry.

    Another advantage that Pages have over Groups is that you can use various applications to enhance your page.

  7. iip albanjary on July 8th, 2010 11:46 pm

    I haven’t tried to engage in Facebook groups for commercial use.

    Thanks for your review on this Facebook facility. I’ll note that.

  8. Matt Kettlewell on July 9th, 2010 12:03 pm

    I agree that spamming the group members is not a good practice and content should be relevant to some topic or discussion in the past and not just a way to get any content out to the group members.

  9. Naz on July 10th, 2010 9:39 pm

    You are totally right! There have been a lot of spam messages sent to me from groups that I’ve joined on Facebook. Sometimes many of these group on Facebook have no active discussions.

  10. Larry Brauner on July 11th, 2010 8:51 pm

    The spam groups make it harder for people who want to run legitimate Facebook groups.

  11. Carla J Gardiner on August 31st, 2010 12:27 pm

    It is due to wonderful friends like you, Larry, that I learn more about FaceBook and it’s provisions every day.

    Although I do belong to lots of groups, I am guilty of not participating much. I am irritated that the group moderators do just like you say, SPAM me all the time.

    Why would I want to participate with someone who is cramming their deal down my throat? They don’t know me, apparently they don’t have a clue that I have my own business, actually two of them.

    I so appreciate the wonderful content and valuable information you provide…thank you Larry.

    Carla J Gardiner

  12. Jason Jumat on September 9th, 2010 11:40 am

    That is a main problem and limitation and I think that could be added as one reason as to why Facebook groups don’t really interact on the groups - they are looking for some kind of reward - I believe - and they simply don’t get it at all.

  13. Poppy Schneider on August 31st, 2011 4:54 pm

    I’ve found engagement in Facebook groups to improve somewhat as a result of more people using the app with a smartphone. It’s still a problem though, but your tips are helpful.

  14. Blogging, Social Media, Food Bloggers – Best of the Week | Sweets Foods Blog on February 15th, 2012 2:59 pm

    […] * The Problem with Facebook Groups […]

  15. st paul construction on June 6th, 2012 5:02 am

    I have joined a few groups and all I get are spam type messages. I joined groups to be a part of it and to discuss, but most of them don’t usually turn out with new topics and many more are dormant.
    Ryan Cardozo

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