Facebook Groups: Good or Bad?

This morning I was invited to my millionth Facebook Group, and I have come to a revelation: I have no idea what I am doing in some of these groups. (And some of them I asked to be in. Shh, don’t tell anyone.) I’m a group hoarder. So…

Why FB groups? (The Good)

The groups I interact with the most have these great things in common:

  • They are engaging. Most of the groups I’m active in–or at least trolling daily–are writing groups. Well, duh. I’m a writer who’s actively writing (well, struggling to write. Same diff) . Group members are sharing writing stories, giving quotes, commiserating where I feel I can jump in too.
  • They are substantive. Show me something I didn’t know. Invite me to FB live sessions, talk about events. At least give me a different opinion about a topic. And respect me when I share my knowledge.
  • They have an order/rules/crowd control. When groups get popular and have more than 100 engaged members, I like some order, or it will just look like my Twitter feed. And I can’t stand Twitter (even though I am killing it on Twitter right now! FYI: That’s because I respond only to word and pic challenges and some of the #WritingCommunity tag. Hence, why I like order.) I once joined a group that had over 1000 members and a feed that I could barely understand where to jump in. So, I didn’t.
  • They have something to look forward to. Several groups I engage with a lot have daily do’s– promo Fridays, or web chat Wednesdays, or Hot Man Mondays (not that one, but I think I’m going to start that one in my group). These are a great way for an introvert like me to chime in. I like to have an activity!
  • They have nice people in them–a couple of groups I’ve been in have had moderators turn off comments to posts frequently because members are arguing with each other. Then there’s the once a week post from some rando that says, “I hate [whatever the group represents]” or “I’ve had so many negative experiences with [group identity].” Um why are you here? Get the heck outta the group feed! I don’t need that kind of negatively in my life, and neither do you.
  • They are better than pages. I love my page, but now that FB has turned off posting by others on pages, I don’t like them as much. The whole point of my page was to have a place on FB where I can talk about author-Me and people can talk back. And we can sip virtual wine on Fridays or whatever the heck. So that’s why I like groups as an author/businessperson.

What I Don’t like about FB Groups (The Bad)

  • When they get big, sometimes they can get unwieldy.
  • No moderators or direction. I don’t like when I’m invited to a group, and I have no idea what I’m doing there. I like announcements first thing and something in the “About” section. A welcome is always nice when the group is a club atmosphere. Obviously, most people join groups in the middle of several discussions. Having these things to orient you helps so much!
  • Sometimes groups are all ads and buy links, with very little (if any) interaction. While I’m okay with some buy links, especially if I’m in a group that’s promoting something, I don’t want to be bombarded with them constantly and without any direction. I mean, is this recommended? Is it worth the buy? Why am I here if I’m not going to buy anything?
  • Ranting against what the group is about/constant negativity. See above.
  • Groups can get stale.

Why I started an FB Group

I like that people liked my Owen and Makayla Trilogy, so I made a page for it, but now that you can’t really use a page to “talk,” I didn’t see why I needed that page. I want to have a SM place to interact with fans of the series, to talk Owen and Makayla, romance novels in general, have fun, and be ourselves. Writing is a communal activity despite what we think, and readers are a huge part of that experience if you are or want to be published. Plus, who doesn’t love a “Hot Man Monday”? 😍

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