I'm the Founder of the Inner West Mums Facebook Group, a group with 17,500+ members and counting. And I want to share with you my 6 Key Tips on How to Grow a Thriving Facebook Community.
In 2013 I founded the Facebook group, Inner West Mums – a mums group focused on Sydney’s Inner West.
I never imagined that the group would grow so quickly – now totalling more than 17,500 members, with a five-strong admin team – or that it could become such a caring, supportive, successful community (more about this and where you can find us in my Bio at the bottom).
And so, for those of you who run or are thinking of running a Facebook Community, I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you, the 6 key Musts’s that I’ve learned along the way, which will help you to grow a supportive and thriving group.
#1: Set clear guidelines for the group
Ensuring that you have clear guidelines in place is a must. Think about what’s important to you and your members… how you would like the group to be run and stick with it.
It will help the group members to know what is, and equally as important, what is not allowed.
As the group grows you may need to change some of the guidelines, but make sure that you have the group’s support in this.
You can ask members to vote on particular issues, and listen to their feedback – it’s your group but it’s their community, so make sure it works for them too.
When accepting new members, keep in mind that the quality of the members and their contribution is more important than the size of the group.
#2: Treat all members with respect
Remember that group members are people who have good days and bad days – some of whom may be dealing with very challenging issues in their personal lives – and the written word can be misunderstood easily.
When a member posts or makes a comment in the group that breaches the group guidelines, ensure you explain to that member sensitively why that post or comment is not acceptable.
Never reprimand a member who has broken the rules on the group wall; instead message that person privately.
Most will appreciate your discreet, sensitive approach and be less likely to repeat the same behaviour.
In fact, you may even find they’ll tell new members who breach guidelines that their post or comment is not allowed.
#3: Choose your Admin team carefully
It’s vital that the whole Admin team follows the guidelines as well. Ensure that they take a neutral stance when it comes to moderating controversial discussions in the group; their job as an Admin is to ensure the discussion is open to varying viewpoints and that it maintains a respectful tone.
#4: Value your members and show it to them
Find out what is important to your members and organise attractive, useful offers to the group. These may include the likes of giveaways, promotions from local businesses or seminars given by experts at a physical location or by live feed for instance.
#5: Encourage members to help each other
A well-run Facebook group will be the community that your members will go to again and again for advice, tips and assistance.
Make sure your members see themselves as a valuable part of the community, and do stop to thank them when they’ve helped a fellow member – this will encourage even more kindness and amicability within the group.
#6: Don’t be afraid to ban those who continue to break the rules
Banning members is never easy, but let’s face it: your group won’t be suitable for everyone.
Get rid of those members who continuously break the rules despite your best efforts to point them in the right direction.
Your time and energy will be better spent giving value to the group than dealing with repeat offenders.
Also, it shows your members that you care about the group and your time shouldn’t be taken for granted.
About the Author
Hey! So as I mentioned, I’m the Founder of the thriving Facebook Group, The Inner West Mums. Through this group, we’ve been able to provide emotional, practical and financial support to countless members who are experiencing hardship, including those who have fled situations of domestic violence.
We’ve facilitated countless offers and giveaways for our members, organised events and raised significant funds for our local hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, RPA Newborn Care.
If you’re based in the Inner West, we’d LOVE for you to join us!
Facebook Biz Group: Inner West Business Mums
Facebook Mum Group: Inner West Mums