Facebook groups and time management can often present a huge challenge.
Running your own group or being part of one can be extremely beneficial for your business.
It’s really important to be able to understand what your objective is.
It only works to your advantage if you can control how much time you spend in the group…
AND… you are really clear on your purpose for being in the group.
Identifying your WHY
In order to successfully utilise and enjoy being part of a Facebook group, it’s vital to understand why you are there.
Is it to learn?
If this is the case, make sure that members are knowledgeable and generous with sharing.
Or maybe, you are just there to learn how other people run their groups. That’s fine too, but remember that each group reacts differently and it all hinges on the personalities involved, so what is working for one group may not always work for another.
Is it to teach and share your own knowledge?
Be sure that the admin of the group will welcome what you have to share. This can cause angst if the admin is not generous in spirit and sees you as “competition”.
To find potential clients?
This is definitely the most common reason most business people are in groups – although there is some exception (like our SMART Circle.)
If this is your reason, you need to be prepared to share your knowledge in a non-sales way.
Most importantly have a strategy going into the group.
After all, you want to share but you don’t want to give so much away that no one will need to pay for your services.
The bigger the group the more there is to keep on top of.
It’s important not to make the mistake of thinking you have to comment on every post or read everything that goes up.
Big groups are not necessarily always super active. As a general rule, there tends to be a small core of active participants with the rest being “lurkers”.
When you first join a group take the time to look around. Then write a small introduction about yourself. Chances are you’ll get a few welcomes below your post – these are the people who are, likely as not, the most responsive members.
My personal observation is that smaller groups tend to be a lot more interactive than larger ones.
Spend your time wisely
Being active in groups can be a huge time drain. The first step is in recognising and acknowledging this.
Once you know the potential for time to gallop away it’s much easier to guard against it.
1 ) Be firm with yourself
Make a rule about when you will be in the groups. Plan this into your diary.
What works for me is to pop into the groups I am a member of first thing in the morning and then again in the evening – not every day.
Spending 5 minutes skimming through the content is normally sufficient.
Do not be tempted to read every single comment unless the subject is something you really need to learn about or have expert knowledge on.
2) Build relationships
Commenting on a few key posts rather than hitting like on a whole bunch is much more effective.
A comment is way more valuable than simply liking. By taking the time to comment you are building relationships.
Typically members ask questions in groups. They are searching for answers. Answer the questions that relate to your area of expertise.
3) Know when it’s time to leave
After a few weeks in a group, if you are not getting valuable engagement that is either helping you or your business to grow, it’s time to pull the pin. There is no rule that says you need to stay.
Use the tools available
There are some very handy tools available on Facebook that help with managing what appears in your feeds and your time in the group.
Use the search function to find questions/discussions on topics that you are interested in answering/learning more about. This way you don’t have to scroll through all the posts. It’s especially helpful in very active groups or if you’ve had a short break.
When you like or comment on a post, if you don’t turn off the notifications you can end up with a whole stream of notifications pinging your way.
Similarly, if you want to follow a post, simply because you are interested, but you don’t necessarily want to comment, you can turn on the notifications.
Even better than turning on the notifications – if it’s something you want to refer back to – grab the link and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet.
You can then come back to visit it later when you have more time.
Turn Off Commenting
This one is great when you have a post that is getting heaps of engagement, but it’s now way past time the subject closed.
You have the option to delete your post or better yet, just turn off commenting. That way nothing else can be added but everyone can still read it.
One final tip
Limit the number of groups you belong to.
Work out how much time you can afford to spend engaging. Then count up the groups you’re in to come up with a realistic figure of what time you can actually afford without it impacting on other areas of your business and personal life.
By limiting the number of groups you belong to you’ll end up being able to offer better value and create stronger relationships.
Let me know in the comments if you found these tips helpful.
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