Facebook Groups – Your Own Private Island

July 1, 2011

In an earlier post, I said we would share tips about different social media and today’s post is about creating groups in Facebook. What’s the purpose of a group when you can just invite people to view your page? Why would creating one be helpful?  How do you create a group?  What kinds of things would be best to post in a group area?

Unless you minimized your page visibility using privacy settings, most people’s Facebook pages can be seen by anyone who logs into Facebook and does a search.  In April 2010, Facebook introduced a new function called groups because they found that users wanted a private space to share information that was of interest only to a smaller segment of their page followers –  family, college buddies, book club friends, virtually any kind of common interest.  Six months after Facebook launched this feature, more than 50 million groups were created. Groups are best used for short-term projects. For example, if your Section/Branch/Chapter has a Facebook page, you might create a group within that page for keeping members of a particular committee updated on your progress on projects or meetings.  You could then post to the larger Section/Branch/Chapter page when your committee is ready to announce a progress report or a new event. If you are a student chapter, maybe your Concrete Canoe or Steel Bridge team could benefit by creating its own smaller group within the larger Facebook page.

Creating a Facebook group is fairly easy via your own page, but you need to have administrator rights to do it on your Section/Branch/Chapter page. (Just forward this post to your administrator if you want them to create a group for you.) On your main Facebook page, look on the left side margin under your profile picture. In the first section, you should see the words “News Feeds, Messages, Events, and Friends.” In the second section, you will see group options.  If you are already a member of some groups, you will see them listed here.  The last option in this section should be “Create Group.” If you click on it, a smaller dialogue box will open up and here you can name the group, select an icon, invite members and specify the privacy settings. Facebook gives you three privacy settings – Closed (anyone can see the group but only members can read posts), Open (anyone can see the group and read posts) and Secret (only group members can see the group and read posts).  In addition to posting messages, you can post photos, videos, links, and even take a poll by asking members questions.

Which Facebook groups do you know of that use this feature really well and why?  Are there other options that Facebook should make available to group members?

Audrey Caldwell – Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

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