12 Effective Facebook tips for brands, organizers and administrators

If you are a community organizer or an activist building a “tribe”, and want to use Facebook as an effective tool to connect, here are some of the lessons I have learnt in the last 4 years where I have mobilized (or tried to) effective Facebook groups of more than 10,000 members. This  applies broadly to handling your Facebook profile branding as well as “Facebook groups” and “pages”.

  1. Use Facebook groups for the right reasons: It’s a place to tell/spread (amplify) news.
  2. Get advice, not consensus from your members.
  3. When you get cynical, negative comments (usually from trolls), accept the post and just reply back with the word, “Noted”. Don’t ever defend, argue or try to please them. Trolls are trolls.
  4. Make a “code of conduct” list before inviting people to your Facebook group. Save it as a document in there. Update it regularly & remind people (by pinning that post regularly).
  5. Ban people if they don’t abide by code of conduct repeatedly. 3 strikes law works here. Also It is not your job to explain the reason for banning each member. Use that time instead, to deliver in action, the purpose of your group. If there is too much spamming, in the options, set it to ” All group posts must be approved by an admin”. Make sure you approve or reject pending posts regularly.
  6. Don’t invite people just because they are your good friends or because you need to fill in with many members. Good friends + wrong groups = awkward situation.
  7. If you make other “administrators”, brief them on your beliefs and code of conducts before making them so. Remind them & hold them accountable to their actions / inactions. Don’t add more admins until it is absolutely important to.
  8. If you have a secret group, don’t give “add members” rights to general members. It defeats the purpose as they will add anyone and everyone.
  9. Best way to grow is to grow organically. This helps keep the group tight-knit. In the long run what matters is the work done by the very few who will actually deliver.
  10. Humility helps (always). Since Facebook leaves a digital trail when you become mean/angry/rash/obnoxious, it will be used against you even after years.
  11. Give more attention to members who help the group’s purpose more.
  12. Remember Facebook group is just a virtual network. Trust people who back up their words with real concrete actions. Arrange real world interaction (meet / conference call) and trust people more who you meet in the real world. People who only hang around the Facebook group – I call them mostly “Talkers, not doers”.