Facebook Groups are becoming more and more popular for people with same interests and this is mainly because they are a new form of community where people can ‘connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea‘. And the best of it is that everything you post, from photos to related content, has a better visibility and exposure than those topics written by members on Pages. So let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of being a Member, an Admin or Moderator of a Facebook Group.
- anyone can create a Facebook Group and the discussions are more visible. Also more Members means a better exposure and popularity and the rate of engagement is higher
- if an Open Group is more likely to attract Members, Groups that are Private are considered more safe to express your opinion and engage freely in conversations
- Members, together with Moderators and Admins, can create engaging content with equal exposure to the entire Group Members
- Secret Groups allow more privacy and control over who joins the specific Group because Non-Members cannot find the Group or see any details because the Group won’t show in Facebook’s search results and the only way to join is through an invitation from oe of Group’s Members, Admins or Moderators
- Members can directly add friends to the Group
- As a Group Admin you can set up a list of questions for the Members to answer in order to join, if you want to be more ‘selective’ with your audience
- Groups can be about many sensitive topics because of the Privacy Option.
- and lastly, the Members of a Group can see who has seen a post
All these being said, let’s move on to the disadvantages of creating or being part of a Facebook Group.
One of the main disadvantages is that Groups require someone to be active in checking membership requests, content and comments frequently, because in a Facebook Group, Members are active all the time, no matter the hour. If you fail to do that, things might get out of hand and the Group can be reported for various reasons.
Publicity in a Group is generally less powerful and doesn’t have a lot of impact, especially in a Private or Secret Group.
Most of the times, depanding of the Group’s Privacy, posts need to be approved by Admins or Moderators before being published by the Members. With a large and active Group, this can be time-consuming.
Last year a new Group feature was created to ensure that Facebook Groups are following community guidelines and standards. The ”Group Quality” feature shows the content that was removed from the group for violating Community Standards, potentially violating content and false news in the group.
If a group is in violation of Community Standards, Facebook may do any of the following: disable the Group (this is what usually happens), take down the violating content or flag the content that might go against Facebook’s Community Standards – among other things. This was created mainly because some Group Admins and Moderators were avoiding Facebook’s policies by posting content that was violating community standards in Secret and Private Groups.
Even if for some Members the ”Group Quality” feature is a good tool, it can have a huge disadvantage if you are an active group Member, Admin or Moderator. If you invest a lot of time in a Group by posting regular content, photos, uploading files or even making an effort to design Cover Photos or any type of publicity, and the Group gets reported and taken down by Facebook, you lose access to the entire material posted along the years. This also happens if you get booted from the Group, which leads to another major disadvantage. Most of the times, Members get banned from Groups without warning and they lose access to their own content, which can be very frustrating considering that most people invest a lot of effort in sharing and creating quality content and valuable information.
A professional Facebook Group will only remove people if they are:
- violating Group policies
- being abusive towards other Members
- spamming the Group
Lastly, in large Groups not all questions or comments are handled adequately and things can sometimes take a negative turn. It’s up to Admins and Moderators to mantain a positive atmosphere and create a Group environment that is safe for all Members.