Most of us know about Facebook, and Facebook groups, but for those of you that don’t, and those of you who are new to Facebook groups, here is a little blog to suggest some Facebook Group Etiquette.
First, however, I am going to make a few things clear. This blog is not about any specific group and not geared to any specific person. If you “think” it is about you, maybe it might help you smooth out some Facebook manners (and don’t bother sending me a nasty post or email, if you haven’t noticed, none of your negative comments get made public). Just saying.
WHAT IS A FACEBOOK GROUP? A facebook group is simply an open or closed group of people that have the same interest. Embroidery for an example, or a particular software or technique for embroidery. Someone creates the Facebook group, and other people (admins) help moderate the group to keep on the topic.
A FACEBOOK GROUP IS NOT a company…Companies have pages, not groups. Why? Because facebook groups take up a lot of time, and they don’t have the time. Companies run a page and answer questions and provide support for their product. Anyone can start a Facebook group, and you don’t have to work for anyone to do a group!
That being said, as an Admin of a few groups, I am not providing customer service to you – and there are 1 or 2 people that complained to the company that the group was “not providing good customer service to them” seems kind of a silly complaint now doesn’t it. Did you think the company was going to fire me? or did you think you were going to get me in trouble? Nope.
Now we have established what exactly is a Facebook group, and what it is not, now we can move on to some facebook group etiquette suggestions.
FACEBOOK DOES NOT MAKE YOU POPULAR. I am always surprised to see that people actually think that having a Facebook group makes them popular, and the more people you have in your group, the better you are. I mean, really? Doesn’t it sound silly when I say it out loud? The numbers in your group mean that there are people interested in the topic of the group, not that you are popular and deeply appreciated for creating the group. If you think like this, you need a job or something other than Facebook to occupy your time! Seriously, people. It’s a group, not high school.
FACEBOOK GROUPS DON’T MAKE YOU SMARTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE: Along the lines of the above subject – just because you created a facebook group, doesn’t mean that you are smarter and a “pro” or “master” of the subject that you have made the group about. It doesn’t automatically make you an embroidery pro, just because you have an embroidery group. Again, you need to get over yourself a bit!
FACEBOOK GROUPS DON’T GENERATE ANY PAY. Did you read above, that companies do not have facebook groups. Therefore all of the admins for any group are not getting paid. The Facebook group is not my job – as with most people, I do have a job or three, and that is what I get paid for. Being an admin to any Facebook group is a volunteer position. If the admins don’t have time to answer questions all day – THATS BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKING. So chill and wait for your reply.
ANYONE CAN ANSWER QUESTIONS IN A GROUP: Yep. It’s true. if a newbie asks a question in a group, and you know the answer, THEN ANSWER IT. Even if there is a chance that you are wrong, give it a go. You never know, you might learn something. But seriously, the admins are there to moderate the group too, and large groups take a lot of moderation!
FACEBOOK GROUPS KEEP ON TRACK: the idea of a Facebook Group is that the group is about one thing. A good example is the Facebook group Hatch tips and Tricks. What do you think it is about? Yes. Hatch embroidery software. That’s it! We decided long ago that the Wilcom Hatch software and the Janome MBX V5 Digitizer software are so similar that they can be learned together, so the group is actually for both Softwares…Maybe I should change the description at some point? Back to keeping on track (lol) it is about Hatch (and Janome) software and the amazing things we can do with the software, not about fixing your embroidery machine or where to buy fabric. That’s off topic and the admins will get everything back on topic (see next subject)
ADMINS WILL DELETE YOUR POSTS. Yes, the admins can and will delete your posts. Does that mean the admins hate you now? No. Does it mean you are banned from ever asking questions? No. Does it mean that you should get mad and freak out? Definitely no. If you make a post and it gets mysteriously deleted, that simply means that you were off topic, or posted something that you should not have – copyright images, for example, should get removed in any group every time they pop up. Is it a reason to be mad, lash out or leave the group? Uh, no. It’s a boo-boo and the admin just fixed it. Not a big deal, not even an emotional anything. Move on and keep your questions or posts within the rules of the group!
KEEP CALM, ITS ONLY A GROUP. Ahh, Facebook never ceases to amaze me some days, and I do need a bit sign that says FACEBOOK CLOSED on some days. Why? because people can get so upset over nothing. I just don’t get it. I have been called names, insulted and harassed and even STALKED (yes I said stalked and I mean it) on Facebook because of an issue in a group. Really? You have to harass me because I deleted your post? Oh, keep calm, there is no need for that. Everyone needs to remember one simple rule: FACEBOOK IS WRITING. NOT EVERYONE IS EXCELLENT AT COMMUNICATION WITH WRITING AND WRITING DOES NOT CONVEY EMOTIONS. What does that mean? It means that read a comment twice and don’t jump to any conclusions – most of the time you are wrong about any underlying emotions that are conveyed with the post. A person can “sound mad” on a post and they are completely happy about everything they are posting – you are reading it wrong, or reading into it too much. The solution? Take it as positive – and don’t put your own emotions on someone elses writing, give them the benefit of the doubt. And really really keep calm. Chances are no one is picking on you, no one is bullying you, instead of starting a big (and silly) battle that goes nowhere, how about walking away from your computer? It’s not that hard to do…
KEEP THE HISSY FITS TO A MINIMUM this subject goes along with the previous paragraph. Why are you having a hissy fit on Facebook? Do you know your words are there for all eternity? DO YOU KNOW THAT YOUR WORDS CAN BE USED IN A COURT OF LAW TO CHARGE YOU? And Facebook will stand up in court, in just about any country. So before you type something big and powerful that you will regret later, remember just to walk away. Yall need to be a bit careful here – facebook PM’s and posts can be screen captured before you delete them, and they can be used against you. I have a stash of screenshots of harassment, and I am not afraid to use them. I have a good lawyer, and he said facebook posts are perfect for the court.
STOP TAKING EVERYTHING SO SERIOUSLY. Ya. It’s Facebook. Relax. If you are in a group, you are there to learn, or to enjoy or to be creative. Don’t let other people stomp on your creativity. Give them the benefit of the doubt and SCROLL ON. Whew. That was easy.
STOP TAGGING ADMINS I see this all the time – everyone feels that the admins need to be tagged for a question. Not necessary – it’s kind of like nagging – “answer my question NOW, I have tagged you” and it basically shows up like that. Plus when you tag someone, other people in the group don’t want to answer, because apparently, you only want to hear the answer from the person tagged? No. Stop doing it and invite everyone in the group for a discussion on the matter, not just the admin.
DON’T CREATE A GROUP ON A SUBJECT THAT YOU ARE NOT GOOD AT. Seriously people, stop making groups on topics that you don’t know enough about. I have seen some groups that the “owner” thinks they are super special, but yet they have no knowledge of the subject at hand. Why oh why did you start a group then? I started a few embroidery groups so I can help people digitize. If I couldn’t digitize myself, how can I help you learn? OMG this drives me crazy…and all the wrong answers these people give, and issues they cause. STOP. Just please stop, you all look foolish struggling to respond to the questions.
LEARN STUFF FROM A FACEBOOK GROUP. Ah, there it is, the real reason why you joined a group – to learn something! You can find some groups inspiring, fun, learning and creative. So participate in a group or two and learn something new every day. If you find a group that you love and have learned a few things, then spread the word about that group – find other people that need help and HELP THEM by introducing them to the group. Why not?