Have you joined many Facebook Groups?
I'm finding myself spending more & more time in groups.
And Facebook is recommending more & more groups to me in the right sidebar.
Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of people don't know how to create a Facebook Group.
So I thought I'd give everyone a basic tutorial on how to get one started -- along with some tips on settings, etc.
This will be in similar fashion of my post on How to Create a Facebook Business Page.
What is a Facebook Group?
Groups are meant to be a close circle of people who share & keep in touch on Facebook.
People tend to create them around things like:
- Books (think of it like a book club)
- Their business (sort of like an "insider's club")
- To sell items locally
- Exclusive membership site
- Support groups
There is no "Wrong" topic for a group IMHO.
How to Create a Facebook Group
1. Find "Add Group"
From your "home page" on Facebook go to the Groups section on the left side menu & find "Add Group".
The number of things you have in your Favorites will determine how far down you have to scroll to see this.
Once you get there, it will look like this: For an even quicker way simply go here: https://www.facebook.com/addgroup
2. Click "Create New Group"
You'll be taken to a page that displays the option to create a group as well as showing you some suggested groups to join.
To begin the process of creating a group click "Create New Group".
>> Facebook also offers an alternate way to create a new group
Right of the "Create New Group" button you'll notice options to choose "Group Ideas":
By clicking on one of these selections (Family, Classmates, Sports Teams or Book Club), you're immediately taken to the create screen -- just like if you clicked "Create New Group".
3. Name Your Group
You will now see this lightbox:
The first thing you need to do is give your group a name -- I'm naming my group "Scott Secret Group".
This name can be whatever you want & you can change it later. But try to make the group name memorable & searchable -- so people can find it.
4. Add Members
Facebook does something odd here -- and out of order, in my opinion.
You're actually required to add at least 1 friend to the group before you can create it. If you don't you get the error message below:
So in order to create your group, you'll need to add at least 1 friend to the group.
5. Choose Privacy Setting
You'll now need to decide what privacy setting you want your group to have.
This is probably the most important choice you'll make while creating your group -- as their are some limits to changing down the road. If you have fewer than 250 members you'll be able to change the settings as you see fit.
But as soon as your groups grows to over 250 members, you can only change an Open group to Closed or Secret -- and a Closed group to Secret.
You won't be able to change the privacy again after this.
There can be confusion about what privacy setting a group should have -- Open, Closed or Secret.
It's fairly self explanatory as seen above -- but here's another great graphic from Facebook to break it down:
6. Click Create
After you choose your privacy setting, click the "Create" button as you've seen in previous images:
7. Choose an Icon
Facebook will now give you the option to choose from a wide array of creative graphics for your icon/avatar.
This is completely up to you and bears no significance as far as Facebook is concerned.
But if you've created many groups or have multiple groups in your favorites, you'll want to choose an icon you can easily identify.
Your group is now officially created!
There are, however, a few more items you can customize.
8. Complete "About" Section
Your about section is important for 2 reasons:
- Gives prospective members an idea what your group is about
- Can display any "rules" you may have about the group
So fill it out as you see fit -- seeing as this is YOUR group.
9. Choose Group Image Setting
You're given the 3 options here:
- use images from group members (will show a maximum of the last 8 active members)
- use a photo already in the group
- upload a photo
Here's an example of an uploaded photo from our "Post Planner Experts" group:
*Keep in mind the dimensions for this cover photo are different from those on your personal Timeline or business Timeline -- they are 801 x 250 pixels.
10. Edit Group Settings
Next you'll want to edit the group settings.
You do this by clicking on the gear icon & then clicking "Edit Group Settings":
Once on the edit page, you'll have many options to change:
Items you can change:
- Group Icon
- Group Name
- Privacy Settings
- Membership Approval -- Do you want to let anyone add members or should only you be able to?
- Set a Group Address -- Here you'll have a chance to give the group a custom url as well as an email address where people could email the group directly When you're done you'll see this:
- Change your Description
- Change Posting Permissions -- Here you can decide if only admins can post or if members can as well
- Post Approval -- You can require that all posts be approved by an admin before going live
Once you're done & happy with the settings, click "Save".
You're Group is Ready to Go!
You've now successfully created a Facebook Group! Congrats!
Now you can post updates inside the groups -- and so can members (if you've allowed it).
A Few Group Features to Point Out
Notifications- As an admin you should probably turn the notifications on to receive all updates when anyone posts -- just in case someone spams the group & you want to respond quickly:
Messages/Chat- One of the great things about groups is you can initiate a group chat/message with either all members of a group or select members.
This is especially useful when you have an announcement to make or need to quickly collaborate on an item/issue:
Events- A feature probably not used often enough in Groups is Events. Inside the group you can create events that only members can see & RSVP for.
Just click on the "Events" tab & then "Create Event" & the lightbox below will load to create your event.
Files- Inside groups you can share files of any kind as well as create Documents which group members can add to & collaborate on.
Think of this as your own little workspace within Facebook -- or perhaps a replacement for apps like Basecamp or Dropbox.
Now that you've read this post, hopefully you can now successfully create a group on your own.
On a future post I'll debate whether you should have a Page or a Group for your business -- or perhaps both!