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I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about why I closed my Facebook Group. First – let’s talk about the reasons I wanted to keep it:
- I love helping people with their marketing. That’s why I started this business – because just working for a big business or two didn’t fill my cup the way helping individual business owners does.
- With my small group, I could give one-on-one attention – for free. Plus, I was always learning more about what my members needed.
- All my friends were doing it. Yes, I know that’s not a good reason to have a Facebook group. But I was seeing my friends with their groups – having fun, running Lives, sharing offers, engaging… and I wanted that. It didn’t matter that their businesses were different or that their personalities were different. Good old FOMO raised its ugly head.
But in the end, this is about why I closed the group. I started reading about the Community Canvas – which really got me thinking about what the purpose of the group was. Other than me helping people – there wasn’t one. I wasn’t pulling together people who were working to help each other. The only thing that many of them had in common was a desire to learn more about marketing.
But that wasn’t enough for me. There are already hundreds of Facebook groups that provide a platform for the leader to sell their products. And there are hundreds that add value for the members. And as much as I enjoy participating in the latter, I didn’t want to add to that noise and distraction.
Plus, by supporting the group, I was splitting my attention. I believe in giving as much value as I can – and by trying to create content for my blog, the podcast, and my own social media platforms. I can reach more people by putting more attention into this podcast and my blog and guest blogging and podcast appearances than I was in the Facebook group.
And the fact is – I didn’t want to be leading a Facebook group like the Millenial Entrepreneur Community with 73,000 members or Boss-Moms with 30,000. I didn’t want to get to the point where I needed to hire help to manage the group, and keep away trolls and maintain the rules. I didn’t want to have to create community rules. It took away from what I wanted to focus on – and that’s helping business owners create products and promotions that connect with their audience. I want to lead the movement for customer-first marketing – not keeping away spammers from a community.
So if you’re reading this and wondering if you should open a Facebook Group – or if you should keep yours open – here are four questions you should ask yourself:
- Does having a community serve the needs of my audience? Does it make sense for them to connect with one another? Do they have things in common besides the support that you’re providing?
- Does the community serve the needs of your business? Do you gain customers from the community? Extend your reach? Give you insights for new products and services?
- Why do you want a group? If it’s because you see everyone else has it – that reason isn’t good enough.
- Do you have the time, energy, and finances it takes to really support and maintain a group? Many group owners spend over an hour a day in their groups responding to posts and comments from their followers and sharing content. Once groups reach a critical size, they also start hiring other admins to help administer the group. Keeping a healthy, active community is no small feat.
So, where do I go from here? Maybe someday, I’ll re-open the group when the timing is different. But for now, I’m going to be sharing more content in my email newsletter and giving more attention to my clients. And I’ll be answering more questions from people who need help with marketing on the podcast as well. If you're not on the list, sign up below!