Best Networking Online Is… Facebook Groups?

Facebook gets written off all the time in articles by experts. Engagement is down, there are less and less posts by users, people are spending more time on other networks, etc. But there is an area of Facebook that continues to grow, increase engagement, & isn’t filled with annoying spam posts from your aunt. This area is known as Facebook Groups.

When looking to expand my networking, I looked in a lot of places, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and others. There were some hits and some misses. When I went to Facebook Groups I was amazed that I could find groups for all of my professional interests, higher education, social media, live video, etc. And these are groups that are well curated and have a large following. Admin of the groups that I joined do a great job of wiping out spammers. This sometimes seems like a full-time job.

Ask a question, and you are guaranteed to find helpful souls out there providing you with resources, advice, and well wishes. Facebook Groups are excellent learning environments. Especially with the search feature included in Groups. It doesn’t matter when you joined a group, do a search for something you are looking for and see if there are already answers and resources available. 

There is competition for clients and sales in most fields. And despite the fact that the Internet has opened up the world as your competition, people are sharing with others quite openly. Facebook Groups are showcasing the power and potential of what social media is all about. Connecting people that might be right down the street or on the other side of the world.

I was lucky enough to see first hand how quickly a Facebook Group can grow from 0. Be Your Own Boss Mastermind was started by Sunny Lennarduzzi on or around June 17th. In 4 short months this group has grown to over 5,000 members. You might say, with so many people, how can one keep up with all the postings? Mirroring behavior on social media in general, a majority are consumers. They aren’t posting, they are watching and reading. They might like a post here and there, but are otherwise silent. So, those that are contributing aren’t drowning the group with posts, they just are providing a steady addition of content.

So, if are wanting to give Facebook Groups a try to improve your business networking, here are a couple tips.

Don’t join groups with under 200 hundred people if you do not know anyone in them. These groups probably are pretty inclusive, and might not be interested in new people. And besides, if you are new to Facebook Groups, start with bigger groups to get your feet wet.

Searching for groups can be a pain. I have had the best luck using Facebook on a laptop, not mobile. And using the Facebook search toolbar, then narrow it down to Groups. 

Read the group description before joining. You can usually tell the quality of the admin and the group on how well explained the rules and purpose of the group is. I am a big fan of ones that say, spammers will be removed.

Most groups have admin approve your request to join. It isn’t just a click and you are in situation. If you are friends with multiple people in the group and your Facebook profile has a short description that would make it reasonable for you to be in the group, odds are you will be accepted. But give yourself an extra chance by making some of your Facebook posts public that would help show your field of interest.

When you get accepted, check out the pinned post. Usually this is a welcome message from the admin. There is usually a protocol for saying hi to the group. And then, get ready to consume some content. Start going through the group stream to see what has been posted and commented.

Ask questions, respond to comments. And whenever possible add value to the conversation. There is such a thing as karma. And you will be surprised at opportunities that can arise when you offer help expecting nothing in return.

So go on out and get started. Happy networking!