If you’re a business owner relying on activity through your Facebook group, a group administrator running a busy page, or a group member who likes to keep an eye on what’s going on but you don’t actually contribute – and you’ve seen all the panicked messages over the past week, don’t despair!
There have been reports of groups’ memberships dwindling overnight due to devilish Facebook staff scouring the platform to randomly remove people at will. My newsfeed has been full of notices from people begging their group members to post on the relevant page to prevent them from being hurled into oblivion by a Facebook team with nothing better to do. Well, don’t worry; this is not what’s happening.
Here’s what’s actually going on:
Has Facebook really got involved with group members?
Has Facebook removed members because they don’t participate in discussions or like posts?
Not if those members want to be there.
This is what’s happened…
People can join a group in a number of ways, including:
- Searching for the topic
- Searching for the specific group
- Being invited by the group moderator
- Being invited by someone else
- Being added by someone else.
The final point in that list is the most relevant to this discussion, which is why I’ve written it in bold type. It’s the one that should stand out.
Let’s assume you have a personal Facebook account. If you have been added to a group by someone else, there’s no guarantee you want to be there. As an example, I recently noticed religious and political posts popping up in my personal newsfeed along with notifications that some of my friends had commented on these posts. When I checked why I was seeing this, I discovered that some friends had added me to these groups, believing I’d be interested in them. I’ve also been added to people’s business groups, local history groups, cat owner, chocolate lover and various others that I may or may not want to belong to.
I’ve chosen to stay and either participate or simply scroll through periodically in the ones that are of interest to me, remove myself from ones that aren’t, and stop notifications from ones I don’t really care about but don’t want to offend the moderator by leaving the group.
Why Facebook has got busy
Facebook now wants to make sure that people are joining groups that are relevant and meaningful to them. They haven’t randomly removed people; they have simply moved people who have been added to a group, but never visited it, into the “invited” section of the group’s Members list.
What you can do if you run a Facebook group
If you’re a group moderator, you can see your group’s updated member count in the Members list. These are people who have chosen to belong to your group, whether or not they take part in its discussions. The people who have been moved to the Invited list are ones who did not ask to join the group – you or someone else added them. You can now choose whether you’d like to send a reminder to those people or accept that they don’t want to join your party.
I hope that helps to clarify what’s happened. And remember, if you’re running a business group, it needs loving care and regular attention to keep it active, healthy and useful – bit like me!
Feel free to get in touch if you need help with any aspect of Facebook for your business. You can call me, drop me an email, or find me on any of the major social media channels. I don’t run a Facebook group, but I do have a business page – here it is!