Facebook Group Rules – How and Why You Should Use Them
Facebook groups are quickly becoming useful tools for businesses to build communities and create meaningful connections with their clients. Unlike pages, groups allow you to have a closed circle of members who are familiar (or want to get familiar) with your product or service.
However, managing a Facebook business group isn’t as easy as it seems. From attracting new members to keeping the group running, this requires time and effort. One great tool designed to help you manage your online community is Facebook group rules.
Why Are Facebook Group Rules Important
Just like any community or organization, a Facebook group requires rules in order to function properly. Having a predetermined set of rules of conduct means being able to maintain order within a community. They are also there to make sure every member feels welcome and encouraged to share their opinion, instigate a discussion or ask a question.
However, aside from the general reasons why a community needs a set of guidelines to function, Facebook group rules bring some additional perks. Let’s take a closer look.
Getting Members Familiar with the Community Guidelines
As your community’s moderator, you can choose to have the Facebook group rules, along with pending membership questions, appear when someone asks to join. In this way, you ensure that everyone gets familiar with the rules they should follow if they want to become and stay a member. As a bonus, membership questions allow you to check whether a prospective member has read and understood your rules.
Informing a Member when They’ve Broken a Rule
If you’ve ever been an active member of any group on Facebook, you’ve probably seen people unknowingly break rules. When that happens, as the group admin or mod, you can take advantage of one of the recent Facebook group features — the one that will allow you to let the member know they’ve broken a rule, which rule they’ve broken, as well as let them fix their post or comment.
There are several points to remember about this feature:
- It is a great way to remind a member what your Facebook group rules are and invite them to reread them;
- Using this feature will lower the chance of similar mishaps happening in the future, thus reducing your admin workload;
- It serves as a warning before you take drastic measures, such as muting, banning or blocking the member;
- Other members will not be able to see the warning, which means you will avoid putting anyone on a “wall of shame”.
Growing the Community in the Right Direction
If you put enough effort into compiling the set of rules for your group, they could become a powerful tool for growing the community in the direction you want it to.
Let’s say that you are a fitness expert who has started a group to provide a safe space for your clients to ask questions about their workouts, nutrition or lifestyle. However, you have noticed an increase in the number of progress pictures that the members have been posting. Adding a rule which forbids such photos will help get your group back on track towards becoming a place where your clients can get all the information they need to achieve their fitness goals.
How to Write Rules for Your Facebook Group
Now that you know why having Facebook group rules is important, let’s talk about how you should go about writing these rules. The process is quite straightforward and it includes several steps.
Step 1 — Go to the homepage of your group. In the menu to the left, you will see the “Moderate Group” option.
Step 2 — Once you click on the “Moderate Group” option, an Admin Activity bar will pop up, where you should be able to find the option to create rules.
Step 3 — After clicking on “Create Rules”, you will see several suggestions by Facebook. You can choose to use those, combine them with your own guidelines or completely disregard them.
Step 3.1 — If you like any of the suggested rules, you can add them to your list by clicking on the arrow to the right. Once you do that, you will also be given the option to modify the text.
Step 4 — To add your own rules, simply click on the Get Started button and then choose the “Write Your Own Rule” option.
Step 5 — Think of a title for your rule and add a short description. The description should include the reason why this rule exists, as well as the consequences of breaking it.
Step 6 — Lastly, click confirm to add the rule to your list. From there, you can choose to add a new one.
Bonus tip: The maximum number of Facebook group rules is ten. So keep your guidelines broad enough to cover all the issues you want to address, yet specific enough so that they’re not open to interpretation.
Most Common Facebook Group Rules for Members
You want to write a set of guidelines for your group, but you’re not sure where to start? No need to worry — we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common Facebook group rules that you can use:
- Be kind. Insulting or bullying other members or non-members will get you banned from the group without prior warning.
- Be civil. We do not condone foul language. Breaking this rule once will land you a warning. Doing it repeatedly will get you banned.
- No advertising. Don’t use the group to advertise yours or someone else’s business, page, fundraiser or website. These posts will be immediately removed and you might get banned.
- Use the search option. To avoid cluttering the group, please search the feed before asking a question. Someone might have already asked the same thing before.
- Use English only. To make sure all members of the group understand you, please use only the English language.
- Stick to the topic. We only allow posts and comments related to the group’s activity. Off-topic content will be removed and you will get a warning.
- No spamming. Asking the same question or posting the same comment repeatedly after it has been removed by admins due to rule violation will result in a ban.
- Report rule-breaking. If you see a post/comment that violates our rules, report it to the admins — DO NOT verbally attack the author of said post/comment.
- Think before you report. Don’t report posts or comments that aren’t breaking any rules just because you don’t like or agree with their content.
- Talk to the admin team. If you have any questions or concerns or are experiencing issues in the group, please turn to one of the admins for help. That’s what we’re here for!
Unwritten Rules of Conduct for Admins
Just like there are rules for the members of your community, there should be certain unwritten rules for your admin team. Facebook still hasn’t introduced any features for writing admin rules. However, you can still come up with a short guide and share it with your team. Here are some suggestions:
- Enforce the rules consistently. Don’t give some members a free pass just because you know them personally or you like/agree with what they posted.
- Cooperate. If two admins can’t agree on whether a member has broken a rule, all admins should take a vote.
- Don’t be rude. When informing a member that they’ve broken a rule, refrain from sounding accusatory or rude. Assume they didn’t do it on purpose.
- Re-read the guidelines occasionally. Make sure you refresh your memory on the rules every once in a while.
- Be active. If you haven’t done any work in the group for a week without prior notice, you will lose the status of an administrator.
Remember, a Facebook group has great potential to help you grow your business and advertise your product or service to the right crowd. All you have to do is know how to manage it correctly. Having a set of clear, concise and meaningful Facebook group rules is a great first step.