People often ask me what to do with a Facebook group that seems to have outlived its usefulness. The short answer is you should shut down everything (including a Facebook group) that is useless or filled with dusty cobwebs. IBN recently closed this Facebook group. This article shares a little of our thought process and offers tips and ideas to help you decide whether you should consider closing your Facebook group.
As you may know, I have blogged extensively about the value of Facebook groups.
- Facebook groups can help generate repeat sales
- Facebook groups can help you hone your leadership skills
- Facebook groups can build brand engagement
IBN's private member Facebook group is an example of a Facebook group that does all of the above, and more. It's a hub for our members to connect, learn, and grow together. There is not a single topic relating to entrepreneurship that we do not discuss in our group. The community support is never-ending. The atmosphere is pleasant and uplifting, and dozens of small business related topics are discussed every day.
IBN's private community is an entrepreneurial oasis, and we have no current plans to close it.
But that doesn't mean we never will.
10 REASONS YOU MIGHT WANT TO CLOSE YOUR FACEBOOK GROUP
In business, as in life, some activities are useful for a season. When that season ends, the activity should end as well. In light of that fact, here are 10 reasons you might want to close your Facebook group.
1. The group is not helping you achieve your business goals.
You should stop doing any activity that is not supporting your overall business goals. If efforts to use a Facebook group to support specific business goals are no longer working, t's probably time to consider closing things down.
2. The group is not addressing specific problems or issues.
A Facebook group should address specific problems or issues your group members have in common. If the group is not solving members' problems, or if you realize that you never identified specific problems to solve in the place, it might be time time to retire the group and maybe start again, or find another way to help your audience solve their problems.
3. Member self-promotion is out of control.
If your Facebook group has become a bastion of shameless self-promotion, it's probably time to pull the plug. It usually takes over a group because the group leader (you) are either not paying attention or are not strong enough to shut it down. Either way, repeated self-promotion is obnoxious. It is like poison in a community.
If people are showing up in a group just to promote themselves, the group members probably aren't paying much attention anyway. Time to dump the group.
4. It takes too many resources to lead the group.
It takes a considerable amount of precious time and energy to manage social media platforms, and Facebook groups are no exception. Your social media management resources are finite.
If leading your Facebook group is preventing you from tackling more productive tasks that lead to business success, the group has probably run its course.
5. You are unable to attract new people and interesting discussions.
A Facebook group that is not growing is dying.
If new members are not joining, and existing members are not participating, it's time to throw in the towel.
I'm not suggesting that you give up easily. If you feel strongly that your group can serve a legitimate purpose, you should try new strategies in an effort to turn things around. But don't hang on forever. At some point, you will be better off cutting your losses and directing your energy elsewhere.
6. The group is not producing sales opportunities.
Worthwhile Facebook groups generate repeat sales opportunities. If your group is not doing that, it's probably a waste of time.
7. Managing the group does not make you happy.
I believe in #happybeforehustle. While leading a business is not a cake walk, when done with the proper intention, entrepreneurship is a form of self-care. As you gain more entrepreneurial experience, you should be engaging in fewer tasks that make you unhappy.
If managing the group is not contributing to your joy as a small business owner, it should be eliminated from your life.
8. You or your business has outgrown the group.
What go you to this point in your business will not get you to where you want to go next in your business. When things work, it's great. But when they stop working, you have to let them go.
If your business has outgrown the group, the group is probably holding you back from stepping up to your next level. Don't let anything hold you back from making your greatest contribution. Once your business outgrows the Facebook group that supports it, you have to move on. You should consider closing things down, or maybe transferring ownership of the group to a friend who can use the group to grow their business.
I did this with the Blog Your Brand Facebook group several years ago.)
9. You have ceded leadership of the group.
If you have a Facebook group, you either need to lead it or be intentional about delegating leadership responsibilities. If you avoid your leadership responsibilities and just let the chips fall where they may, the group will eventually take on a life of its own and you will be unable to direct it toward specific outcomes that are important to you.
You must either step up and take the reins; turn over the group to someone else, or put the hammer down.
Whatever you decide, make sure to get the email addresses and/or cell numbers of group members so you can stay in touch with them after the group closes or changes hands.
10. The group bloats your business.
Over time, business activities accumulate. If you continuously accumulate tasks without weeding out activities that are no longer useful, your business will become bloated and overweight.
Activities have a counterproductive cumulative effect when we keep doing them after they are no longer useful. You can't just keep adding things without taking things away.
Most everything you do in your business is useful for a time. Eventually, however, all activities outlive their usefulness and must be retired. If you keep adding things and adding things, your business will become chunky, bloated, and unmanageable. You don't want that.
If a Facebook group is adding unnecessary bulk to your business, it's time to say, “Sayonara.”
As the leader of your business, it is your job to ensure that your business activities are connected to specific goals. If an activity is not helping to accomplish a goal, it's time to let it go.
If any of this resonates with you, you probably know what to do. Don't resist. Don't hesitate. Just do it.
Do you lead a Facebook group for your business? What purpose is it serving? Is it serving that purpose well, or is it time to close the group so you can focus on more productive activities?