Why I'm Not Crazy About Facebook Groups

Ah, Facebook. As a blogger, you either hate it or love it. Or you’re like me, a bit indifferent.

When I started my blog I stayed off of Facebook. But then I started reading all of these posts from other bloggers who raved about Facebook. They talked about how much traffic Facebook was bringing them as well as the sponsorship and income opportunities. The more I read, the more it sounded like I was missing out. I couldn’t hold out anymore. A little over two years after starting my blog I started my Facebook page.

Why I'm Not Crazy About Facebook Groups | A Relaxed Gal

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Part of the magic of Facebook was the Facebook groups you could join. So taking the advice of other bloggers that are put in the “successful blogger” camp I joined 14 Facebook groups. Some related to hair care, others beauty related and the rest focused on blogging and blog engagement. I was a little picky about the groups I joined because I wanted groups that would not only provide blog promotion opportunities but also learning opportunities.

I joined 14 groups some related to hair care, others beauty-related, and the rest focused on blogging and blog engagement. Each group has a different purpose for me such as sharing my blog posts in the groups to get people to read or comment on, discussing issues, and answering questions to increase my subject authority.

The blogging Facebook groups were where I wanted to put most of my effort because they provided opportunities throughout the week for you to share your blog and social content. Moderators create daily or weekly posts where you can place your latest blog or social media posts in the comments for likes, comments, or social shares from other group members. In exchange, you are required to reciprocate the likes, comments, or shares to a specified number of other bloggers. This is where the whole thing started to go south for me.

Believe me, I have NO issues with there being roles or requirements for being a part of a Facebook group. I also don't have issues with reciprocating likes, comments, or social shares. That makes sense. I do have an issue with the specified number you're required to like, comment and share. Some of the groups I've joined require reciprocation from 10 or 12 other bloggers. That can be a lot.

This can be hard to do if
  • You don't find many of the blog post titles compelling
  • You don't have a lot of time to spend reading 10 or more blog posts, leave a meaningful comment and then share them on social media. A lot of that time could be spent on bettering your blog
  • A lot of the blog posts don't have images that match your Pinterest aesthetic
  • A lot of the blog posts don't have images sized for Pinterest
  • You have to write descriptions to post on social media because the post doesn't have one that automatically populates
  • The blog posts don't fit your blog focus and aren't on topics your audience is interested in

Can Facebook groups help with blog growth? | areaxedgal.com

I have a few other reasons for why it's hard but those are my top six (not necessarily in that order). In an effort to get around these things I started to

  • Set aside a specific time for participating in Facebook groups
  • Confirm there are at least 50 blog posts in a thread. Then I go through and see if I can find enough posts in the thread that interest me to meet the requirement. I do all this before even including my post in the thread
  • Stumble blog posts that don't have attractive or pinnable images instead of sharing them on Twitter or Pinterest. It's also easier than sharing on other social sites
  • On days when I don’t have a lot of time, only share my blog posts when the reciprocation requirements are low or there are none

Overall I haven't seen a ton of traffic coming from Facebook. In fact, Facebook doesn't even crack my top three traffic drivers. Facebook typically ranks fifth or lower though it's in the top three when looking at social media-specific traffic.

Taking the stats into consideration I've lessened my level of participation in some of the groups. I haven't fully decided, but I may drop some of them. If I do I'll make my decision based on whether or not they provide a community for bloggers to find helpful information, connections, and encouragement.

While I haven't gained a lot from several of the Facebook groups I'm a part of there are some that have been helpful and are my favorites

Because these are my favorite I'm more active in these groups. Outside of a smidge of additional traffic, I have learned a few tips that are helpful when participating in Facebook groups so you get the most out of Facebook groups
  • Pick a handful that will be the main groups you'll participate
  • Don't just self-promote by only posting your content. Participate by answering other members' questions. You can also share other blogger's content that would be helpful for the group
  • Set aside time each week to post in your Facebook groups. It can be an hour a week or an hour a day. Whatever works best for you

What's been your experience with Facebook groups? Have they helped your blog to grow?

This post was updated 9.29.18

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