Facebook groups are a godsend when it comes to building a community around your brand. But if you’re a tyrannical admin, I’m not sticking around.
Here’s how to know if you’re more of a dictator admin. (I hope you’re not!)
1. You built a prison, not a community.
Congratulations, Warden! Your prison cell is looking very dungeon-y.
When you decide to admin a Facebook group, your goal should be to build a community of like-minded people—not put a ball and chain around the ankles of your members.
The second I enter a group that has a 1,000-word group description or pinned post with a million rules, I will click “Leave Group” and bounce out of there like Tigger, because I feel suffocated. I feel like I’m already going to be sentenced to solitary confinement if I break one of your precious rules.
2. You made a shrine for yourself and your products/services.
Fan clubs for books/series can disregard this, but the people building communities need to listen up.
It’s really great that you have a product or service to offer. Tell your members about it! But don’t turn into the god Narcissus, okay? No one wants to be a part of a group that is all about you, you, you.
Don’t delete posts or ban members when they talk about their products/services—especially if a member requested to see them!
True story: I am in a group with 30,000 members. I asked, “Are there any updated courses on Instagram marketing? I would really appreciate links.” The sole admin dropped in her free IG course. Okay, great. That’s one course for me to review.
Then two other people politely asked me about my target audience and suggested I check out their course, which is precisely what I asked for.
The admin—wait for it—deleted their comments and turned off commenting entirely. When I confronted her about it, she said, “His comment is against my rules. As [name] stated, this is my group that I've built from the ground up so yes, the priority is that all members would consider my courses and content before others. I think that should be understandable.”
Then she banned the member who talked about his course on my thread.
Ask me if I stayed in that group. No way. She’s a dictator, not a mentor. She is not interested in building a community. She wants a shrine dedicated to herself.
3. You think it’s okay to silence people who disagree with you.
Did you know there are people who have different opinions than you? Shocker, I know.
No matter your Facebook group topic—books, marketing, speaking, art, sales—you will talk to people who do not see your point of view.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay to be civil and let bygones be bygones.
Or you could be a Tyrannical Terry and turn off commenting/delete their thread/curse at them/ban them/throw rocks at them.
Yeah, that’ll teach them to change their opinion.
Rather, why don’t you focus on creating a positive atmosphere for your group and encourage kindness when debating on threads? Or do you just enjoy the chaos?
4. You don’t allow self-promotion of any kind.
This one is touchy, I know.
Not everyone wants to be inundated with self-promotion. I’ve been in those groups, and it can become a problem.
But you can create a Self-Promo Saturday kind of thing. You can still encourage people to share their words, their art, their creations. Telling them not to share their soul is not what a community should do.
It’s even worse when you say no self-promotion, but then the entire group is nothing but self-promotion posts from you.
Find a balance.
5. You think it’s funny or cool to block 3,000 people from your group because you don’t believe in second chances.
If I wanted to, I could drop in a screenshot from an admin who boasted about blocking 3,000 members from his group and prove to you that I’m not making this up. Members weren’t allowed to share from business pages, share blog posts, nothing. This is the shrine mentality we discussed.
His post said, “We’re coming up on 3,000 blocked members for the [group]. Wow, what an awesome milestone. Great work, moderators!”
What. Did. I. Just. Read?
That is a dictator, not a mentor. That’s someone who has a power-trip problem. You know the type. Flashback to middle school when the teacher left the room and put Little Bobby in charge. He rubbed his hands together and had ten full minutes of totalitarianism.
We all hated Little Bobby.
That admin is not someone I want to associate myself with, because he doesn’t pour out love and kindness and encouragement. He wants to watch the world burn.
What are some crazy things you’ve seen admins do? Tell me in the comments! I want to see if it beats #5.
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. Her blog posts have been featured on popular websites like The Book Designer and Positive Writer. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.