Facebook Groups

Why use Facebook Groups? Why create a Facebook Group?

Well first of all let me explain that this is not a post about how to create a group or what a Facebook Group is, it’s more about a situation that happened in a group I created and it’s made me think about why I created it in the first place.

The group description is as follows:

Welcome to the Local Business Network a place to share, engage and help other local businesses. This is a free group to advise and help the local business community that can otherwise feel a little isolated at times.

So Local Business Network, how do you read that? Do you consider Local to be isolated to your neighbourhood, village, town, district, county or can it be more than that as a network grows so local grows. Consider the national brand ‘One Stop Stores’ their hook is Fresh | Local | Convenient. They use the word Local however, their network spans the country. In galactic terms – now bear with me here – Earth’s galaxy the Milky Way is in something called ‘The Local Group’, which is made up of 30 galaxies and covers a distance of 30 million light-years.

Where does it stop?

Our business involves working for local, national and international clients however, I would still consider our business to be a part of the local business community. Having met many business folk that run their own local businesses, especially office based businesses, I get the same impression that we can all at some point feel a little isolated at times. Many small business owners are stuck in an office without having any banter with co-workers, without having co-workers to get advice from or give advice too and often they lack the ability to build relationships with a view to ‘doing business’ with each other. That is why I created the Local Business Network.

The problem is now that the group has grown there is confusion about what ‘Local’ means as a majority increases around a certain locality. I wanted this group to be open, I didn’t want to create a closed group with borders or boundaries or be elitest in any area  – I wanted it to be a more generic place to share, engage and get or give advice.

So what next?

To be honest I’m not sure, do I change the name to include a town, district, county and close the borders at the risk of losing valuable members outside of them or do I leave the name as it is and leave the borders open to allow valuable members in no matter what their locality, as long as its in this galaxy of course! What would you do?

2 thoughts on “Facebook Groups

  1. I think I know the event you are talking about, you’ve not referenced it so neither will I. But I think that although you want to keep it open, as with any society, if someone does not play by the rules (although there are no ‘rules’) or conform to the social norms of the environment that they are in, then they have no place in the society.

    It is clear that your ‘local’ group is one that is centred around Cheltenham and Gloucester encompassing a greater area around it. It was clear last week that someone was trying to use your group in an aggressive way for self promotion. This is not really what the group is about and the members made that pretty clear.

    I think that most people are pretty respectful of other people and if they feel that, as a group, certain individuals are not respecting others in the group, they will pretty much be ‘run out of town’.

    I don’t think you have to put a limit on the geography of your group, local is as local as you want it to be, but a limit is more appropriate based on behaviour.

  2. Well I think that if you open up the local business group to the whole of the uk, then its more of a national business group. Maybe you need 2 groups, a Gloucestershire group and a national small business one (queue debate on what is a micro or small business ;-).

    Diversity in the group is good to a point, but if the group is mostly targetted by peoples special offers and adverts, as opposed to genuine help and support for each other, then it will soon become of limited use. To use an example, someone selling a Gloucestershire centric product or service will be of no interest to a web design house in suffolk, and so the risk of people seeing the group as irrelevent increases.

    (There is a seperate debate as to how much you let people promote offers / products and so on. I have to admit that I look at who has posted a message, and certain people / companies mails just get deleted without reading them as historically they have held no interest or value to me personally.)

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