The American author Ken H Blanchard famously quipped: “none of us is as smart as all of us”. That’s a sentiment we hold very dear at 24 fingers. Sharing stories of success – and being honest when things didn’t go our way – with others are some of the best ways to generate new ideas and keep us on our entrepreneurial toes. 

Social media has become a force like no other for groups sharing the same passions to exchange information, bounce suggestions off each other and let off a little steam. But what about the people running a social media group – how do they keep things on an even keel and stop it going all Lord of the Flies?

Sit back and enjoy our eight tips on how to run a successful social media group…

Good intentions

Before you even contemplate setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn group, or a Twitter chat, there are several questions you must to ask yourself: most importantly, what is the group FOR? Will it become a massive time-suck? Are you mentally strong enough to cope with the demands of running the group when it goes live? Is there a ROI to be had? What would prompt you to close it? 

When you’ve asked and answered those questions to your satisfaction you can start preparing to set up a group. 

Check out other groups

Chances are you’re already a member of other social media groups, but managing your own is a different kettle of fish, so dig around the sites to get a sense of what models and methods you prefer.

Now’s also an important time to explore groups beyond your own interests to see whether people participate and interact differently, giving you a heads-up on potential future behaviours. 

What’s in a name?

Your group name needs to be appealing as well as applicable to the people it’s aiming to attract – make it snappy and relevant. That extends to any logos or imagery and the group description, so members not only know what they’re getting into, but also so it aligns with your brand. Invest your time in some great design to attract members. 

Invitation etiquette 

It goes without saying members are the lifeblood of any social media group but choosing the right people is paramount. Two major no-nos at this stage are: never add members without asking first, even if you have a good relationship with the person you’re inviting, and never poach members from another group. 

Instead, let your social media do the work. Post invitations across all your pages as well as your e-mailing list as an opt-in choice. 

Laying down the law

Once members are invited and accepted, it’s down to you to make sure they know exactly what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour within the forum.

From the get-go, establish clear and concise guidelines – no spamming or promotions, for example – and inform everyone, either in a pinned post or even a video, what actions or behaviour will lead to someone being removed from the group. 

Roll out the social media red carpet

Everyone loves a warm welcome, and new members should be @tagged and asked to introduce themselves to the group. You can also ask them to post about their area of expertise, or what they aim to get out of joining, but above all, make it clear they’re among friends. 

Keep those chins wagging

A common interest or business may have got your group started but now you’ve got to keep that conversation ball rolling – by any means necessary. Specific daily or weekly themes can be a great way to engage members, encouraging them to post regularly.

Asking questions or posting a short survey can also generate discussion, and don’t be afraid to tap your members if the well of ideas starts to run a little dry. “None of us is as smart as all of us”, and all that. 

Get ‘app’ helping hand

Running a group can be time-intensive but it doesn’t have to gobble up every single moment of your day. There are a slew of apps and technologies that can help you schedule posts, organise events and keep an eye on the group while you’re on the go. 

Still interested but not sure about moving from social media group member to manager? Don’t stress – we at 24 fingers can help you make the leap without missing a step.