Should you create a private or public Facebook group?
When you first create the group, you have two different privacy options: public or private.
Who can see what?
Benefits of a private group:
For some group types (for example, groups specific to medical conditions, divorcees, etc.), a private group really is the only option due to the nature of what gets shared.
A private group also feels like a closer-knit community. I am a really big fan of bringing people together and knowing that only fellow group members can see my posts and comments makes me feel closer to them.
When your group is private, people need to join (and be approved) to see what’s inside. Whereas for public groups, you don’t have to officially join. So if it’s not a topic you are interested in seeing info about in your feed, you may opt not to join and you might simply occasionally go check it out – just like with a Facebook page. The drawback of this is – what’s the point in joining if you can see it at any time?
If the quality is not good, a potential group member can detect that immediately, and may decide not to join, versus with a private group, a potential new member may give the group the benefit of the doubt and join to see what is inside.
Private groups also feel more “exclusive” to members. For example, if you are giving out “insider knowledge,” it’s not going to feel all that exclusive if anyone on Facebook can see it.
I believe private groups foster better communities, but they are still not for everyone. If you want the benefits of a group but the share-ability and the public-ness of a Facebook page, then a public group might be better for you.
Benefits of a public group:
As with a page, members can share content outside of the group, potentially getting your information out to more people.
Some topics are are also better for public groups, for example meme groups, humor, groups that only promote viral content, or groups that use affiliate marketing for sales & specials. In the case of these groups, the focus is more on the content and less on the community.
It appears that Facebook is promoting public groups more often – currently. However, remember, this is based on what we are currently seeing with the Facebook algorithm. Facebook likes to switch it up so if you are benefitting from the current algorithm, that’s fantastic – but if you’re not, just wait 10 minutes and Zuck will switch it up again!
Can you change your Facebook group’s privacy?
Currently, public groups can change to private. If an admin schedules the privacy setting to change, they have 3 days to cancel if they’d like to. Once a group changes from public to private, the change is permanent.
Private groups can’t change to public to protect the privacy of group members. But group admins can choose to make their groups visible or hidden. With a visible group, anyone can find the group in search and other places on Facebook. Only members can find hidden groups in search and other places on Facebook.
Get started with monetizing your group:
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