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Facebook group - Disabling comments

Posted by Annette Calteaux @annettecalteaux, Oct 10, 2018

We currently are not using Facebook groups but have a department considering this as an option.

The department is looking for creative ways to reach current and past participants of a weight loss program we offer. The department would like to disable comments as they don't have the capacity to follow and respond. They would just like to post upcoming event information for people to be aware of.

Thoughts? If you have had experience with groups, what are your thoughts/suggestions on this type of closed group?

Thanks!

Hi @annettecalteaux Facebook Groups are one of the best ways to build community among like-minded people so disabling comments goes against the nature of Groups (I am not sure if you can even disable comments in Groups) The idea behind Facebook groups is that they are an interactive and more personal way to connect with people and build community. Besides, using social media to post upcoming events is a web 1.0 strategy – it's more about broadcasting to your audience than interacting with them, which is the basis of Web 2.0 and beyond. This is a classic mistake I find when working with my own clients. In cases like this, I would advise the department to consider if they are truly in a position to use social media in their marketing – if they are serious about it they will need to put the resources behind it to do well. If not, this is not the right time for them to consider this strategy.

I'd be interested to hear other thoughts on this topic.

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As always, @MarieEnnisOConnor has made some excellent points @annettecalteaux. My advice is that if your weight loss group wants to just post events/news a Facebook page is a better path. The whole idea of groups is to facilitate connections and discussions. I explained the very very big difference between managing a page and a group in my August webinar that you may want to invite them to watch: How to Start and Grow a Successful Facebook Group https://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/webinar/how-to-start-and-grow-a-successful-facebook-patient-support-group/?date=1533168000 What is your next step?

Liked by Matthew Rehrl

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Oh – and looks like you can disable comments to a specific post, but not for all posts in a group. @annettecalteaux

Liked by Matthew Rehrl

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I think I agree with Marie here. A Facebook Group seems to be the wrong tool for the job. A monthly, short newsletter may be a better way to go, and it is something which could be easily expanded to future program participants.

Another possibility is you could try something on Twitter. There is actually a clinical study using small Twitter Groups which improves smoking cessation from 20 to 40%. ( REF: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26928205 ) – It's an example I am going to be chatting about for my "ikigai" talk!

For example, you may be able to form a Twitter community around a hashtag or list, and have short monthly chats around a topic. I think this would have a much lighter touch than Facebook. It would be a moderated talk for about an hour a month, but also allow your group to support each other outside of the talk time, which would not require monitoring.

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@matthewrehrl

I think I agree with Marie here. A Facebook Group seems to be the wrong tool for the job. A monthly, short newsletter may be a better way to go, and it is something which could be easily expanded to future program participants.

Another possibility is you could try something on Twitter. There is actually a clinical study using small Twitter Groups which improves smoking cessation from 20 to 40%. ( REF: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26928205 ) – It's an example I am going to be chatting about for my "ikigai" talk!

For example, you may be able to form a Twitter community around a hashtag or list, and have short monthly chats around a topic. I think this would have a much lighter touch than Facebook. It would be a moderated talk for about an hour a month, but also allow your group to support each other outside of the talk time, which would not require monitoring.

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@matthewrehrl Tell us a little more about "ikigai."

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So the wor "ikigai" is Japanese which roughly translates in to "what gets you up in the morning", mission, or purpose, but in modern business parlance its the confluence of 1) What you love to do , 2 ) What you have the ability to do, 3) What the world needs, and what the world wants/will pay you for .

In the context above, Annette's department want to use social media ( in this case Facebook ) not as a simple marketing tool, but instead to help people maintain weight loss – which, because obesity is such a big problem healthwise, is undoubtedly 1) part of her organization's mission/passion – ie something they LOVE to do 2) something which her patients NEED 3) something which her organization has the ABILITY to give – evidence-based advice on weight loss maintenance, and 4) something which may lead to future revenue/PAY.

Now, Facebook may not be the right tool for this – but the idea behind it – to use social media to continue a successful weight loss journey is a very big idea, particularly considering that just 5% weight loss can improve aspects of over 60 different diseases!

So, one of my areas of interest is to use social media in healthcare not just for things like patient listening, brand marketing, and addressing patient complaints ( all important stuff ) but to think of social media as a intervention which can directly improve disease outcome of the patients within the context of the organization's business model – no easy task, but the Tweet2Quit study I referred to above is one example, and what Annette's department wants to do is another.

As an aside, that's what my talk is about in November at the conference! (Apologies for the self-plug :0))

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Thanks for that practical explanation @matthewrehrl. This is going to be a very interesting presentation at our annual confrence.

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Wow! Thank you all for the great insights and suggestions! This will be helpful for my upcoming conversation.

I completely agree with you @MarieEnnisOConnor! We have gone down this path before and if the department can't invest resources into it, we just can't make it happen! I do think having a group would be beneficial, but we need to make sure it's a good fit, that we can have conversations, but also need to look at other factors. It can't be just about using a group to reach our patients and leave it at that. I needs to be engaging on both sides!

@DanHinmon Yes! These groups are meant to make connections and build relationships and just broadcasting information isn't going to impact either. My job is to help them understand that. You asked what my next steps are – well, I am going to watch your webinar before I meet with them. Thank you!

I like the idea of an e-newsletter @matthewrehrl. When I meet with the department next week I want to uncover what they have been doing and why it's not working. The Twitter group intrigues me, I will look into it as a potential other option. I haven't heard "ikigai" and I like the meaning! We use words like Hoshin Kanri and Gemba in our Lean journey – this would be a good one to add!

I think using social media as an intervention is challenging, but if done right it could work! That's why they want to "be there." Thank you all again. Lots to consider.

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@DanHinmon Just watched the FB Groups Webinar. Very helpful! Can you send me the 5 Mindsets of a Community Manager Guide? Thank you!

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@annettecalteaux

@DanHinmon Just watched the FB Groups Webinar. Very helpful! Can you send me the 5 Mindsets of a Community Manager Guide? Thank you!

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Happy to. It's on its way.

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