It’s been one of those weeks for me. You know, when nothing goes to plan.
My baby has suddenly started refusing to nap and we had some surprise (but lovely!) guests. So, I really had very little time to blog.
What this enforced blogging drought showed me, however, is that I actually spend a ton of time every week on stuff that isn’t helping me to grow my blog.
The biggest time suck? It’s the amount of aimless time I spend on Facebook Groups every day.
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Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Facebook Groups.
For an introvert like me, they’re a brilliant way to network and find new blogger friends. Plus, the promotional opportunities are great for getting eyes on your blog.
But, I’ve found that everytime I open Facebook, I suddenly lose 30 mins of my life mindlessly scrolling. It’s time I really do need to be spending on content creation or my Pinterest strategy.
So, I sat down and spent some time evaluating my Facebook Group use. I’ve made some changes and wanted to share them with you in case it helps you too!
1. Are all the Facebook Groups you’re on serving you well?
The first thing I did was check how many Facebook Groups I was actually a member of. And it was quite a lot!
There are tons of resources out there listing dozens and dozens of Facebook Groups that you can join, but to be honest, I’m not sure that more is better.
It does depend on what you value from your Groups.
For me, I do appreciate the promotional opportunities from the regular sharing threads. But, I much prefer Groups where there is a lot of discussion outside the promo threads as it provides a chance for me to add value, answer questions and make friends.
So, I looked at all the Groups I was on and left about 30% of them based on the fact that they were purely promotional.
I’d recommend you take a look at the Groups you’re on and figure out which ones are helping you and which might just be wasting your time. Your Facebook newsfeed will thank you!
2. Control the time you spend on Groups
This week was a major wake up call for me. I realised that I spend hours every week mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, most of which is made up of Group discussions.
So I’ve taken action:
1. I installed the Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook.
I heard about this from Courtney Foster-Donahue.
It’s a Chrome web extension which, as it’s named, eradicates the newsfeed on your Facebook. Instead, all you see is an inspirational quote:
2. I’ve set a schedule for when I will go in and network on Groups.
I truly believe that you only get out what you put into Facebook Groups. That means taking part in the discussion, answering questions and making the most of the networking opportunity.
But, there’s no reason why I need to be doing that all day long.
So, I’ve set a new schedule to go in and check my Groups twice a day, for 15 minutes at a time only. That way I can stay involved, but don’t waste a ton of time.
3. I turn off notifications for Group posts.
This one is a biggie. How many times have you posted on a Group promo thread, only to get a million notifications for the rest of the day once someone else has posted on the same thread? It’s very distracting!
Once I post on a promo thread (and check out and share all the other great posts on the thread of course!), I immediately turn off notifications for that post. Just head back up to the three dots at the top right of the post and select ‘Turn off notifications for this post’.
By the way – the opposite also works. If you’re following a thread but don’t have anything to contribute yourself you can turn on notifications for the post.
3. Plan ahead for promotional opportunities
Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons many of us use Facebook Groups is the promo threads. They’re a great opportunity to get people sharing and consuming your content.
But, I was finding that I wasn’t using the opportunity strategically. I’d end up scrabbling around to share the first thing that came to mind, with no clue if I’d already shared it or if it was a good fit for the Group in question.
So, I created a spreadsheet! I call it the Facebook Group Manager. I just love a good spreadsheet 🙂
The idea is to track what I’ve shared in each Group and plan what to share for the weeks ahead. I can open the spreadsheet every morning, check to see what I’m sharing that day and then head directly into the Group to take part in the thread.
No getting lost in the newsfeed and no spamming Groups with the same posts.
It’s working really well for me so far and I’d love to share it with you guys. To grab a copy just become a Blog on the Side VIP subscriber…
FACEBOOK GROUP MANAGER SPREADSHEET
Take the stress out of managing the promotional opportunities on all those Facebook Groups you’re on…
Grab my easy-to-use spreadsheet to track what to share to each Group every week. Waste less time and grow your blog the smart way!
Already a Blog On The Side subscriber? No need to sign up again – just head to the Subscriber Vault and enter the password I sent in your last email to access all your freebies in one place 🙂
There you have it. My plan to avoid the Facebook Group time suck.
It’s going pretty well for me so far. Hopefully, I can stick to my scheduled Facebooking – although the call of the Facebook app on my phone can be very strong!
One thing which is working well is my Facebook Group Manager spreadsheet. I’d encourage you to download it and give it a go.
What’s your Facebook Group strategy?