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Starting a Facebook Group

Do you have an inner circle you’d like to have threaded conversations with as a Group? The newest version of Facebook Groups might be just what you need. They are designed for Groups of already-connected Friends to discuss and collaborate from within Facebook. These are different than the old Groups and Fan Pages as they are automatically set to send emails for every post and comment made from within the Group, and members must manually change their settings to opt-out. So use with caution as you might annoy people who don’t really want to get lots of emails or carry on ongoing conversations with you.

  1. Go to Groups on the sidebar of the Home page of Facebook (news feed)
  2. Click See All
  3. Click Create Group
  4. Give it a Group Name
  5. Type in Members names (must be Friends). You will be able to invite more later any time.
  6. Select Privacy:
    • Closed: Members are public, content is private. This will post a line to your news feed saying So and So started/joined Such and Such Group
    • Open/Public: Members and content are public. This will post a line to your news feed saying So and So started/joined Such and Such Group
    • Secret: Members and Content are private. This will NOT post a line to your news feed saying So and So started/joined Such and Such Group.
  7. Click submit/create Group
  8. Click OK
  9. Post something to Group – Post, Link, Video, Event or Doc (like a Note) are allowed.
  10. Click Edit Settings to adjust your personal settings as a member – turn off notifications or select which things to be notified of. You can also choose to have the Group listed on the sidebar or not as a bookmark.
  11. Edit Group
  12. Edit Email Address to give you an email address to send Group messages to – those emails will be distributed to the Group and posted to the Group wall.
  13. Edit Description to add a description of the Group and its purpose.
  14. Click on Profile Picture (left sidebar) while in Edit Group to add a Group picture.
  15. Click Edit Thumbnail under resulting image.
  16. Click on Members to see current members and to add additional Friends to the Group.
  17. Click on View Group to get back to the Group.


Group members will receive email notifications of every new post by default . Let them know they can visit the Group then click Edit Settings to turn off notifications.

If you have the Group listed as a bookmark on the sidebar, they will see a numbered flag there when there are new posts so if they know they will be visiting the Home page on Facebook regularly it is OK to turn off email notifications.

If they do not visit the FB Home page often they may want to leave notifications on.

They can adjust it to only show new posts vs. posts and comments etc.

Also note that for each post someone places on the wall themselves, they are automatically ‘subscribed’ and will receive email notifications. Under each post they can click Unsubscribe if they really do not want to receive all the notices (especially for a popular topic). Additionally they can click Subscribe to receive notices on topics in which they have not yet participated.

One more thing – Other Members can invite their own Friends to the Group. When you’re an Admin (person who started the group) you automatically add people. When you’re simply a member, their friends will get a notice inviting them to join.

Lastly – to delete a Group, click on Edit Group, then Members, then click the X next to each member to remove them all one by one. Then when you are done removing them, go back to the Group page, and click Leave Group on the right. When you are the last member and you leave, it deletes the group.

If you’re simply added to a Group you don’t want to be in (or some are added to yours and don’t want to be) you would just click the Leave Group when it’s one you don’t administer yourself.


  1. On the top right within the Group are little pictures – these show which Group members are logged into Facebook.
  2. Click Chat with Group under the little pictures and a new Facebook Chat window pops up. When you type into this chat, all Group members who are online will receive the chat pop up window and can read and participate in a conversation among all online Group members.
  3. To create an article or longer document that will be “sticky” on the sidebar of the Group page, click Doc on the publisher on top. This creates a note that will be stored on the right side under Docs, and Group members can open and read any time. This is a good place to put Group guidelines or information your Group members may want to see again later, or just to use for announcements or articles that are longer than a typical Group post would allow. Docs also allows for Bold and Italic and bulleted and numbered lists.

Now what could YOU use a group for? I am in several – a 30 Day Blogging Challenge, a Fan Page Owners group, and announcement group for my son’s Karate dojo, a group of moms whose kids were born in July of ’97 – migrated from an old Yahoogroup, a group set up by a direct seller to share her product information with potential customers, a team group for discussing projects and a private family group. How about you?

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  1. Logo Design on February 24, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I have couple of facebook groups. The new group is amazing. Easy to post within groups and keep the group interactive. Now FB have introduced groups on iPhone.

  2. Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    on March 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for the comment, I really like the new groups too. It takes some getting used to though as members will automatically get lots of emails before they even know they’ve been added. I try and warn people ahead of time so they can go in and adjust their settings as needed. I’m finding the interaction really robust in the ones in which I participate. I think this was a good move!

  3. sean lees on August 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for this informative piece Karen. What’s are the major drawbacks of creating a new page as opposed to a group? I would like a create a space for professionals with updates, docs, and photos easily accessible. Yet, I also want to control who joins. Can I control membership with a facebook page? Thanks!

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on August 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      @sean lees, Ypu cannot control who joins a Page. They ate completely public and indexed by the search engines too, so you’ll peobay want a Group!

  4. Awnya Boam
    Follow me on Twitter: time4felt
    on November 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Love love love the new groups! I had a friend just the other day saying that people were starting to leave her group because they were getting too many notifications. Because of this post, I was able to instruct her how to have them change it so they weren’t getting so many! Thanks again Karen, as usual, you make me look really smart! :o)

  5. tushar on January 2, 2012 at 5:10 am

    hi karen!!

    thanks a lot for nice write up, we have created a group in fb and its quite successful so far, now i want to post some of the msgs as “sticky” so that they remain always on the top of the wall of the group, can u plz help me???

  6. Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    on January 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

    You can’t technically create a sticky post but you can create a ‘Doc’ by clicking the Docs link. This essentially creates a ‘note’ that can be accessed any time.

  7. Mary Ann Stoll on July 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

    “To create an article or longer document that will be “sticky” on the sidebar of the Group page, click Doc on the publisher on top. This creates a note that will be stored on the right side under Docs, and Group members can open and read any time. ”

    What “Doc” link? do you mean “files” then click +Create Doc button? And, no “right side under docs?” I tried creating a document and it just added a file to my Files tab. Not “sticky” enough for me.

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on July 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Yes my apologies – as Facebook is known to do, they have moved things around a bit since I wrote this article. So you are right – go to Files then Create Doc or upload a file. They now will “live” in the Files area, and not on the right sidebar. There *will* be a post about you creating a file or editing a file that will go into the group news feed, but it won’t be sticky. So if you need to, once in a while post to remind people to check the files etc. I liked it much better the other way. But this way at least they did add uploading your own file, vs only creating text-based documents.

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