Facebook pulled the plug on your group, why maybe you know why, maybe you don’t. All you see a big stop sign – let’s look at your next step.
For almost a decade, social media marketers have considered Facebook one of their most important assets. But things are changing fast with the decreasing reach of associated brand pages, the constant threat of malicious actors, and the torrent of fake profiles. You might have noticed in the past few months how a lot of groups have changed their status from ‘closed’ to secret as well; a direct result of the threats posed by bad actors like trolls and spammers.
Facebook has reached economies of such massive scale that it has become a top target for social engineering scammers, spam advertising, and online bullying. Although the platform’s owners are struggling to get things back under control, it has also faced a barrage of criticism in recent years for unethical marketing tactics and a lack of respect for people’s privacy. That’s not something we can expect to change any time soon.
In response to the threats, Facebook has removed hundreds of millions of fake profiles, brand pages, and groups. For the most part, this move has helped make the platform a safer space for its users, but the purge has also claimed many users, brands included, that haven’t broken any rules. If Facebook has deleted your group, then the first thing to do is figure out why.
Why would Facebook delete my group?
Facebook has a strict set of community rules and guidelines concerning groups. If your group has been flagged for breaking those rules, then it may be manually reviewed by a member of the Facebook team and, if it’s found to be in violation, you’ll usually receive a warning. More serious breaches will result in an immediate closure of the group and even an outright ban of the offending account. Unfortunately, violations often occur at the hands of members, rather than the operators of the group. Most bans are dished out automatically.
For example, if certain members of your group post explicit content, copyrighted material, or anything else that breaks the community rules, the group, as well as the offending members, may be deleted from the platform. In other cases, a group may be compromised by someone who manages to hack into an account belonging to one of its administrators. Either way, the responsibility for to police the actions of their members partly falls to the group administrators. To make matters worse, there’s often no specific reason given when a group gets deleted, in which case it can be impossible to determine which post triggered the action. That’s because Facebook’s algorithms, which the platform largely considers to be infallible, will automatically take down accounts and groups found to break certain rules.
What should I do next?
Unfortunately, if Facebook has deleted your group, there’s not usually much you can do about it. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find a real person to contact, and all the advice shared in the customer support community amounts to the same thing. Even if you’re certain that none of your community representatives broke the rules, either deliberately or inadvertently, there’s usually no point in trying to start a new group, since doing so will also leave you with zero starting members. Instead of starting all over again, you should consider other options.
Establishing an online community can be enormously beneficial for things like building brand advocacy, providing peer-to-peer customer support, or product ideation to name just a few. The big problem with Facebook groups is that community leaders have so little control over them. On one hand, having a public group provides maximum visibility, but it can also attract bad actors whose actions can lead to its closure or, worse still, your outright ban. On the other, having a secret group requires you to manually invite members, which naturally becomes a major challenge at scale.
In light of the above, the best thing to do next is start your own community and establish and enforce your own rules and guidelines. That way, you won’t be subject to the whims of a third-party platform, and neither will you be anything like as likely to attract malicious members who are out to tarnish your brand reputation and exploit your legitimate customers.
In fact, we would even go so far as to suggest that having Facebook delete your group is an opportunity rather than a disaster; it gives you the chance to start anew with a community of your own that works for your brand and its customers, and not for those who wish to do it harm.
Disciple social spaces help brands enjoy all the benefits of community with an independent, valuable, and trusted platform in a safe space that they own and control.