As the moderator of an online group, you are responsible for keeping group members informed on organization news and events, facilitating discussion, and more. It’s necessary to know your duties and have a plan when it comes to managing group members, whether they are neighbors in your homeowners association, parents of the school soccer team you coach, or even members of your extended family.

By now, you know what it takes to start and manage an online group. Use these tips to effectively manage your online group’s members:

1. Start By Introducing Yourself

Unless the group is completely made up of your close friends and family, it’s a good practice to introduce yourself as moderator. Though you may have already met all the group members in person at least once, there is a chance that they may not remember your name or recognize your online handle. Introducing yourself will clear up any possible confusion.

Your introduction can be as easy as posting a few sentences about who you are and what you do, as well as your relationship with the group as the whole. Ensure members know that they can come to you for their questions and suggestions. Pinning your introduction post to the top of the group will make it easy for new members to see it. This could also be a good opportunity to discuss group guidelines and ground rules.

If your group is growing and more people are added as time goes by, take the time to private message each new member to introduce yourself, get to know them, and ask if they have any questions. This way, they’ll be sure to look out for your messages in the group and will come to you with their questions or comments.

2. Keep Them In The Know

The purpose of having the group message is to keep members informed on your organization’s events, news, and anything else of relevance. Be sure you’re keeping them updated on what they should know about to keep your organization running efficiently.

The frequency of announcements, event reminders, and general posts depends greatly on the nature of your group. If the soccer team you coach has games coming up every weekend, it could be important to send informational reminders before each game, including where it is, which team it’s against, who is driving, and who is bringing the team snacks.

If your book club only meets once a month, less frequent posts should suffice. You could check in with members a week after the last meeting to be sure everyone has the book, send out discussion questions two weeks before the next meeting, and send a meeting reminder the week it occurs.

Consider the needs of your group, and decide whether you should aim to post your updates daily, weekly, or monthly.

3. Post A Variety of Relevant Content, When Appropriate

Depending on how your members use your online group, posts can include anything from industry news, to information on local events, and discussion topics.

Posting more than just organization-specific announcements can help keep your members engaged and create more of a community in your group. Starting discussions or encouraging members to engage with each other outside of organization-specific events can help your members get to know each other better, which can only strengthen your group.

Finding a balance between essential information and other relevant content can be tricky. Posting too much or too often can turn off members and make them less likely to engage or keep up with the group at all. Be sure to monitor and measure your group’s receptiveness to additional posts and decide on what kind of additional content seems to work and how often you’d like to post it.

4. Engage With Members And Answer Questions

As moderator, you are responsible for answering questions, facilitating discussion, and keeping people informed on your organization’s news and updates.

Answering questions and replying to comments is an important part of maintaining your group.

5. Monitor Group Interactions

You’re also responsible for ensuring that all members participate appropriately and follow the guidelines and ground rules that were set when you began the group. Though these will be specific to your group, you should always ensure that all members are acting respectful of each other and are using the platform appropriately.

6. Intervene Early

If you realize that a member is abusing the group and is not abiding by the guidelines, it is important to intervene early before things get out of hand. Repost the guidelines in the group as a reminder to all members as to what is appropriate for the group.

Private message the individual with a warning that their behavior is inappropriate and cite the group guidelines. If the behavior continues after the warning, you may have to remove the member from the group.

Groups should be places where members of an organization can stay informed and get to know each other better, and that’s why we built Go2s. If you’re searching for the perfect group messaging platform and private social network for your organization, get started with Go2s today.