Secret groups? On Facebook? Whoa… hang on there, what are those? The secret group is one of the most under-used features of Facebook. We all know that we can create groups, but those are generally public and everyone can see them if they use the correct search parameters. Secret groups were created for people to have a select subset of people that can interact on a more intimate level. This can be easily converted to fit coaches, professional development teams, small businesses and mastermind groups.
Why use a secret group? Most businesses need private spaces to discuss business strategy, develop marketing strategies, and coordinate schedules and general work areas. Facebook has a built in system to help facilitate this. At this time there are three types of Facebook Groups:
Public – Everyone can see the members and posts in this group; everyone and anyone can make posts to this group as well.
Closed – All users can see this group, but only group members can see and make posts.
Secret – Only members can see this group and make posts to this group.
Secret groups are not indexed by either Google or Facebook. When you create the secret group no one but the actual members will be able to search and find the group. Group members can post messages to the group and they will show up in your news feed with a lock icon in the bottom left hand corner of the post.
Some of the features included in the Facebook secret groups are shared document creation and editing, private photo sharing, group chat, and a shared email address.
The shared document feature is very similar to Google Docs where you can collaborate, edit, and create together.
Private photo sharing allows you to post pictures that only your group members can see. For example you can load a few pictures that you would like to use for a logo, and then each member can have input on which picture to use of the project.
The group chat feature allows you to have a real-time conversation with all group members without having to access a conference call or rely on email communication.
The shared email address allows you to keep internal conversations and posts in house.
The Facebook Secret Group feature is a reliable tool for those businesses that have a mostly remote or virtual staff. It allows you more flexibility with your staff. If there are ideas that come throughout the day you can easily reach out and get almost instant feedback to those concerns, ideas, or questions.
Creating a secret group is similar to creating a regular group. The difference is that you must first create a closed group and add members to that group. Your group members do not have to be personal friends on your Facebook profile. You will then send the url to the members that you have selected, they will click on the join group button and you will see them in the member’s area of the page.
Since users can search groups and find those that are set as closed they can also ask to join the closed group. At this point you will receive a notification of those requests and you, as an Admin, can either approve or ignore the requests.
Once you have all your members in the group, go back to settings and change it to secret. Now the group is no longer searchable and only members of the group can view the page.
The use of secret groups in Facebook can save loads of time in the collaboration process. Issues can be discussed and sorted out via posts, chats, photo uploading, or just general venting of frustration. The fact that no one else can see those discussions or posts is a relief to those stressful projects.