Saturday, April 5, 2014

Moderating the MFRW Facebook Group—Pinning Posts (and a Membership Landmark!) #MFRWorg

First, a short announcement: since my last post here about moderating the MFRW Facebook group, the group reached (and passed) 3,000 members! The Facebook group has seen considerable growth since I started moderating it not quite a year ago. At that time, there were several hundred members. We reached 1,000 last June, if I remember correctly, 2,000 sometime late last fall, and now here we are at (as of this writing) 3,147 members!

In messaging with potential members during the request moderation process, I’ve often found myself suggesting that they consider joining the Yahoo Group as well. Since many potential members have mentioned where they are in their careers and what kind of marketing help they’re seeking or why, the conversation has often segued naturally into this invitation. MFRW’s Yahoo and Facebook groups serve notably different purposes at this point—since promotion is allowed on the Facebook group, it is used mostly for that right now, whereas the Yahoo Group (where no promotion is allowed) is where most of the group’s discussions about promotion, marketing, resources, etc., take place. So I personally see it as well worthwhile to be a part of both.

Which brings me (slightly indirectly) to the main topic of this post: pinning posts. A pinned post is a post on a group page that remains anchored to the top of the page irrespective of other posts. It is thus very useful as a reference point or to impart evergreen information that you’d like everyone who visits the group page to see, since it always appears as the first post on the group page.

In this case, since I found myself writing similar things over and over in private messages about the Yahoo Group and including the link to join, it eventually occurred to me that it would be much easier if I could just put this announcement somewhere and send people to it. Even better if it were somewhere group members and the public could see it.

Enter the pinned post. I wrote a short summary of MFRW’s Yahoo Group and other resources (such as its website), included links to all of them, added a note summarizing the process I use to moderate join requests, and pinned the post to the top of the group page. Now when I am in touch with potential members, I simply say something like, "Please see my pinned post at the top of the group page for information about MFRW’s Yahoo Group.” I have found this much more efficient. ;)

Only the moderator(s) of a group can pin a post, though any post on a group page may be pinned (i.e., the moderator doesn’t have to be the author of it). To pin a post, locate the post in question, hover over the upper-right corner of it until the little drop-down arrow appears, click on the arrow, and choose “Pin Post.” If at any point you want to unpin the post, follow the same directions and click “Unpin Post.”

Facebook currently only allows one pinned post at a time on group pages. Sometimes my post has been unpinned on the MFRW group in favor of special-event pins, such as when Summer Camp took place last year or when MFRW was up for several awards in the 2013 Preditors & Editors poll (the MFRW newsletter won for “Best Writers’ Resource”!). In these cases, Kayelle composed alternate posts that she pinned with these announcements, and the introductory post was unpinned and thus automatically returned to its original place in the group’s timeline. When it was time to put it back, I simply located it again and repinned it. Pinning and repinning may be done to any post that exists anywhere on a group's timeline. The “Likes” and comments remain intact, as pinning and unpinning don't actually alter a post in any way but rather just move it to a different place on the page.

Please note that the pinned post functionality is also available on “Pages,” so in the same way I described above to pin a post on the group page, you may pin a given post on your author page. This post will remain the first post listed on your page until you unpin it or replace it with another pinned post (the “one pin at a time” rule also applies to pages). To see an example of a pinned post and how it appears on the page, just visit the MFRW Facebook group and see mine (under my legal name, Emily McCay) at the top of the group page. :)

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.