When too many ALA Facebook groups dilute our brand, it overwhelms members

Posted On: Thursday, 21 December 2023

Facebook overkill
Back in the old days of Facebook — let’s say 2008 — the “thing to do” with an organization’s Facebook page was to increase your follower count or to get more “likes.” And while it’s still important to attract and retain followers, the buzz these days is all about creating VIP-type online communities such as Facebook groups.  

In a Facebook group, users opt-in to online communities where people with similar interests around one or multiple topics can come together to share ideas and connect with one another. For example, you may belong to a group for hidden gem restaurants in your local community or in the case of the ALA, you might belong to a group for the national Children & Youth Committee or a Poppy Committee with your local unit.   

In terms of reaching and communicating with ALA members, Facebook groups have been great and continue to grow in popularity both at the national, department, and local levels. ALA members can find at least 16 Facebook groups through the main National Headquarters Facebook account focused on a particular program or role. In addition, a search on Facebook can lead to many groups related to local units and departments, but when does having too many groups tied to the same topic become overwhelming to users and potentially dilute the ALA’s brand and message?

To be clear, we aren’t saying there can’t be a national Facebook group, department group, and unit group … it’s when a group is created for anything and everything (e.g., an ALA unit creating individual Facebook groups for Poppy Day, poppy making, poppy cookie making, poppy fundraising — you get the idea). 

The risks of overexposure. In a www.steemit.com article, journalist John Boitnott warns that too much of your brand can harm it. He suggests that over time, overexposure can lead to your brand becoming diluted, with consumers’ eyes glazing over as they see yet another message or post from the same organization.

Having no clear focus. Often the biggest issue with having too many accounts, Boitnott says, is that organizations never quite focus on one thing. Instead of honing in on one or two accounts and making it the best online presence it can be, an organization may spend its time shifting between four or five different accounts, never quite excelling at any of them and spreading themselves too thin.  

If we, as an organization, are creating multiple social media accounts, pages, and groups for all of the activities we do, it’s likely we are also overwhelming members by asking them to join everything.

Less is more. Before starting a group, check to see if one already exists at the ALA national level that could achieve the same goal. Each national Facebook group provides an arena for organic discussion about your local programs or services and presents the opportunity to cultivate brand awareness. If you do still feel you need a local group, create only one, and don’t branch off by creating subgroup after subgroup related to the same topic. 

Start slowly. Whether you are creating a new group or joining groups, determine how your time can best be spent. Start with one group and participate fully in that one before considering others. If you determine a group, as a user, doesn’t feel right or you become overextended by the number of groups you’ve joined, it’s OK to pull back and watch from the sidelines. 

Be consistent in messaging. If you are managing a group where there could be a national, department, and even district group, ensure the messaging stays consistent. Be sure to check the latest messaging from National and your department so your content is aligned.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.