How Our Facebook Group is Managed
In September of 2020, we started a Facebook group called, "Making Vanilla Extract by VanillaPura". It was developed to create a safe place online to share best practices for the craft of making extracts at home. There was so much misinformation online we wanted to create a place where the best ideas could be submitted and rise to the top.
Since starting our group, it has grown at a pace that we could have never imagined. By the end of 2021, we had over 50,000 members. By the summer of 2022, we had more than 70,000 members and we will have more than 100,000 members by the end of 2023.
There are tens of thousands of posts and hundreds of thousands of comments all dedicated to the art of making extracts at home.
To manage a growing group and to keep the culture of extract making "sweet", we have implemented a number of management systems to reinforce a positive, open and helpful culture within our group. They are outlined below in detail and include the following:
- We give away free vanilla beans every time we grow by 1,000 members.
- We give away free vanilla beans to our top-10 contributors 8-12 times/yr.
- We give away free vanilla beans every Sunday for kindness.
- We have group experts that are given gift cards of $150 each for their efforts.
- We have administrators and moderators to ensure that our rules are followed.
If you're already a member of our group, thanks for joining us. We hope to see you rise to the top as a group expert. If you are thinking of joining, simply click this link and request to join. There is no purchase requirement ever. Only an interest in learning the art of extract making is needed.
Free Vanilla Beans for Membership Growth
A great online group requires active participation of many people. We are amazed how often someone will ask a question about extract making at 2am and immediately receive several answers. Someone is always online and always ready to help.
That kind of support can't happen in groups with small numbers. We must always be growing. So, to reward our group members for growth we give away vanilla beans to one lucky member every time we grow by 1,000 new members.
Free Vanilla Beans for Top-10 Contributors
Several times throughout the year, we host live extract making parties within our group. During our Facebook live events, we interact with our group members in real time and share best practices, tips and tricks.
In these live events, we also highlight our top-10 contributors. The list of top-10 contributors is created automatically by Facebook based on the amount of interaction created and supported by posts, comments and likes submitted by the contributors.
Every one of the top-10 contributors is given free vanilla beans as a way of thanking them for their outstanding contribution to our group.
Free Beans for Kind Words
Every single weekend for nearly two years we have offered a give-a-way called "Free Beans for Kind Words." This give-a-way is designed to encourage sweetness and kindness within our group.
One of the rules in our group stipulates that we do not speak poorly of anyone, any idea, any question, any other group or even our competitors. We don't belittle those that ask simple questions and, in fact, we encourage our new members to ask simple questions liberally...because that's how we all learned. We want to be the "nice corner of the internet" where strangers help strangers. We want to be a safe place where anyone can ask any question no matter where they are on their extract-making journey.
Every Friday we make a post for our "Free Beans for Kind Words" give-a-way. The winner receives 1oz of free vanilla beans. To win, you must be nominated by another group member for demonstrating kindness and support during the week. You cannot nominate yourself. This give-a-way is about strangers helping strangers and kindness being demonstrated every day in our group. Every weekend we select one (sometimes two) winners from dozens of nominations.
With so many people in the group and so many comments being offered, we want to make sure that new members know when a comment comes from someone with extensive experience. At any given time, we will have 6-12 group experts that will have a "group expert" badge next to their names. Group expert terms last six months, and then new group experts are promoted.
To become a group expert, the following must apply:
- You must be a member of our group for at least 1 year.
- You must have been nominated for "Free Beans for Kind Words" at least once.
- You must have been recognized as a "Top-10 Contributor" at least once.
Posts and comments from group experts carry a little more weight because you know that they have met the three criteria listed above.
It's also important to us that group experts have interacted with VanillaPura products, so each group expert is given $150 in VanillaPura gift cards over their six-month term. A $25 gift card after 2 months. A $50 gift card after 4 months. And a $75 gift card after six months.
There is no requirement of time spent by group experts and there is no expectation for them to remain an expert for the entire six months if they choose to leave. It is completely voluntary.
We greatly appreciate those that choose to accept the invitation and accept the "Group Expert" badge next to their name.
Moderators and Administrators
Because of the general kindness exhibited in our group and the group member's efforts to follow our rules, moderation and administration of the group can happen with just a few number of people. Their names are noted as "Moderators" and "Administrators".
The responsibility of these people is to simply do as their title suggests: moderate and administrate. They remove posts and comments that break the group rules and they remove members from the group that try and use the group for undesignated purposes. In short, they work to keep the mission of the group: to be a safe, sweet and happy center for information and learning about the art of extract making at home.
It takes a lot of work to successfully manage a large online group. While we aren't perfect, we are committed to ongoing improvement and to never stop trying to create the sweetest group of people on the internet, with the best content about making and using extracts at home.
Visit our Extract Making Guide Center to see all of our highest-rated best practices for extract making in one place.
If Facebook isn't your thing, you can also find us on these social media platforms: (Click the link to be directed to our profile page on each platform)