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Facebook Groups don’t work for accountability

I often see coaches and trainers claim that accountability is a major focus in their groups or classes.

But when I look at what kind of accountability methods they are using, I’m never impressed.

The most common claim is: “In my program, you will be held accountable in our special Facebook Group.”

Unless you run a tiny group and you are ultra diligent, your Facebook Group will not make your clients feel accountable at all!

In a Facebook Group, the members don’t think, “Oh, I’d better do that thing today, because someone will notice if I don’t.” I don’t know about you, but when I know that nobody will notice I haven’t done something, I’m less likely to do it.

To keep them feeling accountable, you may create a post asking people to post what they’ve accomplished. BUT, a very small percent will post anything in response.

How does the coach remember each person’s commitment and goals?

If people do post their progress, it’s not easy for you to remember what they committed to do in the first place.  This is important, because people tend to drift and not stick to the more difficult actions that they want to consistently do.

In order to hold someone truly accountable, you need to constantly have their goal in mind, and the specific actions they committed to taking.

The other group members will certainly not remember, so their support of that person will be hit or miss.

There’s no way for group members to visually track their progress.  The awareness that they can’t keep track and neither can anyone else, makes it feel like nobody cares.

What if some group members dominate the airwaves?

A common problem in Facebook groups is that the people with the most “wins” dominate the posts. It is rare, although usually quite welcome, that somebody opens up about their struggles and failures in a Facebook Group.
I’ve been in countless private Facebook groups that were especially set up for a course or coaching program. They were helpful and fun, but they were very poor at accountability. Heck, I’ve run accountability groups on my Academic Ladder Blog, and I got a couple dozen sign ups, but no follow through!

To summarize what makes real accountability almost impossible to achieve in a Facebook group:

  • It lacks an easy way for the coach to track each client’s actions, connect them with their commitments, and comment or keep them accountable.
  • It also doesn’t have an easy way for group members to do the same, so they have a harder time supporting their peers
  • It doesn’t have a visual system for tracking their progress
  • Facebook groups are dominated by the people doing well. It’s not a system where it is easy to be vulnerable and open about problems.


What’s your opinion about Facebook Groups and how well they work for accountability?  Let me know in the comments below!

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1 thought on “Facebook Groups don’t work for accountability

  1. So what did you find was the best alternative to achieve the goal of a small group of 6 people cheering each other on to meet an accountability goal?

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