Competing with Facebook for users

Discussion in 'Social Networking' started by 2dub, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. 2dub

    2dub Adherent

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    I sometimes find myself thinking I'm "competing" with Facebook groups in my niche. Yes, I have a fairly active Facebook group, but I'm not able to make a direct correlation between my FB activity and my forum's activity.

    When I started my forum 11 yrs ago, there weren't any FB groups, but now there are multiple FB groups in my niche and they seem to have similar activity to my forum at times.

    I personally feel that FB groups are inferior to a forum because:
    • Easier searched
    • Handle multiple discussions simultaneously
    • better since of community
    But in the back of my mind I feel like I am not necessarily losing members to these groups, but I'm not gaining as many new members because of these groups.

    Thoughts???
     
  2. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    Facebook is Facebook's biggest enemy tbh.

    I've been hearing things about them for a number of years and they've only gotten more unhinged and arrogant. I would keep an eye out for opportunities as they arise.
     
  3. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    Sell them privacy and people will trip over themselves rushing to your trough.

    Facebook has gotten so bad you only need to offer a viable alternative for groups of related users to move to as a group. It shouldnt matter wether it's a forum, small social network, whatever they can feel comfortable with that doesnt overshare or compIicate their experience.
     
  4. overcast

    overcast Enthusiast

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    I am sure facebook will make mistake at some point and all of this empire will collapse some day. Cambridge analytica was one mistake but people forgive them for that. That was a good chance to attack them and get them out.
     
  5. Ingenious

    Ingenious Fan

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    Forums are better for the reasons you state (and others, including independence, privacy and monetization). However Facebook makes it easier to share content especially on mobile, and people are lazy. Facebook groups remain an ideal place for that instant fix.

    Sadly a lot of forums don't make it easy to see content as guests, instantly access latest content or they make the initial experience horrible with too many adverts or even make joining hard, so are their own worst enemies.

    My advice is to use a Facebook group in your niche and be aware of what makes it work well. Then access your own forum as a guest and see what the experience is like in comparison.

    I think that "Not on Facebook" is actually becoming a good thing for communities, as long as you communicate why to your members (independence, privacy etc).
     
  6. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

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    Maybe. Maybe not.

    Consumers have proven that they're okay sharing modest amounts of personal data in exchange for convenience and customization.
     
  7. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin

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    In my case the main advantage of forums (besides being easily searchable) is that you don't depend on a website that might be gone tomorrow. I'd never put effort into creating a group on a website that might close shop tomorrow and leave me empty handed.
     
  8. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

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    To go back to the OP,

    1. I personally believe using Facebook groups for small to medium groups is ... Fine. It really is fine. It's okay to use Facebook Groups, and the barriers to entry are extremely low for starting up a Facebook group.

    Is it terrible for large groups? Yes. It's horrible for organization and structure, it's not designed for long form / indepth conversation, search is hard, multiple conversations is hard, and you don't ever truly own your own data. But is it okay for small to medium groups? Sure, which is why there are 620 million Facebook groups. This leads me to my second point ...

    2. If you are making an independent forum or community, you must offer something unique or valuable to draw users away.

    If you only offer discussion over mainstream topics, then why are you even trying to run your own forum? Why are you spending your time and energy on things like admin settings, server management, tweaking plugins and paying for third party software. Just use Facebook. It's free, easy, and they have two billion users that are already registered.
     
  9. Bluefish

    Bluefish Neophyte

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    So I'm confused. Do you start a Facebook group for your forum in order to keep forum users, or to pull Facebook users to your forum? My experience has been they don't mix. People who use Facebook groups use Facebook groups and people who use forums use forums depending upon their inclination and/or the content. I've tried it with and without and it doesn't seem to move the dial one bit either way. Classic example, I've got a Classifieds board on my forum and people used to use it daily. Then gradually they stopped. I started a group on Facebook for the same purpose and have nearly 3,000 members. As far as I can tell, none of them are forum members.
     
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