Featured Facebook or Forums?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by Matt M, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Matt M

    Matt M Developer

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    I read a lot of angst over social media, and Facebook especially being responsible for closing down forums as user trends shift towards social media.

    However, there is a definite increase in brands and businesses looking to move FROM Facebook to independent community platforms.

    I think we're in a new era where forums absorb traffic from social media, rather than the other way around.

    I got into this on a podcast recently, here's the link (other formats) if you're interested.

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    The mentality of individuals as well as "group think" needs to change. People use the social media platforms bc their friends and family are there, that's the start of it though. Because everyone they know is there, they use it every day. Then couple that with fb groups, why leave the platform to go elsewhere? Only when the person and people wake up to the invasion of privacy (*cough*crimes*cough*) these social media platforms are committing...only then will we start to see a move back towards private forums.

    There was a company that worked on unifying logins across forums. Honestly, that's really what is needed for us to make the above process move quicker. Need to make being apart of forums more convenient.
     
  3. Matt M

    Matt M Developer

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    If you can create compelling content that people want to read, and promote that via Facebook and Twitter then you have a way to get traffic to your site.

    Then make your site as easy to register as possible (use social media log in buttons), make sure the structure is clean and clear and you have a chance at converting a casual viewer into a permanent member.

    Your site needs to be more than just a container for discussion. You need to offer something they can't get elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  4. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

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    Facebook's focus on the consumer, and I think legacy forums should recognize that fact. (Hint: Facebook is already huge). If you're targeting consumers and retail clients (vs enterprise or business), then social platforms will continue to dominate. And that's okay. Facebook certainly offers a lot to community admins focused on social or retail conversations: you have your members there, they're already active, you can manage your own groups with very easy controls. You should of course evaluate the pros and cons of losing control over your data and membership versus the gain of an easy and frictionless platform that's free, but Facebook is definitely a platform to consider (and a platform who will continue to challenge you) for social and retail conversations. However, there will be a growing divergence between these social and retail forums versus the professional or enterprise ones who absolutely must control their own environment.

    And even if you are a social or retail-oriented forum, it's not the end of the world. I've always viewed Facebook as a frenemy. It's a friend to help me promote; it's an enemy because it's sucking away members' time and attention. But it's the competitive landscape that we have, so the question is not how much can we complain, but how much can we use Facebook to our advantage?

    I can't speak to other platforms, but I definitely believe one of the killer features of Invision Community 4 is "Social Promotion." It allows admins to queue up recommended content from community to cross-post to Twitter and Facebook Pages, and you can setup a schedule for regular posting at key times (like a simplified version of Hoostsuite). For brands and communities, it's a way of disseminating viral-worthy highlights into social media to spark interest for your community. Once again, a frenemy with Facebook: you share a little, you get a little.
     
  5. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    Oh, we have all of that and then some. Even put it out in the open so users know they can log in via social media platforms.
    I can't speak for anyone else here, but my site offers more than just discussion. And with our upgrade to xf 2.1, it will be offering features that you won't see anywhere else, especially to the capacity of anywhere else. Only rival to what we are creating will be Reddit with their expanding community, creating subreddits, etc. But we will be offering more than just a discussion platform like Reddit.
    It's more so an enemy after they changed their algorithms to make more money from businesses to get their content in front of users eyes. Prior to that, it was fantastic. If you liked a page, you would see their posts. Now, if you are a business page, then "good friggin luck". We see about 20% of our users that actually see our posts. The rest would have to be "boosted".
    I don't see me complaining, just stating facts in regards to their invasion of privacy.
    That's great and all, but last time I looked into features like that, including Hootsuite, FB frowned upon it and would only show your posts to an even smaller fraction of people. Have you tried some A/B tests? Going on FB and posting a link vs doing it through Social Promotion? Especially if you schedule the post through Social Promotion, unless things have since changed, you will see 10% of people seeing your posts compared to going on FB and scheduling it there.
     
  6. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

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    That's actually pretty good for a page. There was research done by ad agency Ogilvy that shows reach of large and popular Facebook pages is only at 6%. Facebook even admits that the reach of pages will trend towards zero unless you start paying.
     
  7. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    I'm not arguing if it is good or not, I'm saying they are actively adjusting their algorithms to make it so you have to pay for the reach. Prior to these changes, you were able to reach over 50% of your audience.

    Oh and to clarify, when I was saying 10% from the 3rd party scheduling, that's 10% of what you would get if you put it up through FB on their site. So if you typically reach 1000 people, the 3rd party promotion would be 100 people.
     
  8. overcast

    overcast Aspirant

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    As a normal user we have nothing to do with how the information is presented. However as a owner, you get far more control and you are in control of your own brand. Facebook should not be more than 10% of your brand. And it should be low as it locks you in financially for promotion and reach. I'd focus on forum and keep the quality high.
     
  9. \o/

    \o/ Aspirant

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    Facebook is dying AFAICS. There is no "social network" that could possibly outlive your website. Sadly, many people need to fall on their face first.
     
  10. hellasteph

    hellasteph Tech Scum

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    I also feel this way.
     
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