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Membership Communities: Facebook Groups vs Forums

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People will join your membership website for the content, but they'll stay for the community.

However when it comes to deciding where to house your community, it's a difficult decision over whether to use a social media group on a platform like Facebook, or whether you should host a traditional forum on your own website.

In this presentation we break down the pros and cons of both options and provide tips on how to make your decision.

Published in: Business
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Membership Communities: Facebook Groups vs Forums

  1. 1. FACEBOOK GROUPS VS FORUMS WHICH IS BETTER FOR CREATING YOUR MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY? www.themembershipguys.com
  2. 2. Members will come for the content, but they'll stay for the community www.themembershipguys.com
  3. 3. FORUMS: THE PROS www.themembershipguys.com Keeps members onsite Easy to search for information and previous discussions More advanced features such as text formatting, private messaging, statuses Full member profiles specific to the site Signatures at the bottom of posts for non invasive promotion Automated access – no having to manually approve or remove members Better categorisation of topics and posts Fully focused on your brand and product Members are there specifically to talk about your product and content
  4. 4. FORUMS: THE CONS www.themembershipguys.com Need to consciously login to the site to access the community Learning curve is high if member is unfamiliar with forums More chance of members having technical issues Can be harder to get engagement initially More members needed for a ‘buzzy’ atmosphere More complicated to set up and more tech implications to think about
  5. 5. FACEBOOK GROUPS: THE PROS www.themembershipguys.com Most people have an existing Facebook account Many people will log in daily or at least weekly Can be easier for initial engagement ‘Known’ platform and most people know how to use it already Quicker responses to posts Apps available for easy phone and tablet use Instant notifications of posts and responses Quick and easy to set up
  6. 6. FACEBOOK GROUPS: THE CONS www.themembershipguys.com Difficult to keep track of topics and discussions Personal profile needed, potential privacy issues Poor search functionality Offsite and away from your content Quick post turnover – easy for things to be missed No automated access – members need to be approved or removed manually Playing on Facebook’s turf, so you're subject to their rules & decisions Competing with other Facebook ‘noise’ Members not necessarily in the right mindset to learn No control, can't backup or export your member data
  7. 7. Still not sure which to use? www.themembershipguys.com
  8. 8. www.themembershipguys.com Is the community an "add‐on" to your course or membership site?  (i.e more for general questions and support than an integral part of your product)? If so, a Facebook Group is your best bet.
  9. 9. www.themembershipguys.com Is the community a core part of your membership site and a major selling point? If so, then it should be something that YOU control. As such an on-site Forum should be your first choice.
  10. 10. www.themembershipguys.com If in doubt, ASK your audience.  You might think a forum is a great idea, but if your members won’t use it, you’re wasting your time. Similarly, you might presume members would prefer Facebook, but actually they crave an easy to read and search forum where they can have more in-depth discussions.
  11. 11. Get more advice for creating and growing a successful membership website: www.themembershipguys.com

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