Facebook Groups are a fast, free mechanism for pulling people together. No doubt about that.
And they can be a feeder outpost for your online community, a place where you can amplify your messages and gain awareness for your organization (like any other social network).
But there are a few things that Facebook Groups simply can’t do, and good reasons why you should not build a community on Facebook.
Why you might want to migrate a Facebook Group audience to Crowdstack
- Ability to monetize your own community with ads, sponsorships or paid memberships
- Get away from distractions
- Improve SEO for your own site
- Gain deeper analytics/reporting and feed into your Google Analytics
- Control the experience/design
- Privacy & trust
- You own the data
But don't just listen to me, check out some of the other reasons a Facebook Group is not a true community, and might not be the ideal solution for you.
How to attract Facebook Group members to join your own community
Post a daily highlight from the community over in the Facebook Group. Include a link to the community post, and try to include an image.
It’s about the people, so if you can find one or two “leaders” in your Facebook Group who pride themselves on being “insiders,” deputize them as a “welcome wagon” for the others.
The welcome wagon could post in the Facebook Group and “tag” other members to personally invite them over, or share something cool from the community themselves. Consider giving those people a special title in the community.
Come up with a list of 3-5 things you can do in the community that you can’t do in the Facebook Group (e.g., find things much easier, have subgroups and topics, ad-free environment…). Make sure you fill them in on the key reasons why you’re wanting to move over to an online community.
Add a persistent link, image, or reference to the community in the Facebook Group.
Consider having exclusive content or exclusive access to an expert, insider, or staff member that only exists in the community, and then promote that access within the Facebook Group.
Run a series of member profiles over in the Crowdstack community. Could be as simple as a 3 question interview with a personal photo, and run them as a blog post or forum topic.
People love to have their moment in the spotlight, and if you can recognize them personally, they will often follow you (and promote the spotlighted post to their own circles).
Enable Facebook social login as an option for registering in your community, lowering the barrier for members to come over and participate.
At a high level, success will come when your members feel some sense of ownership in the community. Are there any lingo/phrases, traditions, or inside jokes you can weave into the community from the Facebook Group? Make the Crowdstack community feel like home to them by speaking their language.
Learn from others who have already done it...check out this interview with The Penny Hoarder, which now has a thriving Crowdstack community.
What steps have you taken to make social network users feel welcome and find value in your own community?