Why did I choose to build my community on Facebook?
Every course creator, the online entrepreneur wants to build their community as the money is in your community of people who believe in you.
And many choose to build their community on Facebook.
And so did I.
Facebook is notorious for closing down groups, banning them, banning personal profiles for no apparent reason.
But still, I decided to go with a Facebook group and decided against going with other tools that are specifically made for building a community.
Facebook is distracting, it’s erratic yet chosen by many.
In this article, I will share five points with you why I decided to go with the Facebook community instead of a tool specifically designed for such communities.
Inertia to learn something new
Android users are reluctant to switch to iPhone because they’re so used to the technology that they can’t find even the simplest of things.
And same goes for iPhone users.
Before this turns into an iPhone vs Android debate, let me come to the point.
Nobody wants to learn something new if whatever they’re currently using is easy to use and solves the problem.
If there was no option to copy-paste in iPhone, people would’ve easily shifted from iPhone to Android. But that’s not the case.
So what are the necessary features in a community?
Ability to post something
Ability to reply
Run a poll
Create topic-wise posts
All these features are available in the Facebook group.
And since people are using Facebook for a long, they are used to the system.
The current system is solving the problems and it’s easy to use.
Additionally, people randomly log in to Facebook just to pass the time.
So, we as course creators running a community, don’t have to bring people to Facebook.
They’re already there.
What happens when you build your community outside Facebook?
Your community needs to learn the new tool. Even though these tools like Circle or Might Networks are easy to use, still there is a slight learning curve or simply they look very different from Facebook groups.
Even something that looks different from what people are used to can put them off.
And you don’t want to create even the slightest barrier that will put off people.
If you want to build your community away from Facebook, you need to give a good reason to your members.
A drop in the member’s count will happen when you’re migrating members from Facebook to another tool because not everyone will be inclined to create a new account, remember a new username, new password etc.
You need to provide a strong reason otherwise, people will opt-out of signing up for the new group. This may include some incentive, bonuses or something else that will convince them.
Think twice before moving from something that is already working fo you.
Drop in the engagement rate
We are used to Facebook.
We know how to post.
How to ask a question?
Create a poll.
Reply to other members posts or questions.
Run a live event in the group.
Now, doing all this in a new tool will make your member scamper for some guide. Or sometimes they can’t even find something very obvious because they’re used to Facebook.
This means there’ll be a marked reduction in the engagement in the group.
As you know any community thrives on dialogue and that means comments, posts and discussions between members.
If that’s not happening then the community has no meaning.
Whenever something new is posted in the community or some new live event is started, members in the community receive a notification.
That way you keep with what’s happening in the community.
Now almost every community tool provides this feature. They send notifications whenever something new happens.
But since members are not by default on the community, they see the notifications when they log in or if they read each of their mail.
This is not the case with Facebook.
Since people are already there on Facebook doing some other activity, as soon as they receive a notification they may choose to take action on it.
This is a huge advantage with Facebook.
Facebook comes out with new features every now and then
Facebook do listen to their users 😉
Many course creators host small courses on their Facebook groups.
So, Facebook came up with a new feature called ‘Guides’.
Using guides, you can create a lesson plan. Upload your videos and then the members in your community can comment on them.
The point is, Facebook do release features that are useful to community builder and members every now and then.
So even though tools like Might Networks, and Circle are coming up with new features; Facebook is not far behind.
So should you do?
Should you never use anything apart from Facebook groups for building your community?
I think when you’re just starting out, you can use Facebook. Because it’s free to use and you can leverage Facebook’s already present network to pull people in.
But as soon as you start seeing some engagement you can think of moving to another tool.
If you wait too long then bringing all the members of your current community to a new place may prove to be very difficult.
Also, know that you will have to work extra hard to establish your community on Mighty Network, Thinkific, Kajabi, Circle or New Zenler.
You need to take the additional effort of teaching people how to use these tools, why they’re better than Facebook and provide them with some incentive.
So, go ahead and start building your community and reap the benefits from it.
Best of luck 🙂