Facebook groups are a great way to build a community around your brand, product, or cause, but there are some big problems with them.
The first is that they’re owned by Facebook, which means that they could be shut down at any time. The second is that they’re not very user-friendly and can be difficult to navigate.
That’s why it’s a good idea to move your community to your own self-hosted forum or group on another platform. This will give you more control over your community and make it easier for your members to find what they’re looking for.
In this video, we’ll take a look at why you might want to move your community off Facebook groups and how to do it without losing all your members and engagement.
The benefits of being off of Facebook
- You own the space. This means that you can better control the experience and you’re not competing with things like ads, news, and spam accounts, among other things.
- Your new platform can be integrated with your courses, so if someone has a question, they can ask it right in the same place.
- Having some organization of information could prevent the same questions from coming up all the time. Win-win.
- It can be a safe space. You can keep it anonymous, or let people get to know each other in ways they may not be willing to do on Facebook.
CommunityAlly is a new AccessAlly add-on that has everything you need to connect your members to one another in an interconnected community. It allows you to create forums and groups where members can interact, right inside your offerings.
You can create Groups based on courses and modules. Members can view other members that are in the same Group. Members can Reply, Mention, and Favorite one another’s Posts.
CommunityAlly Groups are associated with AccessAlly Offerings (so no new accounts will have to be made!) and provide a way for your members to communicate with one another in public discussions.
There are 3 main components to a group: feed, members, and settings. Of these, feed and members are public tabs open to all members in the group while the settings component is private and only available to the group organizer.
There are also regular improvements and new features being introduced to CommunityAlly, allowing it to become more and more user-friendly.
You might change your mind about what features you want, so you need a platform that's flexible.
Get your own free demo sandbox account so you can experience the flexibility AccessAlly has to offer.
How do I get people to move over?
This step can be tricky – it can be done well, or it could flop.
The benefit of moving your group to CommunityAlly with your AccessAlly courses is that it’s not “yet another place to login”, because they are already logging in there.
- It’s all about how you approach it and position it: you need to market the switch as if it were a new product, because it is.
- It’s more about the experience of transitioning and getting them excited about the move away from Facebook – not about bashing Facebook.
- Let people know your reasons for the move, what benefits there are for them, and give them lead time to the transition.
- Communicate through different channels such as through email or the Facebook group itself. You could even do a Facebook live to show how the new community works and how to use it.
- When it’s time to make the switch – you can decide if you want a transition period or if you will go cold turkey. Either way is fine, as long as you have a firm date for the last Facebook group activity.
- Finally, close the Facebook group for further discussions but leave it open so people know where the new community group has transferred (plus old links are there).
- Plan to send more emails to your members showing them some of the best discussions from the community. It may take a bit of time to get people used to engaging in the new space, but if they see what they’re missing – they’ll jump in.
- Remind people they are not creating a new account. It’s already on their membership site account with their offering.
Have you moved from Facebook or another community platform and had success? Share your tips below!