Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by DannyCutts, May 11, 2015.
Facebook groups are killing my forum :-(
WHat are you guys doing to help keep up with Faceache?
Nothing... Facebook isn't killing my forum.
Well the rise of facebook groups has had a huge impact on mine. ...
People rather post on Facebook. ..
@DannyCutts - what is your site URL?
Interesting - looks like a trade-based forum aimed primarily at tradespeople / businesses? I'm curious as to how you've concluded that Facebook (a generally 'personal' social space) has had such an impact on your forum?
I notice you moved to XF in late March - is the when you've seen a big change or were things running down before then?
Honestly there is not much you can do about it. It's just the changing of times. Unique and quality content is all that you can really do to be honest.
Agree, but I believe that this is a relative short term issue.
We were fairly immune to the impact of FB up until about a year ago. However I am already watching groups take a toll on each other. FB groups fracture communities which then further fracture themselves as personalities clash and someone feels they can create a new group (with the same content goal) better. Every day, another competing group with the same content appears. I just can't see that as sustainable.
FB's strength is in its convenience and its weakness is its content transience. In comparison, I believe a forums strength is its persistent content and volume of visitors.
Trying to find an informative "thread" in one of the plethora of FB groups in our sector is a nightmare because FB controls the order and visibility of the content. One day its there, the next minute, you can't find it . So while FB is constantly hosing out new noise to keep its users attention, my forums enjoy strong search engine results and a steady stream of new blood.
Finally, though I haven't looked to heavily into this, I believe FB users are aging. Demographics < 25 are in decline (while those over 55 are growing). My kids and their friends have no interest in having their group post liked by granny and gramps. And they are the internet majority of the future.
10 years ago, forums were the only decent way to engage each other. Now FB is. Tomorrow, something else will be. Its that next one I am more concerned with
What do your stats show? A steady decline over the past year or more? If so, that is called Panda. Panda is all about showing current and current discussed topics, content that is being discussed and linked in social media. Google has near but kicked a whole lot of old content to the curb, realising it is wasting result space versus what is being linked and discussed around the web.
If you want to get around Panda, the best way is to use something that is dripping automated posts into social networks and blogs, periodically dropping a link to the actual thread page, at times the home page.
That one method alone, when done sparingly and replicates your threads being discussed like a natural pattern, the occasional bump for a thread as though its really interesting, is Panda proof.
(No, I'm not going into detail. Too many options on how it can be done. Google such services!)
Well said. I've had people come from FB groups to my forum, for this reason. FB is full of people with no idea how to run communities, and thus they fall apart very quickly, just like most start-up forums when in the wrong hands.
...and there's and addon that import fb group posts on xenforo... but it's from a banned developer.
Thanks for the replies. We are the industry leader in our sector... have been since 2006 and and we have traffic increases each year...
There are 2 prominent FB groups in our sector and they started 3 months ago in those 3 months we have seen the numbers of daily posts decline. I follow both the groups and I see a lot of people posting on them instead... Yes we pick up a lot of search traffic but a community needs to be active and when the local members start noticing that less and less is being posted it spirals.
I dont like facebook and I notice a lot of personal profiles people dont post much but in the groups they are a hive of activity but how do we go against them?
We use fb to drive traffic to the forum and also to a news site as well and we actually have quite a good social media strategy in place but I need to get more people posting...
We have about 200 people on the forum at any one time but they dont seem to want to post... We are trying to encourage people to upload photos to teh site but they seem to rather do that on FB as well...
The news site thankfully is very busy and may just pick up the slack but I am seeing the same on car/bike forums as well...
I hope fb fails and people realise how great forums are... but who knows...
There is no magic bullet, you need the same strategy you had when first starting your forum. Work on generating engaging, compelling content.
Its like owning a cafe, trying to entice people who just got their fill from over the road. They may poke their head in, but they won't be hungry. You need to take that opportunity to tempt them. Show them how much better your menu is. Show how much more filling and long lasting your dishes are. Then they will be more tempted to eat at yours next time their tummy rumbles..
Exactly... and you have to keep changing things up nowadays to give them reason to keep coming back. When you stagnate, your community stagnates.
and what do you think about importing some content from fb groups on xenforo?
without missing the point that good content is the king!
Get out there and engage them on Facebook then. It's part of what I do daily. Maybe I don't see what I'm doing in the same way as others, as I class my forum as a community which extends beyond the confines of my website's forum, and in to the social media sites too. I have some members of my "community" who are not registered on the forum that I only interact with on Facebook - but that hasn't stopped them from occasionally browsing the site, joining us on events and genuinely feeling involved.
Accept that some people just prefer Facebook than forums, otherwise you will go mad. Here is some of what I do daily on Facebook.
I have my own Facebook group with currently 372 members and growing which is targeted directly at my niche. I get new members from it, and I get to post as many links as I like.
I'm incredibly active on other groups, and usually ask the admins if they mind me posting links. I also feed in useful & relevant links in reply to questions. If those admins organise stuff via Facebook they come and post it up on my forum which is a real win-win.
I became so active on one, flagging spam posts and helping others I got asked to admin on the page. That has 4k+ members, and a much wider reach than my own.
Speak to other page admins as it's usually not the same "them and us" rivalry that you get between competing forums.
I have friends/members who are willing to post up links from my site as well, so it's not me all the time doing it.
Facebook really isn't the enemy that people think it is!
You missed an opportunity to get in first then... I did as well with a couple of groups that started up a while ago, and I seriously kicked myself in the butt for not thinking about it first!
It won't. You are dealing with different demographics of people. Those who do forums, and those who do Facebook. There is a third though, which is those who do both!
I'm in that niche, and my site is growing out of all proportions in the last 6 months. 15 months ago we were doing up to 2k posts a month, and now we are between 5k & 6k per month.
Good topic and very interesting all the opinions.
I loathe facebook, I don't have any integration, button, anything.
Thinking about use this image in my sidebar:
No one's killing anyone. It's just that your forum needs to be more badass than the top FB group.
Modern social networking has had an impact on forum popularity for a long time now. And it makes sense too. Forums have developed a bad reputation for being clique-y and having nazi 14 year-old staff teams (etc).
Forums these days are difficult to get started unless it's a support forum for a product or service where there is a specific need for a forum.
It's not like the days of the 90's where people used forums as their primary means of being part of an online community - modern social networking has surpassed forums in that respect. (not saying that's a good thing, but it's true).
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