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How active can I expect to get?

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Aluna, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Aluna

    Aluna New Member

    I'm considering encouraging my 3600+ members of a very active facebook group to a Xenforo installation to provide them with more features, options and a community feel.

    I'm concerned about a couple of issues;

    • Facebook users seem to be very immediate stimulation seeking based on the endless short responses I've seen between my users. Especially because a good amount of content in the group comes from social media pictures and videos that of course is not as appealing in a forums design.
    • I've checked tons and tons of forum communities (running Xenforo and other software) and they all seem to be very dead. Apart from the major big boards that already have massive communities, most regular sized forums get less than a handful of new threads everyday.
    I do run a pretty popular blog with about 3,000 unique hits a day I could use to send some to the community, but still I'm doubtful. What are your thoughts on the matter? Are there any average sized communities (100 to 1000 members) that get a lot of activity?

    Maybe I'm basing my expectations on the activity of forums in my experience of using forum communities in the pre-social media days.
  2. Teapot

    Teapot Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, this is pretty much a "how long is a piece of string" question. It depends on so many different factors, I could never even guess.

    Basically, there's an inherent risk in trying to take a Facebook audience off of Facebook, because you lose a lot of the convenience that makes Facebook so popular. So the thing to ask yourself and your users is whether they'd be happy to move to a different platform - a separate bookmark or tab or thing to remember to look at, a thing they have to break out of Facebook to see. In my experience, that's the reason forums aren't so popular anymore - so many online interactions are centralised or semi-centralised now, either on Facebook itself, or Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, etcetera etcetera. There have been people trying to get XenForo working in a Facebook Page iframe, but I don't know how to do that or how well it works

    You're absolutely right that modern social media users enjoy short-form media a lot more than anything long-form these days... hence the success of Instagram and Vine, hence the success of Twitter. I think XenForo can work for that, though - you can expose the Recent Activity page more, for example, to showcase a "news feed".

    Overall, I think it's a matter of education - if you can convince your users to use XenForo, and keep grabbing their attention on Facebook, you may be able to convince enough people to hop over that it's worth it. But really, you need know what they want - what features of Facebook Groups are vital to their participation in your community, and what can be translated to, or done better by XenForo. Only then can you know whether it's worth a switch.
    Aluna likes this.
  3. Rigel Kentaurus

    Rigel Kentaurus Well-Known Member

    Pretty low I'll say

    Facebook style response
  4. Rigel Kentaurus

    Rigel Kentaurus Well-Known Member

    Funny. I saw some people go the other way around, they literally closed their community and migrated to be 100% on a Facebook group.

    Their rational was that all people are there anyway, and that they are about the community, not about the software, so they could continue the discussion on a Facebook group as good as it can happen in a forum. I can't speak about results just yet, I can only say that the group definitely does not look more active, and that information is way harder to locate. I think Facebook does not provide enough functionality that you would be able to quickly find something to reply to, who replied to you, etc.

    So, that is something that you would have going on by having a XenForo installation. The other thing that you would be providing is an identity. Chatting on Facebook does not provide a "common ground" that people feel they belong to, that sense of belonging to a particular community, even if it is a Facebook Group, it is still "Facebook".

    The main challenges that I have seen from people migrating from Facebook or Twitter is that they are so inclined to keep answering on one liners, when the forum is about a much richer discussion. I don't know how to fix this, I have tried suggesting people that they write longer posts, but not with great success ...

    The other issues is returning users. The main advantage that you have on Facebook is that people are there anyways. They get alerts from the group if they opt to, this would be one more site that they need to remember to open and sadly a lot of people won't.
    Aluna and Walter like this.
  5. Aluna

    Aluna New Member

    Appreciate your response Teapot. I haven't heard of the XenForo working in a Facebook Page iframe idea before (I will research this). I have a pretty good idea of the needs of this community, so I will need to weigh things up at the moment. So far mentioning the idea to the group has created a lot of excitement, however, a part of me can't help but think that this will be short-lived because the idea is novel. What I'm really concerned about is the long-term enthusiasm and excitement and how that will translate on Xenforo.
  6. Aluna

    Aluna New Member

    Funnily enough that is exactly what I have been researching: trying to replicate a social media/Facebook-like experience on Xenforo. Seeing how many responses in this Facebook group are one-liners is worrying: how will that translate onto a forum that requires a lot more? Are people ready, or actually able, to do that? Thank you for providing a fair examination of both these mediums!
  7. Liam W

    Liam W Well-Known Member

    Any length you choose, and I choose a few seconds.

    That is generally my response to that stupid statement...
  8. wedgar

    wedgar Well-Known Member

    What can you offer to your users that has more appeal and/or features than Facebook has for your group?

    My average forum member does not use Facebook and is somewhat gun-shy about Facebook's privacy concerns. My user base is probably 40's and older.
    Aluna likes this.
  9. Alex - A2Hosting

    Alex - A2Hosting Active Member

    Teapot and Aluna like this.
  10. Aluna

    Aluna New Member

    I love that idea - thank you for the links - I'll check it out and send an update soon.
  11. Da Bookie Mon

    Da Bookie Mon Well-Known Member

    With 1.4 becoming much more social friendly. I plan to start working on my app listed above again.
  12. tommydamic68

    tommydamic68 Well-Known Member

    I think it also depends on what your Facebook group is about. I have 7000+ members on my Xenforo forum and my "name" presence is very well known on Facebook as well as other social networks, in fact, when I first started my forum in 2009 most of the members had come from Facebook.

    I have very rich content on my forum that has been compiled over the years, useful content, not one liners or images that serve useless after the first viewing of them. If you were one to search Google and search for info on my specific forums subject - I am generally #1 in the search criteria on Google. So my forum does what it was intended to do, it's a forum where you can go and retrieve good content, information if you will. If your " information" is useless, one liners or a bunch of YouTube videos and images, it probably will be short lived or have very low activity.

    With that being said, again, depending on what your Facebook group is about, does it need or will it utilize what a forum does and was intended to do? Will your forum collect useful information/ content that will be served up well in search engines? Will your content attract people who have interest and need answers about what your forum or group is about?

    Until Xenforo or any forum software becomes 100% mobile like Tapatalk ( but hopefully better then Tapatalk ) it will never compare to what social media websites have become- 100% mobile functionality. Don't get me wrong, with add ons and small core perks, it can surely have a community "feel" as my forum does, but it's the mobile aspect, that's what people like " right now" that they will use due to its ease of use and functionality on their mobile phones and iPads.

    Until a forum software transitions itself to being 100% mobile friendly as social media websites have become it will always be just that, a forum.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    RAHSTYLES Active Member

    I think your tryjng to compete with fb.. I had the same problem... they wont like it necause fb users are fb users.. its way too convinient for them to use the fb app and even though the forum has mobile view it will be too slow for them .. tapatalk is good but they dont integrate addons so it kind of sucks
    tommydamic68 likes this.
  14. tommydamic68

    tommydamic68 Well-Known Member

    Agreed 100% - Facebook users are Facebook. Some will venture to your forum just for useful info and some hang out because they like the community feel. Tapatalk sucks in many ways but the majority of my users utilize it unfortunately and I would take a hit if I removed it.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 5.03.53 PM.png

    RAHSTYLES Active Member

    Nice how did u get that graph?
  16. tommydamic68

    tommydamic68 Well-Known Member

    Google Analytics.
    RAHSTYLES likes this.

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