One of the draws to hosting an online community on Facebook is that it’s free. However, Facebook may not be the best option for many first time communities, for multiple reasons. Here are the 6 hidden dangers you should be aware of:
1- Not topical.
Facebook was designed to focus on individual people, not topics, which is why running a community on FB feels clunky and hard to manage.
2- Lack of ownership.
If Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, so would all the members of your community. FB is not a reliable place to host your community as things may change quickly with little to no warning.
Facebook has a generic design. You can customize a few things, but it’s still clear that it’s a FB group.
4- High Distraction.
Facebook doesn’t have a daily or weekly digest that’s mobile optimized. Yes, people can log into Facebook on their phones and navigate to your group, but the chances of the person getting distracted by a cute cat video on the way to your group page are high.
5- Multiple Steps.
Hosting your community on Facebook means that your follower has to leave your website and go somewhere else to find the community. Adding that extra step, reduces engagement on your actual site and it increases the chances that the person will get lost along the way.
6- Lack of control.
Everything on Facebook runs on an algorithm that favors more engagement. This means if you make an important announcement, your community might not see it, if you happen to post it during a time where people aren’t logged in. Of course, your community members could always turn on notifications for your group, but that’s an extra step they have to go out of their way to take.
It’s easy to hop on the Facebook Group bandwagon, but doing so may actually jeopardize the health of your community. If you’re looking for free platforms to host your community that aren’t Facebook, check out this article!