What Online Community Managers Can Learn from Facebook Communities - dummies

What Online Community Managers Can Learn from Facebook Communities

By Deborah Ng

Blogs, brands, businesses, and individuals all use Facebook fan or “like” pages to grow an online community. Facebook’s Share and Like buttons, as well as the ability to upload videos, drop links, and comment on content, allow members to interact, too. Even lurkers can click a button to show approval without having to commit to making a full-fledged comment.

What these successful Facebook communities demonstrate is that people will come out on behalf of a brand, if the brand is engaging, and members can share in fun and interesting ways.

Notice the ways other brands are using Facebook pages and use them as an example in shaping your own Facebook content:

  • By creating a fan page, you’re telling customers or followers that you appreciate their feedback.

  • By allowing feedback, you’re making your customers feel that they have a say in product or business decisions.

  • By allowing members to share stories, tips, links, videos, cartoons, and anything else that’s relevant or interesting to the community, you’re telling them that it’s their community, too.

  • By allowing likes and shares, you’re not only giving members an opportunity to bring nonmembers into the conversation, but you’re also letting them take partial credit for discovering and sharing something that’s clever or funny, even if they’re not the ones who created that content in the first place.

Members invest major chunks of time in their favorite online groups and causes. How boring would it be if a community wasn’t so interactive and all you (as members) did was read someone’s opinion or story without the ability to remark or share that content?

The appeal of Facebook groups is that they do more than allow members to be part of a conversation. They allow them to create content and even share their approval, even if it’s only to give a thumbs up.

When you see Facebook communities positively engaging, think about your own community’s engagement and interactivity. Some things to note are how one-sided content rarely gets a response. By leaving open-ended, engaging content, readers can’t help but respond.