Using Facebook to promote a community

(MHCommMgr) #1

Continuing the discussion from [31 October] What are you working on this week?:

so @James_McMahon

Have I engaged my audience in the process of building this community?
No, because our Facebook audience is really small and the community has been around much longer

Have you described the value proposition that this community will provide away from Facebook?
No, and this is a great question. Right now I don’t have an answer but figuring that out would help!

Does your community show signs that it is able to deliver on that value prop?
Again, since this relates to above, something to work on.

Are you giving a clear, easy call to action?
I think so, here’s what we posted this past Sunday, and I’m creating my post for this weekend today.

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Help others with #Type2 #diabetes choose between-meal munchies for National #DiabetesMonth. Click the link to share your faves in our communities!

(Sarah Hawk) #2

So for clarity, your current Facebook efforts are doing ok, but you’re looking for ways to bring that audience across to your existing community platform, is that correct?

(MHCommMgr) #3

We’re currently building up Facebook; the audience is very small. We’re experimenting with paid boosts that link to our communities, to see if these will drive people who are interested in our topic area (which Facebook allows me to sort for) to our communities.

So far all it’s done is increase our FB followers (which isn’t a bad thing since the audience is small; in fact, we decided to test this for that very reason). Perhaps we have to build up the Facebook persona in order to get people over to our patient-to-patient communities. At any rate, we’re refining the CTA in the Facebook post now based on this feedback, and I’m also thinking about value props for that audience.

(Suzi Nelson) #4

Hi! Quick clarifying quesiton - are you running Facebook ads that link to your community or are you creating posts (and/or boosted posts) on your Facebook page to drive people to your community?

(Rob Nicholson) #5

This topic is interesting. CAMRA, a UK beer, cider & pubs consumer organisation, has a demographic that is 40+ upwards by majority but does have a lot of younger members.

CAMRA itself never really got social media so it set-up a basically push-only extended marketing page where one can only comment on official topics.

So not surprisingly, a member set-up an unofficial CAMRA Facebook group where anyone can post whatever they want. Needless to say, the unofficial Facebook group is right hoot with posts every day about anything and everything. The official CAMRA Facebook page is dead and stuffy.

Occasionally an important debate will kick off on Facebook that gets a lot of flash-comments but due to the nature of Facebook, will wither and sink down the timeline after a few days. On occasion, I’ve created a mirror topic on Discourse and posted a link suggesting that Facebook isn’t the best place to discuss this complex topic over time and that people should carry on over there.

Totally failed to have any real impact!


(Richard Millington) #6

I’d ask what is the extra value the Discourse community brings to the discussion? You’re essentially telling a group of people having a good discussion to have it somewhere where they are less familiar. I think that’s going to be a tough ask.

This might help too:

(Rob Nicholson) #7

Longevity… some debates in CAMRA rage on for years and certainly weeks. Facebook is useless for that. Also the same topics come up again and again - it’s very handy to be able to refer back to the previous debate.

Later… just read the link and it concurs with this:

  1. Play to a forum’s strengths. Focus on deeper discussions around answers

I only tend to suggest moving to Discourse from Facebook when it’s clear the topic needs deeper discussion.

But I suspect one is trying to fight against the tidal wave and for a majority of discussions, Facebook will always win.

(MHCommMgr) #8

The latter.

(Suzi Nelson) #9

It can be hard to get people to take an action that they see as risky if that audience is “cold” (ie, they have never heard of you or your brand before). It could be that signing up for your community is too big of an ask, so they are instead liking your Facebook page because that’s not as big of a commitment.

Two questions:

Who are you targeting when you boost your posts (using Facebook’s targeting options)?
What is the copy of your posts? I’m happy to take a look and see if anything sticks out.

(MHCommMgr) #10

We are targeting people interested in type 2 diabetes awareness (and various related topics on Facebook, since our community is for those with Type 2), of both genders, in the US, in the age range that’s the target for our diabetes tracking app.

Here is the one we’re currently running: How do you love to get active with your family or friends? Click to share your top ways to exercise as a group in our #diabetes #type2 community! The fall favorite: a Thanksgiving game of football. #DiabetesMonth

(Suzi Nelson) #11

Facebook advertising is hard for health-related issues - people aren’t as willing to like, comment or click because they sometimes don’t want their friends and family to know about these issues (Facebook and other related social media is notorious for users only wanting to represent their “best selves” to the world). That could be one thing coming into play here.

Consider “solution-based” ad platforms, like Google AdWords or Youtube. People use these platforms to find solutions to problems or direct answers to questions. I’m sure you could find some cool way to promote your community there, if you havent looked into this already.

For Facebook, if you have the budget, try this:

Create a piece of content like a video or a blog post that is super valuable to your target audience. Maybe take one of your most discussed topics in your forum and turn it into content (like “Top 5 Healthy Snacks For Type 2 Diabetes” or something like that) and boost it to that desired target audience. Put a Facebook tracking pixel on the blog post. This lets you create a custom audience that you know are specifically interested in Type 2 Daibetes recipes, because they clicked on your post.

Run a retargeting ad to that custom audience that promotes your community’s discussion of the recipes. You are now sending an ad directly to people who have expressed interest in your topic and they have seen your brand before (your blog). Because they are more familiar with your brand and what you have to say, they will theorhetically be much more likely to click through on your offer.

Alternatively, take a look at your current boosted post. Are people clicking through and then dropping off? It might be your page. If they arent taken directly to the content you’re mentioning and able to easily contribute, you wont see much from your ad. Work on optimizing what that experience is like, because a confused mind will never take action.

I hope this helps!!

(MHCommMgr) #12

Thanks, this is all great advice to try!