A couple of weeks ago Facebook admitted what many marketers had suspected: organic Facebook traffic is dropping. Along with this admission, Facebook has now positioned fan acquisition as an opportunity to make paid advertising on their platform more effective. So in essence, marketing teams have spent hours and hours creating content, getting loyal fans, and now they are being told they need to pay to communicate with them.
Time for A Community
It’s hard to begrudge Facebook for trying to keep their shareholders happy, but at the same time, it also reveals one of the major shortcomings of the platform. Facebook certainly has it’s place in your community building strategy but if you put all your eggs in the Facebook basket, you might end stuck in a position of ransom. Having your own community is the only way to go forward if you want to build a meaningful long term relationship with your fans, followers and customers.
Supplementing Your Facebook Presence
Facebook is a great place - though increasingly expensive - to connect with customers and find prospects using viral campaigns. A branded community is a great place for customers and fans to have meaningful exchanges while building a valuable asset that you own. The best way to move forward is to leverage Facebook, to help you build a stronger community on your domain, and not tying your customers to it.
This is not to say one should abandon Facebook. Social networks, will always have a place in your marketing plan, but it should not be the primary solution for engagement. If you are looking to truly build a community or to connect deeper, you should spend your energy (and money) on solutions that help build your brand and traffic, not on a platform that restricts your communication.
Vanilla Forums offers a cloud based solution that can work in conjunction with your current Facebook presence. With social sign-on, social sharing, badges and granular permissions, Vanilla Forums completes your social media strategy. Try Vanilla Forums Cloud Solution free for 30-days.