I am a firm believer that Facebook is not the place that your product community should live. I realize there are some positives — people are already on it, someone may stumble upon your group, etc. However, the cons outweigh the pros in my opinion.
The Cons of Using Facebook Groups
1. Some People Hate Facebook
And these opinions are only getting stronger as time goes on—especially among the developer audience. 15 million users have dropped Facebook since 2017, and the largest drop is among teens and millennials—your future or current users! By using Facebook for your community, you are excluding those users that do not have Facebook or who have chose to remove Facebook from their lives.
2. All your awesome SEO content is behind a login wall
Think about the things that are being discussed in your community (or in one you are hoping to build). It’s going to be a lot of “How do I do this?” or “Check out this awesome implementation I just completed.” Do you really want all that content and keywords to be ignored by search engines because it’s behind a login wall? Facebook does not care about your SEO and does not provide search results that will bring new customers to your website. Nothing in a Facebook Group is searchable on the internet.
3. It should be integrated with your product
Communities are a place for your users to get together and help each other and learn more about your product. Communities can help deflect support costs, increase product engagement & bring a wealth of knowledge for your product growth & roadmap. Depending on how your product is built (dashboard or not), your community should be integrated into your product. If you have a dashboard that has a Support tab, you should be listing the most recent community threads or a search box for someone to find what they need in your community instead of starting a support ticket.
4. Facebook Group features are limited
If you are running a Facebook Group now, I’m sure I could skip explaining this one and you would see it for yourself. If you are interested in knowing more about your members or awarding them custom badges and points for their contributions, that is not something Facebook supports. You can use their pre-defined badge system, but that is far from customizable and probably doesn’t make sense for your use case. You should be able to promote your most active customers to moderators or award custom badges, ranks & features to those that deserve it. You should be able to get targeted information from them that you can later search and filter by. Good luck filtering your members in Facebook by certain target markets or personas for any campaign work you might be doing.
What options do I have?
Thankfully, you have many options. We offer a robust Advocacy Platform with an integrated community through a WordPress implementation. As well as integrations with many top community platforms in our future product offering.
You can also take a look at Discourse, Vanilla Forums, Mighty Networks or a forum/community integration for your current website platform. And if you need help getting any of these solutions setup for your use case, we are just a quick communication away.