Why we’re making a move from our Closed Facebook Group to the Be Strong Forums
Right from when we first set up Be Strong, I was convinced that using a Facebook group was the best way to develop our online Community. Nearly 4 years down the line I realise it was a huge mistake.
It’s mainly related to mindset and distractions and I’ll try my best to explain it.
My current daily routine on my iPhone is this: –
Facebook | Insta | Facebook Pages | LinkedIn | Rightmove | Be Strong
I check Facebook, Insta, FB Pages and LinkedIn for a general catch up. Rightmove because I’m considering moving house. Be Strong to use the Meal Tracker and help people out in the discussion forums.
I go on Rightmove, and for the time I’m on there, I’m completely focused with checking what’s new on the market, has been reduced in price – plus the ones I’m waiting to show a price reduction! My mindset is in the right place and I’m not distracted.
It’s the same when I’m on Be Strong – totally focused with no distractions.
Why we chose Facebook at the start
We knew that there was lots of you already on there, so accessibility and ease were two boxes that were immediately ticked off. Plus, there’s a Facebook app which makes it really easy to use on mobile.
Notifications are built in so participation is promoted, on a casual basis at least. Finally, it was pretty easy to setup, especially when compared with a forum which has significant tech obstacles to overcome.
Then we started to change our minds
The main reason was that there are so many distractions on Facebook!
You come on and see something interesting from Be Strong. But, before you had a chance to consider, or research it, you’re off looking at who Boris Johnson has upset today or watching a video of a sleeping cat falling off a window sill!
There’s so much distraction on Facebook and it’s designed to be that way. It’s a Social Network!
Why we switched the Facebook Group to a Private Forum
Facebook is a massive mountain of distraction! I know we’ve been on there for something specific, and within seconds we can’t remember why we’re there!
One of the biggest reasons our members fail in achieving their goals is DISTRACTION.
- We try and get MOTIVATED then we become DISTRACTED!
- We try and find COMMITMENT then we become DISTRACTED!
- We try to be DEDICATED then we become DISTRACTED!
- We try to make SACRIFICES then we become DISTRACTED!
What kind of leadership are we demonstrating if we build our community, surrounded by all that DISTRACTION, when one of the major benefits of your Be Strong membership is the COMMUNITY? Just because it was easier isn’t good enough!
It makes no sense at all, it’s hypocritical.
In a Facebook environment, our members might not necessarily be in the right mindset for learning about lifestyle change, or weight loss.
In a forum environment, we’re free from all that distraction. Plus, to even be there, one would need to be in the learning mindset. In other words, a member is there for a purpose.
We think members will get far more out of the Be Strong community this way, rather than putting this kind of stuff into the same mix with cat memes!
- Easy to search for information and previous discussions
- Automated access – no having to manually approve or remove members
- Better categorisation of topics and posts
- Fully focused on Be Strong’s resources and tools
- Members are there specifically to talk about Be Strong
It’s a change for now, we understand that. Please try and embrace it by giving the forums a go – why not start by saying hello here?
Other reasons why we made the switch
Facebook is testing and will be ramping up the ability for advertisers to target Facebook groups. This means we will begin to see sponsored posts inside Facebook groups. We’ve already seen sponsored posts for miracle pills and shakes at the end of some of our Facebook videos!!
Facebook’s mission is to determine what it is you most engage with and then show you more of that.
The result is that conversations inside our private member community may not actually be seen by our members.
Now, couple this with the fact that Facebook is centred around the News Feed and all the distraction therein. Point is…. our members will not necessarily see any conversations happening in our group.
Really Rubbish Search Function
Facebook does have a search function but it really is pants! All of our really valuable and useful content, generated by you, our members, is useless – because you can never find it again!
It’s a Manual Process
When we add a new member we have no way of knowing if that member is actually a member of Be Strong or not. Facebook identities are often not the same as real life ones.
How do we know that ‘Martin Andrew’ is really ‘Martin Smith’ but he uses his middle name as a surname on Facebook as he’s a school teacher?
When people join the Be Strong, we have to ask them (often many times) to request access to the group manually. Then, we have to approve it manually. If the person cancels later, we have to manually remove them from the group. This makes additional work for everybody, even with just a few hundred members. Imagine if we were ever lucky enough to break into 4 figures!