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About Rich

  • Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard is also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. Richard's clients have included Google, AutoDesk, United Nations, Novartis, Wikipedia, Oracle, The World Bank, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Fidelity Investments, and many more. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

    e-mail: richard@feverbee.com
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twitter.com/benmason

Hey Rich,

Thanks for the post... Especially those numbers - very useful!

I think your overall point about Facebook versus the other community platforms is totally valid. But I'd caution against using Coke et al. as examples when they're not being managed as communities. They're being targeted with broadcast messages.

On www.facebook.com/cadburydairymilk we have over half active users. On other brand pages, we have much more.

Cheers,
B

Richard Millington

Can you share your data/insights. Would be interesting to have a counterpoint here.

Peter Davis

I'd take you one step further with that Rich, Facebook shouldn't even be considered a platform for building community at all. Period. Anyone who says they're building a community on Facebook just may be the worst Community Manager! Not to say that Facebook is useless, just useless as a platform for building your community. Now, if you've got a good platform already, using Drupal, Joomla, VBulletin, PHPBB, Pluck, Ning, BuddyPress, Teligent, Lithium, Jive etc..., then Facebook would serve really well as a promotion tool. It is a tool you can use to increase your audience, and recruit new members for your community. Your community members may even use Facebook as a tool to communicate with one another. But, if you're using it as your primary community platform, then you're just full of fail.

Ashley Ringrose

Agree with everything said but you need to understand that some brands/products would never attract the same audience (or close to it) to a dedicated community site. A forum is great for high interest things like movies, video games, sports, cars etc but for a brand of chocolate or hair product it's tough.

It's the word community, like viral, that is being miss-used.

twitter.com/musingvirtual

I'm curious what you think about the community building possibilities of Facebook groups, as opposed to pages. It's been my experience that the new groups can support a busy, active community, and the way that each person's 5 groups are displayed in the side bar now kind of does an end run around EdgeRank which has traditionally been one of the problems with Facebook (do your people even SEE your posts?)

Sadya

Are any of the present social media platforms, good as a community platforms? What about Linkedin groups? They are very limited options, you cannot customize the group but the level of engagement can be maintained.

Paul Aaron Travis

And what about the ownership/control of the community itself -- as in, could FB "turn you off" ?

Richard Becker

Hey Rich,

I always appreciate it someone sources material, but where did you get the idea that the research I was sourcing only measured likes? My understanding was that the firm measured several actions and not just clicks or even comments, but shares and all sorts of actions.

But more importantly, where did you get the idea that I thought Facebook wasn't an effective tool for building community? I manage several and find them very effective. My context was a bit different than your point. What I was demonstrating is that many companies are not using that platform effectively for that purpose.

Well, darn. I might have to follow my post up with some clarification.

Best,
Rich

Adi Gaskell

The thing is, for me the platform is irrelevant and we shouldn't get too hung up on which one we use.

What you need is a real purpose for your community. You need something that ties it all together and gives users a reason for being there.

If you don't have that then it doesn't matter which platform you use, you'll never have a community.

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