A while back, this screenshot appeared on my Facebook feed.
MoneySavingExpert (a former client) is promoting a forum post (note: promoting forum posts via social media is a good idea).
It’s interesting that there are 77 comments on the Facebook post compared with just 53 on the forum post it’s promoting.
So why not simply post discussions on Facebook and do away with the forum?
The answer is in the quality of comments. Most respondents on Facebook probably didn’t read the forum post (or they would reply in the forum instead of returning to Facebook?). This shows in the quality of discussions. They’re generally more emotive and antagonistic.
The posts in the forum however are more considered and helpful.
Compare the above with the posts below.
The extra friction that a forum demands (registering/logging in, clicking the title that interests you, and reading the post) creates a far greater exchange of quality information.
If engagement is all you want, Facebook might be a great tool for that.
But if you want an exchange of quality information, forums, and hosted community platforms are usually much, much, better.