How to use facebook to service my community.
October 17, 2007 4:29 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to unite an existing (real world) community using

I and three other business partners dispense financial advise. We offer live trainings and offer various products and newsletters. We have 5000+ subscribers and readers but no real 'interactive community' to speak of. It strikes me that might be a great way to bring together many of these people in one place because they're already there. I've created a facebook group and people are joining but it seems pointless. I feel like I would be much better off to link people to me (a profile) and push out information via newsfeed.

I'm new to facebook. Should I continue to use the group? Should I focus on a building one personal profile (representing all of us)? Or, should I do something else?
posted by nicknd23 to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You have to to read the Facebook policies but I am pretty sure that they only allow profiles for individuals and are pretty good at catching non-human accounts. Additionally they only allow you to have a certain number of friends (I think I may have read 2000 friends).

A group is definately a way to go. I am investigating Facebook and other social networking sites and this is what I came up with:
MySpace - Younger crowd - 13-20
Facebook - College Age - 16-27
Linkedin - Professionals - 22-up

So depending on your organization keep that in mind.
posted by aurigus at 4:41 PM on October 17, 2007

Maybe consider developing a Facebook App. Provide the right incentive for people to install the app and it will take off like a wildfire!

Capitalizing on Facebook isn't easy though but as a smaller organization maybe it won't be so bad if it fails. There's a pretty big backlash from users if it's too "corporate" because people feel a sense of ownership when they get on a social network to not be bombarded with ads or people trying to peddle their wares.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2007

PWA_BadBoy: There's a pretty big backlash from users if it's too "corporate" because people feel a sense of ownership when they get on a social network to not be bombarded with ads or people trying to peddle their wares.

This is pretty much the reason almost everyone I know has abandoned Myspace. Too many ads, too much spam, too corporate. (I personally abandonned it because it's ugly and works like shit, but YMMV)
posted by loiseau at 5:41 PM on October 17, 2007

Response by poster: It looks like facebook is starting to open up and allow more corporate stuff. In our case, for this group, corporate would not be a bad thing. Our seminar attendees would love somewhere to come together online so it's not as if we're 'springing corporate' on them.
posted by nicknd23 at 7:09 PM on October 17, 2007

You can actually host something of your own and make it configurable. This way you don't have the overhead of Facebook, and you can tailor it however you want. A friend of mine did this with "Social Engine". Maybe give that a look?
posted by milqman at 7:26 PM on October 17, 2007

I think the Facebook group was the right direction to go. It has all the functionality you probably need, so it boils down to getting people to use them. The groups allow you to send a message to all members if you're the admin, you have a full bulletin board to start discussions, and the wall. Then just use their Events feature for specific events, and invite all members of the group.
posted by spiderskull at 7:29 PM on October 17, 2007

Second the Facebook group idea. However, to really build the group you will need some sort of event as a catalyst. You could try hosting a webinar or webcast of some sort, but make the information on how to access the webcast available via the group. The more folks you can direct to the group, the better. But aiming for 1% of those 5000 subscribers might be a realistic initial milestone to aim for.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 PM on October 17, 2007

I'm late, but maybe this can still help. Just beware of some of Facebook's limitations. Check out this post by a musician that was using Facebook for connecting with his fans.
posted by coreb at 9:47 PM on October 21, 2007

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