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The top 6 problems facing business using social media platforms for businesses like yours and what you can do about it

We recently conducted research with over 200 community and social media managers looking at the reasons why they had or were considering moving to an independent community app platform. These are the results of that research and solutions:

1. Having the community spread across multiple platforms resulting in poor communication 33%
2. Lacking ways to monetise and commercialise the community 18%
3. Struggling to compete with the noise and get control on social media 10%
4. Facing lower and lower content views 6%
5. Decreasing trust in social media 5%
6. Experiencing poor engagement levels 6%

1. Having the community spread across multiple platforms resulting in poor communication

Many realise that it’s impossible to build a real community if your followers are spread across multiple social platforms, none of which are focused on your brand and none of which optimised for communication. The alternative is to use social media to feed members into a dedicated community (app-based or otherwise) where you can communicate directly to build real bonds and loyalty around your passion

“Customers say that their life is made a lot easier by bringing everything into once centralised space” – Owen Pickrell, Community Specialist

Useful articles:
How to choose the right community platform
6 Facebook alternatives for brands that need effective online communities

2. Lacking ways to monetise and commercialise the community

It takes effort and time to build a community, so if it’s going to be more than a hobby, hosts have to be able to get value and profit back out. With no subscriptions or in-app purchases, big social media platforms just aren’t designed for this. The ideal community platform should have simple low barrier methods to payment so that hosts can unlock the value in high-quality content.

“Not all our customers want to monetise their community, but many do because it’s the best way to turn their passion into profit.” – Pavel Gertsberg, Head of Growth

Useful articles:
Social media monetisation strategy for your brand
Five easy ways to monetise your community app
Social media monetisation: everything you need to know

3. Struggling to compete with the noise and get control on social media

Community managers are competing with cat photos, news and increasing numbers of competitors’ ads. And social media companies continue to make arbitrary changes and ban groups and pages because of the content that members are posting. Moving the community away from social media into a focused community space directs attention to the purpose of the community and puts control directly into the community managers’ hands reducing the risks.

“When people download a community app it’s an intentional act, it’s very different from the passive read and click of social media” – Owen Pickrell, Community Specialist

Useful articles:
5 types of online community that should leave Facebook groups right now
Facebook community standards on content (Facebook)
Pages, Groups and Events Policies (Facebook)

4. Facing lower and lower content views

The shift towards a pay per view model for big social means few and fewer organic views. Respondents were questioning why they create content if nobody can see it and nobody knows it’s being published. In turn, this made many question the return on investment for social media and the increased need for post boosting reduced ability to predict the value of organic content. This has increased the appeal of paid platforms with push notifications and fixed costs.

“Having a predictable flat fee and a better understanding of member viewing patterns helps customers with long-term business planning” – Kathia Rud, Community Specialist

Useful articles:
20 Secrets That’ll Boost Your Facebook Organic Reach (NeilPatel.com)
How We Grew Our Organic Reach 185% on Facebook (Hubspot)

5. Experiencing poor engagement levels

Many of our customers realise that genuine engagement isn’t just a few people clicking Like on Instagram or Facebook. The auto-suggested comments on now appearing platforms like Linkedin are little better than likes. Real engagement is about actively commenting, posting photos and getting emotionally involved in the brand. This can be seen in user-generated content, idea suggestions, and frequent logins to the community.

“I watch people on Instagram automatically liking every single post and realise why our community hosts want real engagement” – Bob Cook, Disciple Marketing Team

Useful articles:
7 tips to boost your Facebook Page engagement
How can I increase Facebook group engagement?

6. Decreasing trust in social media

After a series of scandals, users and members are getting wary of the way big social uses and protects data. This is understandable with data breaches affecting 400 million Facebook users, 150 million Linkedin users, almost 50 million Instagram users. It is generally easier for members to trust an independent branded platform. This is because the host has taken legal responsibility for the data, privacy policies are more transparent and the scope of data collected in narrower by being limited to the individual community. This is in comparison to the combination of platform, website, ad tracking and location tracking used in Facebook for example.

“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices” – FTC Chairman Joe Simons

Useful links:
How to protect your privacy on Facebook (The Verge)

Other reasons

We’ve seen communities move for a variety of other reasons, some of which were quite specific to the platforms of communities. Some of our customers found that their Facebook groups were attacked by misogynistic or racist trolls, and that these were extremely unpleasant and time-consuming to deal with. Customers have also mentioned the need to create a distance between social media profiles and members on sensitive topics. For example, in a group discussing incontinence or harassment in the workplace, would members want their social media profile to be one click away.

The solution – use an independent community platform

For these reasons, an increasing number of businesses are adopting independent community platforms (Disciples and others). As social media continues to move away from community building towards ad-based revenue models we expect to see this trend continue.

We’ve built a platform that is designed to solve these issues by giving you a noise-free independent community. One that offers high member engagement and views, in a space that the host controls and can profit from.

Arrange a demo or a chat below to see if the Disciple platform is the right solution for you