*This is not an attempt to sway anyone to join me, rather sharing my story and the reasoning behind my choices. Each business and individual has to do what is right for them.
I contemplated going Facebook free before spring 2017 for business and personal reasons.
Phase 1 – Leaving Facebook Groups
I was able to leave Facebook groups. I moved the Little Black Desk Society community off Facebook initially to Slack in April 2017 and finally to our home, Little Black Desk Academy in August 2017.
There are several reasons I wanted my business off Facebook.
- Using someone else’s platform for free leaves me subject to their whims. Why would I as a business owner let someone else dictate what works best for my business?
- Whether on a page or in a group Facebook uses the sidebar to promote similar businesses to your audience. Why would I as a business owner want my clients being marketed to with competitor information once join my group? I understand similar groups being shown in search results or as suggestions in your feed, but once someone is in your group I don’t agree with it. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts maybe across the street from each other but once you drive up there is a banner for donuts at the Starbucks drive-thru. Whether I’m using a digital or physical space the practice still applies.
- Facebook platform disrupts clients focus and productivity. It is designed to keep users on their platform for as long as possible using notifications and algorithm tweaks. This is not helpful for my clients, small business owners, who are using a group for intentional connections and conversations. They want to connect, share, and then go back to work. They are focused and productive women!
- I want to provide a community free of distractions, advertisements, spam comments, gossip, etc. for women of established businesses. A place where they could pop-in when they choose to start a conversation, learn something new, and cultivate relationships with other real business owners (not avatars or logos). A place that felt like a community where they are comfortable to open up and join in conversations because of the intentionally curated culture.
- Some might argue that Facebook is a great lead funnel for their business. My concerns are A) What is the cost to my business of creating content for a Facebook group versus my own membership platform? With my own membership site I get to control accessibility, but on
For these reasons I made the jump to move off Facebook knowing I would lose members. I would lose members for multiple reasons 1) resistance to change 2) new platform brings a new learning curve 3) free Facebook group vs paid Academy membership.
For me, the jump was worth it even if it takes longer to build the community due to it not being on Facebook and part of people’s existing behavior patterns.
It is worth it because I know the women want to be here in the Academy and truly connect with each other.
Share your thoughts about groups, membership sites, and online communities.
- What do you enjoy of the ones you belong to? What makes you leave?
- What is your biggest challenge with participating?
- What benefits have you seen to your business when you participate?