Picking a Social Platform for Your Community Hub

For weeks we have been posting content to our private Facebook group for student leaders, and even though it had over 2000 members, no one responded to any of the content. With each passing day, we felt disheartened thinking that we were not great at creating engaging content. It turns out that wasn’t the case. Instead, we were using the wrong social platform for this community. We noticed they had Facebook profiles; however, they hardly logged in. Student Leaders spend most of their time on Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, and Texting.

As our team began to manage the member experience for www.offtherecord.org (OTR), we knew one of the first tasks was to create and build a central hub for the community since it didn’t have one already. However, we didn’t want to make the same mistake again by picking the wrong platform.

The intention for the central hub is to have a place where everyone in the community can connect with one another. Picking the right social platform to host your community hub is the first critical step in creating a hub that your members will actually use.

To determine what platform would best fit to use for OTR, we spent time talking to as many members as possible over a two-week period. While this meant countless hours on the phone, it produced a goldmine of insight from which to take action on. 

When it came to picking a hub, we gave each member the following options:

– Private Facebook Group

– Private Linkedin Group

– Private Slack Workspace

– 3rd Party Tools (Tribe, Circle)

We expected the responses to be mixed, which would force us to pick one for the group, however, we were wrong. 100% of the responses were the same

Before we tell you what the group chose, first let us tell you that the group was very vocal about NOT wanting the hub to be on Facebook. Their reasons were a mix between Facebook being too social, which is why they wouldn’t want to use it, and Facebook being evil since it steals all your data. 

So what did the group pick? Slack was the unanimous winner.

It’s not that Slack is the best community platform out there. In fact, sites like Tribe and Circle have amazing features. 

The reason the OTR community wanted Slack was that they were already on it. For them, it was going to be a natural extension of their daily workflow… whereas anything else would require them to login and use yet another website/app.

OTR is a private community for venture-backed startups. The members are tech-savvy and Slack fits them well. Just because the OTR community chose slack doesn’t mean that’s what your group will choose. The only way you’ll know what works best for your group is to ask them.

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