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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0641: Should My Course Use a Facebook Group for Comments and Questions?

AP 0641: Should My Course Use a Facebook Group for Comments and Questions?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 641 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 641 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have an awesome question today from Jane, but before we get to her question, I do want to thank today’s sponsor: ZipRecruiter. With ZipRecruiter.com you can post your job to a hundred plus job sites, jobs meaning you’re looking to fill a position in your team. For example, posts everywhere, including social media networks like Facebook and twitter all with a single click so instead of having to go out to all the different job sites, post your description and hope for the best candidates. That way with one single click, you can make it all happen. You can find candidates in any city or industry nationwide. Just post once and watch your qualified candidates roll into ZipRecruiter’s easy to use interface. No juggling emails, no calls to your office, it’s all handled by ZipRecruiter, so find out why ZipRecruiter has been used by over 800,000 businesses today. Go to ZipRecruiter.com for free and check it out. ZipRecruiter.com/pat, that’s where you go. ZipRecruiter.com/pat.

Alright, now here’s today’s question from Jane.

Jane: Hi Pat, my name is Jane. I live in Australia. I have an online business, the first stage of which is launching next week. My question is about comments on my membership site. Do you think it’s better to leave the comments on my membership site, the comments about the question and my courses that I have within the site, or should I start a Facebook group and have people communicating there? I’d be interested to know what you think! Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Hey Jane, thanks so much for your question today, I appreciate it, and all the best to you in the launch of your business, it’s super cool. And I love Australia, I can’t wait to go back there. I’d been there the last three years in a row and we might actually go there for Christmas this year. So for those of you who are in Australia, just look out for me on Twitter @patflynn. I might make some news about my trip there, if I do any meetups or anything. And it’d be awesome to meet you too Jane, I don’t know where in Australia you’re at but wherever you’re at, you’re awesome.

And to answer your question, is it better to encourage comments on your blog or inside your membership site versus a Facebook group for discussion? Now, you had mentioned that these comments would be related to questions and videos that you might potentially have. And in that case I would definitely recommend enabling comments within your membership site. But here’s the thing, community is very important for the success of a membership site. That’s part of the appeal of membership. And if people are going to be paying a recurring payment and you do open up the ability to communicate, you definitely want to make it easy for people to communicate with each other, to connect. And that’ll be a big reason why people stick around. And for that reason I would also recommend starting a Facebook group. Now unless you know how to separate the two and unless you educate your members about where they should be posting and what they should be posting on each of those things, then it could become very confusing and actually work against you. So this is a really important question and I know a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of them that you might have heard of before, actually struggling with, “Now where do I put the comments?”

Now you did mention forums. And that’s the first thing I want to cover real quick, a forum is like a community with discussion boards and threads that are living on your membership site. Didn’t sound like that’s the solution you’re creating because you want to have those community driven topics. Not ones that you decide what people talk about, but where the community is actually asking questions with each other or to each other. And they’re answering each other’s questions or talking about what’s going on in the course or sharing success stories and all those kinds of things. That is best, and I feel this is the case, that’s best to be housed in a Facebook group. I know a lot of other entrepreneurs who are successful at managing the communities in that kind of discussion on a Facebook group specifically. And the reason that’s very good is because people, most of the people are already on Facebook. And most of the people can easily connect with others in that way. And Facebook just does a great job of managing that side discussion. And I say side because there’s also those important questions that you ask within your videos or topics that you want to talk about specifically related to those things that can then be housed on the membership site, all in that particular page where those videos lie.

And that’s why I would enable comments for those videos. And that’s where people would, for example, answer questions or share something that you ask that you prompt them to answer. That way, all of that discussion about that one thing is under that video and it’s all in one place; for you to find, for them to find. And you can link between the Facebook group to those particular places on your membership site. For example, if you want to make sure that people can see those answers. But the communication and the engagement and that sort of stuff would happen on Facebook. So it’s very, very important Jane that when you go into this . . . I don’t know if you’ve done this already since we’re answering this question later, but if you have those separate communication channels, that you’re very clear with what gets answered and where. And also, where you will be involved if involved at all.

So I would say, for example, and this is how I would do a course sort of in alignment with what you have going on, and that is: You’d have these videos that are up with modules and lessons and those types of things and it’s great to ask a question and have people answer questions after the video. Kind of gets them involved, gets them interacting on your membership platform, but I would have them answer one specific question and be very clear with them, maybe in the welcome video or maybe in the text where they leave a comment, this is where you answer this particular question. And also setting their expectations where, are they gonna get a reply from you if they ask a question. You can actually say up front, “I won’t be fielding questions here, this is a place for your response to this particular prompt. All other communication happens on the Facebook page. Here’s a link to the Facebook group. If you’re not signed up this is how you join, etc.” And just making sure people know where those things happen.

I think if you approach it in a very smart way and kind of put yourself in the shoes of those taking your course, and even for those people who are in your course already, having them tell you what makes sense or what is working or what is not working and that can also guide what would work best for your community too. And every community’s different but you are the leader and you are the one who can set those expectations and if it’s very clear for them and very clear for you, it’s gonna be very easy to manage. I think where a lot of entrepreneurs struggle is where they have a forum and there’s open discussions and questions being asked and answered there as well as a Facebook group. And then it’s just, nobody knows where the primary communication platform is. Nobody knows what’s best. Some people prefer Facebook, some prefer the other. It’s not about that, it’s about what the expectations are and where you want them to answer what. And so just be very clear with them so that there’s no confusion up front and it’ll be great. So that’s what I would share. Just define with wherever people have the ability to communicate, what they should communicate there.

So thanks, Jane. I appreciate you and your question and I wish you all the best of luck. And for your question, we’re gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt, all the way to Australia, free of charge, for having your question featured here on the show. That’s what we do. So if you have a question, for those of you listening, that you’d potentially like to have featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Keep asking questions and I’m gonna keep answering them, that’s for sure.

And I want to thank, once again, ZipRecruiter If you want to try it out for free just head on over to ZipRecruiter.com/pat, again that’s ZipRecruiter.com/pat so you can try it for free.

Awesome, thanks so much. I appreciate you and here’s a quote by Karin Timpone. That is, “If you are an artist, learn science. If you are a science, cultivate art.”

Love that, they do mix, that’s for sure. Thanks, take care, and I wish you all the best. See you next episode of AskPat, bye.

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