Re: “Same products, completely different mindset of the people who go there.”
I can't prove this, but I think there are segments of our users who are active on Facebook anyway (promoting their business) so it's easy to drop in to see what's happening in our Facebook-related groups.
So let’s talk: Why is FB more chat-inducing than Hoop forums?
Facebook groups are a click away from other groups, other individual feeds, and a never-ending stream of dopamine inducing social rewards. There's greater incentive to be on the Facebook platform and very little investment required to engage with it.
Hoop.la is an island unto itself. We're a separate destination that requires intention to visit. We don't glitter on the beach tempting the next click.
Is it because people have their own FB page and thus feel more invested in the platform and likely to spend more time there?
The people who frequent Facebook often use their profile page to promote their business. And the threshold for doing that is very low.
I can't know this for sure, but I think the people who spend time with us on Hoop.la are less likely to spend time on Facebook.
What if Hoop Content Blocks were more like the FB Newsfeed — scraping new posts from the entire site to the Homepage?
I have the activity stream front and center with post previews visible. That's as close to a social media stream as I could find when I set things up when we converted from EVE to hoop.la.
What if Admins could see what forums are being “followed” so we’d know which ones to feed and highlight?
I read everything - I mean everything that happens on our site so I know which topics draw enough heat to inspire comments. Now that you mention it, it would be interesting to see what get's followed. We have members who drop a quickie post "following", so they get subscribed but that's rare.
On another point - Facebook posts are much shorter than Hoop.la posts. Most are likely no longer than this paragraph.
Hoop.la posts on our site are rarely less than several sentences and often multiple paragraphs. Despite the greater effort it takes to write longer posts, they seem to be less attention seeking than Facebook posts.
When someone posts in one of our Facebook groups, they may ask a brief question like "Which is better, A or B?" providing little or no context for the question. They will almost immediately get a bunch of replies like, "I use A" or "I use B" - again, with little or no context or qualification.
Someone asking basically the same question in Hoop.la is more likely to provide more preample. "I'm using _______ to do ______ and I'm thinking about doing ______, What's the best option". The replies they get will tend to be longer, more thoughtful, and far more likely to speak to the questioner's situation - compared to a one or two liner about the responder's experience.
One of the roles I take seriously, is to get to the questioner's context and experience; to find the question behind the question. I want to know and expose the motive behind the first simple question, so that responses can speak to the underlying need instead of simply the words.
Simple Q and A (Facebook)
Q "How much money do you have?"
A "Five bucks."
Another answer "Ten bucks"
Another answer "Three bucks but i spend it better than the guy above me"
Engaged Q and A (Hoop.la)
Q "How much money do you have?"
A "What gets better for you once you know how much money I have? What do you want to know after you know how much money I have?"
Q "Do you have enough money to take me out for dinner?"
A "What kind of food do you feel like eating?"
Okay, I'm rambling.