Are you ready to move your online community off Facebook and onto another platform? There are several reasons to choose a private social network, where you have more control over the space, instead of the default social media giants. Your group members can enjoy less advertising and irrelevant content and more privacy and personal connection.

However, if your group started out using Facebook for communicating virtually, you may wonder how to go about making this transition. What are the logistics around transferring your online community off Facebook and onto a private social media app without losing participation or engagement?  In order to successfully migrate your group to a new platform, there are a few important steps to take.

1. Choosing a New Online Platform

First, you have to decide what alternative social network is most appropriate for your group. This may depend on the nature of your community, including its central focus and how many participants are involved. What are your main purposes when using Facebook or other types of social media? Do use your page primarily for sharing content, such as announcements for association members or industry related content? Are you wanting to give your members a safe, private place to chat one-on-one or collectively? How important is it for you to be able to post videos, photos and files? These are some of the factors to consider as you search for a new private social network, such as Go2s, for your association or community group.

2. Alert Your Following to Upcoming Change

The next step is to let your group know ahead of time about your intended migration to a different platform. You can do that in a couple ways. First, you can simply make a straightforward announcement with the anticipated date of this major change. Continue to share it several times in the weeks leading up to the transition. Another method is to slowly get your group on your side before they even know it. For example, you could post a question, asking group members to share what they dislike most about Facebook or their biggest frustrations with the platform. Use their own answers and words to crowdsource a letter that you share via social media before your official move. For example, if your members express irritation with the lack of privacy, concern over security issues or annoyance that Facebook has become such a big distraction, reference those as reasons why your online group is leaving Facebook for another platform.

Include at least one link—if not more—that enables your members to quickly and efficiently sign up to join your new online home. Also, try to preempt some of their potential responses, especially the negative ones, and provide explanations that might alleviate any concerns. Pin the letter to the top of your Facebook page. Don’t forget to also share the information on your website, if you have one, as well as send it out via email to your list of contacts.

3. Follow Up with Stragglers

Once you’ve officially made the transition, give it a few days to see what happens. Leave your post pinned to the top of your Facebook page or maybe even change the banner so it shows a message letting members know this is no longer where you’re meeting virtually. Include information about how they can get onto your new private social network instead.

Check back to your Facebook page every so often to see if you’re missing any correspondence from members and use those as opportunities to remind them about the change. Some people may also still use Facebook to communicate with you if they’re having trouble getting onto the new platform.

After a week or so, see if there are any previous Facebook members who didn’t make it to your Go2s network. Reach out to the stragglers via private message on Facebook or send them a customized email if you have their contact information.

Connecting Your Community Group in a Better Way

Building a robust online community takes time. If you’re struggling to do it on Facebook, you may find that your members would benefit from, and even prefer, a different online platform altogether. Go2s, which is suitable for all types of community groups and associations, provides you with a reliable place to post messages, coordinate tasks, share files and photos, and manage group events on calendars, all in one secure social network.