I think it’s more person-dependent. Members trust and follow the leaders. So I targeted the fb group admins to cooperate and one of the biggest former fb group admin joined us. He started advertising our forum in his group. People started coming more than before just because he suggested us…
I’m trying to turn the forum more like a social site in every way. The “forum” word: People think this is just another old school forum from 2000s. So I just called the forum: on our brand or Community. I completely remove the forum word. (It is much easier to change a word than their way of thinking.) That needed because people judge before they open the website. So there was a lots of time they just commented on fb —just another forum… etc. they actually didn’t click the link.
Interface and features
It also looks more like Facebook, unfortunately people more familiar this. First time I used category for homepage but now I just figured out the latest page is much better for communities it generate more activities from users.
I added a lot of features which makes it much better than Facebook.
Trading, auction, user ratings, trusted sellers, etc.
People like badges and avatar flairs, each group has an avatar flair which is appears next to users avatar.
I compare the forum with Facebook. People only knows Facebook so I have to highlight those things which is bad at there. What people don’t like on Facebook.
Facebook is full of bullying what we not tolerate and don’t accept on the forum this is a much more controllable place than fb. The trust level system add us the biggest ability to control these people… So people are much friendlier than on fb…
I never want to see a Facebook content on our forum! Forum is the quality contents place not the instant posts from Facebook. So I do the opposite I share quality content from the Forum to Facebook BUT I disable the comment section! That is important…. If they want to reply to the topic they have to register and reply on the Forum.
Cooperation with Members
I initiate the community into everything and I ask them before do anything. I created a category where they can send their ideas about the forum, Community and everything…
I always notify members when made any changes. Every Sunday I share them an update topic and summarize the weekly changes, development and everything. If something not clear they can ask and we can talk about it like a great big family.
One other point is we can customize the Forum what Members needs! You cannot do that on Facebook.
And last but not least we are all the same in our Community!
These things makes the forum much better for quality members. I think this community is more cohesive and healthy. You have to show the way them. This is a very slow process but if one time they find your forum they never want to go back to Facebook.