A Second Replacement For Facebook's Discussion Tab

By David Cohen Comment

The discussion continues about the October 31 removal of Facebook’s discussion tab, and online community tool Get Satisfaction became the latest third party to offer an alternative.

As part of Get Satisfaction’s Grow plan, which costs brand managers $49 per month, the company offers features including:

  • The ability for users to search by topic, which eliminates repeat questions;
  • Facebook discussion content is indexed by all search engines, and can be shared via Twitter and companies’ websites;
  • Brand managers can identify brand advocates and encourage more participation and peer-to-peer support.

Facebook is pushing brand pages to use the wall for communications with members of the social network, and Get Satisfaction offers four reasons why the wall is not an acceptable solution:

  • The wall has no structure. No matter who adds a post to your wall, whether it’s a question or complaint, all of these types of posts have the same weight on the wall. That results in an disorganized stream of posts without any context.
  • The wall is not persistent and archivable. Your customer asks a question on the wall. You answer it. That’s great. Then more posts crowd that off the front page of your wall and into hard-to-navigate archives. And that question is asked again. And answered again. And so on.
  • Wall posts can crowd out marketing and public relations messages. Your marketing team has a complete marketing plan, including Facebook outreach. Wall posts from customers can push those messages off your fan page, derailing those plans and diluting your results. (Notifications of replies to posts don’t direct you to the exact spot where an answer appears.)
  • Open season for trolls. Some people have too much free time and not enough manners. The wall has poor moderation capabilities, encouraging trolls and other Internet meanies to have a field day polluting your fan page, confusing your customers, and putting off potential fans.

Get Satisfaction also urges page managers to back up their current discussion content for future reference. The company counts Walmart, Pampers, and Adobe among its users.

Do you think the Facebook wall will suffice for communications with brands, or should brands turn to solutions such as the one offered by Get Satisfaction?