Re: Public vs. Private: Views from a facebook-aholic
From: Alan O'Hashi (
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:34:44 -0700 (PDT)
CoHousers - Facebook, like all other marketing/public relations works, best if 
integrated into a strategy. Social media are very powerful tools. New and 
forming communities have different outcomes than established ones. 

CoHoUSA is setting up regional cohousing organizations. The Rocky Mountain 
Region pilot project I'm organizing is using other community facebook pages as 
outreach tools to populate a closed facebook group. If you are interested to 
see how it's set up, go to facebook and search romocoho

If you want to use facebook for internal use, I suggest setting up a closed or 
secret facebook group that's only accessible to members of it. How to keep out 
trolls?  Group controls can be as loose or tight as the user wants. There are 
ways to add screening questions. This isn't necessary if the group is totally 
restricted to community members. Facebook pages can be linked to a facebook 
group if managed by the same user. The limitation is, not everyone is one 
facebook, so it probably isn't a good tool for you.

The facebook page is most useful for forming communities. Inexpensive 
advertising can be very targeted to specific markets and I find it to be very 
effective. If you're attending the Cohousing Regional Conference in Amherst 
September 21 - 23, I'm teaching an intensive about how to boil your community 
story down to a tweet and get it pushed out there to your target audience. 

If you don't think facebook is effective, the Trump campaign used facebook to 
dial into the demographic of the 3,000 voters in Wisconsin who turned the 
election. I'll send you the Leslie Stahl 60minutes segment about this is you 
want to see it, but I digress.

I'm a social media addict, in fact, advise groups and organizations how to use 
it effectively. When I moved into my place 10 years ago, I set up a facebook 
page. Some of the neighbors wondered why, but here it is down the road and it 
has a few hundred members. I largely turned the page management over to the 
appropriate community group.

It's less about internal information - we had an owner who was a webmaster and 
set up a very good internal page - and more for sharing pictures of the garden, 
CoHo open house day, cross promoting general Holiday neighborhood activities.

Here it is 10 years later and there are now several homes on the market and a 
vacant apartment. Over time, the community has gathered in contact info for 
many people not only interested in cohousing, generally, but a list of 
"prequalified" people interested in buying into the community. As I mentioned 
before, it's from an integrated approach - not just from the facebook page, but 
through FIC, CoHoUSA and unearned media (New York Times and other news 
stories), word of mouth.


Alan O.

Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
EnviroCultural Organization Systems
Colorado 303-910-5782
Wyoming 307-274-1910
Nebraska 402-327-1652

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