Listen to the jungle drums or put your ear to the railway line and you'll hear rumblings of what's coming...
Now I can only speak from the pov of being a knocking-on-50 woman, BUT - I see my age range getting sick of the regular Social Media platforms.
It's been a crazy 18 months - nearly 2 years now - and whilst we're intrinsically social creatures and the "regular" social media platforms served us well previously, women are now looking for better and deeper connections - not just the fleeting "showing off" we mostly see.
So how is this going to pan out?
Well, things seem to be accelerating since the Facebook outage last week and so people are increasingly exploring new options to host and engage in social networking.
The days of "spray and pray" seem to be coming to a close and people are just simply fed up with the noise and babble out there, the endless scrolling and the low-vibe stuff.
To curate a quality audience, you need somewhere both you and they can express themselves in a calmer, more gentle manner of networking.
To take a considered approach and do your due diligence, you need to be able to read/view, think and weigh up your options.
This is why I think we're looking at a return to a more "forum-based" form of social networks.
Facebook seems to have gone completely crazy lately and we're all being shown things which have zero interest to us and for women who are RUNNING A BUSINESS - not fannying around on Social Media (!) - they want to slip in quickly, do what needs to be done, network with like-minded women and then get back to work.
Forums were popular 20 years ago - and, contrary to popular belief some are still going VERY strong! Generally those in a niche area of interest - I'm thinking figure-skating/horse & hound to name but two.
The advantage of a curated and specific forum means that you don't have to wade through a ton of crap to get straight to the nub of what you're actually there for.
Women my age are tiring of superfluous connections and empty hours spent seeing empty messages.
We want to connect and we want to talk, share ideas, encourage and grow - but we want to be able to do that and "pick up the conversation again tomorrow" - not just "post and run".
When I use Social Media, it's for very specific reasons because I think we're all aware of the danger of being sucked in - and Facebook for example freely admit it's been designed to be addictive - and that does us no favours if we spend all afternoon scrolling and not actually building our business.
Social Networks to Consider in 2022
I'm still very much exploring these options myself to work out which best fits for me and the way I want to work, but here are some examples of alternatives to Facebook Groups:
- MIGHTY NETWORKS - describes itself as bringing your community, courses, memberships, and events together in one place under your brand.
You don't have to run your courses here, but it's a powerful "forum-style" community platform with a mobile app.
- CIRCLE - this is what they say: Bring together your discussions, memberships, and content. Integrate a thriving community wherever your audience is, all under your own brand.
Again, there is a mobile app for your customers so you're easily accessible.
- DISCIPLE - This is largely app-based and brings together your community with all the expected trappings and trimmings including courses, subscriptions, etc. Downside? It's very expensive!
- GUILD - They say "built for professional groups, networks and communities to connect, communicate and collaborate" - oh, did I mention it's FREE?
- PANION - This differs from others I've looked at as it allows you to embed this community software directly in to your OWN WEBSITE - which means of course, 100% under your control!
- TRIBE - They say "Behind every successful company is the ability to engage and delight customers. Tribe enables you to do just that ". FREE!
Whilst exploring I came across many, many options - but these above are the ones I felt best to replace the Social Media platforms we've become used to - but also allow us to communicate in that slightly more "old-fashioned" way of using forums - but still with a splash of fun!
PS It does occur to me I've thoroughly displayed my age given my excitement at seeing they were app-based... ummm... it's 2021 - of COURSE they all have apps!