Discussions can be a great addition to your page. On some sites, though, discussion areas can be ghost towns—started with great hope, kept alive for a while with a few comments, then trailing off into stillness.
It's worth trying discussions to see if yours catch fire. If they do, there's hardly a better addition to your page. Discussions can be very engaging. They can also be helpful with practical matters such as customer support. More general discussions of the "Hi, how's it going," variety, however, have a varied track record for usefulness and longevity.
Customer support-type discussions have their own issues, though. People are usually quicker to complain than to give praise or thanks, so discussion boards can become pretty grim. Customer support discussions can conceivably discourage new customers from doing business with you, even if they're serving a valuable purpose in allowing existing customers to get difficult questions answered.
The possibility of a negative impression is not a reason not to try discussions, but it is a reason to monitor them closely. You'll need to encourage the kinds of comments that you want, take down comments that are not on target, and even consider closing the discussions if they go too far off into the weeds.
You'll have the best chance for success with your discussions if you start them at the beginning of your Facebook presence when your Facebook presence is fresh. That way, your early users—who may be among your most enthusiastic users—get a chance to be involved right from the start.
Follow these steps to start a discussion:
Click the Discussions tab.
The Discussions page appears, which will be empty.
Click the Start New Topic button.
Two text entry areas appear, Topic and Post, as shown in Figure 8.5.
Figure 8.5 A chance to comment—or to suffer from writer's block.
Fill in the Topic and Post, then click the button, Post new topic.
The new post is added, in a new topic.