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Chorus Chatter - The Facebook Dilemma

Any other choruses use Facebook groups for internal social communications? What other tools are out there that can allow singers to easily communicate with each other?
Replies (31): Threaded | Chronological
on May 9, 2015 8:02am
I have been very happy being able to use to send announcements to my choir members, but that doesn't allow for communication between members. Generally, they text message each other rather than Facebook. I have tried Facebook groups in the past, but the students just didn't take to it.
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on May 10, 2015 12:17pm
Ken, thanks for sharing. I've never heard of, but I'm going to check it out. And just to clarify, is this for a high school choir?
on May 11, 2015 7:36am
Yes, I use it with my high school groups.  Facebook is blocked at my school.
on May 10, 2015 4:20am
The Women's Chorus I used to teach (just left the position) used a Facebook group almost exclusively to connect with each other and communicate. This was a college group, but they seemed to really love it!
on May 10, 2015 12:21pm
Good to know. Thanks, Ashley! Out of curiosity, how big was the chorus?
on May 11, 2015 5:57am
You're welcome Jacob! The number has fluxed over the time I directed the choir, but when I took it 3 years ago it had about 30 and this year I had almost 70. Not everyone participates, but some are very active and it served our purpose for announcements and carpooling to concerts, etc. Good luck!
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on May 10, 2015 11:16am
My community chorus uses a FB group for members to chat with each other. The only drawback is that only about half of our 100 singers use FB but nearly all that do have joined the chat group. It is the perfect forum for a day like today, the day after our final concert of the season, where we can share what our guests in the audience had to say and our own observations; plus we're able to stay connected during the off-season til we start again in the fall. 
on May 10, 2015 12:24pm
Dee Dee, your experience is so similar to that of my chorus. Not everyone's on Facebook, but those who are are pretty much all part of our main internal Facebook group. What tool(s) do you use to communicate official chorus business to everyone in the chorus? I imagine something email based so everyone knows what's going on?
on May 13, 2015 5:30am
Yes, exactly, there's a regular mailing list and announcements go out to the chorus weekly during the season, with frequent "speciial editions" during concert weeks. There's also a members' page on our site (invisible to outside eyes) where the season's rehearsal schedule is posted and links to downloads, reminders, that kind of thing, a sort of repository for items we want singers to be able to reference. But I've made it clear on our FB chat page (I'm the admin) to not count on Important News being posted there, that official stuff will always come by email. 
on May 13, 2015 10:44am
Yup, that totally makes sense. Are you the main administrator for the members' page, as well?
on May 16, 2015 6:50am
I was for a long time. Our Executive Director now determines what goes on the members' page and there's a volunteer who does the updates, so it gets new content a handful of times over the season. 
on May 11, 2015 2:49am
We use Facebook and it works very well. All but one of the choir members are on Facebook and in the group. Of course not everybody's active in the group but definitely some and they all read. For more formal communication we use email, though (rehearsal planning, concert info, tends to get lost in a fb group).
on May 11, 2015 8:38am
The symphonic chorus I used to sing with uses email for all official communication with its membership. There is also a facebook group (unofficial, and as far as I know not sanctioned) for communication between members. While there are frequent questions about performance logistics or rosters posted on the facebook group, I haven't noticed much false information flying around. Usually a member will contact chorus management if there's a question on the facebook group that needs official clarification. 
on May 12, 2015 1:03pm
Thanks, Nathan! That's a pretty typical setup for community choirs. Interesting, though not that surprising, to know the same is true for symphonic choruses, as well.
on May 12, 2015 10:16pm
Three of my choirs now have Facebook groups, although email is the main method of online communication.
One choir uses Yahoo Groups, mostly for the email function, but that is becoming less user friendly over time
on May 13, 2015 10:47am
Simon, thanks for sharing! If you're finding that Yahoo Groups is tedious, it might be worth looking at a chorus management tool like Groupanizer or Chorus Connection (disclaimer: I'm the founder), which can help make managing email lists quite a bit easier.
on February 4, 2016 3:57pm
The choir in question has now switched from Yahoo to Google. More user friendly.
on May 13, 2015 3:21am
With my summer group, I used Mailchimp for newsletters and had a "within our community" section. It seemed to work quite well. I also had Facebook links on there, and eventually those that wanted to socially network with each other seemed to find each other. So, no official platform for networking, but the newsletter did facilitate the activity, in my opinion.
on May 13, 2015 10:49am
Good to know, Michael. Why did that group only meet during the summer? Was it for students?
on May 16, 2015 12:00am
We found FB very disappointing as a communication tool and now use it primarily to keep up with what's going on in the choral community around the world. 
Not all members of the choir participate in FB (about half of the 50-60 singers) and because of the way FB is set up, not all users get to see all posts in their newsfeeds, even though they have "liked" the group.  Some colleagues and I did a test run and found less than 15% of the "likers" regularly saw the posts.   This sets up another problem.   If it's true that only 15% see the posts (12-14% was confirmed as the average figure by some researchers figuring out the FB algorhythms - sorry can't remember who they were) then those groups who actively seek likes because it looks impressive then dilute the active engagement with FB by their likers.   So now I regularly boot off the likes from people who will never engage with a post (hello boxer from South America whose own FB page shows not a single thing about choirs)  just so it's more likely that the remaining ones will perhaps see a post or two.   Facebook fatigue has definitely set in.  
When I need a message to get out, I use email and SMS, but this doesn't allow for internal social communication.   That's ok - the singers have formed friendships and regularly meet outside of choir times and no one has complained that there isn't an effective system in place.  Yet.
on May 16, 2015 6:55am
If your members have to "Like" the group and you're getting stats on comments and shares, it sounds like you created a Page (similar to what your chorus might have) and not a Group. They work differently and FB won't encourage you to "boost" your posts to get engagement -- group members will actually get them in their feed. FWIW.
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on May 17, 2015 3:04am
Thanks - yes it is a page we have, not a group.  Definitely not the way to go!  I should have attempted to understand FB more before I created the page.
on May 19, 2015 8:44pm
My choirs have both - Groups for internal communication, and Pages for communicating (hopefully) with the wider world
Groups are better at being seen, especially if all your members have notifications turned on so that they get emails and notifications at the top of the site - but that depends on the members, it's not something you can control.
With Pages, one of my choirs has a page admin who's very good at driving traffic to the page - the tricks are posting at the time of day when most of your likers are most likely to use Facebook, and that photos get more traffic than plain old statuses, which in turn get more than links (so always find a photo to post) - and also, more traffic if large numbers of your individual members like, comment on or share the Page posts (comments more effective than likes, shares more effective again)
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on May 16, 2015 4:39am
We use Twitter for important messages and Facebook for informal stuff. Google calendar as well. With Twitter and Google calendar, I require all parents to bring smartphones to our first meeting. I make them "Follow" our Twitter feed, which they DON'T have to have Twitter installed to do. By following (simply texting "followINSERTNAME" to 40404) they receive a text message every time I send a tweet. With Google calendar, they have about 3-4 different ways to access the calendar that provides automatic updates and reminders to their phones for events, call times, concerts, etc. we imbed the calendar on our website, through school homework pages, etc. It's brilliant.
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on May 16, 2015 9:46pm
Whoa! I had no idea Twitter has that text-based system! You learn something new every day. :)
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on May 17, 2015 12:08pm
It's great, but you'll need to monitor it constantly.  On Facebook any negative comment can quickly turn into a wildfire.  You may need to have your membership sign releases about permissable content with the agreement that any post may be taken down by the moderator at any time.  It's a great way to chat, but I would still use email as your primary 'official' communication method.
on January 30, 2016 10:44pm
Whatsapp works very well for us.
on February 1, 2016 5:51am
The MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) has a FB page where we can chat back and forth on various things. We share impressions of concerts and performances, insights to music we are performing, jovial things, and swapping tickets for events just to name a few. It is NOT an official MoTab endorsed page, but is recognized as an informal meeting place for members past and present. It works very well. We have another means of official information etc. we use the member manager service for that. 
on February 1, 2016 5:03pm
The groups I sing in use e mail to communicate. Personally I prefer this. The idea of being required to show up with a smart phone or to have to be involved with Facebook, Twitter, or texting is a turn off for me, and I don't have or want a smart phone.
If you set up a group on Facebook , members can click on groups to the left and just see group posts. Individuals can also go to the upper right hand corner of the home page, click on the three dots, and then hide group and notifications will only show up when you click on groups. If the intent of the group is just for communication among chorus members you probably want the group to be closed or secret (content can't be shared outside of the group). You can set up a second group for publicity to be shared. 
on February 2, 2016 1:52am
I use Telegram for communication:
I have not used it for a group but it seems OK and possibly worth a look.
on February 3, 2016 2:51pm
I direct an 85 voice choir. We use yahoo groups to communicate. I have an "All Choir" group as well as individual groups for each section. Yahoo can sometimes be a bit annoying as it seems to be tempermental, but for the most part it is effective. Messages are stored on line in the group so a member can go back and review anytime they need to. It also allows me to post folders for pdf files they may need i.e. lyrics, instruction on selling concert tickets, rosters, riser placement etc. Members are required to join two groups and the expectation is that they go to it at least once a week before rehearsal to check for updates, changes and instructions for the next rehearsal.
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