Let’s get this out of the way upfront. Here are Facebook’s own instructions for how to delete a Facebook Group. The headline from that article? Unsurprisingly, Facebook makes deleting a Facebook Group pretty hard, but not impossible.
The fine print of deleting a Facebook Group is that you have to remove each member before you can delete the group. The alternative is to archive your Facebook Group, which they describe here.
So, should you still delete your Facebook Group? And if you choose to delete it, what’s the best strategy for doing so? What if you want to keep your community intact and simply move it off Facebook onto another platform before deleting your Facebook Group? What’s the best way to make that happen?
For the answers to each of these questions, read on.
Should you still delete your Facebook Group?
There are any number of reasons to delete your Facebook Group today. From privacy and safety concerns to the frustrating lack of transparency you have in actually reaching your members.
But there’s one particular case that’s totally obvious for deleting your Facebook Group and moving to a new platform: paid digital products delivering online courses or membership sites.
When you’re trying to build a valuable service people pay for–like online courses or a membership site–the noise, distractions, and ads for competing groups that litter a Facebook Group are working against both you and your members. When you use a Facebook Group for paid digital products, you’re leaving real money on the table.
The good news is that there are now alternatives to a Facebook Group that didn’t exist 2 years ago when you chose to create your Facebook Group and deliver an online course community or membership site elsewhere.
5 easy steps to delete a Facebook Group
How exactly do you go about deleting a Facebook Group? If it was just as easy as clicking a big “Delete” button, you would have done it already. Unfortunately, deleting a Facebook Group is a bit more involved than just hitting “Delete.” You need to staff up to remove members and, more importantly, decide what you’re going to do next.
Step #1: Get clear on your goals and reasons for deleting your Facebook Group.
As a leader, the first step is to write down your reasons for deleting your Facebook Group. This may sound basic, but when you can communicate a clear and specific reason for deleting your Facebook Group, it can have a profoundly positive effect on the people you’ve brought together and are asking to move. What are some of the most common reasons for deleting a Facebook Group? Here are the top 3:
- The noise, clutter, ads, and unpredictable algorithm on Facebook are a massive distraction to members trying to focus on their goals. Especially if you’re using a Facebook Group for a paid online course or membership site, your members have gotten out their credit cards and clicked Buy because they want to achieve a set of results they haven’t been able to get on their own. Forcing them onto Facebook– scientifically designed to keep someone engaged around the most addictive content on its platform –is bordering on cruel. People are paying you to help them. A Facebook Group just keeps them distracted with everything else there.
- You as the Group Admin can’t reach all of your members predictably or consistently. For Facebook, a Facebook Group isn’t yours, it’s theirs. It’s up to them (not you), who sees what in your Facebook Group. This means that you can’t confidently post to your group and know your members will see it. This is especially problematic if you’re running an online course or membership site through a Facebook Group. You end up having to use 2-3 additional services like a separate email provider, website, and online course platform just to make sure people see stuff. It’s bananas.
- You’re bringing your online courses and community together in one place under your brand for game changing results. For Group Admins scaling their online course or membership businesses, they know they can get people better results, grow faster, and charge a premium when their courses and community are together in the same place, offered under their brand. When they can offer an equally compelling and engaging community under their own brand versus Facebook’s, the choice is clear (especially when they can offer it instantly on every platform, web, iOS, and Android).
While Facebook’s questionable practices and policies have caused many to delete Facebook, as a Group Admin, you don’t just want to be leaving Facebook. You want to be going somewhere better.
Step #2: Build up your support for deleting your Facebook Group.
Inevitably, there will be at least one person currently in your Facebook Group who will criticize your decision to delete your group. It’s normal, natural, and typically a reaction to that person disliking the change that comes with progress.
The best way to prepare for this person is to recruit upfront a squad of moderators or just motivated members who you share your reasons for deleting your Facebook Group with first. This squad can be as small as you and one other person. The key is that you don’t have to delete your Facebook Group alone.
Step #3: Choose a new platform for your Facebook Group.
There’s been a ton of innovation and a flurry of new options available today for delivering an online community off Facebook. The key ingredients for successfully deleting your Facebook Group and moving to a new platform is to ensure that whatever option you choose:
- It’s instantly available not just on the web, but on native mobile apps. This is one of the primary reasons many groups stay on Facebook. They try and build their own “community” with a web-only forum plug-in or crappy hosted service and it’s a ghost town. Many Group Admins will then inaccurately conclude it was because it was off Facebook, not because it didn’t have a mobile app. The problem with homegrown communities is thinking that making one available on the web is enough. It isn’t.
- It delivers an equally compelling community experience to a Facebook Group. Beyond its availability on native mobile apps, your new platform needs to be compelling, even if it doesn’t match a Facebook Group feature-for-feature. What your new platform does need to do is offer your members a better ability to meet each other, consume your content, and stay focused in ways not possible on a Facebook Group.
- It integrates all the different pieces of your online business in one place: Your courses, memberships, payments, groups, messaging, events, and more. One of the most common reasons someone will give for wanting you to use a Facebook Group is, “I don’t want to login to another service.” The reality of anyone doing anything interesting today around a Facebook Group is that you’re already asking your members to use other services.
When you’re ready to delete your Facebook Group, look for ways to bring multiple pieces of your digital business together in the same place as your new community. Then, you can use your announcement to highlight the fact that they’ll now only have one login and a ton more focus around their goals on your new platform.
Step #4: Share the move with your Facebook Group.
Armed with your written reasons, support squad, and chosen platform, you’re now ready to announce that you’re deleting your Facebook Group. The best timing for making an announcement like this is to give yourself 2 weeks and roughly 8 reminders to make a smooth transition.
People will need a bit of time to get used to the decision. Again, that’s totally normal. The most important thing is that you focus your communication on the benefits of where you’re going and what’s next for your community, not necessarily argue the decision with those who may oppose it upfront.
At the bottom of this article, there’s an even more detailed Guide to Moving your Facebook Group .It goes into great detail about the timing and scripts for making your announcement.
Step #5: Delete your Facebook Group.
The last step is to delete your Facebook Group. While you may decide to archive your group at least initially, there will come a time when you want to fully delete your Facebook Group. If you have under 100 members at that point, you and your squad from above will likely be able to remove all of your members yourself. At over 100 people, we recommend hiring a virtual assistant from Upwork or another service to remove your members for you. While it may cost you a bit of money, it’s worth it and will let you focus on other, more important tasks.
Take the Next Step Today
No one decides to delete a Facebook Group without a lot of thinking and consideration. But there’s never been a better time to make the move. There are new compelling tools that are emerging to support an alternative to a Facebook Group, plus people’s continued discomfort with Facebook’s impact in big and small ways isn’t going away.
Your next step is simple. Explore your alternatives to a Facebook Group. You’re not just deciding to delete your Facebook Group. You’re ready to create something so much better.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Moving Your Facebook Group
This comprehensive 17-page guide shares the most compelling reasons to move a Facebook Group. You even get actual scripts you can use making your own move today. It’s awesome.