So the time has come to take the leap and launch your online community. Congrats! It’s a really exciting place to be, and if you’ve got a few members who want to join, it’s even better!
But you’ve probably come to a common obstacle a lot of people hit as they’re thinking about creating a community online. Where should you host it? And there are probably two names you’ve heard a lot: Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups.
In this article, we’re going to do a side-by-side comparison of these two options to talk about which is the right place to create a thriving community: Mighty Networks or Facebook Groups. We’ll talk about the big things you should be thinking about as you get started on this journey toward hosting an amazing online community, and where each platform ranks for them.
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In this article...
1. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Who are they?
Mighty Networks is an all-in-one, white-label community platform that harnesses the power of cultural software to let you create vibrant communities, teach courses, charge for membership, and more. Mighty uses Spaces that let you bring together content the 4 Cs: content, courses, commerce, and community.
Facebook is a social media giant that’s well-known around the world. Facebook Groups is a community-building function that lives on the Facebook platform and lets community leaders set up groups around a common interest or cause. This gives you a wall to share relevant content with your users, a list of who’s in the group, and some community moderation and notification functions.
2. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Judgment criteria
If you’re trying to find the right home for your online community, you’ll want a set of features that lets you serve your members. Ideally, the best platform should have a range of amazing options to help build community connections and let your members have a great experience. It should also have the ability to let you customize the look and feel so that you can make your own brand shine.
Room to grow
As you grow an online community, it’s important to have a platform that grows with you. A community that’s made up of 10 people is very different from a community of 1,000. A good community platform should grow with you and empower you to serve your community really well, throughout its growth.
Quality of community-building
So if you’re growing an online community, it’s not just about the numbers. You want to create a space that people feel free and safe to be in, where relationships can flourish, and people can master new things.
A good platform doesn’t just let you stuff a ton of members onto it. It also facilitates building great connections between those members.
Safety and security
A good community platform should also be a place where members can feel safe enough to engage. Their data should be secure, and they should feel comfortable about signing up and taking part.
An online community is a great way to earn some income, whether it’s a side hustle or your full-time work. If you’re thinking of starting a community that you’d like to earn from, either now or later, you want a platform that gives you some monetization options.
3. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Features
While both Mighty Networks and Facebook are modern platforms with a lot of features, sharing the option for creating robust discussion spaces and live streaming, there are some key differences.
Facebook has a beautiful and well-designed platform and app. Functionally, it has a good forum set-up where users can create posts and comment on others’ posts. It also has some options for embedding videos and a full suite of options for going live, including scheduling and inviting others into your live meeting.
But Facebook Groups isn’t as strong on some other features that make for a great online group. You don’t really have management features for a large community, like dividing into Spaces subgroups–which we talked about above. Facebook also doesn’t have options for creating online courses, which Mighty Networks does.
Finally, Facebook really doesn’t give you any options for customizing, other than adding a feature and profile image. If you’re looking to style a group to match your brand, especially if you’re running a small business of some sort, this is a big miss.
Mighty Networks covers the same features Facebook does when it comes to both interactive forum features and live streaming. But in addition to this, Mighty has a ton of extra features that make building a community possible.
Here are the features you can add in each of your Spaces.
With the combo of an amazing LMS + live streaming, you can choose whether to teach your course live as a cohort course or pre-record it. Add in events with a one-click Zoom scheduling integration and you can build awesome in-person meetings for your community – which includes collecting RSVPs. Each space also has a list of members, including full profiles, plus group and 1:1 messaging. All these things seamlessly integrate together.
At the end of the day, Mighty gives you a set of tools to create your own culture. Best of all, Mighty Pro builds totally branded apps to reach your members. Mighty gives you a lot of options for adding your own branding to your community, both on the web and on mobile apps. We’ll work with you to create your own white-label app. Your members only ever see your brand in the App Store and Google Play store, not ours.
4. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Room to grow
How do Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups compare as a place to grow your community?
Facebook has a lot of potential as a space to grow huge communities. There are a lot of people there, and it’s easy to join a community with the click of a button. But one of the disadvantages of a Facebook Group is that it doesn't actually grow with you. The community you’ll build for 10 people is the same as the community you would build for 10,000.
Although the platform lets you grow in numbers, it doesn’t give you much to deal with the increase in complexity that comes with new members.
Mighty Networks is cultural software that’s built for creating communities, and it’s got a ton of growth potential that Facebook doesn’t. You can create your own Spaces dedicated to specific interests or topics. For example, if you had a group for entrepreneurs, you could create subgroups for first-time entrepreneurs, people trying to learn sales or people who need to understand how to hire employees. All of these might be topics that entrepreneurs need to learn about, but by creating these Spaces you can serve people where they’re at.
The Spaces approach lets you choose from a bunch of different native features that you can turn on or off, things like chat, activity feed, events, and courses, giving you tools to craft your own awesome culture!
Mighty Networks also gives you more data about what’s working in your community and what isn’t with an advanced community analytics dashboard, giving the data you need to understand how your community is growing so that you don’t lose track of things and members in the process.
4. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Quality of community-building
There are quite a few differences between Mighty Networks and Facebook when it comes to the quality of the communities you can build on each.
Let’s start with the good things first. You can get people into a Facebook community. It’s pretty easy to join. Theoretically, they can jump into your group activities from anywhere, using the app if they’re waiting in line at the grocery store or at the park with their kids.
The problem with the community-building options on Facebook isn’t the access. It’s the algorithm. Your members could theoretically access everything you do in the group, but the Facebook algorithm will make it hit or miss as to whether they will actually see things that happen. While there are different notification settings, the default is for Facebook to show your members random selections of group activity rather than everything.
The other challenge is the level of distraction. You’re competing with cat videos, political rants, and family vacation photos, not to mention the 14 other groups your members joined. These things make it really difficult to build an engaged community on Facebook and are a strike against it. (You can read more about the disadvantages to Facebook Groups here.)
Like Facebook, Mighty Networks gives you a platform your members can access anywhere, whether they’re waiting in line for groceries or on the bus. The apps work great, letting your community members not only engage with posts, but also join meetings, take courses, and so much more.
Unlike Facebook, Mighty Networks also lets you create the right environment for your community to thrive. This includes an amazing notification system to let users know about new content, updates via email, and–best of all–a dedicated community site with no ads or other posts. Mighty Networks also gives you more ways to contact your members through dedicated individual and group messaging.
And because there are no distractions, you're not competing. When users join you on Mighty, it’s because that’s where they want to be. They’re giving you their undivided attention. And that makes for a great community.
5. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Safety and security
When it comes to issues of safety and security, which place is better to host a group that members will feel comfortable joining and engaging in?
Let’s start with the positives. Facebook Groups are generally pretty secure in terms of access, with logins and security features to prevent hacks. As a major social media platform, Facebook commits to constantly evolving its security practices, and users mostly feel okay about logging on.
There are some issues with spam in Facebook Groups, although Facebook has built-in moderation features to help avoid this. You can also set clear group rules.
The bigger issue with Facebook Groups isn’t about safety and security from hackers or outsiders. It’s about safety from the platform itself. Facebook has been in the news a lot lately for the way it uses members’ data, and even how that data has been used for misinformation campaigns. This means that some users are more hesitant than ever to sign up to Facebook. If you’re hosting an online community on a platform that some users are boycotting or don’t feel comfortable joining, it’s probably not going to go very well.
Although Facebook is the “free” option, nothing is free. They monetize by using your members’ data and selling ads with it. And more people are recognizing this and avoiding the platform altogether.
Mighty Networks has a full set of security features, including single sign-on (SSO) options using Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Apple credentials–or your users can create a unique account if they prefer. Unlike Facebook, Mighty Networks doesn’t sell or share its user data. As a result, most Hosts and members feel comfortable using Mighty Networks.
7. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Monetization
When you compare Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups on the possibilities for monetization, the differences are really clear.
Facebook Groups DO have the potential to monetize in different ways. BUT, that comes with a huge caveat–they’re really only for super large groups. Want to charge a group membership fee? You’ll need 10,000 followers. Want to create some great brand partnerships and earn that way? You’ll need 1,000 followers.
Facebook does allow you to charge for live events in some cases, so that is an option. But most of the monetization features are out of reach for the average creator.
Unlike Facebook Groups, Mighty Networks has a ton of great monetization methods that work for every sized community. Heck, on Mighty Networks there are creators earning a full-time living off of groups with 50 people.
With Mighty Networks, you can:
- Charge a membership fee (either recurring or one-time)
- Charge in 135 local currencies
- Charge with token-gating
- Create subgroups and charge for them
- Charge for courses
- Charge for events
Mighty Networks gives community Hosts a ton of great monetization options, and that means that creators are getting paid what they’re worth for their efforts. By the way, in case you were wondering, our research shows that groups that charge a membership fee actually do better! People value what they pay for.
The option to charge access to your community, either through a monthly or yearly fee or token gating is a game changer, and Mighty makes it super easy to build a thriving business off of your content.
So if you’re looking for a way to monetize your community, Mighty Networks gives you a lot to work with. And don’t worry, if you want to keep the community free, that’s always an option too.
When it comes to comparing Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups, there are a lot of reasons why Mighty Networks is a way better place to start a community. Community Hosts win on the level of engagement, the whole range of features they can access to make their community great, and a ton of awesome monetization possibilities.
Don’t build a community on social media, where anything could change in an instant. Choose Mighty’s cultural software and give your community the home it deserves.
But don’t take our word for it.