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 towards 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 lets you create vibrant communities, teach courses, charge for membership, and more. 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 leaders set up groups around a common interest or cause.
2. Mighty Networks vs. Facebook Groups: Judgment criteria
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 platform should grow with you and empower you to serve your members really well, throughout its growth.
Quality of community-building
So if you’re growing an online community, it’s not just about the number of members. You want to create a space that people feel free and safe to be in, where meannigful connections 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.
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.
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: 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 isn’t as well-known as Facebook, but it’s actually much better for growing from a small community to a big, complex community. You can grow your audience with subgroups, dedicated to specific interests. 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 subgroups you can serve people where they’re at.
Mighty Networks also gives you more data about what’s working in your community and what isn’t with an advanced analytics dashboard. This helps you 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 space. Mighty Networks also gives you more ways to contact your members through dedicated individual and group messaging.
And there are no distractions. You’re not competing. When users join your group on Mighty Networks, 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.
6. 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 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 Networks has a ton of extra features that make building a community possible, from online courses to dedicated subgroups to group and individual messaging, which is a vital feature to have.
Best of all, Mighty Networks gives you a lot of options for adding your own branding to your community, both on the web and on mobile apps. You can even choose to create your own white-label app with Mighty Networks so that users only ever see your own brand.
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 local currencies
- 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.
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.
But don’t take our word for it.
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