Facebook Groups used to be the most popular way to connect with your audience, establish brand trust, and grow your business. The problem is, you don’t own your group—Facebook does.
This detail, plus lack of monetization options, has led to the rise of great alternatives to Facebook Groups for building your online community and reaching the right people the right way.
Let’s see why more and more content creators are seeking alternatives to Facebook Groups, and which ones made our top seven list.
Why are online creators looking for alternatives to Facebook Groups?
However, although Facebook Groups used to be a great option to get your business closer to your customers, recent scandals concerning user privacy, along with a laundry list of other issues, have increasingly frustrated and even hurt business owners reliant on the social giant.
This is causing many to seek alternatives to Facebook Groups.
What are all these issues, you ask?
First, although Facebook Groups are quick to set up, customization options are minimal. Everything from the font to the interface to the way your audience interacts with you is controlled by Facebook, and you have no say in the matter.
This takes us to the next point: your Facebook Group isn’t owned or managed by you—it’s Facebook’s. This means you may be unable to promote certain content or interact with your group members the way you’d like. It also means you’re counting on Facebook to keep its platform up and running smoothly, which isn’t always the case. May we remind you of the Facebook outage of 2021?
Another downfall of Facebook Groups is visibility and monetization. Unless you upgrade your ad budget, non-paid posts normally get around 2.2% of views. To put it another way, if your Facebook Group has 1,000 followers, only 22 of them will see your posts!
Facebook’s algorithm also prioritizes posts from family and friends over businesses, so it’s even harder to engage your audience with your content, awesome as it may be.
Lastly, managing a Facebook Group can be hard work. Apart from dealing with unpleasantness from trolls and spam accounts, you can’t customize your administrative controls, meaning you’ll have to use Facebook’s system to let people in, post, and moderate.
Online communities are key to business success. But more and more content creators are turning away from Facebook and finding alternatives that work better for them and their businesses, especially when they’re ready to launch their offer.
Which Facebook Group alternative is best for a creator’s needs?
This is a question you have to answer for yourself because what works for other businesses might not work for yours. However, we created this article to give you solid information for making the right choice for you.
Here are the main things to look out for when choosing an alternative to Facebook Groups:
Can you customize the platform? Is it easy to use? Can you set everything up quickly and effectively? Are you happy with the way it integrates with the rest of your business?
When choosing a platform, you need to make sure it has the right features for you and your brand. We’ll dig into this more as we explore specific platforms below.
How do you like the interface? Do you feel comfortable setting it up, customizing, and using it? Or do you feel confused or overwhelmed by it? If the latter, are there great support options to help you get up to speed and troubleshoot? If a platform is confusing and you can’t get the help you need, it’s best to explore other options.
Your online community thrives when your audience is engaging with it, so it’s extremely important to consider the experience your users will have when using the platform.
What does it look like from a user perspective? Does it seem easy to navigate and interact with?
If you find it hard to understand, chances are your community members will as well.
Try it out from your audience’s point of view and decide whether this is something they’d be happy engaging with, or whether it could be improved.
Some Facebook Group alternatives are more costly than others, and it’s important to find one that fits your budget.
More expensive doesn’t always mean better—check the above factors before choosing one platform over the other.
The last thing you want is to end up with an expensive platform whose interface and client experience are hard to work out.
There are many ways to find out the perfect alternative to Facebook Groups. Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of the legwork for you!
What are the best online community alternatives to Facebook Groups?
There are many options out there that allow you to create your own online community outside of Facebook, and today we bring you the top seven best alternatives to Facebook Groups.
Let’s dig in!
What started as a platform for gamers has become a very popular community-building platform.
Discord has some great features to nurture your online community outside of Facebook, such as secure public and private channels, customizable bots to interact with your members, direct messaging between members and admins, audio and video calls, and custom permissions to distinguish between admins and users.
You can also download and use it for free, or upgrade for $99.99 a year to unlock additional features.
However, setting up a Discord community isn’t an intuitive process, and you’ll be faced with a steep learning curve that can slow down your online community-building process.
Your Discord server will also co-exist with the rest of the online communities using this platform, meaning you’ll have to make sure you stand out so your audience engages with your content instead of your competitors.
When it comes to branding, Discord uses a dark theme, which may or may not fit with your brand aesthetic. Unfortunately, this can’t be customized.
Finally, you can’t charge your users for access to your Discord server. If you want to do this, you need to set up a payment page separately.
The same happens if your goal is to sell digital products, making monetizing your audience a slightly clunky process.
All in all, Discord is a great alternative to Facebook community groups, offering better functionality and features. However, if your goal is to monetize your audience and build your business, this platform may not give you all the tools you want.
With more than 50 million users interacting on Reddit daily, this platform is a big contender when it comes to building an online community outside of Facebook.
Reddit uses a forum-like structure, where each topic gets assigned to a category called a subreddit.
Some great things about Reddit are that it’s free, you can create a public or restricted subreddit, and it’s really easy to set up and use.
However, much like Discord, this platform lacks customization options for your brand and monetization options for your members. And similar to Facebook, you don’t fully own your subreddit.
This means your subreddit can be removed if the platform’s administrators think you—or any of your members—have broken rules through posting or commenting.
The amount of subreddits on the platform is very high too, so creating content to engage your audience can become an uphill struggle.
Although the platform itself is free, you have to pay to get an ad-free version.
Reddit is a great tool to create a free online community, but like Discord, it’s not the best option if you’re looking to monetize your online community.
3. MIGHTY NETWORKS
Mighty Networks allows you to build an online community and sell your courses in the same place.
With this platform, you can create free or paid communities for your followers, use personalized branding, offer a mobile app, and set up private areas for your members to interact.
Mighty Networks also allows for live streams, group and private chat messaging, and an unlimited number of members and moderators.
However, this platform doesn’t have a free plan, and transaction fees are charged on top of your monthly plan.
If you’re after online course features, you’ll have to sign up for their Business Plan for $119/month, and if you need any additional tools—such as payment processing, email marketing, a good website builder, or a landing page creator—you may have to pay extra to get them.
Mighty Networks plans—and the transaction fees attached—are their Free Trial ($0/month and 5% transaction fee), Community Plan ($39/month and 3% transaction fee), Business Plan ($119/month and 2% transaction fee), and Mighty Pro (custom pricing).
This platform is a great tool to create an online community, but you need to be mindful of its transaction fees because they can add up quickly as your community gets bigger.
Check out our full Kajabi vs. Mighty Networks rundown for all the details.
Tribe is an online community-building tool designed to be used either on businesses’ websites or through phone apps.
Some of the benefits of Tribe are that you can choose to build a public or private community, integrate it easily with other apps (such as Slack, Google Analytics, or Intercom, to name a few), and customize it to fit your brand aesthetics. Plus, you get a great variety of community management tools.
Tribe also allows members to share content with different category tags.
You can get Tribe for free for the first 100 members.
After that, you can choose between their Plus Plan ($59/month) to allow up to 2,500 members and expand your choice of apps; or their Premium Plan ($299/month), which allows you to remove the Tribe branding and expand to 25,000 members.
One major downside is Tribe doesn’t allow for direct messaging, making it harder for administrators and members to communicate with each other.
And like the above options, Tribe doesn’t offer any methods for paid memberships to your online community or selling digital products to your members.
This means the monetization options Tribe offers require you to work around these issues and set up payment tools external to the platform. Yikes! Yet another tool to add to your tech stack.
Tribe is a great choice for established businesses that want to expand their online community because it focuses on nurturing brand loyalty.
However, it’s not as well suited to connecting you with your audience, which can slow your community-building efforts if you’re just starting up.
Podia is an online platform for creators and a great alternative to Facebook Groups.
With Podia, you can control how you interact with the users, offer free and paid memberships, and sell digital products.
Podia also supports direct messaging, website building, and email marketing, making it easier to create connections and integrate your business with your online community.
Since Podia integrates payment systems, you don’t have to worry about having to set those up separately. This helps you monetize your content and make the most of your online community.
Because you can build your website in Podia from the ground up, you get a 100% customizable platform to match your brand’s identity.
With Podia, you can use their free plan, although you get charged an 8% fee for transactions made on their platform.
Paid plans don’t charge you a transaction fee and currently include the Mover Plan ($39/month), Shaker Plan ($75/month), and Earthquaker Plan ($166/month).
If you want to unlock webinars and affiliate support, you need to upgrade to the Shaker Plan.
If all you’re looking for are basic features, Podia is a great alternative to Facebook Groups, offering a centralized solution to help you run your business. However, Podia lacks some important integrations—such as ClickFunnels or Segment for funnel builders, or Facebook Pixel for ad campaigns—that you’ll need to get separately, boosting the total price of your tech toolkit considerably.
Another downfall of Podia is that it only offers a basic product template with few customization options, so you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time creating resources from scratch.
Podia doesn’t offer an overview of the progress users are making with your courses either—you can check users’ progress individually, which is mega time-consuming—making it harder for you to see at a glance whether your audience is engaging with your training.
If you need help with training to make the most out of Podia, keep in mind that you’ll only get one Q&A session every week, which may not be enough to help you set up your online community and harness all its potential.
Learn more about Podia’s capabilities and downfalls here.
Hivebrite is a community-building platform that allows a very large number of members to use it.
This platform gives you a high level of customization, live feeds, different access rights for your members, free or paid memberships, and the option to turn on more features as your community grows and changes.
More than 500 organizations currently use Hivebrite, and their customer service has been reported as fantastic.
However, Hivebrite doesn’t display its prices on its website but reportedly starts at $500/month. To get specific pricing information and other key details, you have to sign up for a demo.
Beyond the high-end pricing, another drawback is that integrating this platform with your own tech stack can be challenging, and you might need to hire an IT expert to synchronize Hivebrite with other tools.
Hivebrite is a good option for big-budget enterprises to create an online community they can monetize, but with the high cost and technical complexity, it might not be a great choice for independent creators and smaller businesses.
Kajabi lets you create safe public and private communities, customize the platform to match your brand identity, and set up paid memberships. And since its recent acquisition of the best-in-class community platform Vibely, it will soon feature live calls, challenges, leaderboards, accountability tools, real-time chat, and more!
Kajabi also handles website creation, email marketing, payment processing, and podcasting, among other digital product and business tools.
This platform is very easy to use, bringing you plenty of customizable templates for anything you need—paid or free community, online courses, membership sites, email marketing, or landing pages, to name a few.
This helps you create a cohesive brand strategy across your entire business. And because of the wide range of templates available, you can offer your audience any digital product you want while maintaining brand cohesiveness throughout.
You can tie your business to your online community thanks to Kajabi’s custom domain tool and website builder. These allow you to add video backgrounds, sales pages, or pop-up forms, among many other elements.
You can also create landing pages separately from your website, and you have more than 20 designs to choose from. It’s so easy you can create the perfect landing page in Kajabi in under 20 minutes.
Kajabi centralizes all the different integrations you need to create, grow, and monetize a successful online community, saving you money while setting you up to easily ramp up your revenue.
With Kajabi, the monthly fee you pay covers everything you need to run your business and manage your online community, so you don’t have to use multiple platforms to manage and grow your business.
Kajabi offers three different payment plans:
- The Basic Plan ($119/month) includes one website that can sell up to three products with three pipelines. You get an unlimited number of landing pages and marketing emails, and you can have up to 1,000 active members.
- The Growth Plan ($159/month) includes one website that can sell up to 15 products and pipelines and expands the number of active users to 10,000. It also lets you set up 10 administrators, and you can remove Kajabi’s branding.
- The Pro Plan ($319/month) includes three websites that can sell up to 100 products and pipelines, you can have up to 20,000 active users, and 25 admin users.
Kajabi is an excellent alternative to Facebook Groups for community owners, course creators, and coaches. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to run your business, as you only have to pay a single monthly fee for a full suite of business growth software.
Which is the best alternative to Facebook Groups?
Online communities are great spaces for you to consolidate your brand identity, share audience-focused content, and show prospects and customers you’re interested in what they have to say.
Being aware of your audience’s needs and opinions can help you build a strategy that works for your brand; they’re a gateway into the mind of your prospects, which means you can align your content and products with your target audience more accurately.
Take it from Dan Plew of Endure IQ. Dan says, “I created a community where my members pay $5/week and they can connect with myself and each other. You get great testimonials because people are talking about their experience in the community, and it provides a great place to source feedback and do market research for new products I want to launch.”
Only you know what exactly you want and need from an online community-building tool, but getting familiar with the options is a great way to ensure you make an informed decision.
That said, most online business owners love having a full package of tools to grow and monetize a community all in one place and with no hidden fees.
Kajabi offers a full stack of digital business tools in one neat package and a wide range of resources, such as product templates and free webinars, to make your experience even easier.
And the best part? You can try it for free for 14 days to decide whether it's the right solution for you.