If you’re thinking about starting an online community, Facebook Groups is probably one of your top choices among social media platforms. Why wouldn’t it be? Groups are free, you might already have an audience there, and it has decent community-building tools as well.
However, with limited customization options and control over your community, Facebook Groups isn’t the right option for everyone, so creators often look for an alternative.
One such alternative is Mighty Networks, which is a standalone online community builder. So the question is: Which option is right for you?
To answer, we’ve created a comprehensive Mighty Networks vs Facebook Groups comparison. We’ll explain the concept behind these two platforms and cover the pros and cons in detail. Let’s get started!
What Are Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups?
Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups are the two most popular platforms that allow you to create an online community. However, comparing these platforms is like comparing apples and oranges—they’re very different. Let us explain what we mean by that.
Mighty Networks is basically a software platform that provides you with the infrastructure and the tools you need to create a community on your own website. The community you create belongs to you, and you control all its aspects.
Facebook Groups, on the other hand, is a function on Facebook that allows you to create a community within the social network. The group you create belongs to Facebook, and you’ll have partial control over your content and audience.
So that’s the gist of these two platforms. Let’s now move on to their individual aspects and compare them head to head.
Key Differences Between Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups
When it comes to Mighty Networks vs Facebook Groups, there are certain key differences between them. We have categorized them to make them easier to compare and contrast.
The most important factor for the success of any online community is the end-user experience, and it all starts with the user interface.
With Facebook, the math is simple. The social media platform has been around for nearly two decades, and people use it daily. So, most people are familiar with the platform, which translates to Facebook Groups having an uncomplicated learning curve.
While people’s familiarity with Facebook goes in its favor, the noise this social media platform generates goes against it. Your members can easily get distracted on Facebook, with notifications and ads cluttering the feed.
Another downside is related to content discoverability. Users don’t have control over what they want to see from your group. They can’t personalize their feed or set up custom notifications.
Add to that the privacy and security concerns people have regarding how Facebook uses personal information, and you’ll have a few reasons to consider an alternative to Facebook Groups.
While Mighty Networks isn’t as popular as Facebook, it has a clean design, and all the features are well organized, so your members will find their way around the platform quickly.
They won’t be exposed to ads, and they can filter their feeds according to their preferences.
The platform also has several features, such as a Discovery page, hashtags, and powerful search functionality to ensure users easily find the content they’re interested in.
Moreover, Might Networks has a robust notification system that lets your members choose what they want to be notified about and through what channel, leading to a superior user experience.
Finally, Mighty Networks has a mobile app that allows your members to access your community and engage with it on the go. The app is built from the ground up for community engagement, so it delivers a great experience.
Facebook, meanwhile, doesn’t have a dedicated app for the Groups functionality. Users can still access groups through the main Facebook app, but they don’t get a specialized experience.
Ownership and Control
One big reason why dedicated online community builders are becoming so popular is that they put you in control of your community.
With Facebook Groups, your community belongs to Facebook, and you don’t have full control over the content or the audience in your group.
For instance, Facebook has the right to remove your content or even suspend the entire group if it doesn’t comply with its policies. To make matters worse, you can’t export data out of Facebook Groups, you can’t take your community elsewhere.
In fact, you don’t even control what your group members get to see in their feeds. It’s all decided by Facebook’s algorithm.
Meanwhile, with Mighty Networks, your community lives on your website, so you don’t have to worry about censorship. You also have full control over what content to show to your members and how to engage with them.
In Mighty Networks, everything in your community, including your members’ data, belongs to you. If you want, you can export it and move it to another community platform.
Another big aspect of control is customization.
A Facebook group has a preset structure, and there’s not much you can do to change it. You can’t create subgroups to better organize your community or modify the layout in any way.
Plus, you have no control over group branding except changing the cover photo and applying a custom color.
Mighty Networks, on the other hand, gives you much more control over your community’s structure and design:
- Using Spaces and Collections, you can better organize your content and make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.
- You can customize your community’s design by adding your brand’s logo, colors, and other elements.
- You can also move your community to your own domain, which is something you can’t do with Facebook Groups.
Overall, Mighty Networks is a better choice if you need more control, flexibility, and ownership of your community.
In this section, we’ll talk about the tool each platform offers for building an engaged online community.
First off, we must say that Facebook does a decent job regarding community engagement. It has all the important features, including rich discussion posts, community polls, events, live videos, group chats, etc.
Mighty Networks also includes all these tools. However, it offers several additional features for enhancing the member experience.
First, Mighty Networks lets you create full-fledged online courses. You can build your curriculum, host your course videos, and deliver your content.
With Facebook Groups, you have a feature called Guides that lets you organize and highlight important content from your group, but it isn’t a substitute for a proper online course.
Additionally, Mighty Networks offers a few unique features, such as a Welcome Checklist and Icebreaker questions, which are great for fuelling engagement in your community.
Overall, Mighty Networks has a slight edge in the engagement department.
Monetizing your Facebook Groups isn’t that straightforward.
To charge subscriptions on Facebook, you need to meet specific criteria. For example, your business page must have at least 10,000 followers, and your posts must earn 50,000 engagements over a 60-day period.
You can always accept payments outside, but then there’s no way to add/remove members into your group automatically. You’ll need to handle everything manually, which is a big pain.
In Mighty Networks’ case, the story is completely different. The platform has built-in monetization tools, which you can use to charge for access to your community or certain spaces inside your community.
To start accepting payments, you just need to connect your Stripe account with your Mighty network, and the platform will take care of the rest.
Regarding pricing options, you can charge a one-time payment or a recurring subscription fee. You’re also able to set different access levels for your members and apply discounts or offer a free trial.
Overall, it’s way easier to monetize your community with Mighty Networks than with Facebook Groups.
Reporting and Analytics
Now let’s compare the reporting and analytics tools that Facebook Groups vs Mighty Networks offer.
With Facebook Groups, you get access to the Insights tab, where you can see some basic metrics about community engagement and growth.
These include the number of posts and comments, most engaged group members, new membership requests, member growth over time, etc.
In the case of Mighty Networks, you get much more detailed analytics on every aspect of your community, from active members to their activity to your revenue.
The platform further offers detailed information about different functionalities and how many members use them or how often. This includes discussion posts, live streaming, online courses, member chats, and more.
The granularity of the available reports is truly impressive, and it uses a variety of charts and heatmaps to represent the data visually. You can track these metrics at the community level or for individual spaces as well.
One area where Facebook Groups seems like a tempting option relates to pricing and, in this case, the lack of it. No investment is required to start a group since the platform generates revenue through advertisements, allowing it to remain free.
Mighty Networks has subscription-based pricing, charging you directly. But the platform won’t monetize your audience in any way.
There are three pricing plans, and the lowest one is the Community plan, costing $39/month.
The Business plan, which is the most popular one, costs $119/per month. There’s another tier called Mighty Pro that offers white-label community apps, the pricing of which is available on request.
When to Use Mighty Networks vs Facebook Groups?
Now that you understand the differences between the two platforms, let’s explore the scenarios where using one will be more beneficial than the other.
Mighty Networks is right for you if you want:
- Control and customization: If you want more control over your community’s appearance, content, discoverability, and members’ data, Mighty Networks will better cater to your needs.
- Privacy: If privacy or safety is a concern for your audience, creating a community on this platform will help you build trust. The platform doesn’t sell data to advertisers, and you’re in control of your members’ information.
- Monetization: If you want to build a community that’s paid or included as a part of a paid product, like an online course or membership site, going with Mighty Networks will make more sense.
- User engagement: Mighty Networks is designed to increase user engagement by providing a personalized experience and targeted content. With features such as spaces, live events, online courses, and private messaging, it can facilitate more meaningful interactions among community members.
- Niche communities: If you want to create a community around a specific niche or interest, it’s best to go with a dedicated community builder. For instance, one of the Mighty Network communities, Kwik Brain, has a narrow focus on increasing learning and reading speed. Finding this kind of community on Facebook would be difficult.
Facebook Groups is right for you if you want:
- To leverage Facebook’s audience: If you want to create a general interest community and tap into Facebook’s audience, creating a group on the social media platform will help you do that. And that’s why some of the biggest communities online are on Facebook.
- Familiarity: If your audience has an active presence on the platform, it makes sense to create a community there. They are already using the platform, making it easier to drive engagement.
- Informal groups: If you want to run a casual, low-maintenance community with a few friends or family members, Facebook Groups will serve well for this purpose.
In this guide, we discussed in detail the differences between Facebook Groups and Mighty Networks. Both platforms have unique advantages and disadvantages, which actually makes the choice between the two simple.
If you want to build a free community and grow it organically by tapping into Facebook’s audience, creating a group is the way to go. But that’s the only scenario where we recommend using Facebook Groups.
Otherwise, Mighty Networks will work better in most scenarios. Whether you want to create a niche community, a private community for your course/membership, or even a paid community, it will work better for you.
If you’d like to give Mighty Networks a try, click the button below and start a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).
We hope you enjoyed reading this Mighty Networks vs Facebook Groups comparison. Which of these two platforms are you leaning towards? Do you have another platform in mind? Leave a comment and let us know.