Facebook Groups Alternatives : I Have Tried 4 Community Management Tools So You Don’t Have To

Facebook Groups Alternatives (Free + Paid): I Have Tried 4 Community Management Tools So You Don't Have To

When it comes to community-building, Facebook Groups are like training wheels— it’s familiar but not very functional. If you’re reading this, you’re probably also looking for better Facebook Groups alternatives that let you build an engaged online community and monetize it. 

Few community platforms are as familiar as Facebook Groups. I have experience managing a community for growth marketing on the platform. However, my personal experiences have only helped me realize the many limitations of FB Groups.

From limited content reach to the cluttered news feeds and even the risk of losing your entire community to the algorithm, Facebook Groups neither guarantees you ownership nor data security. Thankfully, multiple community platforms available right now can better fit your needs.

Given the variety of options available, choosing the best online community-building tool can be difficult and expensive. However, you’re in luck because I already paid for and tried out four Facebook Groups alternatives, so you don’t have to!

In this article, I’ll briefly discuss Facebook Groups, its pros, cons, and the top alternatives I’ve tried. But first, complete disclosure: If you click on some of the links in this blog, I may receive affiliate compensation (but at zero cost to you). Additionally, I used the platforms myself, and I support these companies even though they did not pay me to write this review.

Table of Content

Facebook Groups 

Facebook Groups

Using Facebook Groups to build an online community makes sense when you’re just starting— it’s free and familiar with users worldwide. But if you’re planning to build a long-term community where you can share and monetize your content, FB Groups would be an uphill battle.

If you use Facebook Groups to grow your community, you’re at the mercy of the notoriously unpredictable algorithms to determine what your users see. Making your content visible is already a challenge, but it’s made even more difficult by the cluttered, distracting Facebook feeds.

A Facebook Group also gives you very little control and leaves you susceptible to any platform modifications Facebook may make. If Facebook decides to ban you from your group or remove the group entirely, your community and all your created content could be erased almost immediately.

Key Features

  • Admin tools
  • Community chats
  • Customizable colors, post backgrounds, emojis, etc.
  • Engagement Analytics 
  • Preset post formats
  • Personalized suggestions for Admin Assist 
  • Recurring events
  • Shop settings for selling products 
  • Unlimited members

Besides the above-mentioned, Meta is constantly rolling out new features for Facebook. Features currently being tested for FB Groups include subgroups, paid memberships, subscriptions, etc.

Pros 

  • Admin and moderation tools
  • Easy setup
  • Easy to attract members from Facebook’s extensive userbase
  • Familiar platform interface 
  • Free to use
  • In-built shops

Cons 

  • Limited content visibility 
  • Lacks automation/integrations 
  • No online course support
  • No in-built monetization options 
  • Non-customizable branding
  • Restricted organic reach
  • Unpredictable bans by the algorithm

Facebook Groups Alternatives #1: Circle.so

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Circle.so

Circle is one of the best alternatives to Facebook Groups that I have personally tested. It’s an excellent platform for building an engaged community centered around your content. 

Unlike FB Groups which offer no in-built monetization options, Circle offers paid memberships, subscriptions, and even the option to set up paywalls for some (or all) of your content and events.

From product communities to offering online courses, coaching, and running mastermind groups, Circle serves several use cases. Additionally, Circle communities are great for your paid newsletters, podcasts, events, webinars, and more. Another notable advantage of Circle over FB Groups is the easy log-in with SSO and the option to incorporate the community into your existing websites.

To read more about my experiences with the platform, hop over to my detailed Circle.so review!

Features 

  • Custom domains.
  • Easy log-in with SSO.
  • Live streams, events, and private/group chats.
  • Member and engagement analytics.
  • Searchable member database 
  • Subscriptions, Stripe payment, paywalls, etc., for monetization 
  • White-label branding

Pros

  • Custom SSO
  • Community performance analytics 
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Exclusive Creator’s Community 
  • Multiple monetization options 
  • 3000+ integrations through Zapier

Cons 

  • Multiple communities only available with the Enterprise Plan
  • Not available for Android
  • No free version

Intrigued to know more? Check out my post on the best Circle.so alternatives!

 

Pricing 

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Circle.so

Circle offers three subscription plans, all of which come with a 14-day free trial. 

  • Basic Plan: At $39/month, this plan gives you 10 Spaces, 1,000 monthly active members, in-app notifications, custom domains, Zapier connectivity, and more.
  • Professional Plan: At $79/month, the Professional Plan supports 10,000 monthly active members, 100 spaces, SSO, and custom CSS.
  • Enterprise Plan: At $199/month, the Enterprise Plan supports up to 1,000 Spaces and 100,000 monthly active members. You also get three communities, a custom SSO, a dedicated account manager, and more.

Try Circle.so for free

Facebook Groups Alternatives #2: Mighty Networks

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Mighty Networks

Facebook Groups don’t give you the option to set up paid memberships, offer courses, or get your own domain with custom branding. But you can get all that and much more with Mighty Networks.

With Mighty Networks, you can build a website, author and publish courses, and even develop a community-branded mobile app. You can also host events, run polls and surveys, embed videos, photos, and sound files, and write articles with the powerful CMS.

Key Features

  • Activity tracking
  • Built-in course builder
  • Collaboration tools
  • Content management with in-built library
  • Custom branded website
  • Electronic payments and dues management
  • Free/paid community access
  • Real-time engagement analytics
  • Member directory & database

Pros 

  • Custom branding 
  • Content reaches 100% of members 
  • Course-builder for online courses/mastermind groups
  • Flexible monetization options
  • Native app support for iOS and Android
  • Slack integration

Cons 

  • Additional transaction fees
  • Lacks SSO integration with external course platforms
  • Less familiar than Facebook Groups 
  • Limited landing page designs
  • No in-built certification and quizzing for the course-builder
  • PayPal incompatible

Pricing

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks comes with three pricing plans:

  • The Community Plan: At $33/month, this plan lets you set up paid memberships, build a website, live stream, and host events.
  • The Business Plan: At $99/month, the Business Plan gives you additional features like workflows, online courses, and analytics.
  • Mighty Pro Plan: The custom-priced Mighty Pro Plan adds features like notifications with branded apps, strategy support, and an account manager.

Try Mighty Networks for free

Facebook Groups Alternatives #3: Disciple Media

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Disciple

Unlike Facebook Groups, Disciple helps you create independent communities completely owned and managed by you. With multiple options to monetize the community with courses, ads, subscriptions, and more, Disciple is a much better choice for generating revenue from your communities. 

Disciple provides various benefits over FB Groups, including extensive customization, gamification tools, and content control settings. However, Disciple’s pricing structure, which gets more expensive with more users and features, is a drawback.

Key Features

  • Advertising Management
  • Community& Communication Management
  • Data Security
  • Event Management
  • Fully customizable branding
  • Gamification 
  • Member Analytics & Reporting

Pros

  • Audience segmentation 
  • Content library and folders 
  • Multiple monetization options
  • Member & engagement analytics.
  • No-code app development
  • White-label branding
  • Unlimited sub groups & content feeds

Cons

  • Costly add-ons
  • CMS without shortcuts
  • Expensive pricing plan
  • Advanced features exclusive to the mobile version

Pricing

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Disciple

Disciple offers two different plans for the web and the mobile version:

  • Web Plan: The web version costs $55/month and covers unlimited groups, custom branding, events, and subscriptions.
  • Mobile Plan: At $549/month, most of Disciple’s advanced features come with the Mobile Plan. This plan comes with live streams, in-app purchases, priority customer assistance, and a devoted community success manager.

While Disciple is free to try for seven days, it comes with extra costs for the add-on services. To add an admin, you must pay $29/month. The option to remove the Disciple branding will cost you $108/month. And if you want to access the advanced features exclusive to the Mobile Community, it will cost you $458/month.

Facebook Groups Alternatives #4: Tribe.so

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Tribe.so

If you’re building a customer community, Tribe is another solid Facebook Groups alternative. Companies like Tim Hortons and IBM currently use this platform to build customer engagement.

Much like Facebook Groups, Tribe lets your members ask questions, post content, leave comments, take polls, upload videos, etc. But the platform also offers advanced features like embeddable widgets, Google Analytics support, comprehensive API, and several third-party integrations. As a bonus, your Tribe community can also integrate your existing products and websites.

Key Features

  • Custom domain and branding 
  • Embeddable widgets
  • Gamification & rewards 
  • Moderation panel for posts
  • Member Analytics 
  • Q&A forums & Voting
  • Webhooks and API-based deployment 
  • Workflow automation

Pros

  • Customized native mobile apps
  • Custom domain
  • Customizable themes
  • Fully white-label community branding
  • Free with Basic Plan

Cons

  • Mobile apps are exclusive to premium plans
  • No online courses
  • No built-in messaging
  • Limited integrations

Pricing

Facebook Groups Alternatives: Tribe.so

Tribe offers four subscription plans:

  • The Basic Plan: This plan is free to use and includes custom domains, up to 100 users, and unlimited page views.
  • The Plus Plan: The $59/month Plus Plan provides up to 10,000 members with access to Plus applications, Analytics, and APIs.
  • The Premium Plan: Single Sign-On (SSO), fully white-labeled premium apps, moderation, and a dedicated customer success manager are all included in this $239/month plan.
  • The Enterprise Plan: This custom-priced plan comes with custom apps and design and VIP client success management.

Comparison

Criteria Facebook Groups  Circle.so Mighty Networks  Disciple Media Tribe
Pricing Free Starts from $39/month Starts from $33/month Starts from $55/month Starts with a free Basic Plan 
Built-in Monetization  Unavailable  Paid memberships, Paywalls, subscriptions, upsells, coupons & discounts  Paid memberships, courses, events Paid memberships, Subscriptions, in-App purchases, paid app download, Apple/Google Pay, sponsorship /advertising, affiliates, store links Subscriptions, PayPal/Stripe payment, advertising, paid memberships
Branding  No white-labeling  White-label  White-label White-label White-label
Custom Domain/Website Unavailable  Custom domains Available  Available  Available 
Members Unlimited (with some restrictions past 5k members) Limited  Unlimited  Limited  Limited 
Analytics  Group insights, membership & engagement  Member & Engagement Analytics  Detailed Member Analytics  Member & Engagement Analytics  Google analytics integration 
Native Mobile App Web, iOS, Android  Web and iOS Web, iOS, Android Web, iOS, Android  Web, mobile app (only for premium plans)
Online Courses  Unavailable  Available  Available  Available  Unavailable 
Demo/Trial 14-day free trial Demo, 14-day free trial  7-day free trial 14-day free trial for Premium Plan

Final Thoughts 

There is no disputing that Facebook Groups isn’t the ideal solution if you’re serious about creating a long-lasting community. A solid community platform should provide you with complete control over your data, safeguard the privacy of community members, and allow you to monetize your content and customize the community to reflect your brand.

While the Facebook Groups alternatives we discussed do most of the above, which platform you choose depends on the type of community you’re building and your budget. 

Suppose you want your community to have easy log-in with SSO, paywalls to monetize some (or all) of your content, and most importantly, exclusive access to a community of prominent creators. In that case, Circle might be worth a shot. However, Mighty Networks might be better if your goal is to build a monetized community delivering courses, coaching, and mentoring.

Again, if you want your community to have its own custom app without any coding required, you should consider Disciple. Lastly, if you’re looking for a free alternative, like Facebook Groups, but with a  lot more functionality, the Basic Plan from Tribe would be a good place to start.

Disclaimer: I may receive an affiliate commission from some of the links in this article (but it won’t cost you a thing!). Regardless, the software I review are some of the best I have tested, and I support them personally. If you want to learn more, head over to my privacy policy & affiliate disclosure.

P.S: If you want to join my online community, you can connect with me on Twitter. I write about everything from growth marketing to startups and also share my experiences with the latest software. Also, if you want to learn more about actionable growth marketing from real marketers, check out my podcast (which already has 74 episodes!)

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