8 Ways to make your Facebook Group replacement a success

It's no surprise that brands and communities of all types are beginning to look at Facebook group replacements. Facebook  has seen massive changes in recent years and this has led to loads of challenges for businesses, creators and group members. In this post we'll  look at the common problems and how you can create a successful Facebook group alternative.

Why you need a Facebook Group replacement

These days, visiting your Facebook news feed requires you to wade through all sorts of clickbait and fake news to reach any meaningful content. Facebook can also modify its algorithm at any point and change what gets seen.  Plus, we now know the privacy concerns we all tried to ignore are very real. Whether you want a Facebook group replacement to:

  • market your products or services without shouting over all the nonsense

  • truly engage with an audience

  • or just to relocate your community of like-minded people and take control of your data.

To be successful at implementing a Facebook group replacement you’re going to need a plan and you’re going to need some help. We've distilled our top tips into the 8 points below.

8 Ways to create a successful Facebook Group replacement

1. Know your community

You’ve probably got an idea of what your target community is looking for. But don’t take this for granted. Make sure you take a deep dive into the market research and engage deeply with your community. To build a successful Facebook group replacement you're going to need to know as much as possible about who you want to join you. Unfortunately, Facebook only provides basic analytics about their groups. So, if you want to directly transfer to a Facebook group alternative you are going to need your own market research. One way to do this is to carry out a survey of your members using a tool such as Survey Monkey. To ensure participation you could offer a prize or reward. You can ask questions that will reveal exactly what they want from an online community, then create yours based on the results.

2. Set goals

What are you trying to achieve with your Facebook group replacement? Set a goal for your community platform, the more specific the better. Trying to create something too broad can lead to a platform that tries to do everything and ends up doing nothing well. Successful goal-setters often follow the SMART method - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-framed. For example, a fitness coach who’s just starting out may set the goal of using their community to get at least 5 extra paying students per month within the next 3 months. This ticks all the SMART boxes.

3. Make it your own

You’ve broken free of the inflexible Facebook group format. Time to let your light shine baby! You can customise your platform to suit your community’s exact needs. You can be ultra-creative with the visuals, or keep it minimal - whatever floats your boat. Remember to keep the design, look and feel aligned with what your community wants and your own goals.

4. Usability

Make sure your platform is simple and intuitive to use. If it can’t be figured out within 5-10 minutes the interface is likely too complicated and not going to lead to success. This needs to be right from the start. An easy way to ruin a launch is with a difficult to use platform. As we’ve mentioned, being able to customise your app is a great feature of Facebook group alternatives. But make sure this doesn’t get in the way of usability.

5. Market your platform

Lots of people use Facebook Groups, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good platform. To make your Facebook group replacement successful you’ll have to raise awareness within your community.  The best way to do this is to explain why your new community is so much better than the old Facebook Group. Let them know what the benefits are for them - more interesting content, better environment, no ads, less distractions, more communication with other members, increased sense of belonging. By doing this, you’ll drum up enthusiasm and make sure your community is just as excited about joining your new platform as you are about creating it!

6. Maximise engagement

When making decisions about your Facebook group replacement, a good rule is to think about what will lead to maximum engagement. Get people engaged and you're going to be successful. The best way to do this is to actually ask your members directly. Use the results of any surveys or polls as another way to gauge what kind of features and content will help with engagement. You can then incorporate this into your content strategy, so you’ll deliver content that your members love to receive.

7. Clear monetisation strategy

Let’s face it - your community is part of your business, which means you want it to help increase your bottom line.  The good news is that online communities are ideal for monetising your audience. For example, you can use tiered membership levels which allow people to access exclusive content, you can offer one-to-one coaching, or you can sell merchandise.  Set out your strategy before building your community. Decide what you’re going to charge for and what will be free and be up front about this with your audience from the start.

8. Listen to your analytics

Use your analytics wisely to find what content is popular, which produces the most engagement, and what draws new members to your community. Once you’ve gathered enough data, you can use this data to decide on the direction you take with your community.  For instance, you may discover that people are more prepared to pay for exclusive content than you first imagined. This means you can build your content library and share it with various payment options or subscription levels.  Or maybe you discover that most of your members are located in a certain country. Knowing this allows you to schedule content to be published at times to suit the relevant timezone, which will maximise engagement.

Final words

Creating a Facebook group replacement is much easier than people imagine. Don’t forget, you’re leaving Facebook groups for lots of good reasons - lack of control, poor organic reach, changing algorithms, constant ads, and issues with data and privacy.   Plus there are tons of benefits, such as increased engagement, more control, customisable look and feel, and more revenue. With Disciple, you can rest assured that you can build a platform that is usable, secure and customised to your needs.