In 2019 I set out to begin creating an online community. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE said, “Create a Facebook group! It’s so easy.” Here’s the deal. I knew that wasn’t the solution that I was looking for. (I’ll explain further in a moment) I ignored everyone’s advice and began searching for the best alternatives to Facebook for creating an online community. I’ll give away the answer; Mighty Networks is the winner. This post contains details about a few options but ultimately ends up being my Mighty Networks Review.
BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER: At the end of this post, I have a link that will allow you to create a Mighty Networks Community FOR FREE. This is an exclusive offer that I certainly hope you take advantage of. (Click here)
Why should I build an online community using a Facebook alternative?
This was the question I began asking myself when people first told me that Facebook was the must-use platform for creating an online community. Again, I knew this was wrong, but WHY was it wrong, became the question I asked myself.
Here’s a list of reasons why Facebook is the wrong place to build an online community:
- People ONLY log into Facebook to waste time. They may end up doing something productive, the automatic action of opening Facebook on your computer or smartphone strictly comes from a mindset of, “I have some time to waste.” Then it turns into, “Oh! I actually need to check something.”
- Facebook is a soundboard for attention and voicing your opinion. All big social media is a place for people to try to prove a point to the world. It’s annoying and super negative. People are starting to catch on, read this article I wrote on the topic: 26% of People Have Deleted the Facebook App – Here’s the Problem
- Facebook makes you pay for people to see your content. As Facebook continues to get hungry for more money, they’ll make you pay more and more for your audience to see your content. I don’t want to have to pay so my audience can see what I’m sharing.
- ALL big social media is rented space. You do not own it. When people tell me how big their community is on Facebook or any other social media platform, I’m never impressed. Because it’s not your community – It’s Facebook’s; you’re just borrowing it. And when they want it back from you, they can take it.
With all of that said, I actually really like Facebook and other big social media platforms FOR WHAT THEY ARE, which is not for community building. They are the top-of-the-funnel or a place you go to have fun/waste time or to keep up with family and friends. Big social media has its place.
Alright, back to the point of this post…
The Best Alternatives to Facebook for Creating an Online Community:
I spent the time evaluating 20 of the best online social media platforms outside of the big players that I could find. Putting this together took a lot of energy! My hope with this post is that it helps save you the time and headache I went through during this process.
I like to begin with the end in mind. With that said, the winner/best alternative to Facebook for creating an online community is hands down, Mighty Networks. This post also serves as my official Mighty Networks review.
Before I share the 4-runners up, I want to mention the other 15 that I’m not listing out here. From the time I started my research until writing this post, some of them are gone. Out of business or shifted their focus. Others have not updated anything in quite a while, or ever for that matter – That’s problematic! The mass majority of them that I’m not listing is strictly due to price. Some of these platforms are beyond expensive, so I didn’t want to list them.
With that said… Let’s talk about the 4 noteworthy online community building platforms:
BuddyPress – Owned by WordPress, it’s a great affordable/free option. However, the setup and maintenance is a monster. If you don’t have a lot of free time or technical understanding of web development, do not use BuddyPress or BB Press.
Tribe – If you like a lot of features, this one is great for you. Although, I find it to be far less powerful. I believe that less is more when building community. Tribe offers a lot, too much. it reminds me a lot of Facebook. When I think about community building, I don’t think about building another Facebook, I think about building a platform for focus and results.
Kajabi – This option is very expensive in comparison to the rest, but they do a great job. It’s a good platform to use, but again, it’s expensive. If you have a budget, this may be a good option for you to use. They have great support and a solid platform.
Podia – I’d say this is the most direct competition to Mighty Networks. The price, features, and user experience are comparable. Here’s where they lost me, the lack of education they offer. Mighty Networks is DEVOTED to the success of their creators. Podia wants you to buy their platform and figure it out. That turned me off from using it.
Now let’s talk about the best alternative to Facebook for creating an online community and the winner of my research of social media platforms: Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is a powerful platform. It’s focused on driving engagement and focused results. There isn’t a lot of noise on the platform. It’s all about building true community, not tricks to keep people engaged or turning it into any sort of competition. And my favorite part, the platform is absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
Before we jump into the key features and screenshots from my Mighty Networks community, I want to mention that the passion of the team is incredible. I had the opportunity to interview Gina Bianchini, the CEO of Mighty Networks.
Listen to me interviewing the CEO of Mighty Networks, Gina: What Online Community Means for Future Creators with Gina Bianchini
Now let’s quickly jump into some of the reasons that I speak so highly of this community-building platform. Below are a few of the Mighty Networks key features along with some screenshots directly from my community. Which if you’d like to see it in more detail, you can join for free! Here’s a link to join the PodPros Community.
Key features of Mighty Networks:
- Member Profiles
- Direct Messaging
- Group Direct Messaging
- Online Courses
- Mastermind Groups
- Built-In Live Streaming Capability (NEW)
- Member Categories
- Ability to Charge For Events/Courses/Access
I’m not going to dive into each of these features, I recommend you use the exclusive free trial that you have access to through this post. Now, let me get into a few of the core features that I use.
Online courses are probably my favorite part of the entire platform. Not only are they SMOOTH on mobile and desktop, they also have more of a community flow. You can chat with students and they can talk to each other. It makes it a lot of fun! By far my favorite online course solution.
The discovery page:
The discovery page is powerful! As a network grows, or if you’re new to one, you can check out this page and get a snapshot of what’s happening and what you should check out. This customizes depending on your location and interests. It’s very powerful for getting people connected!
Direct messaging is a great feature to have – Everyone loves it! And unlike our friends at Facebook, you only need one app or web program. No need to download multiple programs to make it work. It’s very smooth and enjoyable! The one downside here is that you cannot have a chat with multiple people in it YET… I’m told it’s coming. 🙂
Full articles make offering exclusive content for community members easy. Not only can you do quick posts, but you can also do full-on blog-style posts for community members. I do a lot of these types of posts, and the best part, you can schedule them! That way I can pack a lot into a single writing day.
Online Events (Ability to Charge For Access)
One of the coolest features that I started using in 2022 is the ability to host an online event/conference. If you want to see that in action, check out our attend page. We do everything from charge for access to chat in the all-member chat, to track specific conversations, to individual events that people can RSVP and join to attend live. My experience thus far has been that Mighty Networks is the best online community-based platform for events!
There you have it. These are a few of my favorite things about Mighty Networks. Each of these features has helped me grow a healthy and powerful online community. Seeing that this is my official Mighty Networks review, I feel the need to say that if you’re building a community, I 100% recommend you use this powerful platform!
What are you waiting for? Are you ready to get started?
(Limited time free offer; sign up now!)
In closing, I want to mention that I am a paying customer of Mighty Networks. I wrote this Mighty Networks review because I believe in creating community and I believe that Mighty Networks is the future of the digital community.