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Facebook vs Mighty Networks:
Scared To Choose The Wrong Platform For Your Membership Community?

If you’re like me, or any of my clients.  You’ve got membership platforms on the brain!

November 22nd was my birthday {I’m 36 years young dawg} and the day before that, I had a strategy session with my good friend Primoz Bozic.

You see, he’s running a beta program at the moment and in a couple months he’ll be relaunching it as a membership…which will include a community {of course}, and he wanted to get some insights on several doubts he was having about the community component.


{Cue Diana rubbing her hands together…muahahaha!}

We jammed for an hour and dug into all of his questions, concerns and doubts {I felt like Serena Williams returning ma As to his Qs over the net…pow…pow…pow!}

Like you, Primoz needed to decide where his soon to be membership community would live.  That was one of his biggest doubts actually.

Platform choice. {alongside other things like how to onboard, how to not make this a full time job for himself and what to even name his community to create the right vibe.}

Rather than just sum up what we talked about, I asked him if I could share part of our call with you and he gave me the green light.  You get to be a fly on the wall {bzzzzz}.  Not only will you get to hear what my initial thoughts on Facebook and Mighty Networks are, you can learn the right Qs to ask yourself to make the best platform decision for you and your members.

Sound good?  

Damn right it does!  {High-ho silver…away!}

Listen in:  What platform should I use for my membership community?

DIANA:

There’s something about Facebook, it’s just always there, like I don’t have to think about it. I just pop on and – oh look- I’m in this program with Gladys Ato. I’ll just jump into the community and take a look.

So there’s always that draw. I think with Mighty Networks they probably have some sort of system with emails or maybe there’s an app on your phone.

I would say though, no matter what you do, you can change it. 

So for example, if you start on Facebook, you can always switch.

Yes it would be a pain in the ass but you’re not going to be locked into something from the beginning.

So, you can just continue, like you’ve done with your Beta well then you do your membership Beta like that too.  That’s what I’m doing, it’s a six month test, right?

It’s a six month membership so I can test it all and get into a rhythm and then, if after six months it’s a shit show. Okay. I set it up another way. But if it’s okay then we just keep moving forward.

So you could even think of something like that as well. Have a timeframe where you say that this is eventually going to be a membership, but right now it’s a six month program. You test it out, you see how it works and it’s a low investment. It really isn’t that much work once you actually set everything up and you have people in there.

And then if it’s a fucking shit show and people say, “I don’t like this” or people are complaining, I really don’t think most people are going to complain because people are just used to it. But if that does happen, then you can explore and do something else.

Or you can just test it and go straight into Mighty Networks. I mean for me though, I don’t have experience with Mighty Networks.

PRIMOZ:

There’s always pros and cons right.  I think WhatsApp is great when it’s small and intimate and in the future it would not be a great option. I think it’s great for Top Performers Club (TPC) it can work for Betas but for a big membership. I almost don’t want to do it. It’s great though because I can answer questions and things like that, but again, I don’t want that to be the case with this membership.

Facebook, I fucking hate Facebook.

If Selena’s mastermind was on WhatsApp, I would love it so much more. I hate it. I never go into the Facebook group. I don’t want to waste time on Facebook and I’m not on Facebook almost at all.

I’m worried because I get addicted to Facebook and scrolling really quickly.  I don’t want to be on Facebook. And some people specifically said in the writing program that they love that it’s not on Facebook but I don’t know. I just feel like,

“Yes, Facebook is already out there. Do I want to be in it?”  I dunno.

{Great fucking question Primoz…right Mr. Fly on the wall?!}

DIANA: 

I think that that’s really important though too. Always looking at it from both sides. If this is a membership and this is going to be where you’re spending a lot of time. If you don’t like Facebook, you are setting yourself up or your team or whoever to be in there.

PRIMOZ:

On the other hand with Mighty Networks it feels like it’s a new platform and my biggest concern is it’s just another thing that we will have to set up and, it isn’t just there and we’ll have to pull people in and remind them and they’re going to have to get used to using it. There’s all of that shit come in with that.

DIANA: 

Perfect example actually because I do know of Mighty Networks because I signed up for this yoga program. She has a Facebook group and she also has a Mighty Networks area and I’ve never used the Mighty Networks area because I just go into Facebook and I don’t know if they just didn’t really push it or I’m actually going to go in and explore it because I’m a member so I can take a look at it and see what it’s like.

But that, that is something I have concerns of, okay, Facebook. I mean it’s there and it’s easy and you just set it up and it works, this sort of thing. But then the negatives of it, like you’ve said, it’s kind of addictive. It’s big brother. You don’t really know what they’re going to do. They might change everything on us; there’s a lot of uncertainty,

And it could be a dead-zone in Facebook.

That’s the thing too. I don’t think yours would ever be a dead zone though. I wouldn’t let that happen.  You know what we’ve gone through in the beta program and everything. It’s never going to be a dead-zone for you. Even if you tried. I’m pretty sure it would never be a dead-zone.

But I think with Mighty Networks it could have potential but you would really have to figure out ways to make it super easy to understand everything.

So maybe you could make on-boarding videos where you jam on it and say, hey guys, it’s Mighty Networks and also sell the fact that you’re not on Facebook. So just bury Facebook, like fuck Facebook, we’re on Mighty Networks and you tell them why, you sell it, right? You say, I specifically took us here because…

And you list out the shitload of reasons why you know, because you’re going to waste your time, you’re not going to be writing as much. You’re not gonna be as productive. Yes. This place may not be as addictive because it’s not. But you’re actually gonna have a place to form good relationships, connect with people and also get more stuff done so you could sell it that way. And I think that with you, if you did videos on that, short little sort of like on-boarding videos and walking through how it works. I think that that will work.

So for example, actually right now I just got access to the Youpreneur academy. I signed up, I logged in and I was like fuck, what do I do? It’s a membership page and it’s got community and courses and this and I’m just like, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do right now.

So I feel like that’s what people are probably going to do when they go into Mighty networks.

They’re gonna be like, Shit, what do I do? And as long as you have something that’s like, I’ve got you start here, right? Like this is not Facebook come with me, you know? And just walk them through it and have fun with it, you are going to have your personality or even this is the thing too because like your personality is very different than mine.

I think you should own it and be like the no bullshit, we’re not on Facebook. Here’s why. Let’s fucking look at this. Here’s how it works. This is how it’s gonna help you be more efficient, more productive. But talk about it like you would talk about it if you were taught and that’s the thing.

Like I think just doing that would probably eliminate half of the issues of people being, well I don’t know what to do or I’m not really sure how to use it. And you create a system where you say, okay guys, now add this in your calendar because this place is not sticky as fuck. It’s not like that and you can sell it that way.

It’s not addictive. Facebook is addictive and that’s why we’re not there. So I’ve sacrificed that so that we can be on this platform. So here’s how we can make it actually add to your life, put it in your calendar, you know, do this setup, whatever the calls are like have your systems or like maybe there’s like a notification thing where it’s like they’ll get notifications from certain things. 

You can even explain it and say, Hey guys, I’ve set it up so you’re going to get a notification whenever somebody replies to a post that you get or you know, something like this just so that it’s almost like you’re selling it in a way.

Because if for example, with this academy, if I go in and then there’s this little video I have to watch and it explains,

hey guys, we’re not on Facebook. It’s a forum actually. It’s like a forum built into their website for this academy and I’m looking at it and I’m just like, I’m used to Facebook and I don’t really know what to do, but if they had and it looks like they have some sort of roadmap,

you need to fucking roadmap a fun video, bite sized bullet roadmap to sell this platform and make it super easy and just be like, yeah, I love the fact that he did that. He’s looking out for me. He cares about me. These people are going to be awesome. It’s going to be easier. You just have to basically sell people on it and if you do that then it kind of gets that space where you think..

Okay, cool. This is different, but it’s better. Let’s go kind of explore it and I think that if you’ve got those founding members, you’re going to iron out all the kinks, right? And you’re going to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and then when you start bringing new people in, they’ll see what other people are doing and they’ll just do it and you’ll have those systems in on-boarding. I think that’s going to be really important.

I’m going to tell you, I’m gonna be honest. Like there definitely seems to be this feeling that people are moving away from Facebook but not quickly it feels like this slow pull to finding other options just because people, they’re not really happy with, you know, what Facebook is doing or all these leaks of information and this sort of thing. It just feels like there’s a slow pull.

So I mean if you can figure out how to make that work now, then you don’t even have to worry about it.

It’s a hard decision though because there are definitely pros and cons for both. But ultimately I would ask myself from different perspectives.

So I’d say how do I feel, pretend:

Okay, we’re going to Facebook, how do you feel?

Okay, we’re going with Mighty Networks. How do you feel?

And then also kind of imagine in your head what people are going to think and think about the objections.

So whatever objections people have for Facebook, you’re going to sell them on it.

Whatever people have objections for Mighty Networks, you’re going to sell them on it.

PRIMOZ:

So that sounds good.

DIANA: 

So that’s with your platform, I would say, other than that, I totally agree, WhatsApp? You could have WhatsApp or voxer for a higher tier support, so you might have like this inner circle of people that get a WhatsApp group.

PRIMOZ:

Oh cool, that’s smart!

DIANA: 

Right…

Ok Mr. Fly on the wall.  We’re going to leave Mr P and D alone to finish jamming on Primoz’s membership community.  

Fun fact:  Diana helped Primoz come up with a badass name/theme for the membership, touched on a retreat idea and helped him envision what the community would be and do for his members.

What about you?  Facebook or Mighty Networks?

It’s interesting to learn what you don’t know.  

Until my birthday, I was perfectly fine with creating a Facebook group for my coming membership.  It was just a given.  I mean, that’s what I’ve had the most experience with for the past 3 years.  But little by little I started to question that choice.

You see, one of my clients Heidi is creating a membership for her peeps…and she’ll be launching in the new year.  When we hopped on our first call together…she told me (confidently) that she was going to build on Mighty Networks.

Now…you might be wondering what you should be thinking about when it comes to platforms, and the first thing to know is that the fundamentals and foundation of community are all the same.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, Whatsapp, Mighty Networks or hosting a dinner party in your back yard.  Humans are humans.  As long as you are bringing together a certain group of people (with shared struggles) and thinking about how they want to feel…and creating space and opportunities for them to feel those emotions and connect with each-other…you’ll be golden (easier said than done often times though).

I was curious to learn more about MM after 2 of my clients brought it up as their choice for community building, and as luck would have it Gina Bianchini (the CEO of Mighty Networks) sat down with Sai Hossain the founder {and janitor} at Crowcast on Nov 21st to jam about the future of social media and community building.

Screen Shot 2018 11 23 at 11.29.53
Listen, watch and explode your mind here.

So I lit my “LOVE RULES” candle, and hit play on their conversation.  

Love candle
Yes that’s a pink sequin flask behind my love candle.  Don’t judge.

Now you might not have time to sit down for an hour and listen to them jam, but I wanted to pull my biggest takeaways from that talk and also help you focus on asking better questions around platforms to help you make an informed decision.

Also, I thought I would learn a bit more about MM and how it worked.  I didn’t realise I would fundamentally change my opinion on community platform choice.  Wow.

The first thing I noticed was the audience that Gina and Mighty Networks serves. She said that they serve:

“Everyday leaders, who raise their hand to bring people together”.

Fuck me…I have chills.  That’s ME…and that’s my clients!  We are everyday leaders who are putting their hands up in the air to bring people together.


Put your hands up in the air…put your hands up in the air.

Didn’t Primoz and I just talk about this too?  About how addictive Facebook is, the scrolling, the noise of is.  He also touched on the idea of making a conscious decision to NOT build on Facebook and provide a space for his members to connect with each other.  To raise their hand and take his members somewhere safe!

Tell me more Gina…tell.me.more.

Gina touched on the social media side of things and spoke about Facebook specifically.  She talked about how the Facebook era is over but not in a “Facebook is going to disappear tomorrow” kind of way {she ain’t no dummy}.

Gina highlighted the fact that for the longest time Facebook has just been inevitable; the unmovable thing (how I felt about it before writing this article).  It was the default and a given, but searchers and seekers are looking for new ways to better bring people together.

It makes total sense too.  She clarifies that there is no Facebook killer but that the masses will simply quietly spend less and less time on Facebook. I’ve seen this a lot, where friends will shut down their FB accounts and tell me to reach out via phone.  People have better things to do than get sucked into scrolling for days in a Facebook feed…that doesn’t even really show people what is actually happening…algorithm.

It’s like a friend who calls you less and less and then months or years down the road you realise that they aren’t really your friend anymore.  There isn’t a moment when it’s over…it’s simply a slow progression.

Want another analogy?  Gina served up a great way of thinking about it.

Facebook is like junk food.  People love it, want it and want more of it, but there is a shift happening to healthy eating, organic and green.  Mighty Networks is a part of the healthy eating movement.

Other juicy tips and suggestions that are going to blow your community building mind…straight from Gina’s boca {that’s mouth in Spanish dude}.

You must establish the benefits or the value proposition (aka expectations) from the beginning.

According to Gina, your community is here to allow your members to:

  1. Meet other people like you; following the same path.  (They need to have a goal or issue in common).
  2. It’s to get answers to questions that don’t have easy and obvious answers; stuff you can’t Google easily. (We need to go a step further than Google folks).
  3. Seek to create an environment where people share stories and experiences…not advice.  (We need to create a space for sharing experiences and perspectives, rather than a glorified Q&A fest.)

Note: Advice shuts a conversation down, whereas sharing a story or experience opens it up.

This is such a great point and Heidi actually made a huge realisation about this after starting to work with me.

Community and Coaching are NOT one and of the same…and in some cases coaching can hurt community.  If you are focusing on how you can show up for your members…you’re ignoring #1 and #3.  This isn’t about what YOU can do for them.  This is about how you can help them be there for each other.

Another mic drop moment from Gina was around optimisation and features.

“Premature optimisation is the killer of so many ideas.  Go into it with an open mind, curiously and test it.  Stay focused on bringing people together.  Don’t focus on features, focus on your invite list.  What matters is the people at the party and their openness to sharing their story and their willingness to connect.  A party sucks, awkwardly not talking to anyone or only talking to the people you showed up with.  Don’t focus on the ice sculpture, if you’re hosting a party.”

And Gina landed the Creatorcast interview plane with the following quote:

“It’s more important to just go for it, it’s more important to experiment and when it comes to people, connecting them and experimenting with how they want to connect and how you want to show up in the world as a connector is the most important thing.”

-Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mighty Networks

So my friend…Facebook or MightyNetworks?? (or any platform where you control the community without the noise).

There isn’t a right or wrong answer here…but there is an answer that makes you feel good.  That makes you feel proud of what you’re creating for your members and what makes you feel excited to dive in and facilitate them.

 

What some questions to help tease out an answer?  Here you go.

  1. Do you hate “fucking” Facebook like Primoz?
  2. Do you want to create a space where your members can focus, get work done and be productive?  
  3. Are you ok with the fact that you don’t own your community on FB, and they could shut down your group, your account or change the rules in the blink of an eye and your entire membership would be dead?
  4. Do you want to be able to communicate easily with your members as a group (broadcast messages and updates) or via PM?
  5. Are you comfortable working with technology and different applications?
  6. Are you willing to double down on your on-boarding and introductory content to compensate for not being on “sticky AF” Facebook?
  7. What would be more fun for YOU or your team member owning community?
  8. Which platform would support your members achieving their goals and connecting with others more easily?

What membership are you about to launch and which platform are you going to use for your community?  

For those of you with an existing membership community, on Facebook or a different platform (Mighty Networks, forum etc)…are you happy with your decision?  If you could go back and set it up all over again from scratch would you change anything?

Let me know, in the comments beloooooow.  🙂

Wanna get even more juicy insights, articles and GIF magic on membership communities? 

Sign up for email updates from moi and I’ll send my word-babies you way, and I’ll also shoot you the PDF versions of my ultimate guides to building an online community and engaging your members.

  • Philip says:

    The second time around I would absolutely make a different choice than FB. It’s just too noisy and distracting and in my opinion even hinders the fundamental goal of a community – the authentic and deep connection with another person.
    That takes a lot of prolonged focus and attention to detail. And Facebook is all about drawing your attention to the next shiny thing constantly and distracting you.

    The slogan may be “connecting people all over the world” but when I hear that it always feels kind of stale tbh.
    The connections FB nurtures/offers seem too superficial to me to give me that feeling of being part of a true community.

    • Diana Tower says:

      Hi Philip, thank you so much for jumping in and sharing your experience and perspective. It’s true. Facebook IS too noisy and distracting. They are always dangling something new in front of you…even when you’re trying to focus. I was watching a FB live the other day…from a program I am in, and FB kept popping up other notifications. Other FB lives, reactions and posts. It was super distracting, when all I wanted to do was focus on the host of the training.

      I think that that is something we all need to ask ourselves. Are we creating the feeling of being a part of a TRUE community? – when creating space for our members.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. If you know anyone else that would benefit from this article I’d hugely appreciate you sharing it with them. Just think of the look on their face when they realise that they don’t have to stay in the noise…that there are other options.

  • Steve says:

    Great article. Personally I HATE Facebook and have closed my account as you mentioned a few years ago…

    The lack of control is a big deal but more importantly is the complete lack of support from Facebook.

    It is actually borderline unacceptable practice and something that no other software company could get away with. Somehow they are able to…Yes, Facebook does close accounts without any warning And without any explanation…. It happens more often then you think and it can happen to anyone.

    And if you think you can just contact their helpdesk to resolve the issue… well think again… There is NO Facebook helpdesk and you cannot actually talk to or email anyone.

    The only thing you can do is look into their knowledge base… and try to sort it out yourself.

    That is not where I want to have my most important business asset in.

    So yes we’ve been using a membership solution instead and it’s been awesome. Our members feel safe and love the private feel of it. Right now we are using http://10xpro.io

    Highly recommend it, especially if you want to do more than membership and start leveraging advanced automation.

    • Philip says:

      This!

      I think I heard Tim Ferriss once quoting someone who was running a successful online business on FB. He said something along the lines of “Having a business on FB is like running an extremely profitable fast food restaurant on top of an active vulcano”. You can do good on FB but it is highly unpredictable and in many aspects annoying as hell. That’s not where I want to build my financial future with which I plan to build a family.

      Thanks for the recommendation btw.

      • Diana Tower says:

        Spot on Philip…Facebook has been “the easy button” to community, but that easy button comes with a cost. It feels like community hosts are starting to see and feel that cost more and more. (Myself included).

    • Diana Tower says:

      Hi Steve,

      This is SUCH a huge point…massive lack of customer service. If your FB group dies or part of Facebook stops working…you’re pretty much SOL until they get around to fixing it. Both you and your clients have to sit around twiddling your thumbs until it magically is back up and running.

      You’re right, the essentially have an FAQ and you have to cross your fingers and limbs that you find the solution in there…that wasn’t written 5 years ago.

      I haven’t used 10xpro but James Schramko is a big supporter of it. I’m glad that you’ve found an option that works for you Steve and comes with a helpdesk. 😉

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