Many brands and organizations today are choosing Facebook to start their online communities. Why? Facebook Groups used to be the easiest way to start a community—it’s free and easily accessible to a lot of users.
But times have changed today and Facebook is no longer as effective as it used to be, especially if your goal is to increase engagement and monetize. Regular algorithm changes, privacy issues, competitive attention space, spammy content, limited monetization options, and no data ownership are among the many reasons that made it much more difficult to build and grow a community on the platform.
For obvious reasons, it’s not ideal to build something permanent in an impermanent space that you don’t even own. Public platforms like Facebook limit your access to relevant member data that could be valuable to your organization and future business decisions. More importantly, it leaves you with very little control and makes you vulnerable to any changes that Facebook decides. They actually even have authority to delete your content or give someone else ownership over your community if you don’t update it regularly.
Although Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms out there with almost 3 billion users, it’s actually one of the hardest places to reach your target market. Facebook news feeds are filled with so much clickbait, fake news, and ads that it’s almost impossible to connect with your audience. On top of that, you’re also competing with content from members’ friends, families, and other interest groups. You’re at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithms to decide what your members will and will not see—most of the time prioritizing paid ads over high-performing organic content. As a result, communities are only reaching 1-2% of their Facebook audience, making it really difficult to deliver engaging content and meet community goals.
Google’s algorithm doesn’t take much of Facebook’s information into account when crawling the web. In other words, Google most likely does not index your posts on Facebook Groups, and the overall SEO weight they have is minimal. Your likes, shares, and followers (however high the numbers are) also have no influence on your SEO or rankings. This means you’re losing out on driving valuable traffic to your community as there is no way for bots to discover and index content, or send any organic traffic your way.
When you feel your community is thriving, a good way to expand is to create additional subforums or sub-communities that make sense for you and your userbase. Naturally, your members will want to form smaller groups that are centered around more specific discussions. Unfortunately, Facebook limits you from doing this, which means you’re relying on using one group to cover every single topic. Not only does it make your feed look messy and cluttered, but it also limits your members from starting meaningful conversations just because they’re a bit off-topic. And that just completely defeats the purpose of having a community.
As easy it is to setup your community on Facebook, they unfortunately have no means of letting you monetize your community. The platform doesn’t offer any built-in options for donations or subscriptions, so you can’t charge members to enter or paywall any exclusive content. If you want to expand your revenue stream or you’re a charity that relies on donations to sustain your community, it means you have to look for alternative solutions to run a paid membership or sell any form of paid content.
Beam.gg is the leading alternative to Facebook Groups. It’s built to solve modern-day community problems, including the ones mentioned above—all while offering Facebook’s best social features.
As a community platform, Beam.gg provides everything a brand needs to power its own online community—from management and moderation tools, to subforums, and data analytics. Best of all, Beam.gg is uniquely designed to enhance engagement through gamification. It lets you build a gamified community that takes care of member retention and engagement, so you can focus on what matters most to your brand.
With Beam.gg, you can build gamified communities that give your users a completely unique online community experience. Not only does it create a fun environment, it also introduces healthy competition into the picture.
Games are incredibly appealing, and they help us feel positive emotions like curiosity, perseverance, and creativity. In Beam.gg communities, we use gamification to drive user engagement and increase member retention.
Users get to mod their profiles, level-up, complete quests, earn badges, unlock rewards, and so much more. New members even get special access to the Rookie Questline, which helps them get that sweet profile boost.
Beam.gg's highly customizable builder lets you personalize every part of your community in real-time.
Set up a custom domain and get your community running on your own URL. Next, choose a logo, banner, and color that best represents your brand. Take it up a notch by setting your own custom reactions!
You can also give your users more control over what they wish to see. Beam.gg’s subforums let you create separate post feeds for specific topics and groups so users can easily access content that are relevant to them. Post Categories, on the other hand, allow users to quickly filter and sort posts.
Beam.gg helps you keep your community safe with powerful management and moderation tools that protect your community from spam, abuse, and harmful content.
Keep your members happy and engaged by blocking profanities and inappropriate content in real-time, before it goes live. The Word Filter tool is customizable and automated for hassle-free user protection.
Simply add the words that you want to be removed from user-generated content, and the program will automatically replace those words with asterisks in a sentence. You also have the option of using Beam.gg's default list of banned words.
Whether you're at home, in the office, or a little of both, keep in touch with your community with Beam.gg's browser-based, mobile-first design.
You can access your community from your phone, your laptop, or even a smart TV—whatever works best for you! All you need is an internet connection and you're good to go.
If you’re serious about building a thriving community, then Facebook is definitely not the way to go. Make the switch to Beam.gg and start building your online community for free! Beam.gg offers a comprehensive community platform that strikes a perfect balance between the social aspect of Facebook and a business’s need for customizability, branding, and complete data ownership.