Heights Platform 10 Disadvantages of Facebook Groups to Create a Community Online

10 Disadvantages of Facebook Groups to Create a Community Online

10 minute read

Do you want to create a Facebook group to start a thriving community?

If you are new to the world of online communities, you might assume that social media, specifically Facebook groups, are the only options for interacting with others online and building a sense of community.

What you might not know is that Facebook groups are only one of the options creators have to build a community online, and they present many disadvantages and limitations that can impact your business negatively.

Today, we are going to share why Facebook groups may not be a good idea when it comes to creating an online community and what you can use instead!

What is a Better Alternative to a Facebook Group?

Before we dive into the negative aspects of building a community on Facebook, let us share a better alternative for creators.

Instead of relying on social media and its flaky algorithms, many creators prefer to use dedicated community platforms to host their groups.

Social media platforms are great for increasing visibility and reaching a large audience, but they might not be the best option for building strong community engagement and maintaining a dedicated space for your members.

This is where specialized online community software like Heights Platform comes in handy.

These platforms offer a custom, private, and secure environment that allows your customers to connect with like-minded individuals and create a sense of belonging towards your brand.

Heights Platform is an example of a community and online course platform that offers creators all the tools to build a successful business selling digital products. Here are the key advantages of using Heights Platform to host your online communities:

  • All-In-One Platform: In Heights, not only can you create a community, but you can also sell online courses and digital products and get all the features to run and scale your online business (+ useful AI tools!)
  • Customizable Community Space: You can customize the community space as you like and create unlimited channels and channel groups. Plus, you don't have storage space limits! Your platform's branding can also be fully customized, and you can have your own custom domain.
  • Community Monetization and Selected Access: You can sell access to your community with one-time fees, installments or monthly/annual subscriptions. If you want to sell access only to certain community channels, you can do that too!
  • Great community moderation options and gamification tools to keep your members engaged.
  • All the community features you need: direct messaging, options to edit posts, reactions, comments, multimedia files, unlimited storage, etc...

Try the community in Heights Platform by creating your free account today:

Create Your Community Today

10 Disadvantages of Facebook Groups to Create a Community

Facebook groups have gained a lot of popularity in the past year as they offer a convenient way to build communities and communicate online.

Millions of people have used them to connect with like-minded individuals and discuss various topics.

However, Facebook's privacy policies have come under scrutiny lately, and users have become more aware of the platform's limitations. As a result, many are now looking for alternatives.

Some time ago, we migrated our community from a Facebook group to Heights Platform and wanted to share our experience and motivation behind this choice.

Our former Facebook group was designed to keep in touch with our customers and help them build their online courses.

However, we found that the Facebook group lacked tools to keep members engaged with the community, and its algorithm didn't allow us to reach our audience correctly. As a result, we had to pay for retargeting ads even to reconnect members to the group.

Facebook is built to be a "distraction engine", making it harder for people to focus on the group content as they receive notifications that pull them to other places to show them more ads.

Now that we have moved the entire group inside Heights Platform, our community software, we can better engage our members, structure the community in the best way possible, moderate it more effectively, and reach our audience.

Let's see in more detail why a Facebook community might not be the best idea:

#1: The Algorithm

If you have ever been part of a Facebook group, you know how the algorithm can affect the user experience.

You might have noticed how, after you join a group, you stop seeing new posts and updates unless you intentionally visit that group.

Facebook's algorithm prioritizes content based on engagement (likes, comments, shares) and personal user interactions.

This means that not all members of a group might see the posts, especially newer or less active ones, reducing the overall visibility of content within the community.

To guarantee visibility, group administrators might feel compelled to pay for advertisements.

This commercial aspect can undermine the organic growth and engagement of the community, making it harder for smaller or non-commercial groups to maintain their presence and reach.

Overall, the algorithm controls the user experience to a large extent, deciding what content a user sees first.

#2: No Control

When you create a group on Facebook, it's important to remember that you don't actually own it.

This means that if your account gets hacked, you won't be able to do anything to save your group.

Similarly, if Facebook decides to close down your group or change its policies, there's nothing you can do about it.

Another important factor to consider is that with a Facebook group, you do not have full control over your target audience.

You don't have much information about who your group members are, and no other way to contact them other than inside your Facebook group (for example, you do not have access to their email address to send them newsletters, updates or promotional emails.)

Additionally, Facebook groups have received criticism for their privacy policies, and many users are concerned about the amount of data that's collected and shared.

Creators of a Facebook group may not have complete control over their members' data privacy, which can be a major concern for many.

#3: Distracting Environment

One key disadvantage of using a Facebook page or group for community building is the platform's inherently distracting environment.

Facebook is designed to keep users engaged with a variety of content, not just your group.

This means that while members may log in intending to participate in your group, they are bombarded with notifications, friend requests, ads, and content from other groups and pages.

This constant stream of distractions can significantly detract from the focus and engagement within your group.

Members might find themselves scrolling through their newsfeeds, engaging with non-related content, or getting sidetracked by notifications that lead them away from the group.

This disperses their attention and reduces the time they spend engaging with your community.

The nature of these distractions also means that your group’s content needs to compete with everything else on a user’s feed, making it harder to maintain consistent engagement.

Unlike dedicated community platforms like Heights Platform, where the sole focus is on the group’s content and interactions, Facebook’s design weakens the community experience, making it challenging to keep members focused and actively participating.

#4: No Easy Monetization Option

Monetizing a community can be a valuable way to sustain and grow your platform, but Facebook groups severely limit your options in this regard.

While Facebook has introduced features like subscription groups, the implementation and control over these monetization options are limited.

Creators are at the mercy of Facebook’s rules and fee structures, which can change without notice and significantly impact their revenue model.

Creators of online communities can generate revenue by offering memberships, exclusive content and merchandise sales. However, monetizing a Facebook Group can be challenging.

External monetization tools can be used to redirect group members to an external payment page, but this approach can be complicated and can reduce conversion rates, making payment and subscription management more complex.

Without direct control over monetization strategies, creators may miss out on the full potential of their community to generate revenue.

A better option for creators who want to monetize their online community is to use a dedicated community platform, like Heights Platform, where you can sell community access for a one-time fee, subscriptions, or installments (and even ask your members to pay what they want!).

In Heights Platform, you can create an online community and structure into multiple channels, and you have the option to sell access to individual channels or hide a channel from the rest of the community if you like.

Learn more about this: How to Create a Membership Community in 2024 [Step-by-Step Guide]

#5: Low Engagement

Despite the large user base of Facebook, engagement within groups can often be surprisingly low. The platform’s algorithm, which prioritizes content based on engagement and interaction, means that not all members see every post.

This can result in important announcements, discussions in the group chat, and content going unnoticed by a significant portion of the group.

Low engagement is a critical issue for community builders since a community's value is directly tied to its members' activity and interactions.

Facebook's business model is set up in such a way that it benefits from keeping your group members occupied and directing them to other areas of the platform where they are likely to be shown more advertisements.

This can pose a challenge for creators who want to effectively engage with their Facebook group members, even those who have already joined the group and are active in the space. As a result, it can be difficult to maintain the interest of community members and keep them engaged.

#6: No Branding and Customization

Creating a unique identity and experience for your community is essential for standing out and fostering a sense of belonging among members.

However, Facebook groups offer very limited options for branding and customization. Apart from a group banner and logo, there are minimal opportunities to tailor the look and feel of your community space.

The inability to customize the user interface, features, and overall experience means that all Facebook groups essentially feel and function the same. This not only makes it harder to differentiate your community but also limits your ability to create a branded space that reflects the values, aesthetics, and uniqueness of your group.

Heights Platform is an online course and community platform that offers extensive customization options, allowing creators to design a community experience that truly represents their brand and engages members on a deeper level.

#7: Privacy Issues

Privacy concerns are a significant disadvantage of using Facebook groups for community building.

Facebook’s history of privacy scandals and extensive data collection practices have made users increasingly wary of how their information is used and shared.

When you build your community on Facebook, you and your members are subject to these privacy policies, which can change at any time.

Members may be hesitant to share personal experiences, participate in discussions, or engage fully due to concerns over their data privacy.

Moreover, as a community administrator, you have limited control over your members' data and privacy.

You cannot ensure the same level of data protection that a dedicated platform might offer, where you can set your own terms and conditions tailored to your community's needs.

#8: Hard to Discover and Not SEO Friendly

Compared to a dedicated website where you host your community, a Facebook group can be hard to find on search engines, especially if you want your group to be private.

If you are relying on search engine optimization (SEO) to attract new members to your online community, then this can make it harder for you compared to having a website dedicated to promoting your community on Google.

Another drawback of using Facebook groups is that they are not easily discoverable within the platform.

The content and groups that you see are determined by Facebook's algorithm, so unless you actively search for the group name, it can be difficult to find and join groups, even if they align with your interests.

#9: Limited Moderation Options

Moderating a community is essential for maintaining a safe, respectful, and engaging environment for all members.

Facebook groups offer limited moderation tools, making it difficult for group admins to manage conversations, enforce group rules, and prevent spam or inappropriate content.

While Facebook provides some basic moderation features, such as the ability to approve posts before they go live and remove problematic members, some creators might need more moderation options.

Without advanced moderation tools, creators may find it challenging to keep the group focused and valuable for all members.

#10: Hard to Get Members Out of Facebook and Into Your Website

Finally, one of the most significant challenges of using Facebook groups for community building is the difficulty in directing members to your own website.

While your group may serve as a vibrant space for discussion and engagement with like minded people, ultimately, you'll want to convert this engagement into website visits, product sales, or subscription sign-ups.

However, Facebook's ecosystem is designed to keep users within its platform, making it hard to drive significant traffic to external sites.

When you rely solely on Facebook groups to promote your brand or business, it can be challenging to expand beyond the platform.

This is why you should look for a platform that offers both a community aspect and all the tools to run your online business.

Heights Platform is a great example of an all-in-one platform, which offers the option to create an online community and run your online business at the same time.

The community area provided by Heights is just a fraction of what you can build using this platform.

With Heights, creators can sell online courses, coaching products, and other digital products.

You can create a complete online knowledge business, offering built-in access to a community, and selling digital products within your program.

This way, your online course students and members can easily access the community without having to log in elsewhere.

Related reads:

A Better Alternative to Facebook Groups For Community Building

We have established that creating a Facebook group is not a great idea for creators who want to build a thriving online community.

So what should you do instead?

The answer is simple: use a dedicated community platform, possibly one that offers more than a community feature, and where you can access all the tools you need to build and scale an online knowledge business.

Heights Platform does just that: it offers the option to build a community with unlimited channels, plus create and sell online courses, digital products and even build your entire website.

This way, you do not need a dozen of platforms (and you don't need to pay multiple pricy software subscriptions each month) to run an online business!

Heights Platform's community is one of the best alternatives to Facebook groups, as it offers all the features that are lacking in the social media platform that help creators build engagement in an online community.

On Heights, you have the flexibility to structure your community the way you want!

You can create different communication channels to discuss various topics with your members, and you can set them as public or private.

You can group these channels into "channel groups" to organize the content in your community.

You can create a promotion or an exclusive deal by bundling community channels with certain online courses or digital products that you sell.

This makes Heights Platform an excellent alternative to Facebook groups.

With Heights Platform, you have endless possibilities as you are in control of your content and have the flexibility to choose how you want to structure your community and learning program.

Create Your Community Today